Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Post 4 : Penny : Packaging and Perception

As a follow on from my first blog, I have decided to explore the realm of packaging a little further.
After trawling through copious journals and scientific studies on the affects of packaging; I have decided to put them aside for my blog and talk about me instead.
After a life of 'knowing' that advertising and packaging has no affect on me, I have realised that I am not as immune as I would like.

I do not, as a rule drink cola, but if I have to drink bourbon (as unfortunate as that seems, it occasionally happens) then I will automatically choose 'Coke'.

If I want a quick snack at the petrol station it will always be a 'Mars' bar. I assume that 'David Jones' sells better products than 'Kmart'. I will never touch a product with kids cartoon characters on it, I assume that it will be full of sugar.

I know that these things are all ridiculous in many ways. It has been proven over and over that given the same product in different containers, most people will taste a difference. It is basic knowledge, yet how often do we all make choices, even minimally, because of packaging and advertising?

I hope to find out the ways in which packaging affects us, how manufacturers manipulate us in small ways and why our brains trick us into thinking things taste the same or totally different depending on what they are dressed in.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A look into the world of Illustration...

I really love illustration... I think most of us would agree that there are a lot of very beautiful and inspiring illustrations in the world. Even with developments in technology over the past few decades illustration continues to hold its own in a world of slick and polished graphics. From books, to posters, to websites, to cards, to magazines, packaging even t-shirt designs, Illustration is still found everywhere.

For my report i will be looking at:

• What is illustration?
• The History of illustration.
• Current trends in Illustration.

• The internet how has it changed the face of illustration?

• Job opportunities and how to find work.

• Agencies or Freelance the Pro's and cons.

• Publishing - different companies and also self publishing in the age of digital printing/ Vanity publishing

• Case study - Illustrator Shawn Tan

• Cards - The Ink Group

Avant cards

• Mia - My house mate is interested in becoming a illustrator… we are going to try produce a little book so i can look at the process involved.

Magazines (3rd blog) Claire


Wooden Toy


Modern Design Magazine

Radical Magazine:

"Magazines, periodicals, glossies or serials are publications, generally published on a regular schedule, containing a variety of articles, generally financed by advertising, by a purchase price, by pre-paid magazine subscriptions, or all three. Magazines can be distributed through the mail; through sales by newsstands, bookstores or other vendors; or through free distribution at selected pick up locations." Wikipedia

Official U.S. Playstation Magazine:

"This luxury magazine is produced twice a year. As a complimentary publication it is distributed in all rooms and suites at Twinpalms Phuket Resort & Spa and at selected places in Phuket. In addition to providing reading pleasure it is a great branding tool for the resort:"

Branding to promote charities

To a lot of people branding simply means creating a logo or tagline. Branding is so much more than even the product itself. Charities around the world are moving away from the days of surviving with door knocks and tin cans to raise money for their cause. Today we see merchandising and branding for so many different charities, most of of which we have become familiar with on a daily basis and now view these charities as professional and credible organisations.

For my assignment i'm going to touch on several possible research issues:

* What is branding and why is it so effective in today's market.

* Discuss different charities that use branding to connect with their audiences emotions and how effective use of merchandise can promote awareness for their cause.

* History of branding within the charity sector

* Large corporations that support charities by endorsing their cause for promotion of their own products with financial gain.

These are just a few ideas I'd like to research further and could possibly discover more issues and reasons why branding is now a huge part of everyday charities.
Graffiti culture is a topic on which our society has long been divided. Graffiti is either seen as a new form of urban expression, an art form in its own right or mindless vandalism, labelled as popular amongst delinquents, a product of the unsuccessful lower classes...

Graffiti was used primarily by political activists to make statements and street gangs to mark territory. It wasn't till the late 1960's that ''writing's'' current identity started to form.The history of the ''underground'' art movement known by many names, most commonly termed graffiti began in Philadelphia.The writers who are credited with the first conscious bombing effort are CORNBREAD and COOL EARL.They wrote their names all over the city gaining attention from the community and local press.

''KAWS'' a painter,designer and graffiti writer,after years of him trying to steer away from art galleries his now one of the biggest names in the art scene in new york

"I just started simply through graffiti and drawing on my skateboard and painting on walls and getting that small recognition,"
Kaws has done work for Musician like Kanye West,Madonna
and brands like Nike and vans

Sprite employed street artist ''Temper'' to design limited edition graffiti cans and bottles for celebrating 'the nation's love affair with all things urban'. This seems to be one way in which graffiti culture is moving forward. Many modern crews, keen to develop the art form, are open to the possibilities of pro-active strategies,and designer advertisements and doing labels and branding.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Post 4: Photography - ROXY

Here is an outline of my ideas that I am thinking about covering in my final report on Photography. I am thinking of writing about different trends in photography, ranging from different cameras and the times of photos they take (slides, digital, polaroid, etc.) to different trends in photography. I would then proceed to talk more about Facebook and it's influences in photography: how it has made images more readily available to the public, how it has changed the way some people think about taking photos ("Oooo lets take a good picture and put it as our profile picture!") and the way it has changed the way photos are taken (when photos only have two heads in them because that's as far away as one of the people can get their arms away with the camera.) OR possibly talking about digital art.

I would LOVE some feed back from people to see what they think i should talk more about or things that wont be so interesting, as I would like to cover all of these topics but obviously can't...


What is photography

How long has it been around


The first camera

How photos were processed

Different types of cameras

- The slides - photocrome fijicrome

- Polaroid

- SLR cameras

- Digital cameras

- can now take a million photos and experiment more

- Future cameras…?


- Making them look like old photos from polaroid cameras

- The close up shot of two people seen on Facebook (because that's how far you can get it away from you with your arm)

- Photoshop

- Panographies

- What trends are overused

- Lomo photography

- Fish eye lenses


- Photography trends in magazines


- Madonna / Adobe

- Dove campaign


- People's photography more available to the public

- Good way to display photos for photographers



- Cheap photos

- Incident with virgin mobiles

- Is it cheapening photography?


- Alexia Sinclair






Fine Art Photography

Red Shirt School of Photogrpahy

IBCA 2005 exhibition of Contemporary Art








Polaroid Cameras;jsessionid=MGTPbN7hLfyJ1h2mhWyhJC4JTqZ6r8tBdzP62VnFqvL87rbmjGQZ!-931948083!1132348382?docId=96409528


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Gig Posters

The small stakes - Mates of State

The music industry offers vast and colourful opportunities for the graphic designer. Musicians need websites, album covers and booklets, publications, promotional items and t-shirts etc in order to promote and advertise their music. My favourite little piece of music industry design is the gig poster which is a supportable, affordable source of art that reflects our culture, aesthetic leanings and tastes.

Mark Clay - Wilco 2007
Generally speaking, gig posters are first and foremost a do-it-yourself movement, largely limited to hand-driven, low tech processes such as silk-screening. I find something comforting about these lovingly rendered prints that seem so beautifully handmade and yet can be put into limited production or mass-produced.

Gig posters differ from other types of music industry design because they are designed to be viewed by people on the go. They must grab people's attention and quickly convey key information. A poster needs to reflect the event and the performers whilst remaining easy to read.

This topic is so vast that I need to centre in on one area for my essay. Some of the possible options are:-

Gig Poster History.

Grateful Dead, 1967 Jefferson Airplane 1967

There is a rich and varied history to gig posters which wouldn't really begin until the 1960's with the San Francisco music and cultural scene. This bought forth bands such as the grateful dead, Jefferson Airplane and Big Brother amongst many others. The advertisement of this movement nurtured many artists and gig posters became an artwork all of their own. To trace the development of gig posters from the 60's until now would give me quite a project, but to what end I wonder?

Emek - Mars Volta 2008
Emek has had a long career in gig poster design and, alhough I'm not drawn to all of his work (too much neon and skeletons for my liking) it does cover a reasonable time frame to reflect certain trends and developments.

Contemporary Gig Posters.
Maybe it is better to look at what is happening now. It seems as though the gig poster movement is gaining momentum at the moment with many exhibitions throughout the world focusing on the once humble gig poster. It is truly being recognised as a worthy art form of its own and many graphic designers and artists focus on gig posters as their main creative outlet. It could be interesting to look at the overall styles of our current time, perhaps by looking at specific gig poster artist and studios.

Doublenaught - Broken Social Scene 2006
I could write an essay focused only on Broken Social Scenes gig posters - there are so many and they are all so beautiful.

Gigart - Josh Ritter 2009
Gigart are a design company centered entirely aoung the music industry, covering many record labels and music publications and creating a vast array of different styles of work.

Spike Press - Vampire Weekend

Delicious Design League - Animal Collective

The Small Stakes - Modest Mouse

Clinton Reno 2005

Gig poster Plagiarism.

Bob Gill (1962); Concert Poster (2009)

On a more specific topic, there is a large amount of post modern references to past art in contemporary gig poster art - but when does it cross over from post modern reference into out and out plagiarism?

Saul Bass Movie Poster (1965); A Concert Poster (2003)
Is it better to refer to a past artwork in an blatant way - such as Shepard Fairey, who has been criticized for barely changing on the originals -

or as a vague reference, merely hinting at another's work to those in the know? eg "half banana, half woman" by Rafal Olbinski, 1982 and Scrojo, 2002.

Is this homage or plagiarism?

"Art is either plagiarism or revolution."
--Paul Gauguin. Well, thanks Paul but personally I'm not sure I'm up for a revolution! What's a bit of plagiarism between friends? Especially if it's done in a clever, tongue in cheek way.

So many topic options, so unlikely to choose a favourite! One things for sure, there will be alot of pictures in my final report.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Can Graphic Design bring about positive social change?

This is the "Biblioburro"
For me the short answer is yes. It does this simply by making the world a more beautiful place. And even though a lot of graphic design via advertising does contribute to problems like overconsumption, mental health and environmental degradation. it can also help to address these problems. There seems to be an increasing willingness by the industry to address these concerns and look to a wider role available for Graphic Designers.

The tools, technologies and techniques of graphic communication can profoundly alter our relationship to the world, to power and to each other. David Berman writes in "Do Good Design", The same design that fuels mass overconsumption also holds the power to repair the world. "

There are lots of Graphic design projects around the world that have as their basic aim, improving human and environmental wellbeing. There are agencies around the world that have this as there core aim, and still make enough for their staff to live on. It is this work and these agencies that I want to focus on in my report.

Some Examples are:

-The Good 50x70 poster projects supported by big name designers like Massimo Vignelli asks the graphic design community to confront critical issues affecting today's world .

-The recent Australian Graphic Design Association competition asked designers "to challenge the notion that design is only about beautiful things and show that design has a greater value and it is in this value that design can effect real change."

-The Aspen design conference, while not graphic design as such, gather designers to find solutions to real problems in the third world.

-The First Things First Manifesto which proposes a reversal of priorities in Graphic Design in favour of more useful and more lasting forms of communication

-An increasing emphasis on "Design Thinking" as necessary for solving the worlds problems.

-Various agencies and individuals who practically use design as a tool for positive social change, (and make enough money to survive!)

In my unashamedly idealistic report I hope to provide an overview of these and other options for graphic designers who want to use their skills to make the world a better and place.