Tuesday, 7 May 2013

OUGD401 - Peer Feedback

OUGD401 - Context of Practice: Module Evaluation

What skills have you developed through this module and how effectively do you think you have applied them?

Where the lectures are concerned, I feel as though I have developed the skill of being able to effectively document relevant information whilst the lecturer is speaking. I found that blogging my lecture notes along the way was extremely helpful as it meant that everything was clear in my mind. In terms of designing for 'A Brief History' I feel as though I have developed even more packaging skills, as much of mine is based on creating 3 dimensional work. I have also learnt how to be selective about my research, as I have had to make sure that I select certain pieces of research to write about and include in my publication, otherwise it would become too much and would result in it not being very interesting. I have developed my skills in InDesign even further too, as I used it to create the majority of my publication.

What approaches to/methods of design production have you developed and how have they informed your design development process?

I have been able to experiment with foiling, which is something I have never done before. Although it wasn't as successful as I had hoped, I still think it was beneficial to me, as I now know how to do it for future briefs. I just felt as though it wasn't necessary to foil for this brief as it didn't add any extra quality to my work. Rather than using existing nets to create my packaging, I found I was able to create my own on Illustrator, which is something I would never have felt confident enough to do previously. I am really pleased with the progress I have made during this module and feel as though I have learnt a lot.

What strengths can you identify in your work and how have/will you capitalise on these?

I feel as though I have chosen appropriate stock to use for this brief and will continue to experiment with more stock in the future to ensure that I get the best possible outcomes for all of the work that I produce. I have also ensured that I used appropriate fonts, taking into consideration which would work well, and in the end choosing to use the font Vogue uses as well as the font Chanel uses for their logo. 

What weaknesses can you identify in your work and how will you address these in the future?

I feel as though there is always more that I could do with a brief. However there is always going to be a deadline, and this means that I have to make sure I reach a point with my work that I am happy with, otherwise I don't feel confident and proud enough to present it. I always put as much effort as possible into every brief I am given, and I do feel proud of the outcome, however if I hadn't had to concentrate on meeting other deadlines I obviously wouldn't have been able to produce even more work. It is just about getting the balance right, which I feel I am starting to do. If anything though, this is something I will be focusing on in the future to ensure that I have equal amount of time for each brief given.

Identify five things that you will do differently next time and what do you expect to gain from doing these?

  • I will continue to develop my skills on InDesign so that I can use it even more efficiently
  • I will experiment with more stock so that I am used to the print quality and will be able to say in the future which stock is best suited to certain designs I create
  • I will continue to create prototypes as I feel as though this helps a lot, but I will become more adventurous with the nets that I create, to help me grow in confidence
  • I will read all of the books I have relating to design to help my general knowledge
  • I will discover even more ways to collect primary research

Monday, 6 May 2013

OUGD401 - FINAL Essay Response

Could it be argued that fine art ought to be assigned more 'value' than more popular forms of visual communication?

The differences between fine art and graphic design are subject to opinion. These opinions are controversial and will continue to cause disagreements for the foreseeable future. 'The mass production or reproduction of graphic design is necessary in order to distinguish it from art.' (Barnard, 2005, P11). This therefore implies that fine art is unique and has a greater importance than design which is purposely produced for the masses and is therefore seen as being less significant. For this to be said however, it is imperative that one is aware of the definition of the word value, as it can be interpreted in so many ways. It could be referred to as monetary, cultural, philosophical or even impact value. All of which are so vastly different and make it even more challenging to analyse both sides of this argument. This essay will explicitly focus on the notion of value of fine art in comparison to graphic design.

Malcolm Barnard is a key writer on this topic and discusses cultural significance and how it can define and separate fine art from graphic design. He says that fine art is seen as being more culturally significant and uses the quote 'where art is perceived to be of lasting value, graphic design is said to be 'ephemeral' (Cronan in Barnard, 2005, P165). Barnard discusses the evidence to support and argue against the claim that graphic design only lasts for a very short time. 'The first is made by Heller and Pomeroy (1977) in their Design Literacy. They argue that graphic production is not as 'ephemeral as the paper it is printed on' (Heller and Pomeroy in Barnard, 2005, P166). They are saying that some graphics is art because it can and does 'endure' and it can possess a sense of permanence.' (Heller and Pomeroy in Barnard, 2005, P166). They then argue that 'some graphic design products can be more artistic than art in some respects. In particular, graphic production can be more artistic than art because it 'speak[s] more about particular epochs... than fine art' (Heller and Pomeroy in Barnard, 2005, P166). This suggests that graphic design ought to be assigned more value as it portrays messages which communicate a remarkable event in history.

