Okay so as i posted earlier i went to Glug but i never really explained what was said and the purpose of each speaker so i am going to do that today.
Unfortunately i couldn’t quite grab the name of the slab of man who talked on behalf of Google Creative Labs. But he was exceptionally interesting and it was really fascinating to see original sketches for the exhibition. The thing that was most interesting was seeing the ideas behind the ‘experiments’ that could be seen at WebLab. For example the sketch bot (which was the most popular) letting people have these images etched in sand that would disappear within minutes in a digital format that could in contrast exist indefinitely.
Each experiment was supposed to be something that shows the power of the internet. What i thought was really strange was the decision to have the lab tag (which you can see from my post about the exhibition) as a piece of ephemera that you could take with you. The use of the lab tag with the internet is pretty interesting (you use it with your webcam and it retrieves the information from your visit) but the idea of having this tangible thing almost as a totem of your experience was something the Google Creative Lab guy was super in to (suprisingly to me not so much, but hey i’m editorialising hence the brackets)
A group of thoroughly interesting people who focus on film and interactivity. They talked about some of there experiments probably the most notable of all of there projects in the wilderness downtown. For those who don’t know about this it was a chrome experiment/music video for arcade fire. Very much worth checking out. There whole talk was about having human interactivity and the internet and they have a whole bunch of other cool experiments.
That man had a beautiful voice who also happened to teach at RISD was maybe my favourite speaker. He creates things that do things physically (not a great description but i’m sure you catch my drift). For example they made a blood alcohol detector app for iphones. The role he played in the creation of the WebLab project was to help create the all of the ‘robots’ or i guess the content of the exhibition and all the UI. They like the robots were the main event.
They were Industrial architects (or something along those lines) and if you could believe they designed the exhibition space. Less interesting than the rest but they have done some cool stuff in the past (one project with sony came to mind).
Probably my least favourite of all of the talks though the most relevant Bibilotheque were the graphic designers of the team. They just discussed the design of the signage and the symbols and interestingly the logo and the use of the geomentric symbols as iconography(each icon would represent a user interacting with the exhibition be it online or in person).
I just read a cracking article and i feel the world needs to know about. It was posted in 2009 so i wouldn’t call it current but its certainly interesting. Its off a website called andyrutledge.com Authored by (surprisingly) Andy Rutledge. After a little investigation i discovered that he is also the author of designprofessionalism.com and is also a Web Designer Co-Founder of Unit Interactive. So the article is definitely grounded in a professional background.
A quick synopsis on the off chance that you aren’t already enticed. The article states that in order for design to be ‘good’ it either complex order or simple chaos. A simple thesis based on some interesting quotes. Its resonates deeply with me in terms of graphic design as all my work blossoms out of chaos, in general i am a chaotic/messy/disorganised person. However i like to think the end result of all my work in a simplification of this chaos.
Deep thoughts man.
This is a long over due entry, about 3 weeks ago i went to an awesome design conference/networking thing-my called Glug. There hosted pretty sporadically and only use the term ‘thing-my’ because they are not the formal affair that you would associate with networking (and you are actively encouraged to consume as many cans of beer as you can hold).
So i really went more for leisure than for anything else. But the whole thing turned out to be really relevant. As you may or may not know i produced a book (booklet/leaflet) for a project on networking which you can see here. Which was all about regional networking and its relevance to design practice. I alluded to the importance of collaboration in modern design practice. The Glug that i attended was actually on collaboration, using the ‘Google WebLab’ exhibition as a model.
For those of you who didn’t manage to get down to the ‘Google WebLab’ exhibition all you need to know can be read 2 posts below. Needless to say its an awesome exhibition and the whole talk was like a behind the scenes look at it. We heard from Google Creative Labs, B-reel, Tellart, Universal Design Studio and Biblotheque (I have tried to include the most relevant links). It was amazing to hear how many different institutions came together to create something so beautiful and interesting.
As not to make this post to long i will give a little recap of what they said separately.
I also got this sweet free sticker that lives on the back of my laptop now. Its a pretty awesome slogan.
A.K.A The greatest looking exhibition i will never see.
So it isn’t any surprise but i LOVE Sagmeister. Like a real big fat hairy crush i have mentioned him before to talk about his coming together with Jessica Walsh. Now i want to talk about an exhibition he is doing at the minute called ‘The Happy Show’. Now for those of you who are unsure about what ‘The Happy Show’ is here is what the website says about is.
’Filling the Institute of Contemporary Art’s (ICA) entire second-floor galleries and ramp, and activating the in-between spaces of the museum, The Happy Show offers visitors the experience of walking into Stefan Sagmeister’s mind as he attempts to increase his happiness via mediation, cognitive therapy, and mood-altering pharmaceuticals.’
What i love about this beyond the fact that its about being happy is that it uses handwritten type and typography in a really creative and beautiful way. It feels like a natural extension from Sagmeister series of quotes. It looks fantastic and i love the hand written type, It makes the whole exhibition feel personal like a slice of Sagmeister himself like a diary almost here are some examples below.
His handwriting reads as if he was speaking to you (at least in my imagination it does) Its so expressive and individual. Any way the shows on at ‘The institute of contemporary arts in phillidelphia hence my sadness.
So mid-week i went to London and visited a few galleries and there was a few exhibitions i saw that were interesting and may have been relevant.
The second exhibition that i went to was at ‘White Chapel Gallery’ among all the fine art exhibitions (which were interesting enough) there was an exhibition on ‘Aspen Magazine’ which i had never heard of going in. It was a fantastic magazine which they said is one of the first multi-media magazines each one was themed and contain poetry recorded interviews, some films, photographs and artwork all in these beautifully crafted boxes. They were really cool i wish i could have taken some photos but photography was un-allowed.
We also visited the V&A and i saw a the ‘Light form the Middle East’ Photography exhibition which was pretty cool and a exhibit of Lolita fashion under the name ‘Kitty & The Bulldog Lolita fashion and the influence on Britain’ which is a particular interest of mine along with the development of fashion in Japan and its western influences (see: Style Deficit Disorder by Tiffany Goody) . Although these things aren’t necessarily relevant to my work right now i just thought they were of note.
We are currently looking at branding in class (doi, you know this!) but thats just to give this whole ranty post a little context. This weekend the Housemate and I went to Paris to celebrate her 21st birthday as we are both graphic’s aficionados we wanted to go and see something Graphic’s related, we wanted to go see HelloHikimori’s Studios, But unfortunately this didn’t happen. So we put it out of our minds and went for a walk down ‘Les Champ D’elysee’ the street that goes down from the Arc De Triomphe and where the famous Galleries Lafayette reside. Perhaps a little more high end then us pair of students are used to we thought we would go for a nose anyway and immediately were struck by this!
For those of you who are not in the know this is Yayoi Kusama, not the literal Yayoi Kusama though i must admit i was fooled for a minute. She’s a fine artist who signature style is the excessive use of polka dots in rhythmic and repetitive patterns. It was so interesting to me not only as somebody who appreciates her work but to see her working with a Brand. Using her in this collaborative fashion they created items of clothing but used her installations to promote it within these large store fronts. Here are some more images;
Also the website has been designed to reflect her iconic style and also provides information about her, her work, her style and also interviews with Marc Jacobs (who was the designer at Louis Vuitton she was working with specifically) discussing the idea behind a collaborative project such as this. In relation to branding specifically i find this idea really interesting obviously Louis Vuitton has no problems selling as the label itself holds so much weight compared to the likes of high street or boutique brands. As such a high fashion brand the way there keeping the brand fresh is to create a shopping experience. As somebody who walked through that store i can tell you it wasn’t an experience i will soon forget it was visually exciting in a way one of Kusama’s installations might be whilst still being a store with things to sell. If i had had the money to spend i would have been away with a pair of shoes at least!
‘Pearlfisher’ are an awesome independent design company i think there awesome i could get a little ranty here but i won’t. Specifically i think there branding and packaging for ‘Dr.Stuarts Extraordinarily Good Teas’. Its a product that i am very familiar with and basically it makes healthy niche tea’s that to be honest only real Tea enthusiast’s or Hypochondriacs would go for. What ‘Pearlfisher’ have done is created an identity for each individual tea and explained its properties in a fun and quirky manner. On the website they explain the soloution like this;
‘A design inspired by Dr. Stuart himself, capturing the character of the eccentric herbalist who playfully explains each tea’s benefits.’
I think its really different from a lot of other stuff aimed at the more ‘hippy’ nature of tea and herbal medicine thus it feels way more accessible.
Sorry that its been ages since i posted its been a little busy at Uni if you check out my main blog you can see why. Catch with some new interesting bits soon - expect more about Pearlfisher.
So Yesterday i went to an exhibition at the Kemistry Gallery in Shoreditch ‘Whatever Next: A Discourse On Design typography’. Just to briefly summarise what was in the link, there were a series of recorded talks from designers based in London about the use of typography in their work which led to a book being published with the aforementioned title. Then the same artists who contributed went on to make images focused around the idea of a ‘future type map’ the images that followed were a mash up of large screen printed blocks of types, sentances that didn’t make sense and a few futuristic typefaces/alien script.
It was a suprisingly small exhibition and we were supposed to meet a large group on london based designers through it but in the end there was only a very small handful of designers there. It was slightly underwhelming, however they were selling prints there and we got a sneaky peak at some other practicing graphic designers work a specific props goes to RogerThat! who was sporting some awesome typographic pieces. The exhibition itself was intreseting but firmly rooted in the basis of the book making it very unacessable until you have read the book which at that point i hadn’t. However the day was not a total loss we managed to have a little conversation with two london based designers who told us about there own experiences. Then we went on to NoBrow where i bought a book chroicling the letters of Robert Crumb a very famous comic artist from the 70’s who actualy founded a movement in san francissco called underground comix. A fairly thrilling saturday that was for sure.
So in class we had to look at examples of good and bad Information Design. For all of you not in the know, Information Design is basically taking large amounts of confusing information (those maths lessons that made you want to go to art school) and turning into something clear and more easily understandable. An example of good information design in my mind can be seen on my far underused tumblr. However with information design its fairly subjective i am going to use a real life example hold on to your hats ladies and gentlemen.
Apologies for the dodgy scanning angle. This is a little information design i picked up out of a book called ‘Information is Beautiful’. When i first looked at it i just thought you have to be shitting me, looking at this map of confusion i immediately assumed that this is an awful piece of information design. However when shown that the map was just supposed to give people an idea of who voted for which party where (If your not British red is labour and blue is conservative). Also when considering that it was meant to be printed on a broad sheet and was probably only created in a few days, as it is for a newspaper. It seemed far superior in my mind. In contrast i had picked what i thought was piece of good information design;
Now this was the quality of the photocopy i was using so i haven’t cut it down at all. I also got this out of ‘information is beautiful’ and i remember looking at it in the library and thinking ‘yeah this is really beautiful’. Just because it was beautiful didn’t mean i learnt anything looking at it now i can tell you nothing. Its about brains but i’m not coming away with any information. It might be because there is no title it could be because its black and white, but this decidedly not a good piece of information design.
The most important thing i got form this is that information doesn’t need to be beautiful in an illustrative sense or a typographic sense. It needs to clear and with that clarity comes the beauty that the author of ‘Information is Beautiful’ is concerned with.
Bleurgh that felt like an awful lot of words enjoy more images and less text on the rest of tumblr, I rule supreme in the realm of only graphics learning. More soon hopefully a little more fancy and a little less bad scanning!
