NEW GRAPH DESIGN Issue 1 Form Follows Function
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â€œModern man, who no longer dresses in historical garments but wears modern clothes, also needs a modern home appropriate to him and his time, equipped with all the modern devices of daily useâ€?
Alesei Shchusevâ€™s hotel in Sochi, USSR (1928)
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Modernism in design and architecture emerged in 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 was not a style but a loose collection of ideas. Many different styles can be characterised as Modernist, but they shared certain underlying principles: a rejection of history and applied ornament; a preference for abstraction; and a belief that design and technology could transform our society. Modernism was not conceived as a style but a loose collection of ideas. It was a term which covered a range of movements and styles that largely rejected history and applied ornament, and which embraced abstraction. Born of
great cosmopolitan centres, it flourished in Germany and Holland, as well as in Moscow, Paris, Prague and New York. Modernists had a utopian desire to create a better world. They believed in technology as the key means to achieve social improvement and in the machine as a symbol of that aspiration. All of these principles were frequently combined with social and political beliefs (largely leftleaning) which held that design and art could, and should, transform society. Modernism through the cubist, surrealist and Dadaist movements was shaped by the industrialisation and urbanisation of western society. Modernists, including the De Stijl, Constructivism and Bauhaus movements, departed from the rural and provincial zeitgeist prevalent in the Victorian era,
rejecting its values and styles in favour of cosmopolitanism. Functionality and progress, expressed through the maxim of ‘form follows function’, became key concerns in the attempt to move beyond the external physical representation of reality through experimentation in a struggle to define what should be considered ‘modern’. In graphic design, modernism embraced an asymmetrical approach to layout with strict adherence to the grid, an emphasis on white space and sans serif typography, and the absence of decoration and embellishment.
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â€œModernism: Designing a New Worldâ€? is the first book to explore Modernism in the designed world from a truly international perspective, and across all the arts. It offers a reassessment of the idea of Modernism and reveals the fundamental ways in which it has shaped our own world and its visual culture. Modernism flourished during the years 1914 to 1939. As a movement it was the key point of reference for 20th century architecture, design and art. Modernists had a Utopian desire to
create a better world, frequently combined with social and political beliefs that design and art could transform society. The range of objects illustrated - including painting, sculpture, film, photography, prints and collage as well as architecture, interiors, furniture, manufactured products, graphic and fashion design - reflect the periodâ€™s emphasis on the unity of the arts and the key role of the fine arts in shaping contemporary visual culture. Europe and
America take centre stage but the reach of Modernism is demonstrated by selected works from around the world, including Russia, Palestine and Japan.
ReD: Revie w the Un of io for Mo n dern Cultur e, 1927
Karel Teige was the most important avant-garde architect and designer in Czechoslovakia in the interwar period. He worked internationally, and in his typographic designs he responded to the influence of Constructivism, Surrealism, and the Bauhaus to create a sophisticated synthesis. With evidently endless energy, Teige introduced modern art to Prague. Devětsil-sponsored exhibitions and events brought international avantgarde figures like Le Corbusier, Man Ray, Paul Klee, Vladimir Mayakovsky, and Walter Gropius, among many others, to lecture and perform in Prague. Teige interpreted their work, sometimes literally, for the Czech audience. In his 1935 Prague lecture, André Breton paid tribute to his “perfect intellectual fellowship” with Teige and Nezval: “Constantly interpreted by Teige in the most lively way, made to undergo an all-powerful lyric thrust by Nezval, Surrealism can flatter itself that it has blossomed in Prague as it has in Paris.”
Although not an architect, Teige was an articulate and knowledgeable architecture critic, an active participant in CIAM, and friends with Hannes Meyer, the second director of the Bauhaus.Teige and Meyer both believed in a scientific, functionalist approach to architecture, grounded in Marxist principles.
In 1929 he famously criticized Le Corbusier’s Mundaneum project (planned for Geneva but never built) on the grounds that Corbusier had departed from rational functionalism, and was on his way to becoming a mere stylist. Teige believed that ‘the only aim and scope of modern architecture is the scientific solution of exact tasks of rational construction.’ After welcoming the Soviet army as liberators, Teige was silenced by the Communist government in 1948. In 1951 he died of a heart attack, said to be a result of a ferocious Soviet press campaign against him as a ‘Trotskyite degenerate,’ his papers were destroyed by the secret police, and his published work was suppressed for decades.
Teige, Karel: Stavba a basen. Praha 1927
From 1924 to 1927 Max Bill trained as a silversmith at the Zurich “Kunstgewerbeschule”. Subsequently he studied at the Dessau Bauhaus under Josef Albers, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee and others. In 1929 Max Bill moved to Zurich, where he worked as an architect, painter, graphic artist and sculpturist and later also as a product designer. Bill’s versatile work was dominated by painting, beginning initially with landscapes and portraits until taking on his own independent character, from around 1931 onwards, with the use of consistent geometricconstructive abstraction. From 1932 to 1936 Max Bill was a member of the Parisian group of artists “Abstraction-Création”. In 1933 he held his first exhibition at the group’s gallery. During repeated sojourns to Paris he developed friendships with Hans Arp, Piet Mondrian and Auguste Herbin. In 1936 Bill formulated the Principles of Concrete Art, as a refinement of the ideas published by Theo van Doesburg. Bill is one of the most important exponents of this art genre. In 1937 he worked on a monograph on Le Corbusier and entered the association of modern Swiss artists “Allianz”. In 1944 Bill founded the journal “abstrakt konkret”. He also organized an exhibition in the Basel “Kunsthalle” under the same title and obtained a teaching position to
Max Bill: Plakat Wohnbedarf (Flughafen Zürich)
teach “Formlehre” (theory of form) at the Zurich “Kunstgewerbeschule”. As spiritual father and architect of the Ulm “Hochschule für Gestaltung”, and as principal and head of the department for architecture and product form from 1952, Bill tried to continue the traditions of the Dessau Bauhaus. In 1959 and 1964 Max Bill participated in the Kassel documenta. In 1964 he was the head architect of the sector “Bilden und Gestalten” at the Swiss national exhibition in Lausanne. From 1967 to 1974 he worked as a professor at the “Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste” in Hamburg, where he taught environmental design. In Düsseldorf Max Bill set up the new art gallery “Denise René und Hans Mayer” in 1971. During the 1980s he created several monumental sculptures. At the same time, he traveled to various European and other cities to organize retrospectives of his own works. His importance in the development of modern art is underpinned by numerous prizes and awards.
Max Bill’s name is primarily associated with the terms “Concrete Art” and “Environmental Design”. Furthermore, his theoretical publications have turned Max Bill into one of the most fruitful stimulators of Modern Concrete Art in postwar Europe among the Bauhaus generation of students.
Lester Beall was one of the first American graphic designers to incorporate European modernist ideas into his work. He moved seamlessly from posters to packaging to corporate identity, adapting avant-garde ideas to American corporate culture. His clear and concise use of typography was highly praised both in the United States and abroad. Throughout his career he used bold primary colors and illustrative arrows
and lines in a graphic style that became easily recognizable as his own. He eventually moved to rural New York and set up an office, and home, at a premises that he and his family called â€œDumbarton Farmâ€?. He remained at the farm until his death in 1969. Lester Thomas Beall was born in Kansas City, Missouri. His family soon moved to St. Louis, Missouri, and later to Chicago, Illinois. Beall studied at the University of Chicago and was
active on the varsity track team coached by Amos Alonzo Stagg. Beall also took classes at the Art Institute of Chicago. After a short period of experimentation and professional work in Chicago, Beall moved to New York in 1935. The following year he established his home/office in Wilton, Connecticut.
Lester Beall, Hitler's Nightmare for Crowell Publishing Company, 1939
PO S T M OD E N I SM
Evaluating and categorizing architects according to styles, periods, theoretical backgrounds, and philosophical ideas, from Itkinos and Brunelleschi, to Borromini and Le Corbusier, is a very challenging process that requires a deep
What is postmodernism? Are the postmodern characteristics still apparent in contemporary architectural design? According to scholars, “Postmodernism, by definition resists definition”. If postmodernism is then difficult to be defined, on what principles can one judge if postmodernism in architecture is in still emerging? Postmodernism in its regional/vernacular forms reflects neighborhood culture. Some argue that postmodernism is a reaction to the forces of “creative destruction.” But it can be a tool for those powers as well. The end of the assembly line, created by the instant flexibility of computer technology, means that in this post-Fordist world people can all have a unique, neighborhood specific thing, as well as having the same reference.
Postmodernism is differentiated from other cultural forms by its emphasis on fragmentation which replaces the alienation of the subject that characterized modernism. Postmodernism is concerned with all surface, no substance. There is a loss of the center. Postmodernist works are often characterized by a lack of depth; a flatness. Individuals are no longer anomic, because there is nothing from which one can sever ties. The liberation from the anxiety which characterized anomie may also mean liberation from every other kind of feeling as well. This is not to say that the cultural products of the postmodern era are
understanding of the key elements that influence the architects’ design. What appears though to be a constant value in this type of analysis, is that the evolution of architecture, from the period of the Greek civilization (Parthenon in Athens 447433 BC), to the present day’s Santiago Calatrava’s projects, signifies that the architect’s pursuit for the myriad idea of beauty is actually a leitmotif of his/ her past influences. Postmodernism in graphic design for the most part has been a visual and decorative movement. Many designers and design critics contend that postmodernism, in the literary or architectural sense of the term, never really impacted graphic design as it did these other fields. Alternatively, some argue that it did but took on a different persona. This can be seen in the work produced at Katherine McCoy’s program at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan during the late 1980s to late 1990s and at the MFA program at CalArts in California. But when all was said and done, the various notions of the postmodern in the various design fields never really stuck to graphic design as it did with architecture. Some argue that the “movement” (if it ever was one) had little to no impact on graphic design. More likely, it
utterly devoid of feeling, but rather that such feelings are now freefloating and impersonal. Also distinctive of the late capitalist age is postmodernism’s focus on com modification and the recycling of old images and commodities.
Graphic design saw a massive popular raising at the end of the seventies in form of Graffiti and Hip Hop culture’s rise. Graphic forms of expression became a vast everyday hobby among school kids all around the developed western countries. Alongside this ‘movement’, that took rebellious and even criminal cultural forms, was born the mass hobby of coding computer graphics. This phenomenon worked as a stepping stone towards the graphic infrastructure that is applied in the majority of computer interfaces today.
did, but more in the sense of a continuation or re-evaluation of the modern. Some would argue that this continuous re-evaluation is also just a component of the design process - happening for most of the second half of the 20th century in the profession. Since it was ultimately the work of graphic designers that inspired pop artists like Warhol and Liechtenstein, and architects like Robert Venturi and Denise Scott-Brown, it could be argued that graphic design practice and designs may be the root of Postmodernism.
An exploration and indroduction into Post Modernism within Graphic Design and Architecture.
T ER M
Of all movements in art and design history, postmodernism is perhaps the most controversial. This era defies definition; an unstable mix of the theatrical and theoretical, postmodernism was a visually thrilling multifaceted style that ranged from the colourful to the ruinous, the ludicrous to the luxurious.
and contradiction. If modernist objects suggested utopia, progress and machine-like perfection, then the postmodern object seemed to come from a dystopian and far-fromperfect future. Designers salvaged and distressed materials to produce an aesthetic of urban apocalypse.
Postmodernism shattered established ideas about style. It brought a radical freedom to art and design through gestures that were often funny, sometimes confrontational and occasionally absurd. Most of all, over the course of two decades, from about 1970 to 1990, postmodernism brought a new selfawareness about style itself.
As the 1980s approached, postmodernism went into high gear. What had begun as a radical fringe movement became the dominant look of the ‘designer decade’. Vivid colour, theatricality and exaggeration: everything was a style statement. Whether surfaces were glossy, faked or deliberately distressed, they reflected the desire to combine subversive statements with commercial appeal. The most important delivery systems for this new phase in postmodernism were magazines and music. The work of Italian designers – especially the groups Studio Alchymia and Memphis – travelled round the
Postmodernism was a drastic departure from modernism’s utopian visions, which had been based on clarity and simplicity. The modernists wanted to open a window onto a new world; postmodernism’s key principles were complexity
world through publications like Domus. Meanwhile, the energy of post-punk subculture was broadcast far and wide through music videos and cutting-edge graphics. This was the moment of the New Wave: a few thrilling years when image was everything. As the ‘designer decade’ wore on and the world economy boomed, postmodernism became the preferred style of consumerism and corporate culture. Ultimately this was the undoing of the movement. Postmodernism collapsed under the weight of its own success, and the self-regard that came with it. The excitement and complexity of postmodernism were enormously influential in the 1980s. In the permissive, fluid and hyper-commodified situation of 21st-century design, we are still feeling its effects.
