Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Journal 12: Mossimo Vignelli

a quick bit of after effects play... dont mind the horrible sizing issues just yet.. all the type will get prettier with time.

This is the first tiny clip from JFK's speech in west berlin.  The rest is as follows, “All free men, wherever they may be, are citizens of Berlin.  And therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words, ich bin ein Berliner.” Which roughly translates to “I am a jelly donut.”
Journal #11: Debbie Millman with Mossimo Vignelli

Mossimo is a sweet old guy, who has been on the forefront of graphic design since his prime.  What I found to be most interesting was the fact that of all this time, he defines meaningless design as “anything which is not pertinent to a situation.” He does agree that decoration could be good, if we did it the right way.  His example is that most designers, or the uneducated/experienced ones, decorate by addition.  Instead we should achieve decoration by subtraction. By making the most out of the least amount of “design”.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Journal 11: Good Magazine

Searching through their site, I found that Good maintains similar styles in their motion infographics.  I noticed the heavy use of rotating the objects to show perspective and depth.  Most of them were solid colors with varied palettes .

My favorite was the teen sex one because it used one plane to show all the info... it just created a common foundation for the viewer and panned from one piece of info to another... easy to follow and comfortably read.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

“Ich bin ein Berliner” President John F. Kennedy – June 26, 1963

This speech was given in Berlin at a time when the city was divided by the respective governments controling Germany; communist Soviet ruling the East and a combination of the French and U.S. nationalists in the West.  Kennedy went to West Berlin (located in East Germny, yet divided by power as the country was) to reiterate the American’s efforts to eliminate communism and bring up Germany to a powerful democracy.

It brought gave the people of Berlin a little bit of hope. Over half of the population flooded the streets to hear the speech given by the powerful and hopeful Kennedy.

I heard this speech when at a museum once, and it stuck with me long enough to want to use it for this project.  There is so much energy in the crowd and that doesnt even count the perfect word choice and annunciation of the president.  The speech was well written, and delievered with the great confidence.  There are a few phrases that speak not only to the citezens of Berlin, but to everyone.  There is a repeated phrase that reinforces the idea that Berlin is doing it right when it comes to avoiding the communist power.  It comdemns those who are and in a humourous way.

I’d say the mood/tone of the speech is hopeful, welcoming the Berlin citizens into the peaceful ideologies of the U.S. It is uplifting and real, comfortable and natural.

I image the audience was feeling super pumped up... like any great motivational speaker aims at.  I feel his goal was to excite the people of Berlin, and all Germans for that matter, for the promise of peace that American democracy woud bring. And because his speech was delivered in such an interesting way (with variety in pitch/tone/speed/emphasis) the people attending must have been enthusiastic.  

Another interpretation could be possible.  Becaues I am not very political I try not to look into this more than necessary, but it could happen.  One could say that it has similarities to “City upon a hill” sort of deal.  But, here I dont feel that Kennedy, or the US, for that matter, was uninvitedly forcing their systems on the people of Berlin. It could be viewed as critical of the communist east, which it was an undertone, but not fully influenced by it.

JFK Biography (the brief version)

Of Irish descent, he was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, on May 29, 1917. He was the second of nine children, the son of Rose Fitzgerald and millionaire Joseph P. Kennedy who had served as ambassador to Great Britain under Franklin Roosevelt. John attended Caterbury School in New Milford, Conn., then went to Choate Academy in Wallingford, Conn. where he was voted “most likely to succeed.” He attended Princeton University briefly, then majored in government and international relations at Harvard.
Before Pearl Harbor, Kennedy entered the Navy as a seaman. He was commissioned an ensign assigned to a PT boat squadron which patrolled the Soloman Islands. In 1943, when his PT boat was rammed and sunk by a Japanese destroyer, Kennedy, despite grave injuries, led the survivors through perilous waters to safety. His heroic rescue of survivors of his crew won him the Navy and Marine Corps Medal as well as the Purple Heart.
His Inaugural Address offered the memorable injunction: “Ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country.” As President, he set out to redeem his campaign pledge to get America moving again. His economic programs launched the country on its longest sustained expansion since World War II; before his death, he laid plans for a massive assault on persisting pockets of privation and poverty.

Research and Exploration of Type in Motion

So... if you just search “type in motion” you get a whole slew of amateur motion graphics projects or maybe experiments.  I began flipping through noticing so many things that could have been done better or even a lot of “ah HA moments” when I saw new techniques and such.

When watching a motion graphic, especially a typography based one, the sounds/music makes a world of difference.  I watched each one twice, first on mute, then with sound.  The first times you get caught up in trying to read the words, and miss characteristic elements that define the context.  You also lack the ability to use unusual compositional elements with the type (like strange juxtapositions, scale and color) when you dont have sound to back it up.

I know these dont technically count as typographic... because there is not type in it anywhere... but these commercials were great! I love the rhyme and the way the image moves together with the sound. It flows well together, and the content is just great! and guess what?



There are so many times here where the transitions are so smooth you dont even realize you are looking at a milk tsunami one second, then it turns into a womens bright red hair.  another of the elements that impressed me was the timing... the way that the shot is slowed down or sped up to expose something just a tad bit longer.. its just great.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Journal 9: Jacob Trollback

Jacob gave a lecture for the School of Visual Arts MFA Design as Author series.  He started out by reminding the audience that he was a self taught designer, which I found to be a huge reason for his success in “designing as author.”

For the most part, Jacob related typography to its affects on human emotion and how that relationship creates the message that a designer is trying to communicate.  He uses humor as an example to describe this theory, in that being amused by something, audiences usually respond in a positive way.  So, that is why advertisers began targeting this emotion with funny, witty commercials. Another powerful emotion to work towards is empathy. By creating a "story" with the way the type is read (or moves) we as designers can also evoke these feelings of strong grief or inspiration or sadness or even guilt.

Then, he uses some of his projects to display other situations in which the designers writes something to the viewer, not boldly, but cleverly placed to evoke a certain emotion.  I loved the montage he created of recent advertisements, for the younger audience.  He really plays with music in these ones to engage that specific audience.

And all of this is coming from a guy who started out in a band, and taught himself the principles of design. Impressive.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Journal 10: The New Futura

After reading the article by Jessica Helfand, "Type Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry" I felt even  more confident in our graphic design program.  The students that Helfand encountered, were obviously missing out on some extremely necessary knowledge as future designers.  I was even able to recognize the lacking emphasis on design history in their program.  

But here, we are taught that one of THE MOST IMPORTANT things to keep up with is the history of design and especially designers.  We are required to do this so much (by researching, journaling and exploration) that at this point, inquiry comes almost naturally.  I have actually learned more about design this semester than i thought possible.  Even more, I have become aware of the impact of process... of full emersion, through desire to make progress (personally and academically). 

In response to Helfand's thoughts on the modern typeface Futura, I compared it to another recently accepted font, ITC Avant Garde.  Herb Lubalin designed it originally as a headline for Avant Garde magazine, then he and co-designer Tom Carnase completed the typeface after the headlines warm acceptance.

They are both mono-weight, uppercase only and wide.  There are similarities in the height but sometimes, like the in the case of "R" Futura seems a bit taller.  Though they are both wide, Futura has an extreme width in comparison.

I "like" Avant Garde for its boldness, clear concern with stability and lack of impact.  Futura has drastically angled finals and legs while Avant Garde lacks those subtle, yet strategic, ways of creating excitement... it seems to fast paced to be a calm/legible typeface.  For example, look at the difference in the letter "S" and the "M".  

Then, reading an article by designer Michael Bierut, "Designing Under the Influence" made it more clear to me how impressive KU is.  It might just be my experience with art history, but I feel really confident in my knowledge of artists and their impact on the design world.  Barbara Kruger was an innovator, a conceptual design hero of the 20th century.  If designers don't look things things up, or even come across them in classes, how do they expect to learn much... how do they expect to be inspired? Will they just get inspiration solely from the more recent artists, the ones inspired by people like Kruger?

I'm just really glad to be given the opportunity to take classes from professors who have experienced good design first hand... who have been given the task of maintaining a knowledge base of former designers, and design history altogether.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

another distraction...

WOW! My big sister told me about this... am I way behind on finding this site? So much inspiration, but even more distraction!