Thursday, 20 October 2011


-Russian Revolution, led by Lenin 1917 'Peace, bread and land'
1917-1921 Russian civil war: Reds (Revolutionary Bolsheviks) vs. (Anti-Revolutionary Imperialists)
Bolsheviks wanted to over throw the government.
-Propaganda:Colectively standing together, as one-has a bigger impact, power of the every man
-Symbolic red symbolises Bolsheviks, Communism.

Propaganda: 1917-mid 1920's: intense artistic experimentation
eighty per cent illiteracy
-The Russian Constructivists - leading Avant-Garde Artistic group
The aim of constructivists was 'of achieving the communistic expression of material structures'.  ('The programme of the first working group of Constructivists' 1921 quoted in Lodder (1983) Russian constructism, London & Yale, p.94)

-1921 Lenin's new economic policy= consumer goods needed
Stepanova & Popova- First state Textile Factory, Moscow
1952 Paris Exposition des Arts Decoratifs.

The Constructivists- Aim: '...achieving the communistic expression of material structures'.  Lenin New economic Policy 1921.  Rodchenko (right) presents himself modern, futuristic, a labourer trying to show there is no distinction between me and the people.
Stalin bans modern art, late 1920's onwards - Socialist Realism

Needed designers but did not want to associate with 'art school' so Decree 394 (1962):
'...about industrial equipment and consumer goods quality improvement by artistic engineering methodology implementation.'
-Revolution = new opportunity for art to progress
-Constructivists desire to make art useful
-Aim that art should help 'construct' new society
-Use of new techniques and abstract aesthetic
-By end of 1920s artistic freedom curtailed
1934 Stalin decrees 'Socialist Realism' only


ORIGINATES:Caves at Lascaux, France
•Drawings and paintings on cave walls from the Paleolithic period (17, 300 years old)
•Discovered in 1940 by four teenagers •Depicting scenes of everyday life, hunting etc.
•scratched with animal bones, natural pigments 
Ancient Roman Graffiti-
•From Pompeii (Italy)– graffiti on wall
•Pompeii was destroyed and completely buried during a long catastrophic eruption of the volcano Mount Vesuvius spanning two days in the year AD 79.

URBAN GRAFFITI: 1970's NEW YORK, spray can graffiti, evolves alongside hip-hop culture, making language of the streets visible, announcing a presence.  WE WILL NOT BE IGNORED.

JON NAAR graffiti photographer 1973:
From on Becoming a Graffiti photographer, John Naar
• “you will see that the vast majority of these writers came from the most run-down and neglected sections of New York....predominantly Hispanic and African American. The graffiti they sprayed on the fronts of their homes and on the trains... were a cry for change from the ghetto to clean up the filthy streets, to improve the quality of the schools, and to reduce he glaring inequality between rich and poor.” p20 
Basquiat and Diaz started as students, created the character Samo:
1979: death of Samo, moved onto Neo Expressionist paintings
Basquiat worked with Warhol.

Keith Haring paints murals all over the world, Rio, Berlin etc.
VIDEO GAME CULTURE: Stencil from the Berlin Wall of a console controller commenting on lack of brands and technology on the Eastern block-political side to street art.  PS2, XBOX games incorporating street art culture into video games: -Grand Theft Auto-tagging, 
Re emergence of street art- Banksy

Photographer JR: Favela Morro Da Providencia- Rio (2008)
drawing attention to women as a sub group that are unrepresented:
John Fekner- Broken Promises 1980
Referring to shortage of houses and waste of building space

Faith 71 (Amsterdam) Sticker art- bridges the gap between hyperrealist and hyper-abstract art.
Sam 3 (Spain)-Turns city into a stage
VHIKS aka Alexandre Farto (Portugal)
Graffiti- to interact, to add to
Female Graffiti Artists:
DIVA (Brooklyn)
Fafi (France)
Miss Van

These days artists that have been to art college use and incorporate street art into their work, whereas before it was more about making a voice for the streets and getting noticed.

