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"It is the pervading law of all things organic and inorganic, of all things physical and metaphysical, of all things human and all things superhuman, of all true manifestations of the head, of the heart, of the soul, that the life is recognizable in its expression, that form ever follows function. This is the law."

Form Follows Function Form follows function is a principle that states that the shape or form that something takes, should be chosen based on its intended purpose and function, It is often a principle associated with modern architecture and industrial design in the 20th century where the shape of a building or object should be primarily based upon its intended function or purpose.

The phrase “form follows function” was coined by the American architect Louis Sullivan in his article “the tall office building artistically considered” that was published in 1896. Sullivan presented his approach to the emerging building type he referred to as ‘tall office building’ soon to be called the ‘skyscraper’ that we know today. In design, form is both the overall look and feel of the design as well as the shape and look of each individual component such as the typefaces and the graphic elements. Form is also the format whether the design is a poster, a business card, a logo, a website or a piece of packacging. Whereas function is the practicality of the design. It is the purpose of the design whether is it to sell, to inform, to impress, or to entertain. It includes the copywriting message, the audience, and the cost of getting the project printed.


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Earth Artifact

Street Graphic

Cabinet of Curiosity

El Lissitzky

Manifesto 3



Modernism is the term used to embrace a diverse range of art movements and ideas that emerged during the first half of the 20th century during the aftermath of the First World War and the Russian Revolution, a period when the artistic avant-garde dreamed of a new world free of conflict, greed and social inequality. It profoundly influenced the subsequent development of art, architecture and design.

graphic design, typography and photography. Collectively, these movements advocated a stronger link between art and industrial production and encouraged the move towards bold geometric forms, the elimination of decoration and the use of asymetric layouts.

It was not a style but a loose collection of ideas. Many different styles can be characterised as Modernist, but they shared certain underlying There was also a widespread utopian belief principles: a rejection of history and applied that merchanization and technology, if properly ornament; a preference for abstraction; and

Bauhaus was the most important educational enterprise underpinning the development of the modern movement in architecture. Its origins and aspirations relate to many ideas pursued by the Arts and Crafts Movement and the Deutscher Werkbund. Founded in Weimar in 1919, under the direction of the architect Walter Gropius, the Bauhaus produced a manifesto that declared, ‘The complete building is the ultimate aim of all

channelled, could produce a betterm less a belief that design and technology could the visual arts.’ This overriding commitment divided society. transform society. to architecture encouraged the exploration of new ideas associated with De Stijl and Russion The art and design movements central Bauhaus is a German design school that Consstructivism. to Modernism are Cubism, Futerism, attempted to create a new unity between art Constructivism, De Stijl and Dada. These all and industry by rejecting any division between On the right is a piece I created inspired by the had a profound influence on the practise of decorative and constructional techniques. The Bauhaus movement.



Post Modernism is a design movement that evolved in the mid 60’s as a critical response to the dominance and perceived sterility of Modernism. Postmodernism is perhaps the most controversial art movement out of them all. Embracing art, architecture and design.

It re-established interest in ornament, symbolism and visual wit. Unconstrained by dogma, postmodern designers regected modernism’s obsession with progress and challenged the fundamental tenets of order and discipline espoused by the Bauhaus and its followers.

David Carson is considered by many to be one of the world’s most influential graphic designers. He describes himself as a “handson” designer and has a unique, intuition-driven way of creating everything from magazines to TV commercials. In addition to various awards and achievements for his graphic design and typography work, Carson has also written books on design, including The End of Print (with Lewis Blackwell), Trek: David Carson, Recent Werk, and the soon-to-be-released The Rules of Graphic Design.

style in the mid 80’s. This was further enhanced by the extreme justification used on the inner pages, which showed text columns jammed together and deconstructed type that left the reader to decipher the message. This amplified content and meaning that encouraged closer engagement from the viewer.

