Tuesday, 13 February 2007

My Booklet

The research for this project introduced me to designers and illusrators work I hadn't seen before and influenced the outcome of my booklet in a few different ways. I decided to use the fine line technique of Edward Gorey, not only to add tone but to convey some off the sounds I heard by adding some pattern in the lines. I didn't want to make my pictures too dark so I kept some white spaces like Fredrik von Blixen. Chris Ware's close, cropped images influenced my compositions. I wanted to focus on specific things and thought this was a very effective way of doing it.

The Designers Republic

This design is for a 'Supergrass' CD. It caught my eye because of it's symmetry and striking use of black and white. The bubble shape in the background looks like a pair of speakers and the whiplash swirls coming from the bottom look like the music curling out of them. It is very pleasing to look at, probably due to its symmetrical design.

Monday, 12 February 2007

Fredrik von Blixen

These illustrations are similar to Edward Gorey's in that they are both built up using fine line work. Even the writing at the bottom is similar to Gorey's. However this drawing from Fredrik von Blixen's 'Found' uses a large white area which makes it a lot lighter than Gorey's. The white area describes the sea, with just some of the waves drawn in and the rest just suggested makes it more interesting than if it was all painstakingly drawn in.

Neville Brody

Neville Brody's designs for 'The Face' magazine take me straight back to my teenage years. I would by it every month, mainly for the amazing images which I would cut out and stick on my wall. As well as innovative imagery it contained unique graphics, Brody designed typefaces specifically for the magazine. These were usually very simple, no frills typefaces. The images above show the contents page of a few issues of the magazine where he has experimented with the word 'contents' and it has gradually been reduced to two symbols.

Edward Tufte

Edward Tufte's book 'Envisioning Data' deals with displaying data, maps, diagrams and all kinds of information. This would seem to be a rather boring subject but Tufte sets out intricate diagrams and makes it all look quite beautiful.

Thursday, 8 February 2007

Paul Davis

'Us and Them' by Paul Davis is a book split in two halves, one half is about what the British think of Americans, the other is what the Americans think of the Brits. Whichever half you start reading first, the other half will be upside down. This is a clever way of separating the two halves whilst keeping them in one book. His drawings are quick and sketchy looking but capture his subjects perfectly. The illustrations are printed on different types of paper, some with coloured backgrounds others with lines or pages that look like they have been torn from his sketchpad. This and the bizarre quotes add interest and make you want to turn the page to see what is coming next.

Saul Bass

These images are taken from the title sequences of the film 'Bunny Lake is Missing'. The concept is very simple but extremely effective. The hand tearing away the black to reveal the titles underneath is almost teasing, showing just a glimpse at first, before revealing the whole thing. The torn out shape of a little girl is brilliant, leaving an empty space, highlighting that she is missing. Our attention is also drawn to the word 'missing' as the black gradually turns to grey, giving the impression of fading away.

Edward Gorey

'The Gashlycrumb Tinies' by Edward Gorey is an A to Z book with a dark twist. Each illustration shows the macabre death of a child. It is an unusual format for such a gory subject as A to Z books are usually intended for children to enjoy, not be killed off in. His illustrations are built up using black lines which add to the darkness of the subject matter. The text is a typeface but handwritten, which compliments the illustrations.

Futurist Typography

The Futurists were interested in dynamics, movement and machinery. This shows in the style and way they used typography. The type is not set out in a conventional way but freely positioned, almost creating pictures with words. The use of colour makes the letters stand out. Your eye is naturally drawn to the darker colours first and then you notice the forms of the coloured letters.

Chris Ware

Chris Wares book 'Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth' is like a very fat comic book. Each page is visually stimulating, with many tiny illustrations that are beautifully coloured. As the thread of the story goes along it sometimes goes of on a tangent with little diagrammatic sections, it is incredibly detailed. It is very effective how he draws attention to certain things by drawing them a few times, getting closer each time, ending up with a close, cropped image.

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

Posy Simmonds

'Mrs Webers Diary' by Posy Simmonds combines handwritten diary pages with comic strips. The diary pages contain brief snippets of Mrs Weber's hectic life. They are full of lists, things to do or pick up, appointments and sums. These are set next to comic strips that tell in more detail the events entered in her diary. I found the diary entries more interesting than the stories,they made it feel more intimate and personal.

El Lissitsky

El Lissitsky's children's book 'Of Two Squares' tells a story about Communism with minimal colour and text. Each simple illustration is contained in a box with the text positioned at the side, some of the words look like they are falling out of the pictures at strange angles. As this is a children's book, I think this inventive approach to the layout of the words would help engage it's young readers. The simple visual elements of geometric shapes and limited colour get the Communist message across to children in the most simplest of ways.

David Carson

David Carsons designs for the 'Ray Gun' magazines experimented with the use of typography. In this article he has repeated and overlapped type to such an extent that the first paragraph is virtually illegable. This suggests that the overall look of the page was maybe more important than the content of the article.