Friday, 4 December 2009

The Corporation

This is my final Poster design for The Corporation film. The idea behind the visual was a mixture between a power button, explanation mark and hypnotic spiral. I wanted something quite abstract and bold, that would stand out from a distance. I decided to print on metal because I liked the extra dimension of the reflection- a poster that changes depending on the time or position, that would catch your eye through movement, but most of all the interaction with the poster and your reflection and the distortion of it. The documentary is very much a call for action film, to make a difference it is important that each individual acts. I wanted to visually raise the theme that everything may not be as it seems behind the fa├žade of big companies, and question the individuals role in this.

I did originally think I would print all my posters on metal, but after the review we talked about the relevance of this. In order to capture the unique individual style of each film I am going to print each one on a different media.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Object React

This is the first workshop I've done this year.
I liked the brief when I read it, then when we started I was a bit confused and couldn't quite get it into my head what Jonny actually wanted us to produce. I had a few objects in mind after my visit to the museum, worried a lot about which one would give me the most mileage in a 24 hour project, and then quickly decided to blindly ignore those worries and pick the object which had struck me the most. Luckily I made the right decision!!

Venus' flower basket
This object genuinely fascinated me - it was magical, beautiful and the information displayed next to it in the glass case was so short and confusing I was left with not a lot of inspiration. When I got back to the studio and did some research on the object it was even more amazing than I could ever have imagined.

My object was a living sponge made out of natural glass that forms at the bottom of the sea. The glass skeleton grows into a perfectly cylindrical cage and around it is a living tissue that vibrates to move the water through the cage so it can absorb food from the water. It holds onto rocks with hundreds of roots that are as thin as human hair. Just writing about this object now fascinates me, it really is unbelievable!

Then I discovered a few more facts which helped me develop my final idea. When the cage is forming, shrimp lavae can float into it, the cage grows closed, the shrimp are born and are trapped in the cage can never get out. The Japanese give this sponge as a wedding gift because it represents the two shrimps living in harmony together forever.

The second fact, was that the glass skeleton is actually a better fibre optic receptor than anything man made, in fact, scientists are trying to recreate the natural processes this plant uses to create the glass in their own work.

So I decided that my idea really needed to be an experience - something magical to transport you out of a museum and to the bottom of the sea, to really get your head around the idea this is a plant made of glass!

Inspired by the shrimp story, I thought it would be great to make a life size, fibre optic cage you could walk into - in a dark room it would glow like at the bottom of the ocean. I'm still unsure about how to deliver the facts - my original idea was that you could lock yourself into the cage and in order to get out you would have to answer true or false questions. Jonny thought this was going a bit to far, and we discussed a voice-over instead. but i'm undecided as yet!

I was really pleased with the comments from Mac and Jonny about my work, and was proud of what I achieved in 24 hours. It was a nice break from the other briefs and refreshing to do something different. The points Jonny made about the scientific research meaning someone somewhere is putting money into this object and therefore there is real opportunities to pursue this idea for real is crazy to think of... but something I'm interested in looking into as an extension of this project maybe over Christmas. How exciting could that be!

Essay Tutorial

An early essay tutorial for me. So far I was pretty pleased with the work I'd done on my essay, 'a good foundation to improve on' in my first tutorial. I had referenced and researched to high heaven so just had to concentrate on writing. Since then I ruthlessly edited and tried to structure better and make my arguments more clear.

This time, I felt I got some good pointers on how to perfect my writing for the final draft, mainly ideas on structure and layout. I hope that coming up with a strong but simple visual design solution for my essay will help to articulate my points better. I had tried to write in an entertaining and personal way that isn't how I would usually write an essay, and Hitch wasn't sure about this, but that's what they asked us to do (?) so in the end we decided it was fine.

I am so desperate to get a first for this essay... I hope I am not reaching to high, but I've been getting 67 and 68 for every essay I've done and I didn't work as hard as I could have. I've tried to make sure I've improved on everything and push this as far as I can, but i'm still unable to get a definitive answer on what that *thing* is I need to do go from a 2.1 to a 1st! I really don't want to miss out this time!

Helen Murgatroyd

''The idea itself, even if not made visual, is as much a work of art as any finished product." Stated LeWitt in 1971. "All intervening steps, scribbles, sketches, drawings, failed work models, studies thoughts, conversations, are of interest. Those that show the thought process of the artist are sometimes more interesting than the final product." (LeWitt, 'Paragraphs on Conceptual Art', Artforum Vol.5, no. 10, Summer 1967, pp. 79-83)

I remember Sue talking about Helen in our first year, just as the tutors talked about Libby and Nicola in our second year. 'The third year girls' who become a bit iconic and the mark to which you want to live up to, and now here we are in third year so soon! Looking at their online portfolio's is a tad intimidating! Seeing Helen's work in the degree show in 1st year has always stuck in my mind because it wasn't really what I expected to see - much more abstract and arty. Over the last three years, especially this year I've realised that graphics is a wide and varied creative art.

Although doing an MA is definitely not in my thoughts at the moment, it was interesting to hear about Helen's ideas and thought processes more than anything else. She was so confident about her ideas and work, sometimes I admit I was thinking What?, but I liked her honesty in pursuing what she wanted to do and not worrying about where it had to lead to.

Hamish Muir

Hamish Muir started the lecture by telling us he left art school 30 years ago. That's pretty amazing - he was a practising designer about 10 years before I was even born! I guess there were far few designers then, and a lot less competition. 'Now anyone with microsoft word calls them self a graphic designer'. He had a pretty amazing education in Switzerland an the Basil school of Art and Design. We've had so many influential, a-lister designers come to talk to us - Peter Saville, Adrian Shaugnessy etc. - we're so lucky to get this insight into a whole design era.

So Muir worked with factory records, before starting his own company Octavo with Mark Hott and Simon Johnston. Their ideals were working together, on the same briefs, at the same time which sounded like a great foundation.

I'm not sure I really got the idea of no ideas within the design though. Maybe it is because I don't work that way at all, I don't really see the point in communication if there isn't any message. I suppose it was refreshing to look at design as just form and rules which dictate the visuals, but I couldn't help thinking doesn't that get a bit boring after a while? I don't like rules much - sometimes maybe sticking to them and making them on purpose is good, but other times ignoring them is good too. I appreciated the idea that sometimes the best creative work comes out of being restricted and not having much, 'sometimes when you can do anything, you mess up'. That is totally true.

I did like the work they'd done which reacted with the environment. Absolutely loved the idea of water soluable ink which changes when it begins to rain. They said they never used that idea, and I'd really love to explore the possibilities of something like this. This really relates to the things Hamish was saying about their first computer work that has now become obsolete.

'Print is not dead, it still exists in physical time and space. Digital can become obselete and unretrievable as software becomes outdated'

It's a kind of fascinating topic to think about - all the paintings and artifacts that have physically lasted for hundreds, thousands of years, and yet some technologies that were ground breaking and revolutionary and changed the way we live, become completely lost within 20 years. It's funny how certain techniques lasted for millenniums, and now we change everything in just a few years.

'When you work on your own you get lazy, you are limited to your own expectations'

ah wise words. This is another thing I like about working with other people, the validation of your ideas and the ability to push them and advance then that I don't think you get when you work on your own.

I think this was another great lecture, a nice insight into the history of graphic design in the years before we were born, a totally different design perspective than my own, and it really got me brimming with ideas!