Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Blog 5 - Saul Bass

The Shining

This is the poster art for the Stanley Kubrick's psychological thriller, The Shining.  With this poster Saul Bass manages to capture the sheer terror of the movie with color, texture and simple imagery - his trademark style.  The color red is an emotionally intense color - it stimulates a faster heart rate and increases our breathing rate.  Black tends to represent power: the color of villains.  Bass uses these two colors effectively in this poster to create fear.  The imagery does a great job at creating fear as well.  The face trapped in the letter "T" looks startled and horrified.  The graininess of the image gives the feeling of being lit by candle light from below.  The "trapping" of the face in the "T" further creates the feeling of panic.  This movie was one of the most frightening films I have ever seen and I believe that Bass captures the essence of it with this poster.

Source: Meggs, Philip, Six Chapters in Design, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, California, 1997

Monday, September 12, 2011

Blog 4 - C. Harvey Graphic Design

Greiner Consulting

This is a website for legal training firm [greinerconsulting] that was published in Design Elements.[Samara] It was designed by C. Harvey Graphic Design.[charvey]  It reminded me of the beethoven poster by Josef Müller-Brockmann that our classmate, Angela Norman, posted on her blog.  It also made me think of another Müller-Brockmann called musica viva.[moma] 
 Ah, I really do not have to reinvent the wheel!  How could I improve on designs like this anyway?  Look at the beauty and simplicity of the lines and curves; how the eye guided through the layouts to the important information; how we see the whole then look closer to see the individual parts. Unity. Focal point. Gestalt theory.  Emphasis. Generous use of white space.  Clean typography.  Intellectual connections everywhere. The Müller-Brockmann posters exude the music.  The light feel of the music viva practically dances off the page while the beethoven is heavier and more grounded.  
With the Greiner website, the spiral staircase upward represents career evolution and the staircase is similar to the spiraling geometric shapes in their logo.  The Greiner website uses color quite effectively.  They basically use the blue-green analogous color scheme with a touch of orange (complimentary) for the home and contact links. 

Sources:       Samara, Timothy, Design Elements: A Graphic Style Manual, Rockport
                           Publishers, Beverly, Massachusetts, 2007

Blog 3 - Susan Ferguson

Serenity Rules - Tim Lynch


Tim Lynch is a producer for Woodshed Films. They make films and documentaries "about an experience".  According to their website, "Woodshed is a co-op of talented artists, directors and producers who seek to entertain audiences while subtly introducing them to environmental and socially relevant issues.  Born out of our love for the ocean and surfing, Woodshed tells stories that strive to inspire." [180o South]

 In this piece which is published in Design Elements, I especially love the way that the collage of text creates texture.   The changing of typeface and sizes (which breaks all of the rules!) echoes the graffiti on the wall of the photo.  Laying type into the photo creates visual interest; and the words chosen reflect the attitude of the subject of the piece (bound by my dream, drum, peace, believe, of tomorrow,...).  The colors chosen for the layout are natural hues rust, peach, brick, brown, also reflecting the "love of nature" outlook of Tim Lynch.  The choice of typefaces themselves also create visual interest: COOL in all caps in a simple, bold, san serif; calm in all lower case serif; and [CONNECTED] in a tight, modern, all caps san serif.  The placement of the text creates a pleasing visual triangle.
I think that Susan Ferguson [graphiczone] has captured the personality of Tim Lynch, with his laid-back adventure approach to film producing, in this layout, Serenity Rules.

Sources:    Samara, Timothy, Design Elements: A Graphic Style Manual, Rockport
                         Publishers, Beverly, Massachusetts, 2007

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Blog 2 - Neville Brody


By the end of the of the late 1980's Neville Brody was known as the best British Graphic Designer of his Generation. [Wozencroft p. 5]  He was a designer who pioneered new styles, broke the rules, and developed & experimented with typography in new and innovative ways. [Wozencroft p. 5-7]  About working for the magazine The Face, Brody said, "I had never in my wildest dreams intended to work on a magazine... Suddenly, with The Face, I was confronted with traditional typographic and layout problems...  working around them became a challenge for me." [Wozencroft p. 15-17]  

Dreamer in the Real World  was published initially in The Face, No. 61, May 1985.  Several things attracted me to this piece.  First of all, I am a Smiths fan so when I saw the picture of Morrissey, I wanted to take a look at the graphic style that was used on his spread.  Second, I enjoy large close-up photographs, especially the treatment of this one - cutting off half of Morrissey's face, showing his penetrating eye - the intensity of his gaze.  Third, I like the choice of black & white for the layout. In my opinion, it is perfect for Morrissey.  Many say his music is depressing.  He is a complainer.  But I think he speaks for many that struggle with social and identity issues.  However, I should mention that many of the spreads in The Face are in black & white. Third, I find the typeface so engaging; it has a big personality - kind of supernatural and mystical . The tall thin letters, sharp turns, and interesting angles.  This typeface was developed by Brody just for this issue of The Face. It creates a dynamic look on the page and demands the use of negative space.   Fourth, the layout breaks the rules - the picture bleeds over the fold and into the center of the spread.  The large picture is balanced by the super-sized title, DREAMER, the subtitle, IN THE REAL WORLD, and the large black circle containing the word the.  The other textboxes are nicely placed to create balance as well.

Source: Wozencroft, Jon, The Graphic Language of Neville Brody, Universe Publishing, New York, New York, 2001