•General Electric with waiter, 1984
•One of Americas largest corporations
•Collaborated towards the end of his life, Basquiat died of a heroin overdose 18 months after Warhol

In 1981 he sketched his first chalk drawings on black paper and painted plastic, metal and found objects.
•In 1984, Haring visited Australia and painted wall murals in Melbourne
•Other commissions- Rio, Paris, Berlin 
Graffiti in video games    
•French artist, born 1969
•First mosaic in mid 1990’s Paris
•Mosaic tile which has permanency as it is weatherproof and more difficult to remove than paper/paint
•Tiles are pixel like
•The ‘invasion’ spreads first across French cities and then 22 countries worldwide 

Banksy, 2005
• “The Israeli government is building a wall surrounding the occupied Palestinian territories. It stands three times the height of the Berlin Wall and will eventually run for over 700km- the distance from London to Zurich. The wall is illegal under international law and essentially turns Palestine into the worlds largest open prison. It also makes it the ultimate activity holiday destination for graffiti writers.” 
Graffiti in film  
80 Blocks from Tiffany's (1979)
Style Wars (1983)
"Exit Through The Gift Shop" (2010)

Wednesday, 12 October 2011


The post-modern condition is characterised by: exhaustion, pluralism, pessimism, disillusionment with the idea of absolute knowledge.
MODERNISM: expression of modern life, technology, new materials, communication.
POST MODERNISM: reaction to modern life, technology, new materials, communication.

According to Charles Jencks modernism died on the 15th July 1972 at 3:32 pm.  Starting with the demolition of Pruitt-Igoe development, st. Louis-symbolises the death of the modernist dream.
POST MODERNISM:the only rule is that there is no rule!
Starts as a critique of the international style, ideas developed by Charles Jencks 1977
Park Hill (Sheffield) opitimised everything that was wrong with modernism.

Examples of post modern art:
James Stirling - Neue Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart, Germany 1977

Post-modernism- trying to do opposite of modernism, rebels to the principles modernism layed down.

-J F Lyotard 'The Post Modern Condition' (1929)
incredulity towards metanarratives.  Metanarratives= totalising belief system
RESULTS: Crisis in confidence - anxiety about where the world is going.

MODERN MOVEMENT: (dominant post war)
-utopian ideals, truth to materials, simplified aesthetics

ROBERT VENTURI (1972) Las Vegas- post modern city:  A freedom to let styles clash, found liberating, post modern artists could learn a lot from Las Vegas.  'I like elements which are hybrid rather than 'pure', compromising rather than 'clean', distorted rather than 'straight-forward', ambiguous rather than 'articulated', perverse as well as impersonal...' from Jencks, C & Kropf, K (1977 Ed)

Andy Warhol-Marilyn Monroe diptych (1962) a meditation/comment on the way society makes stars.
marshall mcluhan- Advertising is the greatest form of modern art., art increasingly turns to advertising.

CRISIS IN CONFIDENCE: but also freedom, new possibilities, questioning old limitations: women, sexual diversity and multicultural.
Jamie Reid:Sex Pistols,punk design, distinctly post modern attitude.
An inconclusion:
A vague disputed term, post-modernist attitude of questioning conventions post modernist aesthetic multiplicity of styles and approach.
-Shift in thought and theory, investigating 'crisis in confidence' -space for new voices.

in conclusion: 
• A vague disputed term

• Po-Mo attitude of questioning conventions (esp. Modernism)
• Po-Mo aesthetic = multiplicity of styles & approaches
• Shift in thought & theory investigating ‘crisis in confidence’ Eg. Lyotard
• Space for ‘new voices’
• Rejection of technological determinism? 

• Initially born out of optimism, an aspirational
reaction to World War 1, with a view to harnessing technology to improve people’s lives
• Ends up doctrinaire, almost blind obedience to rules, above all
–Form Follows Function 
some overlap
Modernism: Expression of:  Modern life /Technology / New Materials / Communication [Modernity]
Postmodernism: Reaction to:  Modern life /Technology / New Materials / Communication [Postmodernity] 

1917 - German writer Rudolph Pannwitz, spoke of ‘nihilistic, amoral,
postmodern men’
1964 - Leslie Fielder described a ‘post’ culture, which rejected the elitist values
of Modern Culture 
1960s beginnings
1970s established as term (Jencks)
1980s recognisable style
1980s & 90s dominant theoretical discourse
Today: Tired & simmering 

