Personal 2

Sunday, 24 October 2010

ITAP - Visual Hierarchy

Visual hierarchy is used in page design to help the audience process information. The hierarchy can be used in several dimensions, such as colour, texture, shape, contrast, position and size. Above is the Elle magazine 2009 cover. The first thing I look at, is immediately the dress she wearing because it’s the only part of the cover that has vivid colour. The reason why the yellow stands out is because everything else is a grey at the background, however I did think that both colour complement each other.  
The second visual hierarchy that catches my eye is the typography. The title comes across clear against the white background. The third thing I notice is the body position of the women because she spread her arms to fill the page. The image of Victoria Beckham is in colour and not in monochrome like most of the typography presented in the cover. I have noticed a pattern occurring when viewing this cover again. It seem that the designer wanted the viewers to first look at the yellow in her dress (it attracts the eye because it's one of the primary colours.) then her body which is also colour, then face and finally leading to the title of the magazine.

When coming across this flyer today, I found a lot of things that could be improved upon. However it did catch my eye due to vibrate magenta background. There are many problems to this flyer but I’ll just pick out the top 3 I found:  
1.   Fonts- There is a variety of fonts expressed on this page. For example the title of the event doesn’t seem to fit with the theme at all. The two colours pink and orange clash together than gel, unlike the yellow and grey which complemented each other in the other image.

2.   Background- The flyer background colour would instantly attract the eye. Because of how ‘in your face’ it looks and the brightness as well. To add to the background the designer decided to add little stars.

3.   Images- There are two images in the flyer, one is the models and two the buildings. The building looks that it had been Photoshoped to enhance the contrast, to appear bolder against the models. There are 3 models, because you tend to remember things more when presented in 3’s. The models in the flyer were positioned as one in front and two at back.

Written by Kawsar Ahmed
Pictures from ‘Google Images’

ITAP - Researching The Practice...

Paula Scher
‘American female graphic designer’

Example one
Paula Scher was born in 1948 in Virginia USA. She’s a graphic designer and an artist. I admire her work in typography. Because they come across as strong, clean cut and bold. Paula didn’t like the font of ‘Helvetica’ because she thinks it too boring and bland. So she wanted to create a new font. She was influenced by Art Nouveau and Victorian typography. At this time she was designing album covers so she incorporated a mixture of pop music and art nouveau to create a new font. Above are a couple of examples that best describes it. She also designed a logo for ‘public theater’ that became a popular font style.
When I observed ‘Victorian’ and ‘Art nouveau’ typography, I have noticed subtle similarities and differences in Scher typography. below I can see that she has kept the theme of the thickness of the letters, just like shown in the Victorian era typefaces, however she made it look more eye catching by adding strips of red in the stems of the letter as well as colouring the counters in above image. In the left image I noticed a couple similarities to the Art nouveau. First I see she has used slimmer font like in one of the example in the Art nouveau picture below but made it more modern by not using serifs. I had seen how the font above it was decorative. When looking closely at the letter ‘E’ in the slender font on the top line you can see how the middle line is close to the bottom line, when looking at this letter upside down it is almost identical to the art nouveau style design of the letter you will be able to see this in the Art nouveau image below.
Example two
The Victorian typeface inspired by late 19th century display letterforms. I liked the style of the font examples presented on the image for instance the font in the word ‘grill’, I liked how the serif looked and the thickness of the bowl on the letter ‘g’ as well as the stems of the other letters. Overall the Victorian typeface superbly reflects the refinement of the late 19th Century. The art nouveau fonts were popular in Europe and North America, in the beginning of the late 1800’s. The fonts are usually decorative and can include stroke endings, very high and low “waistlines” diagonal and triangular character shapes. This is shown below.

