Research

White Space: Research into Materials

The research I did into Joseph Beuys was really useful when it came to choosing what materials I would use in my final photographic outcome:

  • Beuys uses the fabric felt in many of his sculptures as it muffles sound, he often wraps musical instruments in felt to make them useless as they can't be played and no sound can be heard from them. He also uses felt in his room installations, carpeting the walls with it, as it creates the effect of warmth and this can create an oppressive effect in the room or the feeling of cosiness for others.
  • Beuys careful consideration of the properties of the materials that he uses has led me to consider doing the same. I think I should connect the material to the dangerous object that they will wrap. For example, if I'm wrapping an object that causes pain then I could use a bandage as this is intended to stop bleeding and is a part of a first aid kit. 
  • I should think carefully about the texture of the material as well, if I want to wrap the objects in materials that provide protection then I should use soft-textured fabrics that provide warmth and comfort. 
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Bruce Mau, Massive Change 2005-2006

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Manifesto #2- Grayson Perry

Grayson Perry wrote a manifesto in 2014 for the Royal Academy, under the persona of his childhood bear 'Red Alan'. 

Main points about the style of his manifesto:

  • The thing that drew me to this initially was the style of the manifesto, unlike most it was completely hand-written and looked as though it had casually been drawn on a napkin! 
  • Grayson's manifesto is very open-ended as its interpretation is very subjective. One could interpret it very literally, for example, with point no.6 you would see this as an order that half of RAs must wear dresses. However, you could interpret this more metaphorically, for example, by saying that no.6 addresses typical art stereotypes and that we should strive to be unpredictable.
  • Grayson's manifesto doesn't severely restrict his artwork, he doesn't limit himself to certain materials, time frames, or objects.
  • An artist can become a manifestation of their manifesto, Grayson Perry often dresses up as his alter ego called 'Claire' in clothing designed by himself and this shows how he seeks to challenge what is and isn't art, arguing that anything can be art. This human element to a manifesto makes it feel like a living breathing document. 
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Greyson Perry with one of his illustrated ceramics

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Do women still have to be naked to get into the Met Museum? By the Guerilla Girls, 2004-05

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Manifesto #1- The Guerrilla Girls

Main points about the style of the manifesto:

  • The Guerrilla Girls haven't created a physical manifesto in paper or document form, but instead takes form in their slogans. For example, in the poster 'Do women have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum?' it tells us that the Guerrilla Girls intend to expose the under-representation of women in the art world to the public through displaying it at the source of the issue, in art galleries.
  • Even though they don't explicitly say what their manifesto is, their work is driven by a desire to highlight sexism in the art world and do this by picketing art galleries and exhibitions.
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ITV Injustice campaign, 2011

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ITV Injustice campaign, 2011

These posters were created in the run up to the premier of the tv series Injustice on ITV in 2011. Similar to the Philips LED torch adverts, these posters are extremely simple yet the white space gives us a wealth of information. The careful use of positive and negative space suggests two forms, for example, in one of the posters it is a person and a knife, and this overall implies that murder will feature in the tv series. This ingenious way of just using two opposing colours has provided us with the context of the tv series. This had made me realise the importance of using white space very simply in graphic design.

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'The Current Situation' by Manuel Raeder, published in 2015.

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'The Current Situation' by Manuel Raeder, published in 2015.

I specifically looked at Manuel Raeder's approach to layout and white space, supporting my initial idea that in magazines and publications they often use white space as 'quiet' pages. Here, in his publication he follows a text heavy double spread with a completely blank page. This visually gives the reader a break, allowing them to process the information they have just had to read. It also draws the reader's attention solely to the image on the other page, showing that white space can be used to control where the reader's attention is focused. This has strong similarities to how white space was used in Star Wars, as both seek to use it as a way to direct the viewer's focal point, and give them a visual break.

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Philips LED torch campaign posters, 2013

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Philips LED torch campaign posters, 2013

I found this campaign by Philips to be really interesting as it showed that white space, despite not containing any words or forms, can actually give us a huge amount of information about the message of the campaign. The simple use of white space in the posters has two purposes, it acts as both the skyline and the light from the torch. This gives us the location of the message, a ravine and a darkened alley way, and tells us that the Philips product is a powerful torch. This careful use of white space, although simple in it's form, has provided us with all the information about the product and communicates the intended message.