Culture magazine won “Best Overall Design” and “Cover of the Year” from the Society of
symbols, as the font for what he considered a rather dull interview with Bryan Ferry. (However, the whole text was published in a legible font at the back of the same issue of Ray Gun, complete with a repeat of the asterisk motif). Ray Gun made Carson well known and attracted new admirers to his work. In this period, he was featured in publications such as The New York Times (May 1994) and Newsweek (1996).
estate(“the medium is the message”).
DAV I D CA RSO N “Brilliant,” while USA Today described it as “visually stunning,” adding that his design of Ray CilDavid Carson (born September 8, 1954) is an American Gun Magazine “may actually get young people reading again.” graphic designer, art director and surfer. He is best known for his innovative and magazine use of experimental Typography, a titlemagazine published design, by Graphis (NY), lists Carson as a “Master of typography. He the art director for thefor magazine Typography.” I.D.was magazine chose Carson their listRay of “America’s most innovative Gun, in which he employed much of the typographic and “he changed the public face of designers”. A feature in newsweek magazine said of carson layout style for which he is known. was Emigre perhapsdevoted the graphic design”. The graphic designCarson publication an entire issue to Carson, the only American designer to be so honored in the magazine’s history. And in April 2004, London based creative review magazine calls David, “the most famous graphic designer on the planet”. David recently picked up 4 gold awards at the Charleston ADDY awards, including a “special judges award” for “professionalism”. Carson was born on September 8, 1954 in Corpus Christi, Texas. In the past few years, Carson has branched out into film and television to direct He attended San Diego State University, graduating with a commercials and videos. He directed the launch commercials for Lucent technologies Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. and teamed up with william burroughs in Carson’s short film, “The End of Print”. He Carson’s first contact with graphic design was in 1980 at the also collaborated with Harvard Business School professor John Kao on a documentary University of Arizona during a two week graphics course, entitled “The Art and Discipline of Creativity.” David designed the worldwide branding campaign for Microsoft, as well as the worldwide advertising for Giorgio Armani (Milan). Carson became the art director of Transworld Skateboarding magazine He has appeared in advertisements endorsing Apple Computers, monitors and in 1984, and remained there untilSamsung 1988, helping to give the magazine He is best various paper companies. Carson hasaart directed and designed Surfer, twSkateboarding, distinctive look. By the end of his tenure there he had developed his known for his signature using “dirty” twSnowboarding, Beach Culture, and Ray Gunstyle, magazines. Hetype hasand annon-mainstream extensive listphotographic of techniques. innovative clients: Nine Inch nails, Toyota, international mercedes benz, Bank of montreal, Microsoft, He was also the art director of a spinoff magazine, Transworld magazine Meg Ryan, David Byrne, Bush, Quiksilver, Pepsi, and Xerox. Snowboarding, which began publishing in 1987. design, and use Steve and Debbee Pezman, publishers of Surfer magazine (and later of experimental David is featured in both “The History of Graphic Design” Philipto Meggs, as well as”The Surfers Journal) tappedby Carson design Beach Culture, a quarterly typography. publication that evolved out of a to-the-trade annual supplement. Encylopedia of Surfing” by Matt Warsaw. Though only six quarterly issues were produced, the tabloid-size He was the art by author Neil Fineman—allowed Carson to make his director for the He designed a special issue of Surfingvenue—edited Magazine titled “Explorations” which came out in july first significant impact on the world of graphic design and typography— magazine Ray of ’04. He also recently directed a television commercial for the progressive Banknot fond with ideas that were called innovative even byUMPQUA those that were in which inGun, Seattle, Washington. of his work, in which legibility often relied on readers’ strict attention. For he employed one feature on a blind surfer, Carson opened with a two-page spread covered in black.driven by intuition, with an emphasis much ofwork the continues to be subjective David’s and largely A stint at HOW (a trade magazine aimed at designers) followed. Carson typographic on reading material before designing it, and experimenting with ways to communicate in was hired by publisher Marvin Scott Jarrett to design Ray Gun, an and layout a variety of mediums. Carson remainsalternative a hands music on designer, keeping his that studio small and and lifestyle magazine debuted in 1992. style for which mobile. In one issue, he notoriously used Dingbat, a font containing only
Carson’s first book, with Lewis Blackwell, The End of Print, (forward by David Byrne) is the top selling graphic design book of all time, selling over 200,000 copies, and printed in 5 different languages. The work featured in The End of Print is the subject of various one-man exhibitions throughout Europe and Latin America,Asia and australia. Carson’s other titles include 2nd Sight, Fotografiks (with design historian Philip Meggs). He has two recently released books, TREK and The Book of Probes with Marshall McLuhan. David is also art director for the Mcluhan
Publication Designers in New York.
