I thought the printing process would be pretty straightforward, I had my paper and my pdf and my print credits. But printing proved to be difficult. First try came on landscape on a portrait oriented sheet of paper, second one came out with the poster on the back the wrong way round, which I didn’t notice until I started to fold my A2 down to A5 and fold up the flap on the first page that reveals the introduction text to the zero movement underneath (a feature I added to make the design more dynamic and again make it more dramatic with a “reveal” kind of) and the text wasn’t there. Sigh. A shame because the registration for the front and back images was almost perfect. Third try came out the way it should (after I rotated the back poster in ID cause I thought that might fix the previous problem, but now I’m not sure that was the actual problem. Maybe that could have been solved by rotating it in the print preview or rotating the paper. hmm…) but the problem now was that the registration between front and back was off by one cm. So a lot. Way annoying.
Pager from both sides, by Lisa
So the cover is now sporting a vertical white line that is not supposed to be there and the letterpress image sits a bit too tight to the folded up flap on page one. But I am going to leave it like this because everything else is how I wanted it to be and I cannot afford to print it again. I don’t love it, but I like it! But I almost think it looks better as a flat poster than folded up because it just makes so much sense now. And the Zero movement kind of didn’t and the design seen laying flat as an A2 is almost more representative of that. The kinetic type poster though I think looks great.
Front and back cover, by Lisa
Just before I went to print my pager, I changed my cover a final time after a series of tests because I wanted to incorporate more of the light aspect of the Zero movement. So I took some experimental photos of the shadows created when lifting the cut out pattern I did a couple of weeks ago and really liked how they turned out so I decided to use that. Playing around with how to place it I eventually made up my mind on a design and stuck with it. The problem I have had with the red bit in the pager I tried to solve by taking the red completely off and focusing on grey instead so I did some tests with a drawing I did a couple of days ago where I using my fingers, created shadows on silver lines so the image looked like waves. Tried to place it in my layout in several different ways but none of them felt right so I ended up deleting that image completely and instead using the cut out pattern I used for the cover so they link.
Cover trials and layout decisions
And this is the final design:
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
Screenprinting! Starting to create my design for this I took inspiration from these two sketches I quickly did a couple of days ago in a sudden rush of inspiration where I tried to make the Zero expression more contemporary in a way, or pop-y but still keeping the zero vibe.
Zero poster sketches, by Lisa
My first attempt seen below too the right worked okay, I imitated one of my letterpress results from a previous workshop, but it didn’t vibrate enough so second attempt seen to the left was an experiment in creating more fluid lines that more resemble some of the tests I created with my blue and black Klein experiments. Way better results! More alive and with more movement so that’s what I went for, for the final print in two colours.
Ideas for screenprint, by Lisa
Today I have been working with kinetic typography and making a video reflecting my movement. Started out by researching kinetic typography and found the Swiss designer Dominique Schmitz very inspirational. Similar to the Zero movement his work is full of lines and overlapping elements creating vibration and movement and I especially liked these two seen below. Even the colours are right. Initially I wanted to create something like the left example as it feels like a modern spin on what I am looking into but then I started thinking about type as image and got more interested in how I could use type to create pictures and started sketching with the letters I, Z and O.
Work by Dominique Schmitz
Decided to develop some of my letterpress work into more refined outcomes so I made some posters out of them that reflect the Zero movement; focusing on repetition and the monochrome and creating light. The two last ones are developments of my own tests from a previous post where I made my own Klein inspired paintings.
Zero posters, by Lisa
I quite like these results! It’s a bit tricky to capture the design of the movement without making it look like copying but I feel like these both are zero and my own aesthetics at the same time.
Experiments with letterpress to generate some ideas that reflect my movement. Started out with the word zero and then thought about the countdown to zero as well so I incorporated numerals too. The most ideal typeface to use for this had been Futura but as that wasn’t available, the closest I could get was Gill Sans which because of the super round O works pretty well (although the fancy R annoys me somewhat).
Sketchbook, by Lisa
Then I started thinking about using the letters as shapes instead and made patterns with o and i which turned out pretty interesting. I really like the zero123 but also the red lines below and the pattern to the left of it. The countdown reflects the movement very well and the launching of a new way to look at and create art so using numbers in this way is something I could develop and refine to make it work better. Using Futura might make all the difference.
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:
Next task for this brief is to choose one movement out of my three to develop further and base this project on, looking into typefaces, posters, textile, sculpture, architecture etc surrounding the movement. Feeling the most drawn to Washington Colour School, I researched that more but as it was so narrow I couldn’t find all the information I needed cause it simply doesn’t exist. So I changed to De Stijl as I felt I can work with that better and the movement is so much bigger, but looking into that more I realised I couldn’t engage with it fully as I didn’t like it whole heartedly. The typefaces used looks really bad and don’t inspire me at all and well.. all the information felt too accessible and too easy to find and it made me feel like a robot doing research as I didn’t have to think much myself.
So, standing in the library I glanced at a book by chance because it was next to the Dutch art books, picked it up and couldn’t leave without it.
It’s a book about kinetic art through the 1900’s and looking through it I saw names I came across while researching for the Google Engage project (LeParc and Morellet) and felt like I had to look into this more as I find it very interesting and inspiring. Reading the book, it mentions some of my Zero movement artists such as Otto Piene, Lucio Fontana and Yves Klein. So that’s how I decided to choose Zero as my project. It’s weird but challenging and inspiring at the same time and I feel like I can interpret it in so many ways which is exciting.
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.