So Last little round up of the ‘GraphicBirdWatching’ walking tour of East London. An artist who i met very very briefly was Emily Forgot. I feel really bad because she was really interesting but she was in the same conference room as Sabina, who if you have read the last few posts you know i had a really really long conversation with.So even though she isn’t in the strictest sense a graphic designer, she uses a variety of Graphic influences in her work. She had a portfolio there with her and it was full of these beautiful illustrations.
Even though the images have these feminine motif (she uses a lot of heels, and in the top image the fan and butterflies suggest femininity) her work is really dark the use bizarre half silhouette half 3d images is really striking. Also something that really resonates with me is her use of muted colours as seen in the images below.
Its not overly feminine despite what some of the images suggest. I also thought a lot about ‘NoBrowMagazine’ and how in some issues they would use a single colour rather than these over the top colourful illustrations. This is very much to my taste and i would be interested to see how these images were put together. That’s about it for my ‘London Design Festival’ wrap up.
So by the time we found Sabina on our ‘GraphicBirdWatching’ walking tour of East London, we were very tired and a little sweaty. We had just been denied entrance to ‘Visual Editions’ studio because the ladies there had just nipped out (i wish i had taken a picture of the note they left it was mad!) the housemate and i had just hauled our bums to the nearest stop on the map where Sabina happened to be. Now i should say it was not just her, there were a few other ladies and i would be remiss if i didn’t mention the awesome illustrator Emily Forgot, but for us Sabina was the really highlight. About 6 months pregnant with twins, sweaty cobs off in this ridiculous conference room she stood and talked to us for about half an hour. We talked about design, how she had got to the point where she could do projects she wanted to do and how we could get ourselves in a similar situation. It was all very interesting and we got to flick through her work. Originally she worked for a very famous design company called ‘Farrow’ but now she just works on her own doing projects she finds interesting. She had a promotional booklet she had created for the company Bolzoni & Walsh here are some images (also she did there branding its super cute).
Its all very good stuff. More on Emily Forgot and the rest of the London design festival coming up!
So as suggested by one of our tutors at UCA (my university), my house mate and I went on the ‘GraphicBirdWatching’ walking tour of East London. This was basically a walking tour of a whole bunch of female run studios and Bianca Wendt was one of the highlights. She actually used be a tutor at UCA which seemed really weird. It was really interesting to see where her career has gone in comparison to the practising designers who work as tutors UCA. Anyway we had a good old look around her studio which was really very nice (We really should have got some pictures) and one of her projects stood out to me. She explained the details behind it, it was a personal project she had done whilst living in Istanbul. Although this was very different from the editorial design up on the walls it seemed nice to here a designer talk about a personal project. She had taken pictures of all the taxis she had used and drivers she had met and had selected the best ones to present here are a few.
She explained how the drivers picked out there own typefaces for the outside of the cab. And inside hidden were decorations and pictures of there families making each one very different. It seemed like a really sweet fun project and it was really un expected so i thought i would share it. Will throw all the other designers up tomorrow for your faces (or later today!).
Unfortunately having discovered an interesting event i actually wanted to go to at London design festival, its shut. What a load of balls, but fair enough i was pretty slow off the mark. Today i want to talk about ‘Build’, There ‘Blood, Sweat and 11 years exhibition’ that i just missed and also there logo design that caught my eye. So Build didn’t seem to be an agency that i was familiar with until cruising the London design festivals website. From there i went to there website where i found this little number.
This is the logo for London’s Design Museum shop and a picture of the shop itself. I have actually been to the design museum a few times and i remember the logo quite distinctly, it filled me with some amount of glee. There logo design is quite distinctive and humorous and i really like that they seem a little cheeky in that sense. They also did the logo for ‘Objectified’ a documentary by the same people who made ‘Helvetica’.
Its all good stuff really, the new exhibition that’s just finished was to mark there 11 year anniversary go you Build. More of London Festival of Design up and coming…