Personal 2

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Term 2: ITAP Presentation

Alexey Brodovitch was Russian, born in1898 and died in 1971 He was
  • An artist
  • A photographer
  • A graphic designer
  • A teacher
  • And an art director.
This is a brief history about Alexey Brodovitch creative career, 1924 Brodovitch won a poster competition for Bal Banal, with his innovative design this was the start of his career as a graphic designer. He became noticed for this poster by other designers and artists, and it was not long after that he became the art director for ‘Athelia’ studio in Paris. In 1930 Brodovitch was offered to create an advertising department for Philadelphia College of Art which he accepted and moved to the United States. When Brodovitch became a teacher he bought a new way of teaching, he given students real design assignments to do and challenged them. His students then became very successful. Then in 1938 Brodovitch was an art director in Harper’s Bazaar and stayed there for more than ten years. Since I’m inspired by his editorial work e.g. his designs, layouts and spreads, this will be discussed a lot in my essay.
Alexey Brodovitch style in Harper’s Bazaar magazine spreads consists on three elements, which are commonly shown throughout the years, which are text, photography and white space. White space because it creates breathing space and readers can focus on the information more.He was the first to integrate image and text as well as using colour to create striking contrast. Carmel Snow described his work as ’a fresh, new conception of layout technique that struck me like a revelation: pages that bled beautifully cropped photographs. Typography and design that was bold and arresting.’ 
Brodovitch was also inspired by Surrealism. Which was mostly centred in Paris, Surrealism style uses visual imagery from the subconscious mind to create art without the intention of logical comprehensibility.There are many layouts that shows this style in his work, for example this layout (below) where the pages are made to look like the women are coming out of the page also when he experiments with light and shadows to create an illusion of the model appearing skinnier than she actually is.

When designing for the magazine his composition for the spreads where elegant, innovative and fresh. I found this quote from Frances MacFadden who was the editor of Harper’s Bazaar at the time describing the amount of detail Alexey Brodovitch invested in the magazine. “It was a pleasure to watch him work. He was so swift and sure. In emergencies, like the time the Clipper bearing the report of the Paris Collections was held up in Bermuda, his speed was dazzling. A quick splash or two on the cutting board, a minute's juggling of the Photostats, a slather of art gum, and the sixteen pages were complete. His layouts, of course, were the despair of copywriters whose cherished tone poems on girdles or minks had to be sacrificed to his sacred white space. Just before we went to press, all the layouts were laid out in sequence on Carmel Snow's floor, and there, under his eye, re-arranged until the rhythm of the magazine suited him.”
What I liked about his designs are for example when he would create versions of small movie stills or spreads in which women were supposed to see themselves rather than the model. For example, he would have used a model's silhouette rather than her whole form, or keeps her face in shadow, so that any reader could place themselves in those fashions. Brodovitch worked hard to avoid repeating the same visual ideas. And his passion was to be unique and different from everybody else.  
When designing editorial work I like to keep my layout simple and easy for my audience to follow. I do this by using white space a lot or keeping my work structured with a strong grid. On the other hand as well as getting inspired by Brodovitch work, I also get inspiration from Minimalism. A good example of this is in my composition project where I had to design a double-page spread about my article France banning the burqa. I started off by drawing sketches of the layout of how I wanted my spreadsheet to look. So it would be easier to design it in Adobe InDesign, this technique is what Brodovitch done too when designing his spreads. This helped because it allowed me to think of where the grids and how I wanted the layout to be positioned. For the image, I looked into photography. I used a model wearing the  traditional Islamic clothing, making sure that the woman’s face wasn’t showing. Because I wanted the audience to picture themselves in the image and try to feel how they would react to the situation that they see in the photograph. It was difficult at the start to create an emotion without showing facial expressions however I found a way of expressing this at the end.  
Written by Kawsar Ahmed 
Images from Google
Book: Alexey Brodovitch by Gabriel Bauret
Web Links

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Disruption is Key


Disruption in Advertising
The definition of disruption in the design world means to do something that stands out. This is often used in advertising. When disruption is used in adverts it makes the ad more memorable and could increase the sales of the product, depending on how successful the ad was. Nowadays disruption is much more amusing for example advertising agency 'HHCL' created this advert for fizzy drink company 'Tango' in 1991. Showing a man drinking a can of Tango and then a man painted in orange slapping him across the face. With the iconic catchphrase "You know when you've been Tango'd shown towards the end of the ad. The ad uses the familiar 'Ralph and Tony' rewind technique to explain the drink's refreshing qualities. This ad became very popular amongst the young audience to the fact that children would copy what they seen and slap others on their faces which leaded to the ad being banned from TV. 

However after the major success of the first advert the same agency came up with another commercial, but this time advertising Tango new blackcurrant flavored drink aired in 1996. the ad basically show the manager getting a letter of complaint about the flavour of blackcurrant Tango he has received from a French exchange student. He then marches out from the building and is joined by a flag waving crowd as he enters a boxing ring, its ends as the camera circles and the man shouting 'Come on France, Europe, the world. I'll take you all on! I'm Ray Gardner. I drink Blackcurrant Tango. Come and get me!' This ad won a lot of awards. what I like was how 'HHCL' had a eye for detail for instance when the clothing always linked to the colour purple to link back to fruit colour. These ads both have humor, it was so different from there competitors that even til today Tango ads are probably the most famous for its successful and innovative idea. 


There are many other examples of good commercials that are disruptive, here are few I liked.

Advertising companies                     Products
Mother                                            Pot Noodle
Fallon                                              Cadbury's Dairy Milk Chocolate
Simons Palmer                                 Nike
Shulton                                            Old Spice                                             

Disruption in Art
Picasso, a famous artist known around the world is a good example of being disruptive in his work. Take is cubism paintings, at that time its was very common to paint flat. however what made him different and stand out from other artists was him painting in 3D. It was a new way of painting that looked into all sides and viewpoints. at that time people was not sure how to react to this technique. however through time eventually people grown to like this type of style to the fact that other artists tried to incorporate this style into their work. I like how Picasso taken a risk and done something innovative and abstract.  

A more contemporary version of disruption in  art is artist Damien Hirst. In 1991 he created this installation of a shark in a tank which was controversial as well as successful this made him a household name around the world. there are many views by people saying this isn't art or artists might be just jealous of not thinking of the idea sooner. But I would like to know your view on Damien Hirst work? 

Written by Kawsar Ahmed
Videos from YouTube
Images from Google

Rob Tovey: Technology and Typography talk

In the Latin alphabet overall the alphabet is good but I feel there is room for improvement for instance the letters that does not work well are Dd and Aa. However the letter I thing that works well are Mm and Kk.

Type through the Ages
Roman Type
Typewriter and Font



One thing that amazed me in this presentation was 'Scriptographer', it is so easy to do and use and it gives a nice effect to your work, even Creative Review magazine have used it in their front cover (Below). 
I would definitely like to use Scriptographer in future projects. 

So what exactly is Scriptographer you may ask?
Scriptographer is a plug in for Adobe Illustrator, it creates new, user designed tools within the interface. The tools take the form of scripts, bespoke nuggets of code that slot into the Scriptographer plug-in. these are either downloaded from the official website or written by the designer/programmer.

Written By Kawsar
Images from Google

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Information OVERLOAD!

Image from Google

Nowadays information is everywhere you look, in schools, billboards, TV, hospitals, social network sites, newspapers just everywhere, it makes you think what will happen if there wasn't as much information given to you as now. Will I process the information more or would I understand it better?

I think its safe to say that everyone takes in information differently, weather its just by words, images or signs. For me, the way I take in information would be for someone to present it to me. This improves my  learning in processing information. (personally it took me years acknowledged this). Another way I process information is by making notes (i.e in lectures, workshops etc) as well as making lists. Lists are helpful to me because it keeps me on top of things when given assignments. 

In this week lecture, one thing i found interesting was that 'most people don't listen to understand, they listen to reply'. Which is true when thinking about it. Since I study Graphic communication, I am always told to considerate the target audience when produce work. This is why I am always in a hunt to find new creative ideas, some people I know have a technique of creating ideas or ideas have a place they go that inspires them. The two ways I create ideas are waiting for the ideas to come to me which sometimes flows through my brain or if I not inspired enough I get inspired from nature e.g; parks. In parks I get inspired by colours, organic forms like trees, shapes or texture and much more. Either way however you generate ideas every designer always consider their audience.

Here's an example of a good designer who combines the language of the eye (colour) to the language of the mind (data) into his work:

Designed by David Maccandless

Monday, 28 March 2011

Data Visualization {design for digital}

Last week, I was given a task to do in my design for digital session. I was told to work in teams and come up with a idea that gathers information, it could be on any topic and design a creative and informative way to present it. 

Me and my partner Shuluva came up with the idea of asking 20 students weather they are going on holiday this year. Which had to be outside the UK. So when we came up with the idea, we then drawn a table to note down the vital information. The questionnaire are split into categories of Yes, No and Maybe. Below is a picture of the results. 

After collecting the data we then had to produce it, after designing different ways of laying out this information, we both decided unanimously on this final piece. Shuluva and I decided to pick this design because it relates to the target audience as well as it linking back to the theme of our topic: Holidays

Questionnaire table

What do you think, does this relates to students?

