Wednesday, 12 December 2012

OUGD401 - Lecture Notes: High Culture and Low Culture

  • Understand the term 'avant-garde'
  • Question the way art/design education relies on the concept of avant-garde
  • Understand the related concept of 'art for art's sake'
  • Questions the notion of 'genius'
  • Consider the political perspectives relating to avant-gardism
  • Question the validity of the concept of 'avant-garde' today
Dictionaries link term - 'avant garde' with terms like innovation in the arts or pioneers
- Idea of doing art/design work that is progressive - innovating
But it also refers to the idea of there being a group of people being innovative

1. Being avant-garde in the work you do - challenging, innovating etc
2. Being part of a group - being a member of the avant-garde

Typeface that is avant-garde - gothic

Marcel Duchamp
  • Urinal which he said was art
  • Print of the Mona Lisa defaced with a moustache
'Fauves' Wild Beasts painting my Andre Duran
  • Rebellion and experiments, challenge, being shocking
Printed textiles and surface pattern, interior design, fashion - all challenging conventional thinking

LCAD quotes prioritise certain concepts
1. Innovation (Creating new stuff)
2. Experimentation (Process involved in order to achieve new stuff)
3. Originality (To copy is bad, to be original is good)
4. Creating genius (To bring out a hidden creative depth held deep within the student)

In the 16th to 18th century the practice of art was done through an apprentice system. You were assigned to a master who was already a famous artists and you would copy that person's work night and day until you were so good you could replicate that style almost perfectly. Eventually when you got to this point you would paint a background on that person's paintings and they would finish it off. Then eventually you were allowed to go out on your own and become a painter. In the mid 18th century when romanticism comes in and celebrates the idea of the individual creative self and genius.

Painting of a poet portrays how he ended up killing himself because the cruel world didn't understand his work. The artist is called Chaterton. The concept and idea of lost of tortured artists over time is illustrating within this piece of art.

The notion of avant-gardism relies on the myth of being experimental, challenging and conventional.

Avant-garde from the French means the advancing guard. The van guard is the elite troupes which separate from the rest for them to follow. That brings with it a certain attitude and mind set.

Right wing current of avant-gardism about aesthetics. Whistler Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket (1875) Art for Art's sake. When this painting was shown in 1875 Ruskin did a small character of Whistler looking ridiculous. He accompanied this with an article explaining how Whistler was paid 20gs to throw a pot of gold paint at canvas.

End of the 19th/early 20th century
Two approaches to avant-garde art
1. Art that is socially committed (artists being the 'avant-garde' of society, pushing forward political objectives)
2. Art that seeks only to expand/progress what art is (in itself and for itself)/art for art's sake

Clive Bell
  • Significant form - The relations and combinations of lines and colours, which when organised give the power to move someone aesthetically.
  • He is an old critic
  • His favourite painter is Cezanne Mount St Victoire (1900)
A major problem for the avant-garde is that it seems to necessitate 'ELITISM'
So for those members of the 'left wing' (interested in social change) there was a tendancy to have to rely on...

What is Kitsch?
  • This term comes from art critics which they used to describe high culture and low culture
  • It is something that aims to be high culture but fails in one way or another
Constable Haywain (1821) (Not Kitsch)
  • Certain critics would say that this is Kitsch
  • When reproduced as a print or on a plate it is Kitsch
Simplification of style - Repainted masterpieces for the modern eye - Leonardo DaVinci painting changed to letter rack
Commemoration - Mug with Diana on
This is true kitsch (animal themed paintings)

Jeff Koons Michael Jackson and Bubbles the Monkey (1988)
This is a sculpture which is lifesize

Thomas sells things on QVC channel and his work is bought all over the world

Carl Andre 'Equivalent VIII' was in the Tate Modern - bricks laid on the floor. It was mocked by the press

K Foundation award 1994
  • Radical art terrorists
  • They do a lot of things like getting a million pounds and burning it
Damien Hirst
  • If you go back to the avant-garde as being creative and genius and then look at contemporary art now and there is no resemblance to that now.
If there is something avant-garde it is definitely Damien Hirst

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

OUGD405 - Typogateaux: The Contest (Research)

When we were given this brief I instantly thought about the programme on TV which is very popular at the moment. I have heard of a lot of people watching it so presumed it must have some interesting cakes on it. As part of my research I sat and watched a couple of episodes to get some inspiration.

I find this quite inspirational, mainly because it is directly linked to graphic design and typography. This concept is something I would definitely consider when we make our own cakes. I would perhaps not use so many different decorations though as it detracts from the message which is trying to be portrayed.
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I found this fascinating. It is extremely well crafted, with such intricate detail and a lot of time has been spent creating such a masterpiece. I particularly like the silhouettes in the background to form the outlines of buildings and nature. This is something that could work quite well if applied to the skyline of Leeds.
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This looks so authentic and rugged. It most certainly looks as though all of the objects are worn and aged and there has been a careful choice of colour. I love how they have also managed to incorporate personal handwriting into the design, once again linking to graphic design and typography. A very successful and striking invention.
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The bright, playful colours used here work perfectly to create a really flamboyant and unique cake. I think the lollipops in each layer of the cake give it a special finish as it means that the person eating the cake can essentially pull the cake apart when eating it.
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A lot of time has been spent creating this design. The food colourings which have been used to change the colour of the icing has worked really well and all of the individual elements which have been made and placed on top of the bowl look as though a lot of time has been spent on them. Once again this is the kind of cake which people could interact with quite easily and could perhaps try using other parts of the cake to pick up the rest and try eating it.
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I love the variation of design of this cake. It has two completely contrasting designs to it which work together surprisingly well. One half, with the delicate white icing represents a typical wedding cake whilst the other side is much more informal and fun. I think this would be good to consider making something along the same lines, however it would be extremely time consuming, expensive and hard to produce effectively without it looking too unprofessional.
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I really like the effect this cake has. It is rugged, rough around the edges in terms of having crumbs surrounding it, it has a natural sponge colour to it and works really well when adapting it into a piece of graphic design almost with more typography below it.
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This isn't quite as perfected as it could have been but this may have been the style the designer was going for. It does however represent an old fashioned typewriter which wouldn't be in perfect condition anyway, and it closely links to typography. However it is obviously something we couldn't do as it wouldn't be original.
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This is a lovely idea. The colours used are really soft and inviting and the incorporation of gold to the cake as well as the lollipops sticking out of the cake gives it an opulent, special finish.