• after modernism
• the historical era following the modern• contra modernism• equivalent to ‘late capitalism’(Jameson) • artistic and stylistic eclecticism
• ‘global village’ phenomena: globalization of cultures, races, images, capital, products 
• Postmodernism has an attitude of questioning conventions (especially those set out by Modernism)
• Postmodern aesthetic = multiplicity of styles & approaches
• Space for ‘new voices’ 

Monday, 10 October 2011


The Uncle Sam Range (1876) Advertising image by Schumacher & Ettlinger, New York

'Daddy, what did YOU do in the Great War?'
Poster By Savile Lumley (1915)

Compare and contrast the two images in relation to the following:
-the choice and organisation of font and style of illustration
-the purpose and meaning of the image
-the target/potential audience of the image
-the social and historical contexts relevant to the production of the image.

Both posters are advertisements and have similar attributes that work to create a patriotic and persuasive sense of belonging, ultimately the function that they are using is the same, however the way they go about capturing the audience is different.

Both images show a strong sense of nationalism, one subtler than the other.  The ‘Uncle Sam Range’ is quite obvious, the entire image uses ‘American’ colours (red, white and blue) throughout, with a strong running theme of the stars and stripes also incorporated, everything from the curtains to Uncle Sam’s attire.  The advertisement focuses on Uncle Sam, hence ‘The Uncle Sam Range’ and uses this respectable figure to sell the product; Uncle Sam is seen as the ‘perfect American’ showing him using the Uncle Sam Range adds to the pressure of audiences wanting to purchase this range, to be able to have a similar lifestyle.  The other poster shows patriotism in a different way.  This poster uses very traditional colours and displays understated fleur de lis on the armchair, it also has the red roses on the curtains, these subtle qualities leave a running theme of British patriotism.  In both posters a male figure is the centre of attention but are both portrayed in different ways.  The British man has a look of guilt; the image plays on his masculinity, suggesting he is a coward.  This poster glorifies the idea of the Great War, and the child reading the story suggests that in year’s time storybooks will write positively about the events.  However, in the ‘Uncle Sam Range’ Uncle Sam sits proudly at the table inviting the rest of the world to come and dine with him.  The child in the ‘Great War’ poster indirectly challenges his father by playing with the soldiers and guns.  The choice of font in each is very different, the ‘Great War’ poster emphasizes the word ‘YOU’ as though to make it personal.  The ‘Uncle Sam’ range uses big imposing font and is gold, to highlight the wealth of America.  The ‘Great War’ poster is persuading people to fight when they didn’t have conscription: propaganda.    The poster does not have an aggressive nature, and the man stares back at the audience, submissive, as a weaker figure.  The ‘Uncle Sam’ Range has quite a low intelligence level and would be more directed at the lower class being persuaded to buy into wealth, the advert trades on the desire to want more materialistic things.  It has a strong sense of chauvinism and a general prejudice towards American culture, putting it on a pedestal.  This is highlighted by the list of foods from other cultures that are not as progressive as what the Americans are feasting on.  To conclude both these adverts use the same techniques but in different ways to attract its audiences.  Both posters give the audience false hope, by persuading them to do what the poster suggests you will have a better and more fulfilled life.

Sunday, 9 October 2011


Moderntiy- Industrialisation, urbanisation-the city, modern artists response to the city.  Psychology and subjective experience.  Modern art and photography.
William Holman Hunt: The Hireling Shepherd (1852)

-This was described as modern art at the time, especially the use of colour.

Modern- progression, improvement.
Modern world-Paris was the most modern radical city.
1700-process of modernity began.  Shift from rural farming enviroment to more industrial- trains, invention of telephone, cinema-new types of distractions.
Paris Exposition Universalle 1900 Trottoir Roullant- cultural race, who can be the most modern city? Paris-London?  Eiffel Tower-fundamentally modern.

ENLIGHTENMENT-period in the late 18th century when science/philosophy made leaps.
Modernity-agree on national time.
Paris-1850's on-a new Paris.  Haussman (city architect) redesigns Paris.  Centre becomes an expensive and upper class zone.  No accident that Paris became the most modern city in the world. 
-City becomes a subject for art.  Rather than painting individuals (no longer being the main subject)they are standing back watching the city.