The International Center for Photography (NY) singled out Carson as the “Designer of the Year” for his use of photography and design. Print Magazine proclaimed his work
extensively throughout the world, as well as at colleges throughout the U.S., including Cranbrook, ARTcenter, Notre dame, RISD and Cal Arts. he has had numerous one man exhibitions of his work worldwide, and has spoken at over 100professional symposiums, including “Designer As Editor” at the Design Institute in Amsterdam. He teaches a week long workshop at the school of visual arts in nyc each summer.
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
Wolfgang Weingart, the legendary graphic designer, was born in Germany in 1941. He started his career via a 3 year apprenticeship with a hand typesetter from 1958 in Stuttgart. After which he moved to Basel, Switzerland and enrolled in the Basel School of Applied Arts (Kunstgewerbeschule). There he studied under Emil Ruder and Armin Hoffman. At the ripe age of 22 he was asked to join the staff at Basel. Weingart taught his students a unique perspective on “Swiss Typography.” Many who studied under Weingart were from all around the world and after completing their programs would return to their own countries to teach. Ultimately this spread Wolfgang’s typographic approach, New-Wave Typography, among the new generation of designers. New-Wave typography questioned the formal way text appeared
on the page. He discarded the indent for a paragraph, wide letter spacing appeared more and the emphasis of one word in a headline. The types of design he created he called, bunny types, sunshine type, ant type, five-minute type, typewriter type, and the for-the-people type. The New-Wave strongly rejected style and saw it more as an attempt to expand typographic communication. His work and influence go on to this day through his own efforts and the teachings of those he has once taught. In 2000 he published My Way to Typography. In 2005 he was given the honorary title Doctor of Fine Arts.
Neville Brody is an internationally renowned designer, typographer, art director and brand strategist. As founder of the Research Studios network and partner in each of our operations, his insight, methodology and appetite for excellence inform every aspect of our work. Today, in addition to lecturing and contributing to a variety of cultural and educational initiatives, Brody works both independently and alongside our designers on commercial and private projects – guiding Research Studios, our clients’ and inspiring the wider design community. Neville Brody is one of the most celebrated graphic designers of his generation – a leading typographer and internationally recognised art director and brand strategist. The founder of design agency Research Studios, Brody established his reputation working with record labels, magazines and a range of international clients from Apple to Dom Pérignon. His hugely influential work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions and publications, most notably the two-volume monograph The Graphic Language of Neville Brody, which was accompanied by an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Neville Brody studied at Hornsey College of Art and London College of Printing, first establishing his name in record cover design. He worked with Rocking Russian, Stiff Records, Fetish Records and Cabaret Voltaire, defining the visual language of independent punk music and culture. Brody expanded into the world of magazines as art director of The Face and subsequently Arena. Since its founding in 1994, Research Studios has expanded internationally, working in Paris, Berlin, Tokyo, Barcelona and New York. The studio’s branding, packaging, redesign and visual identity work has focused on a variety of clients, from Sony PlayStation to Bentley, and Kenzo to Nike. Brody was a founding partner of digital type library FontShop, for which he has designed many typefaces including Industria and Blur – the latter of which was recently admitted to the Museum of Modern Art’s architecture and design collection. He has also developed experimental languages for FUSE, a communication and typography
publication that inspired a conference and quarterly forum, as well as an exhibition at Ginza Graphic Gallery in Japan and FUSE 1-20 (edited by Neville Brody and Jon Wozencroft, 2012). Neville Brody was received numerous awards and honours, including the D&AD President’s Award (2011) and a Prince Philip Designers Prize (2010). Brody became dean of the School of Communication and head of the Visual Communication programme at the Royal College of Art in January 2011.