Overall I think Paula Scher is a good designer, I like the way she connects little, simple key things from existing typefaces and then making her own twist to it to form a new combined font.
Written by Kawsar Ahmed

Sunday, 10 October 2010


Saul Steinberg (1914-1999)
Born in 1915, Steinberg illustrations were exposed internationally having been published in a numbers of magazines. He liked collecting comics because of the layout like the words coming out of people’s mouths, substituting lines, shapes, patterns and visual symbols for words, and giving us a graphic impression of speech and expression. As well as that he understood New York. This cover was my personal best out of all the covers in ‘The New Yorker’ magazine. The ‘View of the World from 9th Avenue’ is a classic example of Steinberg’s wit and humour, the picture was very popular to the audience and they felt it was an excellent critique of the New York City attitude. Steinberg used ink, pencil, coloured pencil, and watercolour to create this cover. Saul Steinberg was greatly influential in the evolution of cartoons into a mature and acceptable art form. His work inspired that of many other famous cartoonists, such as ‘Art Spiegelman’ and ‘Bill Watterson’.   

‘View of the World from 9th Avenue’
Cover of ‘The New Yorker’ (March 29-1976).

Jon Burgerman
Jon Burgerman is a British graphic designer. He has done a lot of work like creating doodles, drawings, art, sketching on a variety of different mediums such as on posters, stickers, toys, books, all forms of paper, wood, cardboards, bags, T shirts. I personally like the cover he designed for ‘Computer Arts’ magazine (below).
Jon Burgerman artwork is very lively and colourful with his characters, he positions them in forms that are crammed on top of each until they fill the page with an effect that creates a mass of energy. Burgerman has pushed the character obsession of the late 90s into a more interesting and strong direction.

Jon Burgerman made a very good reputation through his unique and bold artworks of doodles, intertwining lines and interesting characters. Working across a variety of mediums that include drawing, painting, print, animation, toy design. His art always retains a handmade and hand drawn quality. His process of working is drawing, scanning and then enhance the illustration in Adobe Photoshop.

To conclude I would like to say how each illustrator has uniquely inspired me. I like the idea of how Jon Burgerman turns a simple doodle to a work of art. I also like how Saul Steinberg his style and the ‘View of the World from 9th Avenue’ illustration he done.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Alberto Korda 1928-2001

Cuba Revolutionary


Alberto Díaz Gutiérrez or better known as Alberto Korda was a Cuban photographer and became famous when he took this photo of Che Guevara (above). In the photograph Che Guevara eyes are framed by heavy brows, a single-starred beret pulled over his hair, stares out of the shot with intensity.

The photo was taken after a Belgian transport exploded in Havana harbour and killed a number of people. Che Guevara was near the stage where Fidel was giving his speech, and Korda was surprised on the expression Che gave so he quickly snapped two photos before he disappeared off stage. The photo was taken by ‘pure chance’ with a Leica M2 with a 90mm lens. After the memorial service, the photos of Fidel, Che and the events of the day were developed back at his studio and a few were selected to be published. The photo of Che was not one of those selected but it remained part of Korda’s personal collection.

He was a photographer for the Cuban newspaper called ‘Revolucion’ in 1960 (when he took the famous image). He never received any royalties for the image, although in 2000 he sued Smirnoff over the use of the image in advertisement. Because he believes it was disrespectful to him and his nation. Commenting on the illegal use of his photograph, the photographer said, "As a supporter of the ideals for which Che Guevara died, I am not averse to its reproduction by those who wish to propagate his memory and the cause of social justice throughout the world, but I am categorically against the exploitation of Che's image for the promotion of products such as alcohol, or for any purpose that denigrates the reputation of Che".
Although Korda suffered a fatal heart attack in Paris in 2001. The image is still repeated everywhere and in a variety of mediums for instance  t-shirts, walls, cigarettes and more. It has transformed into pop art and its appeal had not faded throughout time. My personal favourite ad is the 'Stabilo Boss' below.
 “Mark the most important - get the whole story.” Stabilo boss advertisement (2007) Agency: Service plan Hamburg, Germany
The marker has scribbled and masked the photograph. This ad came out in 2007. I notice that the agency picked out the key items that represent the famous photo which are the eyes and the red star on the military hat. This ad photograph is in red, white & black which makes the ad look bold and eye catching. I believe the message that Stabilo Boss advertisement is trying to signify to me it that capturing or ‘marking’ the important stuff to you is by writing it down telling a story. For instance like photographs they capture moments. On the other hand the ad shows a highlighter this can also simply means marking/highlighting important information.


Written by Kawsar Ahmed