Thursday, May 10, 2007

Banksy Was Here

The invisible man of graffiti art.
by Lauren Collins, New Yorker Magazine, May 2007

“Show Me the Monet,” spray-paint and oil on canvas. Denise James, a project officer with the anti-graffiti organization Bristol Clean & Green, calls Bristol “the graffiti capital of England,” but admits a grudging affection for Banksy. “I like the one where he’s got a picture of a stream and a bridge and he’s just dumped a shopping trolley in there,” she told Lauren Collins, referring to this image in the style of Monet. “I can relate to that, because we’ve got a problem with shopping trolleys.”

Whoever he is, Banksy revels in the incongruities of his persona. “The art world is the biggest joke going,” he has said. “It’s a rest home for the overprivileged, the pretentious, and the weak.” Although he once declared that “every other type of art compared to graffiti is a step down,” in recent years he has produced his share of traditional works on canvas and on paper, suitable for hanging indoors, above a couch. His gallerist in London, Steve Lazarides, maintains a warm relationship with Sotheby’s, authenticating Banksy pieces that the house offers for auction, and thereby giving Banksy’s tacit endorsement of their sale on the secondary market. In February, Sotheby’s presented seven works by Banksy in a sale of contemporary art. “Bombing Middle England” (2001), an acrylic-and-spray-paint stencil on canvas, featuring a trio of retirees playing boules with live shells, was estimated to bring between sixty and a hundred thousand dollars. It sold for two hundred thousand. (“Bombing” is slang for writing graffiti.) Last month, a painting titled “Space Girl and Bird” sold at Bonham’s for five hundred and seventy-five thousand, a Banksy record. Ralph Taylor, a specialist in the Sotheby’s contemporary-art department, said of Banksy, “He is the quickest-growing artist anyone has ever seen of all time.” Banksy responded to the Sotheby’s sale by posting a painting on his Web site. It featured an auctioneer presiding over a crowd of rapt bidders, with the caption “I can’t believe you morons actually buy this shit.”

Read the full article by clicking here.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Eyetracking points the way to effective news article design

OJR's design experts review usability research and offer suggestions on how you can make your online articles better connect with readers.
By Laura Ruel and Nora Paul
Posted: 2007-03-13
When one of world’s best-known usability experts, Jakob Nielsen, conducts eyetracking research to test what his usability work has shown, the results generate some beneficial tips for online editors. This is what happened in late 2005, when Nielsen and Tara Pernice Coyne, the Nielsen/Norman Group’s director of research, conducted an eyetracking test with 255 people in New York City.

With a little more than half of the participants (63 percent) ages 30 to 49, the test generated results applicable to the target audience for most news sites. Additionally, 20 percent were 18-29 and 16 percent were 50-64. Fifty-eight percent were female, 42 percent were male. Every test subject was given 50 tasks to complete. Sessions with each test subject lasted about one to two hours.

Coyne (who we interviewed for this column) stresses that crucial to understanding the testing results is an awareness of the user’s motivation or goal behind each task. Some of the testing scenarios included asking the user to "read the news" or "read/learn", making a number these results particularly helpful to journalists. She said eyetracking is valuable in these cases because it indicates not only where our users look, but where key usability problems exist.

"[With eyetracking] we can see that a user may navigate the page of an interface that houses the info she wants," she said, "but if the text is poorly presented, or the navigation is cluttered, or there are too many superfluous images so she cannot easily find what she needs. This is a lost opportunity."

We’ve featured three of the more interesting journalistic study results below.

Click here to read the rest of the article.
Source: USC Annenberg Online Journalism Review

Monday, April 16, 2007

The Meliorist Redesign Gallery

Allen Bevans

Brendan Coffey

Katherine Friesen

Click here to view her brochure in lieu of newspaper design.

Job Charumbira

Fedro Harahap

Jarett Sitter

Niyanna Hitchens

Justin Oborne

Scott Kovacs

Josh Paul

Tamara Craft

Job Charumbira

Connor McCord

Nathaniel Dekens Waganaar

Dave Gerhart

Nick Jamieson

Clint Lunde

Julie Bailey

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Graphic Designers

Frank Kozik
Frank Kozik was born in Madrid, Spain in 1962. At the age of 14 he moved to the United States and settled in Austin, Texas. Credited with single handedly reviving the "lost" art of the concert poster, Frank's creative career grew largely out of his enthusiasm for Austin's growing underground rock scene in the mid-eighties. Starting with black and white flyers for friends' bands posted on telephone poles, his reputation grew as an artist whose work was graphically compelling as well as culturally gripping.

Kozik is an artist currently based in San Francisco, California, where he produces artwork and graphics, and formerly managed his own record label, Man's Ruin as well as Rise Records.

His work is well known to devotees of album-cover art and concert flyer art. He has produced artwork for musicians such as Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, George Clinton, Green Day, Beck, The Offspring, The Melvins and many more.
Information from Wikipedia

Shepard Fairey
Frank Shepard Fairey (born February 15, 1970 in Charleston, South Carolina) is a contemporary graphic designer/illustrator. He usually goes under his middle and last name, Shepard Fairey. He is most noted for being the artist who, while attending the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in 1989, created the "André the Giant Has a Posse" sticker campaign, which has evolved into the "Obey Giant" campaign, and can now be seen all over the world. The campaign has become, in Fairey's words, an "experiment in phenomenology."

Fairey has cultivated an aesthetic of Western currency, using moire patterns and large portraits of famous figures like Richard Nixon. A series of works contains the line, "This is your God," referring to money. Fairey frequently uses wheatpaste to affix his large, propaganda-like posters to billboards, and his followers do the same to buildings.

Fairey graduated from Wando High School in 1988. He graduated from RISD in 1992 with a Bachelor of Arts in Illustration, and currently resides in Los Angeles, California. Using the slogan "The Medium is the Message" borrowed from Marshall McLuhan, Fairey has become one of the most well-known artists of the early 2000s. Originally partners in the BLK/MRKT graphic design firm with fellow designer and artist Dave Kinsey, Fairey split away in 2003 to found the design firm Studio Number One.

Kyle Thompson, aka Fattie B. of Steez
Fattie B., of Burlington, Vermont, has been a DJ, MC, record producer and artist for over 10 years.
Click here for more information on his biography.

Wes Wilson
Robert Wesley Wilson (b. July 15, 1937) is an American artist and one of the leading designers of psychedelic posters. Most well known for designing posters for Bill Graham of the The Fillmore in San Francisco, he invented a style that is now synonymous with the peace movement, psychedelic era and the 1960s.

Koichi Sato
Born in Takasaki City, Gunma Prefecture, Japan in 1944. Graduated from the Department of Industrial Arts (presently known as the Design Department), Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. He began to work as a free-lance designer in 1971 after working for the publicity section of Shiseido Co., Ltd. He has been a professor at Tama Art University since 1995. Pieces of his works are in the collections of various museums around the world including The New York Contemporary Museum. He is a director of Japan Graphic Designers Association (JAGDA), a member of Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI), Japan Design Committee, Tokyo Art Directors Club (ADC) and Tokyo Typo Directors Club
Click here for source
Click here to download an excellent article on PDF

László Moholy-Nagy
László Moholy-Nagy, July 20, 1895 – November 24, 1946) was a Hungarian painter and photographer as well as professor in the Bauhaus school. He was highly influenced by constructivism. He was a strong advocate of the integration of technology and industry into the arts.

In 1923, he replaced Johannes Itten as the instructor of the preliminary course at the Bauhaus. This effectively marked the end of the school's expressionistic leanings and moved it closer towards its original aims as a school of design and industrial integration. The Bauhaus became known for the versatility of its artist and Moholy-Nagy was no exception. Throughout his career he became proficient and innovative in the fields of photography, typography, sculpture, painting, and industrial design.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Saul Bass
Saul Bass was a celebrated graphic designer, and spent much of his early career doing print work for film ads in Hollywood, starting up his own design studio in 1950. The true beginning of his ascent to fame however, came after collaborating with director Otto Preminger on the movie poster for his 1954 film Carmen Jones. Preminger was so impressed with Bass’ work that he enlisted him to produce the title sequence as well. Bass became notorious in 1955 after designing the controversial opening sequence for the equally controversial film The Man with the Golden Arm, also directed by Preminger. The film was about a musician struggling with a morphine addiction, and the opening sequence features long thin shapes, evocative of the image of a hypodermic needle, jutting onto the screen, and culminates in on of these shapes taking on the form of a paper cutout of a somewhat gnarled arm, which is a strong image tied to drug addiction. This was one of the first instances of title sequences truly being integrated into the theme of a movie, and to this day it is still considered one of the best designed examples.

By the end of his life, he had created over 50 title sequences for directors such as Preminger, Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, John Frankenheimer and Martin Scorsese. His last title sequence was the hauntingly macabre one of Robert De Niro falling through the sinister neon lights of the Las Vegas Strip to symbolize his character’s descent into hell for Scorsese’s Casino. It was occasionally said that after seeing one of Bass’s title sequence, it was safe to leave the theater because he was able to choose a single image that was accurately representative of the films themes and main ideas. Martin Scorsese once described his approach as creating: "an emblematic image, instantly recognizable and immediately tied to the film".

In addition to his film work Bass also is credited with designing some of the best-remembered, most iconic logos in North America, including both the Bell Telephone logo and the subsequent AT&T globe, as well as the logos for the Girl Scouts, Kleenex tissues, and United Airlines.

My reason for choosing Saul Bass as an inspiration stems from his often simple aesthetic, which could be described as minimalistic, especially when compared to some of the more modern designers, whose styles I often find overly busy. This style lends itself very well to logo design, where his gift for divining a single image that could symbolize an entire set of ideas would be an asset. Additionally, I greatly appreciate what he did for the film industry. Before Carmen Jones by taking something that was initially so tacked on and uninteresting that theater projectionists would only pull the curtain after they had finished. However, because of his influence, title sequences have become an art form of their own, and can be used along with the movie, to convey what the director envisions, and I’m sure directors appreciate having an additional avenue through which to communicate their ideas.

For my poster, I began by taking the movie poster for the film that was likely Saul Bass’ most famous work, The Man with the Golden Arm. I traced all of the blocks, and colored them appropriately according to the appearance of the poster. Additionally, I traced the lettering for “the man with the golden”. Early on, I had decided that the title of this pretend exhibition would be “The Man with the Golden Design” so I took what letters I could from the main headline, as well as the names of the cast members, and synthesized the rest, repeating the process for the location and dates near the top and the sub-headline, “the works of Saul bass”. Then I decided that I should change the hand to be holding a pencil, while still retaining the cardboard cut-out style of the original. Since the original poster had an image of each of the three stars of the movie I decided that I should replace them with something. I replaced the movie’s leading man, Frank Sinatra’s face with that of the exhibition’s leasing man, Saul bass himself, auto-traced to retain the style. Replacing Eleanor Parker and Kim Novak with additional pictures of Bass would have been a poor choice, so instead I chose to use some of Bass’s work, I wanted something emblematic, but not recognizable as a logo, so I searched through his works and picked out a couple more cut-out style images. I changed them from black to white so they would be easily visible, and I added them to the poster.
Essay by: Cody Herauf

Alphonse Maria Mucha
Alphonse Maria Mucha (1860-1939) is most often remembered for the prominent role he played in shaping the aesthetics of French Art Nouveau at the turn of the century. As a struggling and relatively unknown artist of Czech origin living in Paris, Mucha achieved immediate fame when, in December 1894, he accepted a commission to create a poster for one of the greatest actresses of this time, Sarah Bernhardt. Though the printer was apprehensive about submitting Mucha´s final design because of its new unconventional style, Bernhardt loved it and so did the public. ´Le style Mucha´, as Art Nouveau was known in its earliest days, was born. The success of that first poster brought a 6 years contract between Bernhardt and Mucha and in the following years his work for her and others included costumes and stage decorations, designs for magazines and book covers, jewellery and furniture and numerous posters. Mucha returned to Czechoslovakia in 1910, where he dedicated the remainder of his life to the production of a an epic series of 20 paintings depicting the history of the Slav people, the Slav Epic.

Storm Thorgerson
Storm Thorgerson (born 1944 in Potters Bar, Middlesex) is an English graphic designer. He was a key member of the British graphic art group Hipgnosis, and designed many of their most famous single and album covers. Perhaps his most famous designs are those for Pink Floyd.[1] His design for Dark Side of the Moon has been called one of the greatest album covers of all time.[2][3] Many of his designs are notable for their surreal elements. He often places objects out of their traditional contexts, especially with vast spaces around them, to give them an awkward appearance while highlighting their beauty. Several books have been devoted to surveying Thorgerson's work over three-plus decades.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Klutsis and Kulagina
Klutsis, is a pioneer of photomontage in the Soviet Union and an acclaimed graphic designer and poster producer. Unlike the work of fellow artists in the Soviet avant-garde such as Aleksandr Rodchenko and El Lissitsky, the breadth of Klutsis's extensive and groundbreaking output has been relatively unexplored. Valentina Kulagina, Klutsis's wife and colleague, is also an innovative poster, book, and exhibition designer.