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White Space in the context of Graphic Design

As part of the brief on the 'White Space' project we firstly had to define our understanding of white space in the context of graphic communication design. I chose to do this without looking at the internet or other sources as I wanted my own personal understanding of white space, I didn't want to regurgitate someone else's! Here is my primary research on what white space is in GCD: 

  • It doesn't necessarily have to be the colour white: It can be any colour as long as it is 'quiet' with few forms in it. 
  • White space in layout is normally a portion of the page left untouched.
  • It is often referred to as 'negative space', the area surrounding 'positive space' which is usually a form or object. 
  • White space enables objects to exist at all, it gives context and a purpose to the other forms it surrounds. 
  • White space can be empty but can give a world of information, it can suggest at what is being unsaid. 
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Interact: Can Graphic Design save your life?

Exhibition: https://wellcomecollection.org/exhibitions/WZwh4ioAAJ3usf86

The Wellcome Collection: Can Graphic Design save your life? 

This exhibition was more interesting rather than useful into how we react with graphic communication design. This display traced back how graphic design has been used in medicine from the early 20th Century, and consequently it had a lot of information on traditional forms of interacting with graphic design e.g. Cigarette company ads and health magazines. However, I really liked the recent NHS blood donor campaign, as this shows how even the NHS has started to move towards using guerrilla tactics in advertising. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lk5kX331I7A 

The NHS blood donor campaign in 2015 involved businesses and people around the country removing the blood group letters from words, this led to 24,000 new blood donors with 8000 signing up in the first 3 days of the campaign. This campaign led me to consider the scale of communication design, as a group doing a project in a week we will not be able to achieve the widespread aspect of this campaign. However, we should considering doing it in multiple locations, and not confining it to just one in order to maximise the number of people impacted by our message. 

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Interact: Can Graphic Design save your life? Exhibition Poster

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Interact: Guerilla Advertising: Unconventional Brand Communications

Reference: Lucas, G. & Dorrian, M. (2006), Guerilla Advertising: Unconventional Brand Communications, London: Laurence King

I went to the library at CSM to do research into how we interact with Graphic Communication Design. I looked at this book on guerrilla advertising, the concept that advertising has transitioned from traditional methods e.g. television towards more unconventional methods of communication. This book introduced me to an interesting concept, do we as consumers control the media we consume? Brands bombard us with ads and messages everywhere we go, from the comfort of our own homes to walking down the street. Yet it is our choice as to whether we engage with it or not.

An example of this in the book was the 2002 Microsoft campaign in NYC, they stuck butterfly stickers across buildings and streets in the cities, leading to Central Park where an event for the company was going on. Here, people had the choice of whether to acknowledge the butterflies and follow the trail to the park. Overall, graphic communication design is at the mercy of the consumer, and I think this is an interesting concept to potentially explore in the project.

microsoft.jpg 

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Brandbook Nike Football, 2010

Penguin crime grid 1961, by Romek Marber

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Adidas workout spreads, Nov 2015

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Printmaking Project: Gentrification

Following my visit to Finsbury Park, I decided that I wanted to research gentrification in the area and the impacts of this:

  • I found the research into gentrification of Finsbury Park very interesting, as I had first hand seen the areas where it was taking place, for example the City North housing being built next to the train station.
  • It was also very informative on my project as I have decided to communicate the idea of gentrification of Finsbury park in my poster, both the negative and positive aspects of it.
  • The topic of regeneration is a very poignant and contentious topic in the area, evidence of this can be seen in the five thousand strong petition to the council to retain the local bowling alley in 2015. It will also continue to be a hot topic in the future with the potential construction of Crossrail 2 that will run straight through Finsbury Park. This improvement of transport links will make the area a popular location for wealthy commuters to live in, causing house prices to rise further and resulting in many locals having to move.
  • I want to communicate this issue in my print as I think it looks at the past, present and future of Finsbury Park, and will perhaps make people aware of impacts that gentrification can have.

Useful webpages:

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/jul/28/social-cleansing-whitechapel-east-london-fighting-demolitions

https://www.hackneycitizen.co.uk/2015/04/09/finsbury-park-city-north-woodberry-down-developments/

http://www.telfordhomes.london/microsites/city-north/index.cfm

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Research into social media campaigns

This Girl Can (2015 first ad)

  • Significant gender gap between the number of men and women that play sport:  2 million fewer 14-40 year-old women than men take part in sport. Sports England asked women why they didn't play sport and for many of them it was the fear of judgement e.g. Their body being on show and not looking good while playing sport.
  • The 'This Girl Can' video has been watched by 37million people on youtube and facebook alone (90 second video). Their lines e.g. 'Sweating like a pig, feeling like a fox' are based on real fears of women as 48% of girls said sweating wasn't feminine.
  • Tailored algorithm on twitter that sent encouraging tweets to women who were tweeting about doing sport.
  • 660,000 tweets with the hashtag #ThisGirlCan
  • As a result, 1.6mil more women started exercising and the campaign has an active social media community of 500,000.

 

Know Your Lemons, Worldwide Breast Cancer

  • This campaign was launched in February 2017 by Worldwide Breast Cancer to encourage women to check their breasts more regularly for cancer, and raise awareness of the warning signs of breast cancer.
  • By using a catchy hashtag, #KnowYourLemons, and easy to understand imagery they were able to let thousands of women know about the lesser know signs of breast cancer. Even if you can't read you're still able to look at the images and understand.
  • Its also important to consider how accessible they have made information on it, mainly showing it through social media platforms such as facebook that are used on a daily basis by millions of people.
  • The combination of a fun and playful image of lemons combined with a serious image effectively communicated with the public, the friendly image helps women overcome the fear of breast cancer, and their donations went up by 317% on JustGiving alone.
  • Corrine Beaumont created the lemon image.

 

The Key points that I have learnt from the research in social media campaigns:

  1. Creating a strong and memorable, simple yet not dull, hashtag or caption is crucial to success on platforms such as twitter and Instagram. This is because people will often just scroll through social media, spending as little as a few seconds glancing at one post, and therefore a short and snappy caption is crucial to getting the message across in this brief window.
  2. It is important not to overcomplicate an image or logo in a campaign. The 'This Girl Can' campaign was hugely successful as by including an image of a women playing sport and the logo they were able to effectively communicate the message that women, of all ages and backgrounds, can and should play sport. I think it's important that we similarly leave our social media campaign quite simple, as an overload of information can bore the reader or confuse the message.
  3. In both campaigns there was an element of playfulness and fun that I think was important to their success. The Worldwide Breast Cancer campaign was communicating a very serious issue of breast cancer signs but did it in a friendly and engaging way, thus helping to remove the fear of breast cancer that many women have and encouraging them to check their breasts. I think it's important with our subject of 'Philosophy' that we don't make it too dry and boring, we need to give our campaign an element of fun to ensure that viewers are engaged throughout the video and don't simply switch off. Maybe we could have an fun caption, or add a sense of humour into our video?
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Siena 2009, by Jenny Holzer

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Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer is an American non-conceptual artist who's work predominantly focuses on the incorporation of text into public spaces. The part of Holzer's career that I have mainly looked at is her work from 1996 where she did a series of installations around the world of projecting text onto buildings. Holzer uses text that speaks of violence, politics, war, feminism, and death. For example, if you look at her work in Siena in 2009, the projection 'Religion causes as many problems as it solves' is a very contradictory point to make. To many people religion is seen as a form of righteousness, and highlighting how it has both negative as well as positive attributes will have a very profound effect on religious people, maybe even causing them to question their religion. It's interesting to research the context of Holzer's work, for example the Siena installations in 2009 where created after the 9/11 and London bombing terrorist attacks that were religiously motivated. In 2009 specifically, there was the attack on the Sri Lankan Cricket Team where a bus carrying the team was fired upon by gunmen where six policemen and two civilians were killed. I think we could have considered the context of the present slightly more in our project, for example maybe looking at what modern day philosophers are writing, as this would have made our project more relatable to people if they can link it to a modern-day context and this makes it easier for our message to be understood.

The purpose of her work is to enlighten people to the issues and problems of the world that remain unspoken and left in the corner, like how our project intends to raise awareness of our ignorance of philosophical questions. I like Holzer's use of public places and buildings to project her text onto, public areas are open to everyone and this suggests that the issues she projects on to them concern everyone. There is also the logistical benefit of doing it in a public place as there will be a large number of people in this area, thus you're communicating the message to as large a number of people as you can. I think we should strongly consider using public places in our video, as we similarly want to communicate our message to as many people as possible as it is a social media awareness campaign. In public areas we will also have people constantly walking along pavements, this will make our video more effective at communicating our message if we have large numbers of people ignoring our signs as it implies that we all avoid philosophical questions. In London there are many busy public areas that we could use, such as the London Underground, Oxford Street, Buckingham Palace, so we have a lot of choice of where to film our video.

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Research into the process of decay: 'Type' Project

The process of decay is the breaking down, or decomposing, of organic matter by the action of bacteria and fungi. There are two main groups of decomposers that are responsible for this process, and they are:

Saprophytes: The main group of decomposers, bacteria and fungi, that cause decay by releasing enzymes onto the dead animal or plant. These enzymes then break down the complex compounds into simpler soluble ones, as this allows the nutrients to be easily absorbed by the decomposers.

Detritivores: These are larger organisms that speed up the process of decay by feeding on dead and decaying material, also known as detritus. They break down the organic matter into small pieces, thus increasing the surface area for the bacteria and fungi to release enzymes onto. Examples are earthworms, maggots, woodlice...

The research that I have done into the process of decomposition has been very influential in this project. Having researched decay, I liked the idea of exploring the breakdown of natural matter on the forest floor by fungi and bacteria, and reflecting the textures of this in my letterform. The texture that I especially was interested in was crumpled up leaves, because they are almost paper-like in appearance and barely resemble their original appearance as green leaves. I would like to recreate this texture in my letterform as it suggests that the letters will be decomposed just like the leaves and this connection to decomposition will hopefully make the theme of 'decay' clear in my letterform. I will experiment with crumpling up and twisting my paper letterforms, so they look old and worn, to recreate the texture of rotting leaves. Tomorrow in the independent photography task I will photograph these letters on the forest floor. I have chosen the forest floor and leaves as my main aspect of decay in this project, as it is evident everywhere in the world, it occurs in most peoples' gardens, and is one of the most common forms of decay. Therefore, I think this will help my letterform be more relatable, and more importantly recognisable, to the viewer.

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Research into Pessimism

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Library research session

Today are group went to the library to research our three key words in the project, I looked into the word pessimism and was surprised at how the common belief that you're either an optimist or pessimist was disregarded by many authors and philosophers.

In this library research, what particularly interested me was the view that pessimism is not necessarily a negative trait to have. I focussed on two books, one being 'The Promise of Happiness' by Sarah Ahmed, and the other 'Against Happiness' by Eric G.Wilson. Traditionally, pessimists are often perceived as depressed, melancholic, and unhappy people but these authors challenge this common perception by arguing that it is more a focus on improvement and preparing oneself for an infinite amount of negative possibilities, only to be pleasantly surprised.

Pessimists will often see the negative aspects of daily life because they are comparing it to an ideal future, and thus are hopeful of a different world. This is most clearly put by Ms Ahmed where she states 'The revolutionary might have pessimism about the present but optimism about the future'. This highlights the intrinsic link between optimism and pessimism, and suggests how pessimism is not necessarily a negative trait to have. Furthermore, by preparing themselves for the worst situation they are often surprised or arguably happy when a more positive situation arises, and thus this creates this weird concept that out of pessimism comes optimism.

I think it would be very interesting to explore this belief in 'queer pessimism' in the project as it would potentially have the effect of changing people's attitudes towards pessimists, and contradicting the widely held view that you simply see the glass as either half full or half empty. Our group initially only thought of pessimism as a negative trait and in the primary research we solely came up with negative connotations of it such as melancholy or defeatist. Therefore, it would be interesting to contradict this common misinterpretation of pessimism in the project.