Barnard discusses creativity and problem-solving and says that 'graphic design and art are different from each other because graphic design can be characterised as 'problem-solving', while art is 'creative'.' (Barnard, 2005, P169). This could make it more challenging to say whether or not fine art should be viewed as being more valuable than graphic design as they both have completely different purposes, making it hard to fairly compare the two. However, there is an argument which suggests otherwise and expresses the view that 'problem-solving is itself a creative activity, that finding a solution to a communication problem is itself an example of creative activity.' (Barnard, 2005, P170). This therefore puts both fine art and graphic design under the same 'creative' category, making it harder to distinguish which is more valuable.

Barnard focuses on Benjamin's concept of aura. Aura is formed by the area surrounding a piece of fine art or graphic design. For example, if a painting was found in a gallery, surrounded by numerous other paintings with high value then it would automatically have a special aura about it. Benjamin portrays the view that the shrivelling of aura through technology is a good thing because aura makes people blindly accept what is tasteful and important.

It was said that 'unlike the artist, the designer plans for multiple production.' It is this idea of reproducibility that is at the heart of Benjamin's notion of the loss of 'aura'. (Hollis in Barnard, 2005, P175). This is following the idea that graphic design is designed to be reproduced whereas fine art is not. Benjamin is trying to emphasise the view that 'some works of art possess 'aura' and that others, mechanically reproduced works (such as graphic designs), do not.' (Benjamin in Barnard, 2005, P175). He claims that the 'reproduction of text and image, whether mechanical (woodcut, for example) or process (such as lithography and photography), destroys aura in two ways.' (Benjamin in Barnard, 2005, P175). He says that the 'reproduction of an image precludes the possibility of a unique, one-off or original image.' He then explains his second reason by saying 'prints and digital images may exist anywhere, at any time, without losing anything (unlike an oil painting, which can be in only one place at any one time), and are thus available to any and all 'situations' (Benjamin in Barnard, 2005, P176). He is suggesting that if a piece of work retains aura then it is worthy of more value, as it 'is generated by the artwork's imbeddedness in the 'fabric of tradition' (Benjamin in Barnard, 2005, P176). Therefore suggesting that art is traditional and ought to be assigned more value as it is classed as being more traditional.

To quote John Berger, 'The reciprocal nature of a vision is more fundamental than that of spoken dialogue' (Berger,1972, P9). This enforces the importance to be able to appreciate and comprehend the message that the artist is trying to convey without it altering too much. These messages can differ greatly within art and design as Berger wrote 'the way people look at it is affected by a whole series of learnt assumptions about art. Assumptions concerning: Beauty, Truth, Genius, Civilisation, Form, Status, Taste, etc.' (Berger, 1972, P11). This makes fine art harder to understand as it is impossible for each individual to envisage the same as the painter once did, and feel the same emotions that were felt whilst it was being completed. This could potentially imply that it shouldn't be assigned more value because the meaning isn't clear enough.

On the other hand, the mystery that lies behind the work could be perceived as unique and worthy of value. Berger related to this as 'mystifying the past' (Berger, 1972, P16). He also argues that 'When the camera reproduces a painting, it destroys the uniqueness of its image.' (Berger, 1972, P19) which once again reinforces the view that reproduction of art and design deducts value and if something is multiplied then it is more likely that the meaning will become lost, in the same way that Barnard talks about aura being lost through reproduction. However, he then goes on to argue the possibility that 'all reproductions more or less distort, and that therefore the original painting is still in a sense unique.' (Berger, 1972, P20). This is arguably a valid comment but would also suggest that graphic design has very little value when it is mass produced in some situations, for example advertising via leaflets and flyers.

Berger proceeds to look at replicated paintings in more depth. He has a strong viewpoint that whenever a piece of art is replicated, the meaning of it changes each time. He says 'Consequently a reproduction, as well as making its own references to the image of its original, becomes itself the reference point for other images. The meaning of an image is changed according to what one sees immediately beside it or what comes immediately after it. Such authority as it retains, is distributed over the whole context in which it appears.' (Berger, 1972, P29). This could support the argument that fine art is therefore in the same category as graphic design when taking replication into account. A lot of graphic design is mass produced to communicate and distribute a message. Similarly fine art follows the same pattern and along the way the quality and message behind the piece of art is lost along with value.
It could be argued that fine art is more expressive and individual in comparison to graphic design. Some may say that because of this it should be valued highly. John Carey has a very philosophical and unique argument which suggests otherwise. He believes that 'there are no absolute values in the arts' (Carey, 2005, P249). This would suggest that all work has value which can't be judged upon personal reason. Every judgement is subjective to each individual and therefore it is impossible to categorise fine art and graphic design in terms of 'universal value' (Carey, 2005, P249).

Carey makes comparisons between science and art by conveying the idea that science can be proven and verified whereas art is something which has no means for verification. He quotes ''scientific truth' means something definite whereas 'artistic truth' is a nebulous concept. It is true to say, for example, that the earth goes round the sun, whereas the claim that Pollock is a better painter than Alma-Tadema, or vice versa, is not a verifiable proposition but an opinion, and this would be so even if it were an opinion that very many people, or possibly all living people, shared.' (Carey, 2005, P253). He is therefore saying that even if the majority overruled the minority when expressing an opinion, it would still lack common truth and would therefore lack consistent common value. Whether we are discussing art or more popular forms of visual communication such as graphic design, we are still in a situation whereby nothing can be proven and therefore they should both be assigned the same amount of value because they are both subjective to opinion.

As science can be reinforced with verification and reason, but not subject to opinion, it could be argued that it is restricted. This would therefore suggest fine art or graphic design, holds more value as it is open to interpretation, allowing everyone to have their view without it being instantly discarded. This is another argument of Carey's. He says 'Since art must accommodate all personal tastes and choices (at least, according to the definition of work of art that I have offered), it is illimitable as humanity, and as extensive as the imagination. The aim of science, by contrast, is to find solutions that are unaffected by taste or choice, and which consequently eliminate the human element altogether.' (Carey, 2005, P254). We are therefore part of a world which is full of both scientific proof and personal opinions, and what we decide to value most can often depend on whether we follow scientific beliefs or whether we open our minds and allow ourselves to be open to different interpretations of art and graphic design, which in turn can be supported by religious views and the idea that we have all been given free will. It could be argued that this free will has been given to us to form an opinion and decide which form of visual communication is most valuable.

Steven Heller is another important writer where fine art and graphic design are concerned. He looks at the price of fine art and design and concentrates on the notion that it is extremely subjective to time and as a result it could be argued that value is determined by how much art or design is worth. He states that 'monetizing fine art is a fairly logical process. Artists who have reputations command more money than those who do not. Gallery shows usually create the baselines for value, while museum exhibitions exponentially raise that line.' (Heller, 2010, P212). He also finds a similarity between art and design and says 'posters are among the few graphic design forms that follow this

essential model. Since a poster is a displayable objected, often marketed to a broader audience than just designers or design scholars, it commands a higher price.' He is therefore conveying the idea that regardless of whether we are considering art or design, the same principle applies where monetary value is concerned. If fine art or graphic design needs to reach the masses, then it instantly falls into the same category of being worth more money and as a result it is more valuable overall.

Damien Hirst is a prime example of a fine artist who is widely recognised for his unusual, unique work. Among his work he created a piece of art named 'Pardaxin, 2004' (see fig.1) 'The small coloured spots, all with the same area, that fill the canvas, distributed at regular intervals over their surface, reproduce and rearrange the synoptic abstraction and the sense of tranquility of pharmaceutical design.' (D'Argenzio, 2004, P41). This explains the reason for the existence of this piece of art, which is then reinforced by saying that the 'paintings summarize and coagulate the symbology of colours' (D'Argenzio, 2004, P41). They also 'verify the the unstable territory positioned between the artist's intention and the interpretation of the viewer.' (D'Argenzio, 2004, P41). This implies that the painting was purposefully designed for the viewer to form their own opinion regarding what the painting is portraying. One could argue that the value of fine art is held in the meaning. This being said it could be argued that because it is subject to opinion, it is therefore less valuable.

During an interview Hirst was asked 'Did you paint the first ones yourself?' (D'Argenzio, 2004, P104). He responded by simply admitting to only painting five himself. He then went on to say 'I hated it. As soon as I sold one I used the money to pay people to make them.' (D'Argenzio, 2004, P105). This is a major flaw in Hirst's work and it most certainly deducts value from his art. This supports Barnard's claim about aura, suggesting that if a piece of design is replicated, it loses value instantly as it has been designed to be reproduced and not recognised as an individual piece. If this is a flaw where art is concerned however, surely the same criticism could be applied to graphic design, as when one design is finished and ready to be replicated, it is then left in the hands of the printers and the designer doesn't need to be involved. Ironically, Hirst said during the same interview 'in my head I had this idea of this artist who just endlessly made these paintings that were more like a logo. I did that. I just made that grid where I said all the gaps have to be the same as the spot and in no painting two colours are the same.' (D'Argenzio, 2004, P99). This suggests that art and design aren't always as different as we might imagine or presume as there are close links demonstrated here when he makes a comparison to logos. On the other hand, Hirst admits that his spot painting series should 'be put to bed' (D'Argenzio, 2004, P98). Therefore stating that there has to be an end to a series at some point as it can get too repetitive. Graphic design on the other hand almost certainly relies on replicability to be effective and successful. It is challenging therefore to settle on an objective opinion where value is concerned as there are so many factors which can affect the answer.

Antony Gormley's Domain Field project (see fig.2) was a time consuming project involving a large population of people. 'The making of Domain Field, as Gormley has often said, is just as much a part of the work as the finished product. Participants had the opportunity to become part of a collective project, involving the delicate process of being cast and then engaging with the resultant figures.' (Gormley et al, 2003, P58). In comparison to Hirst, Gormley is much more concerned about perfecting the process before reaching the final product. Having said this, he had a team of welders working with him on the project to help complete the moulds. 'The instructions to the welders were to use seven lengths of stainless steel to form a random matrix of T pieces where one end of the T was touching

the skin or boundary of the body space.' (Gormley et al, 2003, P143). Therefore guilty of the same as Hirst as they do not produce their work completely individually, which in turn has an impact upon the value of their work.

Although both Gormley and Hirst are fine artists they differ greatly, demonstrating how difficult it is to categorise fine artists in one way and graphic designers in another. Mainly because there are a lot of similarities between the two. In the same way as graphic design, the figures were composed in a certain way to illustrate 'a matrix of lines joined at mostly irregular angles, creating a play of light and line that privileges energy and process over boundary and surface.' (Gormley et al, 2003, P59).

Gormley's philosophical views on life have a huge impact on his work. He says he 'keeps going back to this idea that my appearance doesn't belong to me, it belongs to others; that the constitution of self is the constitution of our relationships with others, and that's what makes life worth living.' (Gormley et al, 2003, P127). As a result, similarly to Hirst, the message he is trying to portray isn't exactly clear, 'because suddenly Allotment or Domain Field becomes an illustration of a thesis about identity and society, and it isn't that. It's an experiment to try to make the physical equivalent, for the state of togetherness and apartness in which we live.' (Gormley et al, 2003, P127). Here he is trying to explain how he believes that 'we don't want to acknowledge the death that we carry inside us.' As a consequence, we fail to understand the relationship between the body and soul.

When considering the strengths and weaknesses of both graphic design and fine art it is evident that they both have their flaws where value is concerned. We can easily argue that graphic design is more valuable due to a variety of reasons, such as it reaching a wider audience, it is more cost effective and therefore not as extortionately priced as fine art can be. On the other hand we can say that fine art is more valuable as it can be more sought after with it being so unique. A lot of the time, both are subject to the same flaws. Carey's comparison between science and art makes us consider verification, as he believes that art has no means for verification, unlike science, and is therefore less valuable. Whilst Berger also argues that it is impossible for fine art to be viewed in the same way as everyone else, as the meaning isn't clear enough, therefore implying that it should be assigned less value as well. Barnard concentrates on the loss of aura within mass production and talks about the differences between art and design, suggesting that it is impossible to distinguish which is more valuable. It is therefore challenging to state whether one is more valuable than the other. A lot of the time it is down to whether or not people are willing to form their own opinion or trust a writer's opinion.

Napoli, E. (2004) 'Museo Archeologico Nazionale' Quarto (Naples, Italy), Sa.Ma, P103.

Gormley, A. et al (2003) 'Making Space' Gateshead, Hand Books, P53.


Barnard, M. (2005) 'Graphic Design As Communication' Oxon, Routledge.

Berger, J. (1972) 'Ways Of Seeing' London, British Broadcasting Corporation.

Carey, J (2005) 'What Good Are The Arts?' London, Faber and Faber Limited.

Heller, S. (2010) 'Pop How Graphic Design Shapes Popular Culture' New York, Allworth Press.

Napoli, E. (2004) 'Museo Archeologico Nazionale' Quarto (Naples, Italy), Sa.Ma.

Gormley, A. et al (2003) 'Making Space' Gateshead, Hand Books.

Word Count

OUGD401 - Context of Practice: From Theory into Practice: Possible Presentation

As I had an existing belly band I thought it would be appropriate to show how I would expect it to be presented, it if could fit into a sleeve which goes around Vogue magazine as well. I don't think this would be the case however, which is why I decided not to design a belly band, because I think it is too deep for it to fit. This is why I have designed it so that whoever is selling the magazine would be in charge of distributing the free collector's gift too.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

OUGD401 - Context of Practice: From Theory into Practice: Further Primary Research

Whilst I was walking around Leeds I came across two window displays which I found very influential and they relate very closely to this brief and what I am producing for it. Jo Malone has been a huge inspiration to me throughout this brief, I love the cream and black design they have for their logo and packaging, and the Eve Lom window display is just as stunning. Creating a 3 dimensional house once again to portray their products.

OUGD401 - Context of Practice: From Theory into Practice: Final Designs/The Result

Below are my final designs all on A3 format. When I printed in the digital print room I took all four of these files packaged and ready to be printed. Having experimented previously I was certain that everything was the correct size, which meant that the final stage of constructing it all ran smoothly.

Final publication

The photographs below are of my final publication. There are a lot of different elements to it, and I have designed it so that half of it would be received in one month's issue of Vogue and the second half in the next. The photograph below shows what would be given in the first issue, a brief history of Chanel products concertina, a box with all of the items to go on the shelves and the shelves themselves which simply open and can be placed inside the box once they have been completed.

This is what the concertina looks like up close, I wanted to design it to be as classy as possible, with a fastening which relates to Chanel also, which is why I chose to use black ribbon. 

Here are the instructions I included within the publication too, otherwise the recipient wouldn't know what to do with everything inside of the Chanel box. I kept the instructions as concise as possible, as I want the publication to be something that is known for being simplistic but with a clever concept behind it, in the same way Chanel is presented as a brand. 

The box was designed to package the items neatly with little room for them to move around and get damaged. I feel as though this is important because I want the publication to be something which can be kept out as a decoration for the collector, therefore it must remain in good condition.

Once the shelves are open this is what they look like. I have stuck down tabs on each of the shelves so that the recipient can easily peel away the plastic cover to stick down the items, using the concertina as a guide for where each item should be placed.

The other half of the publication looks like this. I have attached all three concertinas together to create a timeline of images of Chanel adverts in Vogue. I struggled to find a lot of images which were suitable to use, in terms of their quality, but I have tried my best to present them as best I can.

 When all of the items are in the correct places, the box then closes and I have sealed it with a ribbon, with a label on the outside explaining what it inside briefly. The idea is that the recipient then opens up Chanel house themselves to enter the world that lies within and the history that comes with the brand.

Overall, I am really pleased with the outcome of this publication and the way it has turned out. If I had more time I could have continued to design materials which could be distributed over continuous months, but I am happy with what I have been able to achieve, especially looking back to the start of the year when I didn't even know how to use Illustrator or InDesign.

OUGD401 - Context of Practice: From Theory into Practice: Main Inspiration

To indicate the importance of my research and how much it has influenced me, I have chosen to write about the key pieces of inspiration which have helped me in the process of competing this brief. The image below inspired me to create something which is 3 dimensional and memorable, the book containing the house inspired me to create Chanel house but in a more simplistic form. Finally, the final image inspired me to consider timelines and the way in which it could be presented. 

I feel as though this initial research has aided my progress and development considerably. It has helped me to maintain a positive attitude and feel motivated when designing my own work, therefore allowing me to produce my final publication.

OUGD401 - Context of Practice: From Theory into Practice: Colour Considerations

When considering colour, I thought it was important to take inspiration from existing Chanel products. Cream and black is instantly what comes to mind, however gold is also used sometimes too. When creating my publication I will be keeping this in mind and using these three colours. I hope that this will help me to create something which closely resembles the classic style of Chanel.

OUGD401 - Context of Practice: From Theory into Practice: 8 Products Research

This is the main piece of research I used for my publication.

OUGD401 - Context of Practice: From Theory into Practice: Presentation

I spent quite a lot of time preparing for our presentation with Richard and Fred. I decided to present my ideas on separate boards, created on InDesign. I wanted them to be as clear and concise as possible, as I am aware that we won't have much time to present our ideas. I have also printed them out on A4 pages in preparation for the presentation, just in case we don't have the opportunity to project them at the front, as this may take too long to set up.

I am hoping for as much valuable feedback as possible, and hope that the rest of the group are able to give me constructive feedback which will enable me to progress with my work.