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.
Looking into type for the show I think a good way to go about it would be to make our own typeface for it. That way it’s original, can relate to the style of the exhibition better and we don’t have to think about copyright stuff. Incorporating cardboard and gaffa somehow in the typeface (either that we make it out of the materials or use it as markmaking, printing with the cardboard or drawing with it maybe) would tie the design together and would make it really personal to the show.
I found some nice inspiration for this, my favourite work being that of Kellenberger- White for the Glasgow Festival of Visual Art 2014.
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
Diving further down into my three words, I decided to explore other ways to make them visual and began playing around with stamps and letters to see where that led me.
For this, I started to write the single word first somewhere on the paper and then developing it into something else after reading the word over and over and capturing what I felt while reading it. I thought it would be good to see what associations I made after actually constructing the word myself, putting the letters down with my own hands.
To start off this group project of coming up with a design for the summer show 2018 and pitching the idea to a panel, I have been looking at some exhibitions to see how they display work/ present it/ write about it/ label it/ guide you round the space/ design the exhibition guide etc. I have so far been to three different ones: Barbican, Saatchi gallery and The Whitechapel gallery and what I have come to think of as most important and what I look for as soon as I walk in is signs. Wayfinding. Especially noticeable (or not noticeable actually) was the wayfinding in the Basquiat exhibition at the Barbican. Consisting of a small map with one arrow, a lady that tells you to go upstairs first and a tiny tiny sign on a shadowed part of a wall reading “exhibition starts”, you’re supposed to go about your way hoping you’re making the right turns. Well, wrong turns were made, the lady directing people up the stairs had to chase after some who started wandering about on the ground floor first and people kept bumping into each other trying to find the most logical route to go.
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.
Before going on and starting another year of projects, I’ll summarise what I took with me from last year. What I’m most proud of achieving so far is probably how I managed to keep everything going at a fast pace when juggling so many projects at once. What I would like to improve though is related to my blog- and that is curating my images better to make my content more cohesive. I would also like to spend more time doing research for my projects because that always seem to be the most time consuming part of a project. I want my portfolio to look cohesive, thought through and feel like me so I should start to art direct everything I do from here on out. I want to be proud of my finished projects and the work I put in, leaving uni next spring.
Best get going then haha!
Last project of creative industry practice is making a kickstarter campaign for the group brand we developed before christmas. So Neat stationery is coming to life again and we need to think about how to promote the brand to it’s fullest to make people interested in our products and wanting to buy them. Starting out researching, I looked at other stationery brands that are live on kickstarter at the moment and realised that the most important part of a campaign is the video. When I scrolled through different brands, I completely ignored the ones that didn’t have a video because it felt like they didn’t make enough effort.
Watching different videos I made a list of what I think are important things to think about if you want your video to be successful:
- Don’t make the video too long (I lost interest pretty quick watching some of them so that’s definitely something to think about)
- Keep it snappy (if the video starts with someone not looking too energetic and just talks and talks, I stop watching)
- Interaction with the product is nice so you get a sense of scale
- Fast pace is preferable to too slow
- Videos with good light and sound feels more professional, so think about that
I especially liked this video as it is a bit fun and ticks all the boxes that it needs to tick. Plus, the images for the campaign are art directed to feel colourful and fun which is a good touch as the notebook in question is grey.
Initially the plan was to make a photobook via blurb in hardcover as I thought if I am spending so much time designing this I want the result to look as polished as possible (which means not binding it myself) but because my final page count has come up to 78, it would cost me 95 pounds to make the 2 copies required. So! I am now opting for the magazine option as that will be approximately 60 pounds cheaper. At first it didn’t feel right, the magazine format, because to me a magazine is something you throw away and that isn’t a feeling I would like for my collection project hah, but money had to be the deciding factor here and I’ve come to convince myself the magazine format is going to look great. In fact, some of my designs that cover a whole spread might actually look better in a magazine compared to a photobook as the binding will be thinner. Also the cover will probably look better as magazines usually have a lot going on on the cover but mine will be a solid colour red with only the title centered on it so I think it could look pretty interesting. The only thing that concerns me is that my design might not be playful enough to fit a magazine but that might be me overthinking it at this point just because I am nearly done.
Converting the book format to magazine format didn’t prove too complicated as the size I had originally was quite similar to the one I have now, only now it’s bigger (around A4).
I have been looking more into the zero movement and especially the works of Yves Klein. Klein was maybe the most experimental out of the people associated with the movement and the real motor, working a lot with performance, sculptures and experimental painting. He painted using his hands, people’s bodies, fire and was obsessed with blue as he saw it as the perfect colour.
Works by Yves Klein
I looked into Heinz Mack’s work more as well. He does installations, sculptural work, textures.. but the thing I am interested in the most is his work with lines and his passion for making vibration. Pretty abstract and strange sounding maybe, but looking at his work it makes more sense: