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Monday, February 28, 2011

Design Hero: Bill Bernbach

"Rules are what the artist breaks; the memorable never emerged from a formula." - Bill Bernbach began a creative revolution changing the face of the advertising and graphics industry. The 50s and 60s were dominated by consumer culture, possessions were more important than anything else. After the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and the subsequent Depression, America was constantly stimulated to buy, conditioned to appreciate the joy of material things. This created a consumerist society, form followed function, form drives the desire to buy. A classic example of this is the Nash advert.

Visual Language, and Design and Composition

The advert claims that only true happiness comes from ownership of this car. With this car you can be the top of your class, show off infront of your neighbours. Buy Big.

 You can't get better, its the newest so its got to be the best..right?
So new no-one will have it...yet.
The holiday your going on won't be as good or as flash as this car, this drive will be the best part about it. But what a con because its not necessarily going to be the most comfortable or safest or best journey you could make but you show off while your doing it. 

All of these adverts use all the space, bright colours and clutter the page with this american dream lifestyle endorsing a disposable society. Our enormously productive economy demands that we make consumption our way of life that we convert buying and  use of goods into a ritual.

Bill Bernbach was sick of this narcissistic industry that is supposed to be about creation, but instead cons people and slowly begins to turn them against advertising all together.  Paul Rand and Bernbach joined forced starting their own company with the first art director to copywriter equal collaboration. DDB created graphics that dealt with real life, what they were going through, not having all this money you were supposed to have. DDB empathised with their audience, and this is how they changed everything.

Audience and Context

The Volkswagen Beatle was actually designed by Hitler, and in 1959 DDB were brought in to advertise it. DDB began in New York  a predominantly Jewish City, so how do you sell a Nazi car to Jews? By recognising who the audience was and respecting them. Instead of bullshitting, just telling the truth. 
Yes it was designed by Hitler, but its actually a pretty decent car. 
The photograph is of one of the cars from the production line that didn't make it, due to a imperfection on one of the doors. Lemon an insult in america was thus used to describe it, it was useless - a lemon. The advert was a double entendre, open, honest and funny. The first ad of its kind.

Visual Language, and Design and Composition

Many more ads of this original style were then created
This style is still rarely used today, as clients hate to pay for space that isn't being used. But how much more effective is this.  By placing the product at a distance on a sea of white space, it encourages you to   focus on the car, there is nothing else to distract you. The car is small, its not flashy, but why not. 
Less is more. 
Also due the era this advert was fairly controversial, going against everything every other company has been trying to tell you...think big. DDB recognised the american dream didn't really exist and not everyone can afford the luxuries that they were supposed to have. Why not think small.

In 20 years the car barely changes, no need for adjustment or alteration like all the fancy cars that come out. This is perfect as it is. 

 Making a comment on 50s society, if you're trying to impress by having a big car, big house ect but maybe can't afford it. Get the Beatle it will at least make your house look like its bigger. 

Creative Thinking
By looking at the context of the time in which we are designing for we can understand the needs of our audience and create something which has a direct appeal. 
Cadburys' - Gorilla - "A glass and a half full of joy."
At the beginning of 2007 sales of cadbury's chocolate plummeted as their unhygienic method of storage caused a contamination in their chocolate, causing an outbreak of salmonella. Cadbury's needed something new to get their name back out there amongst trusted products. People remember eating Cadburys chocolate when they were younger, and have fond associations of these memories, so ad agency Fallon were briefed to "Bring back the joy". Juan Cabral using the style of classic DDB did this in the direction of the now legendary commercials.

This style of advertising is so effective it doesn't ram information down your throat or force you to accept a brand. Fallon with Cadburys like DDB create humour and entertainment. Memorable advertising, make the audience think and appreciate the idea, and the function of the product your selling. (DDB Volkswagen Beatle advert -
 "How does the man who drives the snowplow get to the snowplow?" ) 
 Bernbach is a design hero, he took graphics by the scruff of the neck and brought it back to what it should be, creative, fun, unique, and not solely about affluence. In relation to my work or any other graphic designer, understanding your audience is key.  Always create something thats memorable. "Think Different".


Monday, February 21, 2011

The Work and Practise of So-Me

A closer look into the styles and inspiration of Parisian artist So-ME, art director of Ed-Banger Records. 
There is a huge overlay between fine art and graphic design, the two often merge together; by one inspiring the other, development of an artist, development of art culture. For example Bar at the Folies Bergere, by Manet, demonstrates how commercialism and therefore graphics was being introduced to fine art.

Notice how branding has creeped into this detailed painting? The champagne bottles on the side.

This then continued to develop into the art movement known as pop-art, which emerged late 50s. With famous artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Litchenstein. 
Pop-art a descendant of Dadaism (another art-movement in which the artists aim was to destroy traditional values of art, but we won't talk about that in detail now.) mocked and parodied traditonal work incorporating elements of mass/ popular culture, such as comics, and everyday items like Campbells soup.

Audience and Context

The popular culture however in contemporary art has transferred over to music. Peter Saville - Unknown Pleasures -Joy Division,  Hipgnosis and George Hardie - Dark Side of the Moon - Pink Floyd. 
Graphic design began to take over music, with the minimalistic style becoming a distinguishing element, it was not understood that designs could be expanded to suit whatever medium and not just be used as a pretty image to sell records. As technology expanded and music videos took over graphics became as much apart of album covers, or music videos as the music itself.

Moving from design on lp's to motion graphics to incorporating that into music videos. So-Me's art direction for Justice D.A.N.C.E utilising motion to create the illusion t-shirt designs are forming a narrative creating from itself.  The incredible video goes through hundreds of t-shirts parodying the style of the noughties with the music from the past, michael jackson, pink floyd, the bugles, t-rex amongst others which is perhaps a comment on contemporary culture, that we are merely re appropriating the old and cutting it with the new. Our generation is in a state of limbo between the music of our parents, grandparents, and the music we grew up with now mixed up into some super genre...The sampling generation. 

Musical artist Mr Flash (part of Ed Banger Records) is branded by SO-ME as a contrasting musician mixing metal and rock, with 80's synth two extremes, which by mashing together forms an abstraction, creates something unique and interesting. Notice the bright colours used which connote this 80s pop genre contrasting against the dark greasy haired metal head facial silhouette. This visual language is repeated in many of SO-ME and Mr Flash's work, constantly communicating this concept of re-appropriation.
Nike for their 25th anniversary branched out from sports to popular music , using Busy P as a commercial tool. Of course Nike is a huge brand and has no problem making sales but like every company are always looking to boost those sales, and how better than to use the fashion style of rnb and trainers and manipulate that to talk to the fans of Busy P. The majority of consumer products these days are sold via our favourite celebrity, just so we can be that much closer to the utopian world of celebrities. Nike is one of the many examples of commercial crossover or collaboration.

SO-Me has become one of the most successful contemporary designers, grabbing the attention of superstars like Kanye West, who from MTV music awards thought he was the best music could get, but got knocked to reality when he recognised this huge sampling culture he could be apart of. SO-ME seems to have single handedly created this DIY society and brought the world along with him.  Virgin Media's - UK TV campaign by Rapier buying into SO-ME's style using kinetic typography, other forms of motion graphics.

So if we've gone from Fine-art to Dadaism to Pop art to Re appropriation,  what comes next. 


Designing for Digital

Helping and Independent Coffee Chain go Digital.

Consider how it will be distributed, the user experience, and how to optimise that experience for the particular platform.

Initiatives created for the coffee chain, to help them to go digital:

  • Digital Loyalty card
  • Coffee of the Day Menu (similar to Sub of the Day)
  • Find us (nearest coffee store)
  • Compare (compare to other leading coffee chains)
For this brief I Chose to use a smart phone application as my platform for digital launch. As this allows mobility for the initiatives i am introducing.

Possible names for the company:  
Coffee Cabin, Cabin Coffee, Caffeinate Me, Wired, Jitterbug, Heart Racing, Accommodate Caffeinate, Caffeine House, Coffee Shakes, Coffee Carousel, Carouse, Coffee Coffin.

Designing a colour scheme for the company

First Idea

I then decided this was too boxy and boring, and changed my design to this:
This design gave the type more shape, and the texture was a cutout from a coffee cardboard holder which was kind of accidental but gave the image personality to an otherwise bland design. The light tones of the cup holder contrasts against the original dark mahogany brown. 

The hand written type here is far from perfect, with some letters tilting forwards, backwards or bolt upright. Also the spacing between the letters needs to be adjusted so its equal. However as it was a quick brief I didn't really have time to alter the flaws of the design.  I will keep it as it is and learn from my mistakes for next time. 

Started working on a loyalty card, however realised i needed some form of logo for the company to use as a stamp.

 - This was too detailed, the design wouldn't be legible as the size of a stamp on a smart phone screen and instead used a coffee bean.

Then i wanted to learn how to make the buttons of my application look real so i followed an online tutorial, and this is what i got.
Notice the shadows and glass effect as if is on a screen. Very simple to make as well. 
I then incorporated all the buttons into each screen of the application

Here is the button for Coffee of the Day.

And then the final images: