Sunday, 17 October 2010

what is graphic design?

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Promotional Film Poster
(dir. Michel Gondry)

Now, I may be a little biased (Eternal Sunshine...being my favourite film) but I love the concept behind this design.
Three of the main characters photgraphically portrayed with their eyes concealed by a "ripped effect" poster text revealing the "spotless mind" thoughts that the characters hold throughout the film.

The idea is really simple, but perfectly executed, and I think that the tactile look of the "ripped" paper with the photographic portraits.
I also like the brightness of the text- the yellow really drawing you in and grabbing your attention, and, of course, relative to the "eternal sunshine".

Totally inventive and inspiring, one of my favourite promotional film posters ever!

"appropriate, creative, obsessive, frustrating, organised, lives in the detail."

what is graphic design?

Papercraft: Design with art and paper (by Robert Klanten, S.Ehmann, and B.Meyer)

Such a brilliant book cover! This really jumped out at me- simple, clear, and direct as to the contents, perfect to "judge a book by it's cover".

I think this is a wonderful example of graphic design, not only complimenting my love of papercrafts and print-based media and books, but also a great solution to graphic design's main focus: resolution of a problem through visual communication.

Bold and brilliant.

"graphic design...simple and effective."

what is graphic design?

Penguin by Polly Dunbar

I will, I am sure, always find myself inspired and charmed by children's books, and, in particular, their illustrations.
I was lucky enough to meet a creator of this particularly wonderful genre, Polly Dunbar, during the summer, at an  under 18's local arts competition.

Polly talked to the entrants, along with friends and family, about her love for illustration, studies, and where her degree from Brighton University has taken her- and, in particular, showcasing her new children's book, 'Penguin'.

As a penguin lover myself, I was instantly drawn to the charming story of a little boy and his toy, Penguin, who "said nothing", with a simple, sweet and comforting short story.

I really like the soft pastel colours that Polly uses throughout the book, being very "child-friendly", along with the small point size of the text, which maintains balance with the illustration, thus, being suitable both aesthetically in it's composition, and for the young target market- to enjoy all the adorable illustrations!

"graphic design...simple and effective."

what is graphic design?

I really love this bright, colourful, simple, yet incredibly fun and creative typographic poster by graphic designer, Michael Ciancio.

I think this poster can communicate to everyone: lovers of language, "bright young thing" graphic designers, children, and adults- with a clean, concise message and typeface.

In the near future, I hope to be the proud owner of these silkscreen print- any wall would be proud to have this hanging upon it!

"graphic the effective delivery of a message, idea, or concept through the use of visual language."

what is graphic design?

Dior Cherie perfrume advertisement for Dior

As a photography lover and very amateur participant, as well as a lover of all things girly, charming, and French, this may well be one of my favourite paper-based advertisements of recent years.

Again, I think this is a brilliant example of graphics in context- the 'Dior' typography crafted in a beautiful pink ribbon style which ties in with the balloon string and colour scheme of the entire picture.

I really love the pastel colour palette and white tones- a personal favourite of mine.

So sweet and delightful, I love the whimsy and genteel look of this piece.

"graphic design...simple and effective."

what is graphic design?

Si Scott for Adidas

In my world, Si Scott can do little wrong- and after discovering this illustrative graphics work comissioned by Adidas, that opinion has certainly been cemented.

Usually, sports brands are direct, bold, and quite frankly, often a little boring (in my mind), despite being globally known.
Thus, I was delighted when I saw this contemporary and fresh edge that Si Scott has given to the Adidas logo with his hand-rendered, organic illustrative style that he is famed for.

I love how unique and youthful this makes the logo appear, and looks wonderful in the crisp and fresh blue and white colour scheme.

A great idea- a really good example of thinking "outside the box".

"appropraite, creative, obsessive, frustrating, organised, lives in the detail."

what is graphic design?

As an aspiring children's book author and illustrator, the hugely talented and versatile author and illustrator, Chris Riddell, has been a huge inspiration to me over the years, since reading and falling in love with the book 'Kasper in the Glitter', which he illustrated for Phillip Ridley.

Ottoline and the Yellow Cat is one of Chris Riddell's persoanlly written and illustrated book, and alone is a wonderfully quirky and fun "mystery" book for the 8-11 age range, but what I always loved was the front cover of the book. The gold leaf-like texture of the illustrated section upon the spine works wonderfully with the bold red, giving quite a luxurious and expensive feel.

