Thursday, 18 October 2012

OUGD401 - Lecture notes: Postmodernism

17th October 2012


Postmodernism - A term applied to a wide range of cultural analysis and production since the 1970s. A shift in attitude.

If modernism is roughly from 1860-1960. Then logically postmodernism in 1960s - today.
Some crits state postmodernism is over.

  • Initially born out of optimism, as aspirational reaction to WW1
  • Only rule is that there are no rules
  • Celebrates what might be termed Kitsch
  • Robert Venturi, learning from Las Vegas 1972
  • Charles Jencks 1977
If modernism equates with
  • Simplified aesthetic
  • Utopian ideals
Postmodernism has an attitude of questioning conventions.

Aesthetic - multiplicity of styles and approaches
Double-coding from historical styles
Knowing juxtapositions
Questioning old limitations
Space for marginalised discourse
- women, sexual diversity and multiculturalism

Le Corbusier, Chapel of Notre Dame Du Haut, Ronchamp, 1953-5
Recognising failure of modernism
Church in France
Maisons Jaoul, Neuilly Sul Seine 1954-6
Going against aesthetic of modernism

Las Vegas
Microcosm of the world
Kitsch way
Might question whether we need the real thing

73% of Americans don't have passports
College graduate back from trip to Europe prefers Disney

Miles Van de Rohe and Philip Johnson
Seagram building

Ron Herron/Archigram, Walking City in New York, 1964

Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, Pompidou Centre, Paris 1972-77

James Stirling, Neue Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart, Germany, 1977-1983 - Kitsch colours

Michael Groves, kettle, for Alessi 1985
Function - shows you have money

Philippe Starck, Juicy Salif 1990 
Loads got recalled

SEX Boutique 1975, Vivienne Westwood, Kings Road London

Hussein Chalayan, After Words, 2000-2001
Response to the Civil War
Draws attention to what you do with belongings
More about showing off? Fashion?
Nudity on catwalk

Fine art
Mark Rothko, Murals for Four Seasons Restaurant

Seagram Building 1957, now in the Tate Modern
Love or hate

Andy Warhol, Campbell's soup cans 1962
Pop art

Roy Litchenstein, Drowning Girl 1963

Jeff Koons, Dirty - Jeff on top 1992 - Tacky

Jeff Koons, Michael Jackson and Bubbles
1988 - He knows it is tacky
He is showing the cheapness of pop culture

Marcel Duchamp 1997

Damien Hirst, Mother and child divided 1992

Tracey Emin, Everyone I have every slept with 1963-95
Tent with names on

Tracey Emin - my bed 1998

Sarah Lucas, Au Naturel 1994

Jake and Dinos model 1995 - Disgusts people
Is it going for shock value or something serious?

Jake and Dinos Chapman, Fuck face 1995

Chris Ofili, No woman no cry 1998
Black teenager killed in London
Elephant dung - White perception of black roots

Chris Ofili, Holy virgin Mary, 1996

Chris Ofili, Captain shit and the legend of the black stars 1997

Chris Ofili - Shithead


Martin Creed - Masking tape on wall

Mark Wallinger - Sleeper

Helmut Krone for Doyle Dane Berbach, Volkswagen advert 1959

Graphic Design 
David Carson, Ray Gun, double page spread
Key postmodernism graphic designer
World champion surfer
Magazine - grunge lifestyle

David Carson - Don't mistake legibility for communication

Fine art
Barbara Kruger - Feminist artist - I shop therefore I am 1987 - Using medium of graphic design, making it fine art

Buy me, I'll change your life
Graphic design?
Making cynical statement about shoppers

Rachel Whiteread 1963 House 1993
Social statement
Won the Turner Prize

The K Foundation, Nailed to the Wall 1994
£1 million in £50 notes
All about questioning value
Actually burnt money eventually
Couldn't give money to bank because it had holes in it

Attitude of questioning conventions
Aesthetic - multiplicity of styles and approaches
Space for new voices
Shift in thought and theory

OUGD401 - Context of practice notes: Revolutionary design in Russia


Wednesday, 10 October 2012

OUGD403 - Alphabet Soup: Typeface

I thought it would make sense to research all or some of the answers Kirsty gave to me to find relevant images which may inspire me and give me more idea of what route to take when designing an alphabet to reflect her.

Favourite colour: Red

This image captured my attention straight away and portrays the dark side of the colour red.

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Red research 1

Kirsty likes the colour red as well as eating lots of fruit and fresh fruit juice.

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Being at the beach in Bournemouth

When I researched Bournemouth lots of images came up which portrayed a typical seaside setting with lots of seaside colours.

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Bournemouth 4

Ice cream at the beach

Living designer: Kate Moross

I think Kate Moross' work is very unique and outstanding, which is why I feel her work will be very inspirational when I start designing my alphabet. The geometric shapes would be good to work with and if I applied this throughout my designs it would give my alphabet a continuity effect. 

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Kate Moross 1

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Kate Moross 2

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Kate Moross 3

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Kate Moross 4

The following images portray Kate Moross' black and white work. This is very relevant to what I'm going to be designing to illustrate Kirsty's personality as I will be using black and white. I am very temped to make my designs very minimalistic similar to the shapes below.

I have started to think that I will maybe combine geometric shapes with imperfect, squiggly text similar to the example below. This can illustrate that Kirsty is a messy person when it comes to her work but she is also organised and neat in appearance. So in effect, on the outside she is neat and then her ideas and her way of thinking and working is a bit more spontaneous and unorganised. I could potentially show this by using a simplistic font such as Helvetica and then include my own drawings/designs/text within each letter.

Kate Moross layout

Favourite possession: Brain/Cameras

These vintage style cameras really caught my eye as the illustration is really quite impressive.

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Snapshot camera

I think bold images suit Kirsty's personality as she is outgoing and talkative, so images like the one below fits in with this characteristic.

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Black and white drawing

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Linear drawing

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I thought this brain made up of hands was really clever and extremely creative.

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Brain made of hands

Superpower: Teleportation

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Piece of graphic design you wish you had created: Mr Bingo's work/Si Scott's work

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Dream dinner party guest: Patsy from AB FAB

I've always loved Absolutely Fabulous as well, and I think Patsy's character is very interesting to portray. I think I could gather a lot of ideas from simply looking at these images.

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Absolutely Fabulous

Absolutely Fabulous with typography
Dr Frank n Furter

Most likely to live in California


Favourite animal: Monkey

The smoking monkey is quite controversial and I have seen it being done several times in the past. I think this image is very relevant. This is because her favourite animal is a monkey and she smokes.

Diet: Unhealthy

Favourite music


  • The finer things in life
  • Sharing
  • conviviality
  • Gentleness

  • Violence
  • Injustice
  • Brutishness
  • Being a slave to fashion


I have started to research black and white alphabets to see if I can get any inspiration from them. 
Having done lots of development and experimentation I have decided to start to research geometric shapes and type using geometric shapes as it ties in closely with the idea that I have formed in my head which is to combine all of the shapes I have drawn so far and make a pattern out of it to form each letter.

After the power crit

Having had my crit review I now have a bit more of a focus on what exactly I need to research. I have started to look at negative space as I will be experimenting with this as soon as I am at a comfortable stage.

Negative space

I searched on Pintrest and found this example of negative space used within typography.

I particularly like the use of negative space in this logo design and feel that it has been well thought out.

This is a good example to illustrate how shapes can emerge from type. I am going to develop my designs to work in a similar way to this one.

I feel that this work by Malika Fauvre is not far from Kate Moross' style of work and I really think it works very well.