Ben Branagan, Inca Starzinsky and Sophie Smallhorn- 3 practitioners I discovered today and not being able to decide who to write about I decided to do all three.
Ben Branagan is a south London based artist and designer making really interesting collages using found photography or pictures he’s taken himself, cutting out and overlapping images to create a sort of surreal vibe where you are looking into several dimensions at once.
The first thing I started to consider when thinking about ideas for the show was how the space looks. As we already know where the exhibition will take place and the conditions we will have to work with, honestly all I could see were problems. How are we going to cover up that door, how are people going to understand how to navigate in a place where I myself have lost my way several times, can we use the ugly lockers in the narrow corridor to our advantage somehow or will they just have to stay an ugly element in the show, how can we make the dark and stuffy 2nd floor feel lighter and bigger etc.. Our exhibition space kind of bummed me down a bit but realising that it is what it is and that there is one big advantage with it (no more carrying heavy furniture to another place) I began researching ways to make the space work.
What it needs is:
- bold designs
My first project of studio Give and Take will revolve around three words: may, child and old. These words need to be investigated thoroughly and communicated visually as 10 gifs and 3 posters. Apart from that, I am also starting a drawing journal in which I will draw something everyday to form a collection of observations and thoughts in a way.
Designing the layout for the final outcome took way longer than what I thought it would hah! I just couldn’t make up my mind because every time I printed it I found things I didn’t like about it. It is so different to see a thing on screen versus when it’s printed and you actually hold it in your hands, it changes its appearance so much. Anyways- I started out using the colours silver and gold a lot but pretty quickly realised it wouldn’t look good printed and scratched that idea. Then I moved on to adding red as I thought that would be good representation of the monotone in the movement. I kept the red in there for a long time but altered other things about the layout so it wouldn’t look too boxy and kept some images overlapping the folds so it flowed better and represented the movement more. Here are all my tries!
First try, gold and silver and red
This project focuses on design history and movements. The deliverables will be a folded A2-A5 16 pager describing my exploration of chosen movement, and a motion graphic outcome. Starting off, I looked into 3 different movements I find interesting and chose De Stijl, Zero and The Washington Colour School.
De Stijl: Around 1917-1931 as a reaction to WWI, a group of Dutch artists set out to remake the world through a utopian vision and harmony and order. Exploring the ideal fusion of form and function, they wanted to eliminate all representational components, reducing painting to its elements: straight lines, plane surfaces, rectangles, and the primary colours red, yellow, blue, black and white.
Now that I finally feel like I like my app idea to the point where I’m actually inspired, working on my screens went really quick. After one intense and productive day I now have an app concept and a prototype to show. Thinking about how to make my application interactive, I decided that I want the user to be able to do what I have done as well- create poems about their experience of London and make them into posters that you then can print. Making your poems into visuals. It works by you choosing the letter that you want for your poster, then you pick the colour and lastly you write your poem on it, add to gallery and print!
In terms of the design, I used the same 4 colours I had in my first prototype (blue, yellow, red, pink) for navigation as I think these also work for this idea. The font for the text is Avenir Next Medium and the letters I have manipulated are set in Big Caslon. I found out that I like the outcome of the manipulated type better when it’s set in serifs but as I am overall a very sans serif person and I needed a type that wasn’t so ornate for the rest of the text in the app to fit with the kind of strict and geometric design, I went with Avenir Next as it a bit rounded so it matches the curvyness I have going on with the posters.
This project has been on hold for a while for several reasons but the main one being that I still wasn’t happy with my idea and that has made it really difficult to continue with it. Doing more research, I went back to some of my original inspirations: Jessica Walsh and her usage of bright colours and a lot of blue, pink and purple, architectural photography focusing on geometry and angles (but this time I looked more into colour and minimalist photography) and text.
Moodboard, by Lisa
“Just as one can compose colours or forms, so one can compose motions.”
The above quote is what I have been basing my pastiche on. It’s by Calder and captures his way of creating so well and summarises his work weather it be static or moving- he composes motions.
So far, I’ve only thought about the contents of my book and how I will create the layout. The cover, to me, wasn’t something I gave any time considering. But after the markmaking workshop I had this week it’s definitely something I am going to think about more. The cover is in a way how the book introduces itself and similar to how you reflexively smile to a person you’ve just met while shaking their hand, I want my book to smile at you and for you to smile back. The cover also sets the tone for how the rest of the book will be and it has to be interesting and want to draw you in. For example, when I buy books the cover plays a huge part. If the cover is too ugly I’m probably not even going to pick the book up. Basically, the cover is important.
Some outcomes from the workshop
Before venturing in to the world of Graphic Design I had no idea you could do so much with type and love type so much that you can make a living designing it or designing with it. I never thought I would be one to get excited when seeing a piece of graphic design work featuring only type but I’ve come to realise that I do. There are so many designers dealing with type in the world in so many different and interesting ways: printed, painted, sculpted etc. Below are some examples of designers and studios that has made type and letters their living and it’s really inspiring.