Along with the wonderfully distinct and creative illustrations, the typography works really well, light in weight to compliment the fine lines of the illustration, with a hand-rendered, "kooky" design.

"graphic design...simple and effective."

what is graphic design?

Another undoubted favourite (in regards to music videos) of all time.
I was first introduced to this beautiful pixelation motion video whilst studying an animation project at college, at the start of 2010, and it has been a constant source of inspiration since.

The amount of work and patience that must have gone into creating this piece is phenomenal- as each fraction of a second is beautifully captured and lit, narrating the lyrics of oren lavie's song.

During my animation project, I was neve presented with the oppurtunity to create a pixelation animation, but have always loved examples that have shown (Peter Gabriel's 'Sledgehammer' as a notable inspiration) and really would love to experience and experiment with this technique throughout my time at university.

"appropriate, creative, obsessive, frustrating, organised, lives in the detail."

what is graphic design?

issuu is an online graphics and digitial media publication site that i recently discovered, and have really enjoyed exploring.
the site offers self publication in an interactive and professional way, to introduce others to your work in the comfort and accessibility of their own homes.

The site has wonderful fluidity, helped by it's interactive motion graphics- such as the scroll panel at the bottom of each page (see image above) to navigate to specific pages of the magazine... well as navigational tool, the site provides a close-up for ease of readability, with a range of zoom- really practical for scales of both illustrations and text...

Often with web design, and online 'e book' like publication sites, there is a lot of "one or the other" factors when it comes to navigation, readability, etc, but this site really does provide the whole range- a clear, concice site with real user-friendly service for both visitors and users.

A really great site- i will definately consider using it for my own publications in the near future!

"graphic design...simple and effective."

what is graphic design?

Anthony Zinonos, half of super-couple with Gemma Correll, is an experimental, paper crafts artist who is notable for his use of abstraction and geometric shapes.

I have been fascinated with Anthony's work for a long time- always unusually captivating.

Anthony's almost mathematical and technical style isn't usually my first port of call in terms of style, but I feel that his work has been instrumental in opening up my mind to new ideas, and seeing art and design in a whole new way.

I love the way he has combined techniques and materials in this promotional design for mini magazine for a chanel's men's fragrance 'bleu de chanel'- i love the landscape globe posing as the man's head- to me, an expression of a mindset of adventure and travel.

Really innovative and inspiring, I really love how Anthony's mind pours out onto the page...

"graphic the effective deliver of a message, idea, or concept through the use of visual language."

what is graphic design?


Even as a cat-a-phobe, who could not fall in love with these adorable kitten illustrations from gemma correll's 'everybody's book of kittens' zine.

I have been both a fan of gemma's work, and a great admirer of fanzine's for a long time, so, for me, this really is the perfect combination. I cannot wait for the day when I have enough time and resources to create my own zine, and outpour my loves and interests into such an accessible and charmingly hand-made zine booklet such as this one.

I love the hand-crafted quality of zine's, often photocopied for mass production and distribution to the masses!
Due to this printing process, I think that gemma's sketchy, textures style works really well here, giving a really raw but charming aesthetic.

"graphic design...simple and effective."

what is graphic design?

I really can't get enough of paper cut designs lately!
I really love this music video directed by James Copeman for Laura Marling's single, 'Ghosts'.

The animated paper cut craft pieces effortlessly, and beautifully follow along with the lyrics of the song- the screenshot above being my favourite, with "all the ghosts that broke my heart before i met you".
The song, both beautiful and poignant, works wonderfully with the motion graphics and looks entirely unique, original and magical.
I would love to experiment, as I have mentioned before, not only with paper cuts in the near future, but also with their application into other mediums, particularly animation and motion- this video has completely inspired me, and i'm sure it will for you too.

"appropriate, creative, obsessive, frustrating, organised, lives in the detail."

what is graphic design?

I have always found one of the most interesting aspects of graphics (and art in general) is the application process- in which situe the design is best placed, how versatile the piece can be- and I believe this example of adhesive bandages created by one of my favourite artists, Kate Sutton, is a fantastic example.

Design need not always have a purpose or function, but I think that it is always a massive advantage when it does, especially in unique or diverse ways, such as this.

I love Kate's distinctively playful, child-like, and colourful designs, and when printed upon an adhesive bandage like this, they are sure to raise a smile among any person with a poorly finger or "bashed" elbow.

Sweet, simple, and perfectly charming.

"graphic design...simple and effective."

Saturday, 16 October 2010

what is graphic design?

Love this "moms on mannerisms" animation short by Jan Avendano- bright, colourful, quirky and "straight to the point"- a factor which is often so important within graphic design, as it communicates quickly and efficiently.

(great simplistic idea- the typographic illustration getting "eaten away" to suit the theme of the animation)
I really like the use of creative colour development throughout the animation is a charmingly child-like style, direct to it's target audience, yet universal among all age ranges for it's appeal.

This is a great example of community-based or driven art work- fun, full of character and immediate. It's short pieces of animation like these that are so positive, even a neccessity, into some of the difficult problems in modern society (in this case, poor diet and childhood obesity) and how we can resolve them.

"graphic the effective delivery of a message, idea, or concept through the use of visual language."

what is graphic design?

For a long time, I have followed and been fanatical about the papercut craft works of Jonathan Chapman, again, just like aforementioned, Steph Baxter, previously unbeknownst to me, being a former LCA graphic design student!

consistently throughout art and design, I have always found myself extremely fond of paper cut crafts, and always have always been very jealous of the incredibly patient and talented people who create them!

I was really drawn to the ficticious Ikea promotion brief that Jonathan Chapman set about designing shown here- though of course I would be bias with an abiding devotion to ikea!

I love the bold simplicity, and the ikea colour scheme of royal blue and golden yellow is one of my favourite (representing the sweddish flag colours)- this is just perfect, clean cut, simple, but very, very effective.

ikea, take note! 

"appropriate, creative, obsessive, frustrating, organised, lives in the detail."

what is graphic design?

Undoubtedly one of my favourite magazine covers of all time, how could you not love the humour and charm of Esquire's March 1965, 'the masculinization of American women' front page?

The bold image is fantastic as an image alone, but with great context, and communicates this with wonderful humour and tongue-in-cheek.
The colour scheme of the logo and type above also works well with the colouring, and takes nothing away from the main photographic feature.

"graphic the effective delivery of a message, idea, or concept through the use of visual language."

what is graphic design?

this wonderfully chilling Josef Fritzl illustration was designed and drawn by "oatmeal" a wonderfully talented and distinctive 22 year-old graphic communications student studying at Farnham UCA.

I love his use of texture (which is found in the vast majority of his works) and the un-easiness that the shaky, haunted typography provokes, working perfectly with the interpretation of the notoriously infamous Fritzl.

Just brilliant.

Communicates simply but, I believe, very effectively.

"graphic design...simple and effective."

Monday, 11 October 2010

what is graphic design?

Another example of wonderful graphics work from the abidingly talented Clare owen, this time, a parisian- inspired "j'adore" print for Tigerprint greeting cards.

Once again, this example was found through flickr, what a treasure trove!

There are so many things I love about this design- the natural pink and beige tones in contrast with the block boldness of the eiffel tower, along with the circus- inspired decorative typography, but, perhaps most of all, is the slight-faded screenprinted style texture that the picture has achieved- giving a slightly used/vintage effect, without being over-the-top.

Simply brilliant.

"graphic design...simple and effective."

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

what is graphic design?

Design Project Leeds

Last week, whilst at work in a great bout of luck, I met a part-time promotions woman, whilst chatting away, I discovered that she not only is a freelance photographer, (when not selling promotional goods to the masses!) but is also the wife to a graphic designer, and head of the company 'Design Project' in Leeds.

After taking her business card, I curiously went on to look at both her, but particularly her husband's work, and was delighted with what I saw.
Through a variety of graphic work available through the online portfolio, I was particularly interested in the company's work towards the 44th D&AD annual design and production work.

The 600-page annual is a map around the art works submitted from the creative minds the world over, particularly focusing in on adveritsing and design.
Of course, to showcase great artworks, the outer shell has to have a high and eye-catching quality, to compliment the creativity within, and I believe that this has certainly been achieved.

The bright yellow colour is delightfully uplifting and radiates optimism and happiness- you really can never feel like a pessimist when you are looking at yellow!
The book has a clear, structured layout with angular formatting which varies throughout the book, keeping the eye and mind busy- for constant ineraction through the book, thus little risk of the viewer loosing attention.

The bold, metallic font used for headers throughout is also really eye-catching, and works subtly with the page colours, keeping the whole aesthetic sleek and very professional-looking.

"graphic design...simple and effective."

what is graphic design?

ABC3D by Marion Bataille 

This wonderfully innovative little book by Marion Bataille is a typographic treat with great originality in it's design.
The concept is simple- showcasing type and letterforms.

Add 3D pop ups, an infinite amount of creativity and toy have ABC3D.

The concept, as I mentioned before, is so simple, but the execution is brilliant- each letter being showcased in their own unique way- an 'O' and 'P' being transformed into 'Q' and 'R' by a paper overlay with typographic tail and leg- and a 'V' being transformed into a 'W' with the aid of mirrored paper and symmetry.

Often, the best ideas are born from the simplist, and I believe that this is one of those perfect instances. I can't wait to own this book someday!

"appropriate, creative, obsessive, frustrating, organised, lives in the detail."

what is graphic design?

Rob Ryan
'this is for you'.

My heart just skipped a beat.

London-based shop-owner ('Ryan Town'), MA Graduate in printmaking, Vogue-featured papercutting artist: Rob Ryan is at the top of his game.

I remember that particular Vogue feature, published around five years ago, and remeber instantly storing Rob Ryan in my favourite artists mental list.

The picture above is from Rob Ryan's book 'This is for you', which I have very recently ordered and am greatly anticipating receiving. The book travels through a fairy tale consisting of lost love, hope, and happiness.

I love Rob Ryan's consistent sentimentality and romanticism through his work- always with such optimism and incrediblly delicate and crafted.

I particularly love the red and white colour combination on this page (as featured throughout the book) and the style of font that Rob Ryan uses throughout his work- I find his effort and talent truly awe-inspiring, and as a particular fan of paper cutting techniques, I really aspire to produce work even half as magnificent as this in the near future.

"graphic design...simple and effective."

what is graphic design?

Clare Owen- "We can do it!"

Clare Owen, undoubtedly, is one of my favourite up-and-coming illustrators. Her sweet, genteel and hand-crafted style works wonderfully with her innovative and creative mind- with a brilliantly versatile portfolio showcasing this.

This vector illustration is one of my favourites from Clare- a piece created to showcase the "new wave of feminism and the new craft movement".
The picture depicts two arms knitting a textiles piece- subtly representing the iconic wartime women's liberation and production 'We can do it!" poster:

I love the subtlty of Clare's design- blending the feminism and craft elements together so naturally- and I particularly love the craft utensils tattoos embellishing the knitting arms and hands!

As I mentioned before, I really adore Clare's sweet style, and think that this is a wonderful contemporary design, which is really distinctive, and bursting with character.

"graphic the effective delivery of a message, idea, or concept through the use of visual language."

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

forms of sequence: visual language.

The stages of digital editing from a hand-drawn illustration

In this sequence layout, I have decided to showcase a series of four illustrative plates, each in a numerical order as to their editing process.

The first is the original illustration, at scanning point, complete with musical note paper cut stripes.
I then went into Photoshop CS4, and very simply block-coloured using the bucket fill tool, using soft pastel and primary colours, to add to the child-like theme and asthetic (as the illustration was originally used to be printed onto a baby romper suit!).

I then scanned in some monochrome illustrative clouds and 'i do like to be beside the seaside' typography to add another layer to the illustration (the 'rope' type found from '').
The type and clouds were then cropped and selected to be pasted onto the stage 2 coloured layer, to create the finished outcome.

Although a very condensed and simplified version of the editing process, this shows very clearly the transition from original drawing to finished product for a young audience (as it was, as aforementioned, originally intended for). However, of course, I could go into great deal creating a sequence for an older audience, including individual screen caps of each individual action and tool through Photoshop.

forms of sequence: visual language.

Forms of Sequence: moustache-growing-prowess.

The short illustrative series above shows my very condensed impression of the stages of moustache growth ("movember" is just a month away!)

I wanted to create a quick sketch up to show a more playful side to the sequence process- as, in most circumstances, sequence instructions can be mundane and for very serious matters- usually involving health and safety.