Klutsis was born in Latvia in 1895. Following two years of art school, he was drafted into the Russian Army, and took part in the 1917 overthrow of the Tsar. In 1919, Klutsis resumed his art education in Moscow in the studio of Kazimir Malevich. Acclaimed for his spatial constructions, as well as for his designs of practical structures like kiosks, tribunes, and radio-orators, Klutsis became a professor of color theory at the Constructivist school VKhUTEMAS (Higher State Artistic and Technical Institute) in 1924. In addition to being an accomplished Constructivist, by the early 1920s, Klutsis became a pioneering developer of photomontage, a method of cutting and pasting together photographs. This process, eagerly adopted by other Russian avant-gardists, was used for a variety of artistic and graphic purposes, mainly supporting the ideology and programs of the emerging Soviet state.

In 1920, Klutsis encouraged Kulagina, then a young painting student at the State Free Art Studios, to enter VKhUTEMAS, where he taught. The following year, the two artists married. Throughout the 1920s, they lived in the school's headquarters, which also housed artists Aleksandr Rodchenko, Varvara Stepanova, Sergei Senkin, and poet Aleksei Khruchenykh. In 1928, Kulagina joined October, an artists' group whose members included Klutsis (who was in charge of the photomontage section), Rodchenko, Boris Ignatovich, and Lissitzky. That same year, she designed parts of the Soviet Pavilion of the landmark Pressa exhibition in Cologne. After graduating from VKhUTEMAS, she worked for IZOGIZ (the State Art Publishing Agency) and VOKS (the All-Union Society of Cultural Relations with Abroad), receiving domestic and international commissions for posters and exhibition and book designs. Kulagina's work combines drawing with elements of the photomontage style developed by her husband.

Brought together, Klutsis and Kulagina's work from the 1920s through the late 1930s serves as one of the strongest examples of the post-abstract Soviet avant-garde. Both of their styles and techniques, and the purposes to which they were put, will be examined within the scope of the exhibition.

Derek Riggs
Derek Riggs is a contemporary British artist best known for creating the heavy metal band Iron Maiden's mascot, Eddie. He is also well known for working with the heavy metal band Gamma Ray and the all female tribute band The Iron Maidens who he designed and created their self titled debut album cover (of the female version of Eddie called Edwina), and he titled the piece LA Maneater.

His claim to fame is indeed of Eddie, Iron Maiden's mascot. Quite by accident, the original character "electric Matthew" was a painting Riggs did in symbolization of the rebellious punk movement of the early 1980s in the United Kingdom. Iron Maiden's management came across the painting, and realised they had something. Asking for a new version with some added hair on the figure, they acquired their first cover for the Iron Maiden album, released in 1980. His final artwork for Iron Maiden was the concept of the cover of their Brave New World album in 2000, after which he gave up designing for Maiden. He also worked with Stratovarius for their album 'Infinite', and did the cover for Artension's 2004 album Future World.

Paul Rand
Paul Rand (1914-) is one of the most influential figures in American graphic design. He explored the formal vocabulary of the European avant garde art movements and developed an unique and distinctly American graphic style which was characterized by simplicity, wit and a rational approach to problem solving.

Educated in New York at Pratt Institute from 1929-1932, Parson's School of Design from 1932-1933 and the Art Student's League from 1933-1934, Rand was a major force in editorial design. He was art director of Esquire and Apparel Arts (later GQ:Gentleman's Quarterly) from 1935-1941 and designed covers for the Directions cultural journal between 1938 and 1945. Rand has been influential as a design consultant, as well, developing identity systems for major corporations such as IBM and Westinghouse.

From 1956-1969 and beginning agin in 1974, rand taught design at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Rand was inducted into the New York Art Directors Club Hall of Fame in 1972.

Ralph Steadman
Ralph Steadman (born Wallasey, May 15, 1936) is a British cartoonist and caricaturist.

Born in Wallasey, Cheshire, and brought up in Towyn, North Wales, Steadman attended Ysgol Emrys Ap Iwan (high school), Abergele, East Ham Technical College and the London College of Printing and Graphic Arts during the 1960s, doing freelance work for Punch, Private Eye, the Daily Telegraph, the New York Times and Rolling Stone during this time.

Steadman is renowned for his political and social caricatures and cartoons and also for illustrating a number of picture books. Awards that he has won for his work include the Francis Williams Book Illustration Award for Alice in Wonderland, the American Society of Illustrators' Certificate of Merit, the W H Smith Illustration Award for I Leonardo, the Dutch Silver Paintbrush Award for Inspector Mouse, the Italian Critica in Erba Prize for That's My Dad, the BBC Design Award for postage stamps, the Black Humour Award in France, and several Designers and Art Directors Association Awards. He was voted Illustrator of the Year by the American Institute of Graphic Arts in 1979.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Josef Müller-Brockmann
Josef Müller-Brockmann, (May 9, 1914 – August 30, 1996), was a Swiss graphic designer and teacher. He studied architecture, design and history of art at both the University and Kunstgewerbeschule in Zurich. In 1936 he opened his Zurich studio specialising in graphic design, exhibition design and photography. From 1951 he produced concert posters for the Tonhalle in Zurich. In 1958 he became a founding editor of New Graphic Design along with R.P. Lohse, C. Vivarelli, and H. Neuburg. In 1966 he was appointed European design consultant to IBM. Author of the 1961 publications The Graphic Artist and his Design Problems and Grid Systems in Graphic Design, and the 1971 publications History of the Poster and A History of Visual Communication.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ed Fella
Ed Fella is an artist, educator and graphic designer whose work has had an important influence on contemporary typography. He practiced professionally as a commercial artist in Detroit for 30 years before receiving an MFA in Design from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1987. He has since devoted his time to teaching at the California Institute for the Arts and his own unique self-published work which has appeared in many design publications and anthologies. In 1997 he received the Chrysler Award and in 1999 an Honorary Doctorate from CCS in Detroit. His work is in the National Design Museum and MOMA in New York.

His recently published book "Edward Fella: Letters on America, Photographs and Lettering" gives insight into his idiosyncratic world by combining and juxtaposing examples of his unique hand lettering with his photographs of found vernacular lettering.

David Carson
David Carson is principal and chief designer of David Carson Design, Inc. with offices in New York City and Charleston, SC.

Carson graduated with "honors and distinction" from San Diego state university, where he received a BFA degree in sociology. A former professional surfer, he was ranked #9 in the world during his college days. Numerous groups including the New York Type Directors Club, American Center for Design and I.D. magazine have recognized his studio's work with a wide range of clients in both the business and arts worlds. Carson and his work have been featured in over 180 magazine and newspaper articles around the world, including a feature in Newsweek magazine, and a front page article in the new york times . London-based Creative Review magazine dubbed Carson "Art Director of the Era." The American Center for Design (Chicago) called his work on Ray Gun magazine "the most important work coming out of America." His work on Beach Culture magazine won "Best Overall Design" and "Cover of the Year" from the Society of Publication Designers in New York.

Peter Max
Peter Max is a multi-dimensional creative artist. He has worked with oils, acrylics, water colors, finger paints, dyes, pastels, charcoal, pen, multi-colored pencils, etchings, engravings, animation cells, lithographs, serigraphs, silk screens, ceramics, sculpture, collage, video and computer graphics. He loves all media, including mass media as a "canvas" for his creative expression.

Paul Frank
Paul Frank Sunich (born August 29, 1967) is a graphic and fashion designer. Paul Frank's creations adorn clothing and other products produced by Paul Frank Industries, Inc. Julius the monkey is one of Paul Frank's best-known characters.

Noel Martin
NOEL MARTIN studied drawing, painting, and printmaking at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, where he later became an instructor. He is self-taught in typography and design which are now his main activities.

Designer for the Cincinnati Art Museum since 1947, Martin has been a freelance graphic designer and art director. His clients have included Champion Papers, Federated Department Stores, Xomox Corporation, Dreyfus Corporation, New Republic, Hebrew Union College, and many other industrial, educational, and cultural organizations. He has taught at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and was adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati, and he has had major one-man exhibitions in the United States and Canada.

His work was included in the exhibition, "Four American Designers," at the Museum of Modern Art, New York City, in 1953, and in a one-man exhibition at the American Institute of Graphic Arts, 1958. Foreign exhibitions have included those of the U.S. Information Agency in Europe, Latin America, and the U.S.S.R., and also at the Gutenberg Museum, Mainz; Musee d'Art Moderne, Paris; and the Grafiska Institute, Stockholm. Martin's work is represented in public collections in New York, Boston, Washington, Cincinnati, and Amsterdam.

He has lectured at the Smithsonian, the Library of Congress, Aspen Design Conference, and schools and organizations throughout the country. Among his awards are the Art Directors Medal, Philadelphia, 1957, and the Sachs Award, Cincinnati, 1973.