Thursday, March 6, 2008

Graphic Design The New Basics


So, for anyone who's interested to know, Ellen Lupton along with Jennifer Cole Phillips have written a new design book that's being published, out for release March 20th, this year.

For those of you who have had some of Christy's classes, Ellen Lupton is the one that writes pretty interesting articles for design magazines, we've read some of them and we have very much concurred with a lot of what she has written. For those of you who haven't read anything of hers, she has quite a broad perspective on what art and design are. I don't wanna use the word "different" but rather Lupton has an alternative view of what design is all about. I would think this book is worth a read.

I just thought it would be useful for everyone to know about it. It seems to be a pretty basic book, from what the blurb on amazon says... "The New Basics is the new indispensable resource for anyone seeking a smart inspiring introduction to graphic design, and destined to become the standard reference work in design education."

Anyway. If you guys wanna check it out, just go to amazon.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Music FTW

All I have to say is HECK YEAH!

(Also, for you Oscar watchers, it is a travesty that Persepolis didn't win for Best Animated Feature. If you haven't seen it - GO. Go see it now!)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

RAW # 2

Ok. So here is Part 1 of the response the essay article When Form Has Become Attitude -- And Beyond by Thierry de Duve. I say it is only part one because, like many of my classmates and friends, I am waiting to have a very insightful discussion about this article, and to try to make a little bit more sense out of it. Yes, it was a tough read, and I certainly had to read parts over to try to really capture what de Duve was trying to say, so here are some of my thoughts about that...

In the whole article, he seems to be comparing the Academic model for education against the modern, Bauhaus model for education. He is not for or against either, he rather presents the pro's and con's of both models in a relatively objective way. He also, at the end of the article, poses a question to his readers, almost as a call of action: what do we do next? what is the model an educational institution could take...

First off, my immediate response to this question was: well, let's mix up the old and the new, heck! Why not??? But is it as simple as that? I mean, ok. Let's try to mix both the Academic model along with the Bauhaus model and create something else. Well then, things begin to get messy and contradict each other (as both models have multiple contradictions to each) and then I wonder what about taking other cues for a new model from other masters? For instance, in the introductory part, de Duve touches on how there are many pedagogical programs that are based and developed on creativity, and that some "teaching programmes [are] based on the reduction of practice to the fundamental elements of a syntax immanent to the medium". Here, he points at Kandinsky and shows how because of his ideas, most school have 2D and 3D studio classes. Well, then he also says, why not take our cue from Cubism and have a 1D and a 4D class as well, to which my response was YES! WE SHOULD! So here is where I get stuck because I think of all these pedagogical models, like Montessori for example, and then I think of the Academic model, and I seem to reject that over the Bauhaus model, but then there are things I dislike about the Bauhaus as well, so where are we headed? Is it all about a model based on conceptual art now??... Maybe I'll go into this a bit later.

So. The Academic model of education is based upon talent, metier, and imitation. While in opposition, the Bauhaus model is based on creativity, medium, and invention. That is what de Duve presents here....

(Sorry, I have to finish this post later! Also, after talking about this article in class, I think things might be a lot clearer in my head to put the down in writing. Until then!)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Design = Heart

This is the response to Carolyn McCarron Sienicki's article: Design = Heart?, Stefan Sagmeister asks students: Can design touch someone's heart?

There are multiple important points that Sienicki proposes in this article regarding Sagmeister's ideas. One that caught my attention was the idea that as designers we have power. Which just inmediately made me think: well, as artists, we ALL have power. I mean, who does not remember the controversy that aroused out of Picasso's cubist pieces at first when they first came about? Or those religious depictions (paintings) made out of urine? or fecal matter? What about Maya Lin's Vietnam Veteran's Memorial? There is no doubt that ALL artists, whichever area they are in can certainly create quite a bit of commotion. However, does that mean that the works touch our hearts? Obviously these and many other art works must in some way affect us personally, our emotions, to have such strong reactions to them... We connect or do not connect to the different views presented to us. Yet I guess I question even myself, whether we are only connecting or reacting to the aesthetics of the piece and we do not see beyond it, or we do not really know what "it is about" because, like Sagmeister proposes, we don't really "believe in anything", or at least we don't really do believe in anything strongly enough to CARE.

I want to say YES, I CARE! I BELIEVE IN SOMETHING! I believe in values, I believe in that design can change the world, I believe in what I do, in my work and its power to put a smile into people's face.
If I do believe that design can in fact touch someone's heart (and thus change the world), then I think that the biggest question still remains, as was mentioned in class before, what is design for me? Even though I have a sort of definition of it, I think I still have can go far and wide with it, and I do have to focus and emphasize this question a lot more when it comes to defining my work, and in essence, defining me.

Another phrase that caught my attention in the article is: "When one's personal interest, strength and passion come into play, the design solution is stronger because the designer has more conviction." I am fully engaged by this idea, as many of you are too! If I show passion through what I do and I really am doing what I want to do, then not only will I be happy, but I will be true to myself and my work will reflect that honesty and that passion. Obviously, this along with a mixture of very hard work and spiced up with a tad of luck, will most likely provide for not ending up a poor or bankrupt artist. I mean, I know that I worry about being able to survive out in the world as a professional as I am sure many of you do too... So, call me a hopeless romantic for my views or perhaps naive to no end, but I truly believe, if you do what you love, you might not be rich, but you will be happy. And if you're a happy artist, if you're a happy human being other people will enjoy working with you, networking with you, having you as their employee. Right? I mean, this is almost a matter of logic for me... and I trust that maybe I will not gain millions with what I do but I will work thinking of the benefit of the people, and to "touch their heart" to quote the article itself.

Finally, the last point I wanted to make regarding the article is was this idea of "STYLE = FART". Style and good form have their place I think. Yes, sometimes it really doesn't matter whether you use a specific typeface for a design or another one, that's all about superficiality and all that... but I think that certain aesthetics do matter for certain kind of designs. I mean, as artists, let's not kid ourselves: we do care about aesthetics. Our views of how "pretty", "ugly" "deformed", "odd", "sweet", "cool", "disgusting", "spicy", "rambumcious", etc., etc. an art work can be are based completely on our personal views and aesthetics, yet I know at least I do value my own personal aesthetics. And thus, for me, style and form does matter. For example, in the article, there's Sue Walsh showing how she designed a way through which to support and thank the NYDS employees for their hard work all the time! And instead of putting up a billboard, or designing any flyers or things like that she went right to the source and took the decision to apply her designs to things like gloves, that these workers themselves could use and protect themselves. Not only was her visual design compelling and placing these workers on a higher light, but her decision to use gloves was part of that style. This is where style supported her idea: heightening even more that support for the NYDS hard workers.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that yes, I want design to be 'good' to look at ("pretty", so to say) but just because it is pretty, it does not mean that the design's meaning has to suffer.

Anyway, that's all I have to say about the article for now. I think there are a lot more ideas that I can pull out and find very important out of this article. But I'm gonna stop there for now. Thanks for reading (if you made it this far that is). Thanks!

Thursday, January 31, 2008



Thursday, January 24, 2008


Oh! yeah! That's where I heard that line, that I was desperately looking for, that I consider fundamental to include in some part of my thesis or something...

I do believe: "Pop-ups aren’t just for children: my pop-ups are designed for original audiences.
" (haha!)

I think MY: "Pop-Ups appeal to an unusual demographic."

Yeah, and also, I was brushing up on some of my pop-up history, and I remembered, I mean, children were not even allowed CLOSE to a pop-up when pop-ups first came about. They were more for scientific books, and things like that. Too refined for little kids...

Anyway. That's that. All I wanted to write, in order to remember. Thanks Emily... And I mean that in a completely SARCASTIC TONE for HACKING my page!!! Nah, nah... Just kidding... Thanks for finding those quote lines for me. And yes, pushing daisies is pretty cute!

You know you're pop up addict when...

...your pop-up is cleaner than your house clean up the outside of it more than your car or laundry
...your pop-up is more organized than any room in your apartment think of your pop-up more than your b/friend or g/friend think of you pop-up when you're at work, at home, resting, sleeping, etc., etc. go to the store to get a few things and just happen to spot some things that you gotta have for the pop-up
...the only time you sleep more than 5 hours a night is when your camping

I'll think of some more to keep this going... but yeah. i took most of these ideas from this other blog place about pop-ups.. very, very true statements, and funny.

Please feel free to add on to this list if you think of anything appropriate...