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This is very precise and has been composed very successfully. The alignment of the text is perfect and the colours work really well to produce a striking design.

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This almost looks as though it isn't real because it has been so well done. The glitter finish to certain parts of the cake gives it a magical feel and they have actually managed to create different tones within the various parts of icing. Overall a fantastic cake but once again very time consuming and lots of practice needed to perfect it, as it has obviously been crafted by professionals or experienced bakers.

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I really love how this owl has been created using chocolate, cones, fruit and almonds. It probably wouldn't be too hard to create something along the same lines as long as the structure underneath was sturdy enough to uphold all of the decorations.

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This caught my eye as they have managed to create a perfectly formed Christmas tree in the centre of the cake which I think is quite impressive. It is something which would be quite unique to produce as it could have literally anything on the inside relating to typography.

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These are very feminine, delicate and almost too perfect to be real. The roses on top look stunning and the leaves are so authentic looking. I think cupcakes would be great to produce, especially as they are all the rage at the moment.

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I don't think this cake is quite as impressive as some of the others I have posted, but I do think that the idea behind it is a very clever one. It is essentially like perfecting three separate cakes. I love how the ring is sat on the sofa at the top, definitely finishes the cake off and makes it extra special!

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This most certainly links to our topic. I think we could produce something very similar to this but perhaps using less colours. It would be hard to get the colouring just right from using food colouring however, as none of us are very experienced with this type of work.

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Monday, 10 December 2012

OUGD405: Primary Research - Pets At Home

I went to Pets at Home and came across these designs with labradors on. Both of the designs are quite generic and not very eyecatching in terms of a unique design.

OUGD405: Primary Research - Questionnaire

I thought it would be valuable for my work if I was to create a questionnaire for my primary research and get some feedback on dog owners, especially as I do not own a dog myself although I have them in the family. I found the results really helpful in creating my presentation too.




OUGD405 - Secondary Research: Labrador sniffer dogs

Labradors are well known for being sniffer dogs, I found this video which shows them in action. I could potentially look into this in more depth if I decide to go down an alternative route to the other research I have found, but at the moment I don't think it would be a preference when choosing a route to take with my work.

OUGD405 - Secondary Research: Labrador websites

I found a variety of labrador websites with various purposes. This one is obviously to promote and make people aware of the charity which they have in place for labradors inparticular. I think the layout of the website is quite easy to follow and it was also easy to navigate around. I could potentially look at charities for my brief and could maybe look at designing some sort of web page as I have some experience in this already.

This is obviously for a rescue centre and once again it was very easy to follow. The information on the site is also very interesting and could be another potential starting point for further research if appropriate after presenting my findings.

Of course, Andrex is probably one of the most popular sites/brands and people all over the world will be aware of it due to their famous adverts which always include labrador puppies to create an 'aww' factor. I think this would be interesting to look at, however it would be hard to rebrand something which is already so well established.

I came across this website whilst I was doing some further research to fulfil the next brief we have been given. It has given me another possible idea to go down the route of promoting labrador style jewellery.

Labradors originate from Newfoundland in Canada, so I thought I could also possibly branch out to look at the area rather than just labradors themselves.

When searching online for Labradors I came across this website. It is a website which is completely dedicated to labradors. They sell products on there for labrador lovers and I thought this would be interesting to look at because some of the design work is quite interesting.

Most of the products on the website are clothing and there is also the occassional canvas bag to buy too. The designs all have quite different styles to them and reach a wide audience. Everything is available to be bought all over the world and the reviews on the feedback page were all positive.

I like the colours used on this bag and feel that the symbols compliment the chosen typefaces well.

This is a clever play on words and I think labrador lovers around the world would find the humour in it. All of these designs are very simplistic but eyecatching and a lot of the designs for females could easily be worn by men too as they have a wide range of colours available. 

This made me laugh when I saw it and I'm still actually slightly unsure as to whether this is available to buy or whether it is a bit of a joke. However, I suppose keen animal lovers and labrador lovers would like this as a gift!

Since finding the previous website on labrador lovers I did another search on google to see whether I could find anymore websites that caught my eye. I searched for 'labrador lovers gifts' and this was the first website that came up. My initial thoughts on the design of the homepage were positive and the layout of it is very professional and quite inviting.


I thought this collection was quite artistic and unique in comparison to the other things I have found...
"J'Adore Labrador" Bone China Mug
"Lab Coat" Labrador Coaster
Labrador "Nothing Butt" Canvas Tote Bag
"J'Adore Labrador" Coaster
Another website I came across which sells products for labrador lovers is Zazzle. I couldn't believe just how many products were available. This just shows that they must be very popular!

I then came across another website whereby you can choose the item you would like to buy and personalise it by choosing the design as well as sometimes being given the option to add the name of your dog to the product.

Below are the variety of designs they have available to choose from. I personally dislike these designs as they are not tasteful in my opinion, however they must be popular enough for the website to still be up and running.