One of the most known experiments in Ray Gun magazine was a spread on musician Bryan Ferry. Carson deemed the content boring and not worth reading, therefore as a solution set the typeface to “Zapt Dingbats”, a Carson is most famous for ‘Raygun’ a publication typeface composed entirely of symbols rather Postmodernism shattered established ideas that was designed without any specific structure. than letters. This explored postmodernist ideas about style, it brought a radical freedom to Carsons experimental approach when working that a page must be felt rather than read, art and design through gestures that were often funny, sometimes confrontational and occassionaly absurd. Most of all, over the course of two decades, from about 1970 to 1990, postmodernism bought a new selfawareness about style itself.

on youth orientated magazines such as which shocked many during the 90’s as a stark ‘beach’ and ‘ray gun’ changed conventions of contrast from the modernist principles of clarity. traditional editorial and advertising during the 1980’s/1990’s. This made him lead designer in the post modernist movement as his techniques began frequently used in design practice.

Postmodernism was a drastic departure from modernism’s utopian visions, which had been based on clarity and simplicity. Postmodernism’s key principles were complexity and contradiction.

His playful approach is shown throughout the magazines style. For example, the front covers were retro, collaged, inspired by a do it yourself movement and typical of the punk




For the Earth Artefact project I was required to submit visual and written proposals for a new contemporary version of the ‘Golden Record’ entitled, ‘Earth Artifact’. The original ‘Earth artefact’ was a set of

phonographic records that were launched into space in an attempt that if we did come into contact with any intelligent extra-terrestrial life form or other future humans they could gain an understanding of the diverse culture on earth. Carl Sagan described the project as more of a “time capsule” or “symbolic statement” rather then an actual attempt to communicate with extra-terrestrial life. For this project I decided to create an illustration of the world made up of all the well known landmarks from every country. I have created two version of this illustration, one in colour and one in black and white. I also decided to create a type face. Each letter is based around a country which starts with that letter, for example ‘A’ is America and ‘B’ is Britain. I started my research by looking at a quote by the US President Jimmy Carter in 1977. “This is a present from a small, distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts and our feelings.” After reading this quote I wanted to create a ‘present’ something which symbolised the Earth in a way which could be seen as a gift. I then researched more into publications from the President. I found a letter which Jimmy Carter had written in the summer of 1977. This letter was recorded and sent up with the Golden Record. The sent it up as an audio message to make it easier to be sent up and for it to be recognised. The message was recorded in 55 different languages to make sure ther was as many people who could understand it at once. After studying this letter I realised that whatever I produced needed to be something which was accessable to everyone. The best was I thought was to create a drawing which had no text, just symbols. I looked into a wide variety of artists and designers, one which really influenced me was Antoine Cortineau, I really love his way of presenting information in a fun, quirky way. One main thing I learnt was that colours play a big part in an informative drawing and the colour theme really can make a piece a success or not.


For the Steet Graphic brief I decided my project would focus on the industrial revolution between two cities, Huddersfield, famous for wool, and Sheffield which is famous for steel. Also both these cities are significant to me, Sheffield being my nearest city to home and Huddersfield being where I decided to move for university. Both these cities are very similar yet steeped with so much history. I focused my research on architecture and significant attractions within the cities, starting by taking photographs and manipulating them to create collages and manipulations. I studied a few artists within my development stages, Diogo Machado, was one of main influences. Diogo Machado excels in creating imaginary worlds, where he combines fictional characters, decorative elements, a distinctive trait, an omnipresent humor and a remarkable sense of symmetry. In the series of tiles that he lays on the walls, he creates the idea of a trompe l’oeil, leading us to believe that these are scenes inspired in a medieval universe; such is the rigor with which he draws. However, when we’re closer and see the tiles carefully, we discover a completely contemporary composition of figures and creatures. It’s a pop world, strange, were irony is always present. When studying his work it gave me the idea of the ‘tile’ idea, which I developed and carried foward throughout my body of work. I also looked at the work by Augustine Kofie, his work is inspired by the basic building blocks of the geometric world. He has formed a retrofuteristic aesthetic which translates these shapes and angles into a soulful organic, yet highly mathematical form of abstraction which I really like. He plays with form, line, width, balance and depth. Twisting and manipulation his murals, his illustration, his compositions into new and dramatic arrangements. On the right, is a piece I created in the same style. I took one of Augustines pieces and added overlays of pictures which I have taken.


