Thursday, December 1, 2011

Blog 16 Saatchi & Saatchi

The Abuse You Yell at Your Kids Stays in the Family for Generations

 I hate to end my blog on such an ugly, disturbing note but I think this is such a powerful poster, such an important issue, and such an awesome book.  This poster was designed for the Children and Younger Persons Services in New Zealand by graphic designer John Fischer of Saatchi & Saatchi.  I'll discuss the topic and design of the poster later - first the book.  If you haven't checked this book out of the Parkland Library yet, definitely make the effort.  It is an amazing book.  It dissects works of graphic design and looks at their origins.  For example, the piece that is posted here is related back to 30 works by other designers.  The book shows how the composition relates to the other designs through the use of typography, imagery, color, shapes, time period, perspective, theme, and many other ways.  Again, this book is just incredible.  I loved it so much, I had to buy it for myself.

Now for the message...  This poster's message is so important - stop verbal abuse of children.  I can't tell you how many times I have seen parents at the mall, in the grocery store, at the part, where ever, yelling, no SCREAMING at their children - saying horrible, horrible things.  I can only imagine that they learned that behavior from their parents, from the way they were treated as children.  This cycle has to stop and public awareness and education is the only way to stop it. 

The imagery in the poster is very powerful.  What better way to convey the immediate sense of uncontrolled parental rage than a tightly cropped mouth showing a frighteningly angry scream?[ Heller & Ilic]  The ugly mouth reflecting downward into the throat over and over is very intense and represents the viciousness and hurtfulness that words alone can cause children AND that this type of abuse tends to be cyclic.  If your parents made you feel bad about yourself, it is easy to say the same things to your children with the same consequences and the cycle continues.  The typography reminds me of refrigerator magnets that have been altered, aged: misaligned and raw, which fit into the theme so well.

Source:  Heller, Steven and Mirko Ilic, The Anatomy of Design, Rockport Publishers, Beverly, Massachusetts, 2009

Blog 15 STIM Visual Communications

Children Become Students at Birth

I thought this was an interesting advertisement for a Pre-K through Post Graduate(!?!) School.  I like the idea that children enter the world learning whether we are actively teaching them or not.  They are little sponges absorbing the environment.  The decision to put Stone Henge  as an illustration in the background of this ad is intriguing.  First, using it as an illustration solves the problem of having two competing strong photographs - the flatness of the illustration style separates it from the rest of the ad and causes it to recede to the background.  The obvious focal point is the picture of the little girl.  Also, the text is brought to the forefront.  Second, Stone Henge is used as a metaphor for the educational methods used in the past and how this school is different, new, exciting.

The type treatment is also interesting.  The title pops in the dark brown and large size.  The quote is less important in a lighter brown-grey but still the same size.  The rest of the text is presented in a single column with bold headline and baseline.

I think the most interesting thing about this advertisement is the juxtaposition of the old with the new - creating the metaphor between the past and present - fading out the past and bringing the new to the forefront.  Very clever.

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