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Visit to a record shop

As part of the research into 'Vinyl' I also visited a local record shop to look at one of the many uses of the material. I found a box of old, scratched records by forgotten artists that were a pound each, this made me consider the pessimistic concept of loneliness in this project. A pessimist will always anticipate the worst outcome, and this led me to consider the idea of being forgotten once we have died. The record shop also had music playing throughout the store and this made me think that since the gramophone is the key piece in our project we could include music.

I like the idea of including the pessimism aspect of the project through using music or playing an audiobook on the vinyl. This is would add a human element to the gramophone concept, and thus be more relatable to the viewer, particularly if they have heard the song before or know the book. However, to incorporate the broken aspect that I highlighted earlier we could use a broken vinyl record that keeps replaying the same few words or quote repeatedly, as if to reinforce the monotonous and dull existence that most pessimists view as life.

This encouraged me to listen to music and songs that were about feelings and emotions associated with pessimism, two that I looked at were 'Hurt' by Johnny Cash and 'This is how it feels' by Inspiral Carpets that was playing in the shop. Both these songs have a dark outlook on life, and I would like to investigate further the use of music like this and quotes or audiobooks in the project1.jpg

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G1 of Themes et Variations (1941) by Matisse, ink on paper

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Vinyl Research

As part of the research into 'Vinyl' I also visited a local record shop to look at one of the many uses of the material. I found a box of old, scratched records by forgotten artists that were a pound each, this made me consider the pessimistic concept of loneliness in this project. A pessimist will always anticipate the worst outcome, and this led me to consider the idea of being forgotten once we have died. The record shop also had music playing throughout the store and this made me think that since the gramophone is the key piece in our project we could include music.

I like the idea of including the pessimism aspect of the project through using music or playing an audiobook on the vinyl. This is would add a human element to the gramophone concept, and thus be more relatable to the viewer, particularly if they have heard the song before or know the book. However, to incorporate the broken aspect that I highlighted earlier we could use a broken vinyl record that keeps replaying the same few words or quote repeatedly, as if to reinforce the monotonous and dull existence that most pessimists view as life.

This encouraged me to listen to music and songs that were about feelings and emotions associated with pessimism, two that I looked at were 'Hurt' by Johnny Cash and 'This is how it feels' by Inspiral Carpets that was playing in the shop. Both these songs have a dark outlook on life, and I would like to investigate further the use of music like this and quotes or audiobooks in the project

 

 

 

 

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Homogeneous Infiltration for Piano, by Joseph Beuys in 1966

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Manifesto #3- 'An incomplete Manifesto for growth', by Bruce Mau

Link to complete manifesto: http://www.manifestoproject.it/bruce-mau/

 

Main points about the style of the manifesto:

  • What really interested me about this manifesto is that it is more conceptual rather than literal, it discusses how a designer should consider their state of mind in a project rather than specific materials he should use or techniques. 
  • Mau's manifesto was more for the benefit of others rather than himself, he published it in 1998 to help other designers change their approach to design to be more constructive and mindful. This is unusual for manifestos, for example the Guerrilla Girls created their manifesto in order to guide and set the theme for their own work. 
  • This outward approach seen in Mau's manifesto is reflected in his exhibition called 'Massive Change'. Rather than celebrating or displaying his own worth, he created a huge display of the work of other graphic designers, illustrating how they were making a positive change to the world. In this exhibition Mau focused on changing the attitudes of others towards the design process, rather than focus on his own work, similar to his manifesto.

 

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Greyson Perry's Manifesto, 2014

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I Decide, You Decide, We Decide, They Don't Decide. By the Guerilla Girls, 2004

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Richard Mosse, Heat Maps 2017

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Richard Mosse

In Infra and The Enclave, Richard Mosse has approached using white space in a very similar way to that of C-3PO in Star Wars. The blurred backgrounds in his photographs and film cause the main figure to become the focal point of the image, like C-3PO in the desert. Even though the white space isn't necessarily white, is still has the same purpose and is often referred to as 'negative space'. Mosse uses it to control the focal point of his photographs, and in his films. I similarly shouldn't restrict myself to just thinking that white space means that it has to be white.

In his 2017 documentary called Heat Maps, Mosse uses white space in a very different way to his previous work in Congo. The heat camera causes the refugees faces to become white space, their facial features are barely detectable and this makes their identity anonymous. Here, Mosse has used white space to remove the identity from a form, and this is effectively helps to communicate his message that we don't see refugees as other human beings and that we should be doing more to help them as fellow people.

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Richard Mosse, The Enclave 2013 and Infra 2011

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White space in film: Star Wars

I found an interesting article on how the Star Wars saga has inspired key design principles in the filming process, in particular how white space or 'negative space' is used in film. Negative space is used in two ways in the Star Wars films:

  1. Producers use negative space to draw attention to a focal point in its centre. In Star Wars: A New Hope, C-3PO is brought into focus as he is a solitary figure surrounded by an area of negative space which is the desert on Tatooine. 
  2. In Star Wars they will often follow scenes of intense action with 'quiet' scenes such as the C-3PO one on Tatooine. This gives the viewers a pause from the intensity of battle scenes where there is a lot of information to take in during one scene, allowing them to process what's going on and not feel overwhelmed by consistently intense scenes. 

Link to article: https://venngage.com/blog/7-design-principles-star-wars-taught-us-infographic/

 

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Star Wars: A New Hope

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Star Wars: A New Hope

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Interact: The Science Museum

Exhibition: The Science Museum- Wonderlab, The Statoil Gallery (20/10/17)

The 'Ice Bodies' Display

Today I visited the interactive wing of the Science Museum to hands on experience how we physically interact with graphic communication design. The lab had a range of displays that you could all 'play' with from a heat sensor video camera to spinning dry ice. The first thing that struck me was the amount of FUN you could have with these displays. This is because interacting with your hands and body made it far more engaging than simply watching a video, as you yourself are causing the dry ice to move etc. and you are part of the display. This links back to the concept pointed out to me in the Guerrilla Advertising book, are we the consumers in control?, and this was an excellent example of how we control how much we engage with a display or medium. 

The lab was very busy with school children when I visited, and this caused me to think about target audience. These displays were highly interactive in order to engage young children, who notoriously have a short attention span. This means that when we are creating our interact project next week we need to think carefully about the target audience for our message, and change the level of interactivity according to this. 

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Interact: The Science Museum, 'Ice Bodies' display

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Interact: Advertising is Dead- Long live Advertising

Reference: Himpe, T. (2006), Advertising is Dead: Long Live Advertising, London: Thames & Hudson

This book was less about the theory behind interacting with GCD, compared to the book on Guerilla Advertising, and rather discussed the components that make up a successful ad campaign. This book similarly talked about how advertising is transitioning into unconventional methods and new ways of connecting with consumers, and said that these campaigns had four things in common:

1. Proximity- Companies will try to go to the public when advertising, communicate to them in their natural environment where they are most vulnerable and receptive. 

2.Exclusivity- When looking at a location it's important to consider whether your message will be competing for the consumer's attention with others as for your message to be most effective you want people's devoted and undivided attention. 

3.Invisibility- The book highlighted how unbranded content, that is more part of the background rather than foreground, can be more effective than branded content. This is because people can feel overloaded by information, and this less pushy approach is seen as rather refreshing. 

4.Unpredictability- Being unpredictable is an effective way to grab people's attention by catching them off guard, and means that people will often tell other's about the design. 

When we start the project next week I will make sure to consider these important elements when considering the content and location of our interaction display. 

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Interact: BBC Click documentary

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b09bjk4h/click-we-are-sailing 

Watch from 4:55 - 8:08

As part of the research into how we react with Graphic Communication Design I watched a BBC technology documentary. I was really interested in how augmented reality may be the future of how we interact with graphic design, particularly how it is accessible to the majority of us as smartphones are now a common possession, especially in the West. Furthermore, I like the idea that this technology can be used to transform an ordinary environment, such as a brick wall, into an emotive platform in which to communicate a message. 

BBC click.jpg

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Research into layouts

Key points I have learnt from my research into layout:

  • Continuity is key: The theme of my front cover needs to be continuous throughout my booklet, with a similar style on each page such as colour scheme or use of shapes, as this helps a booklet to flow smoothly between the pages rather than look disjointed. The Nike booklet and the penguin covers did this well by using the same angular layout on each page and cover.
  • The importance of size and scale in type:  The research into the Independent newspaper has made me realise how the scale of your typeface can be used to lead the reader through the newspaper and highlight areas of importance to them. For example, the reader is instantly drawn to the 'The Independent' type on the front page as it is by far the largest font. This is important for me to consider when I'm making my front cover as I will similarly want to reader to be drawn to the main title of 'Finsbury Park' first.
  • The use of 'quiet' pages:  Many of the booklets and layouts I looked into would have very busy pages that had a lot of content, this took the form of images or a large amount of text. They would often follow these crowded pages with a 'quiet' page where there was little content on the page. This break in the booklet helps to keep the reader engaged as they don't feel like they are being overloaded with information on each page. I think I will take a similar approach in my booklet by having the middle spread as a quiet set of pages in order to give the reader a break halfway through.
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Penguin crime grid 1961, by Romek Marber

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Esquire, a mens magazine

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The redesign of the Independent newspaper by Matt Wiley

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Printmaking Project: The narrative story task

As part of our final task for the printmaking project, we had to create a narrative story associated with our printed image and create two sequences in a similar style to our prints, there was to be one 'Action' print and one 'Conclusion' print:

As part of the title of my print, 'Is regeneration the way forward?', I wanted to explore the negative aspects of regeneration. More specifically, I wanted to focus on how families who have lived there for generations are being forced to move out due to rising house prices and luxury apartments being built for commuters.

I therefore decided to research council housing and the new city north complex in order to inform the sequences. I looked at their architectural plans for the complex, including videos and their gallery of images, and this heavily influenced my 'Conclusion' image as I directly copied the balcony structure from those that they will build in the complex. I did this because I want the images to be as accurate as possible, in order to the message to feel even more real as it is actually happening. I also tried to find images of council housing or tower blocks in Finsbury Park to inform the 'Action' sequence of the narrative story. I didn't have much luck with this as all I could find were forms for applying for council housing in the area, and therefore I had to resort to using images of a council housing estate in Teesside to inform my image.

Images of tower blocks in Teesside:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4635100/27-tower-blocks-15-areas-fail-fire-cladding-safety-tests.html

The video of the City North complex:

http://www.telfordhomes.london/microsites/city-north/video.cfm

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Research into housing: A tower block in Teeside

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City North - Evidence of gentrification in Finsbury Park

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'Know your lemons' Campaign- Main Image used

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'Know your Lemons' Campaign by Worldwide Breast Cancer, 2017

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'This Girl Can' Campaign, 2015

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Visit to the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, Cambridge

In order to expand my understanding of the process of decay, I decided to visit the local Sidgwick Museum of the Earth Sciences in Cambridge. This museum contained the fossilised remains of hundreds of different species of mammals and plants, this ranged from stomatolites (structures created by algae) that are over two and a half thousand years old, to the bones of deer and other mammals that are merely a few thousand years old in comparison. The bones, for example that of the large deer, were really interesting as it was strange to see how something so large and powerful (they weighed between 500-600kg) had been changed into a pile of bones over time. The skeletal structure of the fish in particular reminded me of the delicate structure of leaves, as both consisted of tiny intricate lines that somehow come together to create a complex form and hold it together.

This exhibition has encouraged me to focus on the decay of natural forms in our environment, and look at the decomposition of natural forms in greater deal as the museum didn't provide me with an explicit description of how the remains of the animals decayed and became fossilised. This was because it was more for showcasing the fossils and their varied locations from around the world, rather than providing an in-depth description of fossilisation. Therefore, I will start by researching the nutrient cycle and decomposition, and I will do this before I photograph my largescale letterforms as I'm still unsure of the location for this and hopefully this research will help me to decide on a location for my letterform. 

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A Megoloceros Giganteus skeleton at the Sedgwick Museum

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Ideas Factory Project: Artist Research

Following our library research, in particular the decision to explore the positive side of pessimism, we decided to leave the idea of a pleated vinyl record and take the project down a different path. We thought that most of our primary research ideas had been mainly 2D based, such as in the form of a poster or collection of photographs, and this was therefore quite a narrow-minded approach to the project. The artist research we did into Anish Kapoor's work and the Houston Tunnel House was a crucial moment for our concept of a gramophone becoming 3D based. 

The research into Kapoor's work prompted us to consider many of the important logistics of our building, such as the acoustics and the scale. Both 'Leviathan' and 'Cloud Gate' are significantly larger than the average sized human, and even dwarf crowds of people gathered around the work. As a group, we all are fond of installation art as through its use of space and size it encapsulates the viewer and is therefore a very interactive form of artwork. Consequently, we decided that a building on the scale of 'Cloud Gate' would allow the viewer to become fully immersed in the pessimistic environment that we wanted them to experience, and it would be easy to shut out any light or evidence of the outside world. The important question of the location of the work was also heavily influenced by 'Cloud Gate'. The artwork is set in Millennium Park, a wide open space, and we thought that placing ours in a similar location would create a huge contrast for the viewer between the dark interior of the building and the bright, and open outside world. This in turn would reinforce this concept of positive pessimism, whereby people will leave the gramophone building thinking that there life could be considerably worse by being welcomed by the fresh air and sky. 

The research into 'Inversion', also known as the Houston Tunnel House, helped use to decide upon where we would want the viewers to walk in our gramophone shaped building. The sculpture is formed in two houses, using their own wooden siding, and is a single horizontal vortex that ends on the otherside of the houses. The tunnel takes on a huge resemblance to a black hole, drawing you into the darkening tunnel and almost crushing you as you have to crouch down to pass through it. We liked this idea of the tunnel becoming narrower, and being very dark and uncomfortable, and consequently thought we could recreate this experience by having people walk down the gramophone in a similar manner. This would generate a similarly uncomfortable, and somewhat depressing room that would link to the idea of a pessimistic life. 

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Research into the artist, Anish Kapoor

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The above artwork is called 'Leviathan' and was created in 2011 at the Grand Palais in France by Kapoor. It is formed of three 35m high balloons that visitors are able to walk through. The below piece is called 'Cloud Gate', it was created in 2006 and can be located in Chicago's Millennium Park. It is made up of 168 stainless steel plates welded together, and its dimensions are 10m x 13m x 20m.

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'Inversion', 2005

'Inversion' was a 2005 artwork made by sculptors Dan Havel and Dean Ruck, it was located in Houston, Texas, but sadly no longer exists as it was knocked down to make way for a new art building. Tunnel-Hole-House-Texas.jpg.1

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Matisse Exhibition at the RA

Prior to the library research I visited a Matisse exhibition at the Royal Academy of Art in London as I was particularly interested by his line drawings and how his take on nudes was very controversial in society at the time. I found the exhibition was a very useful influence on the 'Pessimism, Vinyl and Pleat' project our group is doing at the moment, as it opened me up to new ways of approaching the form and shape of our idea.

In Matisse's piece 'Still-life with Shell' (1940) he had used gouache and paper to create a 3D painting where the objects were paper cut outs laid on top of another piece of paper. This encouraged me to think about how we could take our project into 3D form, and I thought what if we pleated the paper if we created a poster? This made me think of stage curtains in a theatre and how we could perhaps use this with the gramophone, and maybe exploring a pessimistic view of life in a theatrical manner.

Matisse's drawings were also very interesting to me. Many of his drawings were plain ink drawings on white paper, containing few lines so the form of the object was merely suggested. I like this idea of taking all the colour and detail out of an image, similar to how a pessimist perceives the world in a bleak and colourless way. Therefore, I will do some basic ink drawings of a gramophone and see how this impacts its image and meaning to the viewer, and hopefully hint at this pessimistic view.

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Still Life with Shell, by Henri Matisse, 1940

 

Gouache, charcoal, and coloured pencil on cut paper, and string, pinned to canvas.

 

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