My final outcome is a combination of all my work created into a ‘tiled’ piece which I blew up and presented on the side of the creative arts building on campus.


To My Children & Grandchildren For this project titled Cabinet of Curiosity, I decided to look into something that was relevant and personal to me. One idea was the fact that my grandparents came over from Germany in the war. My Grandma had written a letter titled “To my Children and Grandchildren” which I red and found very upsetting, however this letter gave me lmany different ideas for my project. I finally decided to look into the kinder transport and look into what my Grandparents would have bought with them over to England, especially my Grandma who was 9 at the time. With what happened when my Granparents kept a secret, I decided that this box would be a nice way to ‘unlock’ and tell the story to future family members. I created a box which opened with a lock symbolising opening the story and unlocking hidden memories which had been forgotten about. The box is also covered with text which I ripped out of a novel I had read on

the World War and gave me an insight of what other children like my Grandparents also went through. Each item within the box symbolises different parts on the letter. The little jar represents the truth being hidden and locked away. The children which came over were unaware of what was happening around them and it wasn’t until they were older where they discovered what was happening during their childhood. I have created a photo album which I designed the cover with a photo montage I created during my development stages which you can see to the left. The necklace represents a hand me down which my Grandma’s parents and Grandparents would have given her so she would have something to remember them by.I have also included envelopes and stamps which was the only way of communicating with her family once she was in England.


Finally I have included little flowers which resemble the innocence which the children had at that time when growing up.


El Lissitzky

We were given a new brief based upon typography which is a brief I’ve been excited to start. As an aspiring Graphic Designer it is key to follow the main trends of communicated design. Typography is the main form of communication due to its recognition on a worldwide scale. The iconic structures to these symbols play a key part in everyday life. Without the typeface none of humanities experience is shared and understood which is why it fascinates me.

El Lissitzky is a Russian artist and designer who had an influence on modernism, through movements like cubism and constructivism, and his work heavily influenced the iconic Bauhaus company.

His Russian style was influenced, and was used, by the Soviet Union. He believed, like the modernist viewpoint, that the artist could be an agent for change, which he later summarized as a ‘goal orientated creation’. He was heavily influenced by his study as an architect, and was most known for creating pieces called ‘Prouns’, which were abstract pictures that he described to be ‘the interchange station between art and architecture’.

His style definitely follows a modernist movement as it favours abstraction, and it rejects any historical or religious reference or meaning. It is self-centered, and achieves itself through individualism. The forms of the shapes

are very sharp; we can tell what sort of shapes have made up the image, and most of the designs seem to follow a particular direction; all shapes are usually aligned equally along one diagonal. The design also has particular depth over meaning; Lissitzky tells us his ‘Proun’ collection relates to architecture, and this sense of meaning is something modernism follows. The designs are restricted in typeface as the designs including type use Russian-style fonts, and they are also restricted in colours, as each piece has a specific colour scheme only ranging from two or three colours. I chose to look at El Lissitzy as I liked the bold shapes and the combination between geometric and curved shapes within his work. All his work has a bold edge to the design and I thought it gives a lot of room for a mixture of styles of types I could create. I started by pulling out the key shapes which were bold lines and curved arches. I used both of these shapes to create my typeface. I have included three of my developments on the right and then my final typeography piece on the opposite page.

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manifesto My manifesto is made up of sayings which I find motivating and inspiring, this aspect of my manifesto was mainly inspired after studying the Holstee manifesto. The Holstee manifesto also inspired the layout of my text. I came up with these sayings myself and they are sayings which can motivate myself and hopefully others. Below are three of the developments which I went through before coming up with my final manifesto.The actual design of the manifesto is mostly inspired by the anti design manifesto, especially the colour scheme and also the font which after researching into modernism and postmodernism, was something which I thought would help link into my final magazine. Altogether I really like the outcome of my manifesto and hopefully will also inspire others as well as myself.



An exploration of Modernism and Post-Modernism

New Visual Language - Issue 1 - May 2014  

hudgraphic, form follows function, modernism, post-modernism, overview of my first year as a graphic design student at the university of hud...

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