Society modernises art: not the other way around.

Degas - Absinthe Drinker (1876)

Portrays a grim display of the modern life- modern world is so rubbish I have to drown my sorrows.

Technology becoming a barrier from us and our real experiences - Kauserpanorama 1883.
-People willing to pay to see pictures and photographs that they could go out and see themselves - technology fetish.

Modernity-invention of cinema!

Photography-potentially making paintings obsilete- new world allows you to look at the world in a variety of different ways.

-Form follows function
-Internationalism- a language of design that could be understood on an international basis.
Sans-serif: modernist.

paris-becomes an expensive and upper class zone
Paris 1900- most radical and progressive city in the world, the 'most modern city'

Bauhaus cutlery set -example of pure modernist design
truth to materials,simple geometric forms appropriate to the material used

 Bauhaus, was a school in Germany that combined crafts and the fine arts, and was famous for the approach to design that it publicized and taught. It operated from 1919 to 1933. At that time the German term  Bauhaus, literally "house of construction" stood for "School of Building".
The Bauhaus school was founded by Walter Gropius in Weimar. In spite of its name, and the fact that its founder was an architect, the Bauhaus did not have an architecture department during the first years of its existence. Nonetheless it was founded with the idea of creating a 'total' work of art in which all arts, including architecture would eventually be brought together. The Bauhaus style became one of the most influential currents in Modernist architecture and modern design. The Bauhaus had a profound influence upon subsequent developments in art, architecture, graphic design, interior design, industrial design, and typography.
The school existed in three German cities (Weimar from 1919 to 1925, Dessau from 1925 to 1932 and Berlin from 1932 to 1933), under three different architect-directors: Walter Gropius from 1919 to 1928, Hannes Meyer from 1928 to 1930 and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe from 1930 until 1933, when the school was closed by its own leadership under pressure from the Nazi regime.

'Modernity' 1750-1960- social and cultural experience.  Modern suggests novelty and improvement.  

Modernism, in its broadest definition, is modern thought, character, or practice. More specifically, the term describes the modernist movement in the arts, its set of cultural tendencies and associated cultural movements, originally arising from wide-scale and far-reaching changes to Western society in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In particular the development of modern industrial societies and the rapid growth of cities, followed then by the horror of World War I, were among the factors that shaped Modernism. Related terms are modern,modernistcontemporary, and postmodern.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011


Looking at knitting typefaces:


 Visual imagery for inspiration for Jenna's alphabet, looking at every interesting visual I could find from the questionnaire to get ideas for a typeface, it could be interesting working with the basic shapes of a staircase, especially a spiral staircase.
Also looking at seaweed as a visual for a typeface and going into sea life in general:

Looking at images that could translate into some kind of font.

After trying out both these ideas and feeling the outcome didn't really work i moved onto the question about the person you admire most, being her grandma, and so looked into typical things that represent a grandma in general, after narrowing it down I decided to go with knitting as its seen as a common hobby when stereotyping grandmas, it also allowed me to create interesting patterns for my typeface.  i looked at some examples of other fonts with the attachment sewing/knitting and found these:

Ranging from the most obvious connection with sewing to a more subtle approach

Sunday, 2 October 2011


After researching various ways to try and explore the word 'dissolve' I came up with some general ideas to try and make visual.  I thought some of these worked really well at portraying the word dissolved but found it quite hard to imitate by hand:

All images from:

I thought the idea of having a letter and the top half of it gradually breaking away, disintegrating would display dissolve quite well, that would be the most obvious approach.  I also think having the letter drawn and then running its ink could suggest 'dissolve' in a less obvious way.  Another idea was to have the letter cracked into smaller pieces as though it had just been hit and crumbled seperating in different directions. 

Saturday, 1 October 2011


An obvious form of imagery, the word dissolve is obvious when looking at the first image.  However, the second image has a slightly more subtle approach in conveying the word 'dissolve', I still think the image can be connected with the word dissolve even though its not psychically disintegrating, it is fading:


Different form of displaying the word 'dissolve' just as effective: