“The monochrome adventure”

As you could see in my last post, these is all about just one unique colour: IKB.

So this is just the beginning and by beginning I mean the front cover of my zine. Well, this is not completely true, it’s just the skeleton of it.

I got excited to see that I can do such things at LCC. What was, at first, a sketchy draft in my sketchbook became an Illustrator file and from there, straight to the 3D workshop to do the cut outs with the laser.

And this isn’t all, tomorrow I’ll add all the meat that this project needs… Looking forward to see the result!

 

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“Everything is Blue”

These days, there’s only one name stuck in my mind, there’s only one man I can think about. And my life became blue, a very deep, stimulative and peaceful blue. All my life revolves around this right now. (as the pic shows.)

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His name is Yves but all his friends call him Klein. He is very popular, indeed. You can’t imagine how talented he can be… He even invented a colour! (How is it possible?) This, ladies and gentlemen, is pure talent.

I’ll write soon for letting you know how is it going with our relationship.

Alba

“Typography and Language”

We got started with the following statement: “Typography can be treated as an image itself

So, yes, contrary to what we’ve been told in the first lecture, text doesn’t need an image to stand by itself. Actually there’s a metaphor that Beatrice Warde uses in her book “The Crystal Goblet” that explains it pretty well: you have to worry about what’s inside the goblet not about the goblet itself. That is to says that the content is much more important than the contender. Despite so, the typography needs to have a relation with the content because, otherwise, it would be just decoration.

We were supposed to understand that typography interferes somehow with how we read and also that the typography needs to be entertaining by its own. This is one of the main principles of 8vo, a graphic design firm founded by Simon Johnston, Mark Holt and Hamish Muir back in 1985. They created, for instance, a new -and weird- disposition for a essay to make it more entertaining, engaging and appealing to the eye.

To sum up, the typography has to work for the text and it is graphic designers jobs to create the relationship between these two subjects. As once David Carson did. He tried to fit a text he was given to the blank space he had by using a 5p font.

Nevertheless, to be able to play around with the text, first you need to know some basic keys about storytelling and narrative processes. The main thing that not even a graphic designer can modify is the Story Classical Line which is roughly the initiation of a conflict until it reaches the climax and its decrease until a resolution is found.

Moreover, we went through an introduction about semiotics which is about signs and its meanings, something very useful for a graphic designer. It all began in the mid 19th century with the Swiss linguistic Professor Ferdinand de Saussure and the American Charles Sanders Peirce. Both of them realised in a short time of difference that there are some meanings that comes naturally, the signifier, and other that are both personal or cultural interpretations, the signified. The first one is called the denotative meaning of the item and the second one, the connotative meaning of it. So we can get the connotation of an X subject by our own reading or because it’s a global cultural and conventional agreement.

Taking this into account the designer can mess around with the different meanings of the words to get the word that fits the best the purpose of the text, its content and its look.

“Peter Kennard: an unofficial war artist”

“An average of 22 US Army veterans commit suicide every day, 1 every 65 minutes.”

This is one of the stunning statements that Peter Kennard gather in his last installation in his exhibition at the Imperial War Museum in London. In this installation that takes up one whole room we can find a great amount of data related to the 20th century conflicts til now and its consequences. It’s organised by the number they represent and then these numbers can be found juxtaposed over different b/w photographies and photomontages made by himself about the same topic. Moreover, some pics on the top show peace symbols too. Although this one called “Boardroom” is probably the most astonishing room of the whole retrospective, there are three other rooms before:

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Boardroom installation.   

In the first one we can find a collection of various big size paintings of his early years when he was still a fine arts student. They reflect his inherent interest on political activism and some influences of both dadaism pieces and the anti-nazism work of John Heartfield.

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Painting of Peter Kennard (room 1)

Besides, in the next room what really captivated me was the wide range of photomontages against the war made in a very critical and ironic way. He was kind of laughing about death and the fact of humans killing other humans. He definitely took the skeleton and the skulls to iconically represent the death.

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Different photomontages of Peter Kennard (Room 3)

However, on the third room his work became more conceptual. The walls there were covered with different stripped newspapers opened on the financial pages and with hands printed on to symbolise his frustration and desire to discover to unwrap the truth behind the information provided by the big companies and the government’s reports about economy.

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“Newspaper” by Peter Kennard

Similarly his work “Faces” were supposed to face some faces immersed in the dark and without mouth. They are supposed to represent in a very smart and subtle way how citizens are vulnerable and voiceless in front of hostil situations and pointless conflicts.

All in all, Peter Kennard’s retrospective exhibition of his more than 50 years of career was a harsh tour through 20th century conflicts like the IIWW and its consequences as well as the French Spring in 1968 with the students riots against the government or the hard episodes of injustice and disputes going on in countries like Syria. Peter Kennard did a great job focusing on the part that innocent people played on this kind of sadly contemporary struggles and their active and important participation in some cases. Thus, at the end, nothing is just one person’s fault, and we are all human beings who suffer an originate what happens in this world. Therefore, as the “Boardroom “installation reflected, there’s no singular number: we have to think global as if we were one to be empathic with those ones who are unfortunately living the no so nice face of life.

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Some old pics of the French Spring and the students riots in 1968.

Don’t think about it when it is too late:

“An average of 22 US Army veterans commit suicide every day, 1 every 65 minutes.”

“What is wrong with graphic design?”

This is the title of the second lecture we went through. We got started with a quick search on Mr. Google about “British Graphic Designers”. Yes, just with this easy action we could see that there was something wrong going on. There were just white, male, non-only British faces. You didn’t even need to have eyes to see that there was a lack of diversity regarding colour, race and gender.

Similarly, it was an outstanding fact how old all of them were.

After this research we’ve been shown the example of Ruth Sykes, a graphic designer that used the social media -twitter for being more specific- to fight about what she considered (and all of us should) unfair. Her story starts when once upon a time, she unfortunately came across an article about female graphic designers. What should have been a great new, turned out to be a nonsense. The problem was on the article’s title: XX rated. This title undoubtably has certain erotic connotation so Ruth decided to publish a twit manifesting her disagreement with the title chosen. The magazine replied her in a very rude and aggressive way, just letting her know they wouldn’t change the title. Some twits after, they added that XX was due to the female chromosomes and finally, thanks to Ruth perseverance, they completely removed the article from the website. But this is not the happy ending Ruth was expecting. She just wanted to change the title!

However, we could see that the social media, certainly has a powerful effect on the society and that if we identify unfair conditions around us, it’s as easy as giving it a go and try to address some attention to that topic with a twit. Yes, something as easy as publishing a twit can change little injustices. That’s why, after this example, we’ve been encouraged to open an account on Twitter and choose a class hashtag to use to fight discrimination and promote certain underrated graphic designers. We came up with #HellWhoDesignedThat.

In other words, maybe there’s not only wrong things going on in the graphic design field, but we can also find them all over the internet, and, therefore, the society. Because, what’s internet but a reflection of the society? Thus, as part of the society, we have the responsibility to use the power of social media, our weapons, to protect and promote minorities on internet, our battlefield.