I wanted to show the three short stages- clean shaved and dissatisfied with life- stubble-bound and reasonably happy with life- and a proud owner of a moustache poirot would be proud of, and overjoyed (obviously!).

I added pink papercut circle cheeks for a tiny splash of faint colour, and added the times new roman numerical numbers to the left of each illustrative stage, as to show some sort of order, and giving a classic, clean-cut feel.
(less can be said for number 3...)

forms of sequence: visual langauge.

This iconic sequence of running motion of a horse with jockey was made famous by photographer Eadwaerd Muybridge, the man responsible for the pioneering of capturing motion and the development of the zoopraxiscope in which the motion pictures could be showcased.

The discovery was made when, in 1872, the former Governor of California (and race-horse owner) debated whether, at any time in motion, all four of a horse's hooves would lift from the ground at once- and employed photographer Muybridge to try to answer his curiousity, and, of course, Muybridge proved this is one singular negative.

Sequences such as these have also been presented historically in motion in the form of zoetrobes, and other such items.

forms of sequence: visual language.

As suggested by tutor Amber, I went to seek a sequence in the form of airline safety cards. There are many available to view on the web, but this brightly coloured, and simplistic example from Australian airline, Qantas, was certainly my favourite.

Many examples that I saw were quite dull, and heavy-laden with text and instructions. Of course, in the case of an emergency, you are hardly likely to want to partake in a "leisurely read", so Qantas' illustrative step-by-step guide is brilliant for many circumstances.
The pictures are detailed enough to prevent any confusion, and without text they transcend any language (as flights are so often multi cultural), and, also, the bright colour means that, in the case of emergency, it should be easy to find, in combination with their usual location in easily accesible areas.

forms of sequence: visual language.

One of my favourite examples of sequence is often found in animation storyboard format. I discovered this wonderful animation, named 'Western Spaghetti' by PES in one of my second year projects at college, which focused on motion graphics and animation.

I have always felt really inspired by this animation, and love the use of multiple item and utilities "mocking" everyday kitchen food items and utensils.

The four stages shown above in the sequence screencaps show some of the main feature sections within the animation, as the character creates the titled "Western Spaghetti".

Sunday, 3 October 2010

what is graphic design?

There's a fine line between madness and genius, but I like to think that the artist, Marc Johns, has taken the great leap to genius, and there he shall stay for a long time to come.

The art book, 'Serious Drawings', is anything but, and showcase the watercolour and ink masterpieces in the bizarre mind of this hugely talented, and somewhat eccentric, Canadian artist.

As soon as Marc Johns announced (via the web) that his book, 'Serious Drawings' would be available for purchase via Amazon, I snapped up a copy, and was delighted when it arrived on my door.

They say that you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, but in this circumstance, you honestly should- one of my personal favourite pieces, 'H for Holy Crap' sums up my love of brash, tongue-in-cheek and witty graphic design- the reason why I love the art form so much. 

I also really love the cover, in particular, because of the bold, youthful orange, yellow and white colour combination, whenever I go past my bookcase, it screams out to be picked up and read, and I believe that is a really understated, and incredibly important factor within graphic design.
Designers, typographers, illustrators- all responsible for making something look as brilliant and beautiful on the outside, and we can hope for on the inside.

"graphic design...simple and effective."

what is graphic design?

Serge Seidlitz for Vodafone.

Whilst reading one of my all-time favourite illustrative art books, 'Illusive 2', I noticed this wonderful example of promotional poster art, unusually, for the very first time.

The visual layout and idea is very simple, but also incredibly effective- as each country is depicted by an illustrative symbol, landmark, or particular stereotype of the country- with a continuous style and childlike-sweet pastel palette which represents the "togetherness" and connection that the advertisement is aimed towards- the Vodafone customer.

I really love this style of work, sweet, traditional, non-offensive and clearly distinctive- a style that i really aspire to, and would love to pursure, and create my own mark upon.

I really love the child-like style, giving the view that both the graphic style of the promotional poster, and the company, Vodafone, in which they are advertising for, are suitable universally- for everyone, and anyone- which, of course, was perfect, for it's intended positioning and publication within airport terminals across the United Kingdom.

"graphic design is...the effective delivery of a message, idea, or concept through the use of visual language."