Designed by Shuluva El Mufti & Kawsar Ahmed

Sunday, 20 March 2011

My notes on semiotics lecture

Firstly, what does semiotics mean? Well, in the dictionary it is described as 'the study of signs and symbols'. An example of this is in road traffic signs, the purpose for them are to warn people what to expect, also to sustain information. They look simple, clean-cut, solid colours, silhouetted and most importantly easy for pedestrians to follow & understand.Semiotic analyses have three parts
  • Semantics- the study of meaning.
  • Pragmatics- practical considerations.
  • Syntax- the study of the rules for the formation of grammatical sentences in a language.

 image from Google
Sign are anything that can be used to communicate and there are different types. Iconic -What are Icon signs? A sign whose form has actual characteristics of its meaning. For example iconic sign on public lavatory represent the meaning of a woman and a man, i.e the sign of the man resembles men here than women. The sign is simple and popular that there is no need for text.
Symbols- What are symbols? A thing that represents something else. Like a  cross there are many things the has a cross which mean different things like england flag, medical problems, Christianity etc. Index sign- are signs which are caused by something. This can be anywhere and everything for example litter/rubbish, rain drops on window etc.

I would like to say that I found this lecture helpful and it achieve me at looking signs in a different way. I think semiotics are a key principle in the graphic design, because when you think of it graphic design its basically visual language. Meaning it seeks to express emotion of clarifying information. I also feel that it is important for designers to have an understanding of the way an audience can be led to meaning through signs and texts.

written by Kawsar

Monday, 14 March 2011 more thing...

I just wanted to show you guys this video from last year I found in YouTube which talks about my previous post.  

ITAP Lecture: Information Design*

My recent ITAP lecture was on about information design. Information design is concerned with transforming data into information making the complex easier to understand and to use. From attending this lecture I learnt, the three key principles of information design are: 
1. Visual hierarchy  (type/ colour/ lines/ space).
2. Grouping information (lines/ space/ type).
3. Consistency (language/ layout).
Information design/graphics are presented everywhere for example hospitals, public signs, airports, and even motorways/roads. Famous practitioners mentioned in the lecture were people like Edward Tufte, Richard Saul Wurman, Erik Spiekermann, Paul Mijksenaar, David Sless, Rob Waller, Wim Crouwel, Neville Brody and David Carson. From this bunch of designers, the work that stood out for me and was memorable was the work of Richard Saul Wurman and Neville Brody. 

1.Richard Saul Wurman

Richard Saul Wurman is an architect and a graphic designer who is considered to be a pioneer in practice of making information easily understandable. Below is an example of information design that is visually pleasing to the eye and is simple to follow and understand. This is because by him using cyan it immediately attracts the eye especially against the white background. Shapes is also considered here, I think shapes are good to have in information graphics because it simple is clear for the audience to understand. And at the end of the day thats what it really comes down to, is if the audience understand the message the designer is showing? And I feel that Wurman achieves this in his work.   

2. Neville Brody 
Neville Brody is a British graphic designer, typographer and art director. By creating work the famous Nike ad and more posters he became very successful the perhaps is known as the best designer of his generation. Other designers soon became interested and inspired by his art work. He has designed many fonts like Arcadia, FF Gothic, Insignia and more. Brody has been the art director for 'The Face' and 'Arena' magazine' and creating really good spreads that catered to their target audience. Below are examples of layouts from these magazines.

Written By Kawsar
Images from Google.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Cadbury Fair Trade Chocolate

Recently I had an interesting lecture on Design Ethics, let me start off by saying 'What is ethics?' Ethics are motivation based on ideas of right and wrong.
picture from Google images

I wanted to talk about Cadbury dairy milk chocolate (Britain most famous chocolate) that adopting the fair trade mark. From 2009 Cadbury chocolate now contains 100% Fair Trade cocoa. Harvested in Ghana. This system allows every farmers to get paid a normal living wage. It is very common for people living in Ghana to get paid below the living wage so this was one of the reasons Cadbury wanted to help.  The growth in ethical consumption does not seem to have been effected by the recession, although fair trade believes that shoppers need to transfer good intentions into actions.

Below is a link to a video from BBC news about Cadbury fair trade chocolate: 

Cadbury celebrates the move to fair trade chocolate by creating a new advert that is all things Ghana its people, dancers, rappers and mainly its cocoa beans. the first single 'Zingolo' from 'A glass and a half full productions'. The video feature Ghana famous singer Tinny (Nii Addo Quaynor), High Spirits which is one of the best dance crew in Ghana, the campaign also features print ads designed and painted by Ghanaians using traditional techniques.

To conclude I believe the awareness of fair trade will really benefit third world countries. There are many product that contain fair trade like Costa coffee, Mars chocolate (Cadbury competitors) even boots cosmetics and much more. Also designers today needs to be both technically right and compellingly wise. Wisdom is about evaluating and choosing between competing principles. And to be wise is to be aware of current situations around the globe.

Written by Kawsar

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Letterpress Experimenting

Today I went to a 'Letterpress workshop' where we were taught how to Letterpress. I learnt a lot things from the workshop that I never knew before i.e. Type height ( which is the type of the height = 0.918) etc. Also tips and tricks. This method of typography is very good and useful. I would defiantly like to use this style of printing again when working on a future project which involves typography. By using this way of working it really gives a personal feel to your work. Below is an example of the work from today...