Week 3: Globalisation… An unstoppable force!

Notes from Sam Winston His narrative is the one I connect with the most, I think it is important to push against the standardisation that can come with globalisation “People still respond to other people the best… “ From watching the guest lectures I do believe that globalisation has pushed and evolved design in really exciting ways, it is an unstoppable force, it’s happening and we’re all a part of it. It’s always good to push against these unstoppable forces to add flare, creativity and different narratives into the world around us.

Harriet Ferguson of Pearlfisher It was interesting to see Harriet’s world of Graphic Design, initially I felt I didn’t connect so much to the work shown, mainly I think because of the London centric narrative of Harriet’s design. This is interesting to note as although Pearlfisher are a global company it felt very restrictive within the UK. I thought the Havana Club work was really interesting… It would be amazing to work on a branding project with enough budget to allow a design team to head to Cuba and work with local artists. I have a slight cynicism with all of the work presented in this presentation but it is mostly because it feels so far removed from my journey with Graphic Design and I can’t see myself in Harriet’s shoes in years to come… A positive token to take away it that I am pleased some brands like Havana Club work with authentic Cuban artists to create their aesthetic.

What is the scope, and what are the boundaries of graphic design today? Current and future? I think the main bulk of Graphic Design is tightly bound by money, business and capitalism. Many of the examples we have looked at this week are all linked to products, yes, many of those products serve a purpose in everyday life but I think the narrative of any product can become diluted when every single brand / product are pumping thousands of pounds into their design. It poses an interesting question for me, I feel quite strongly about not wanting to design content for things that people can buy, yet what is it that keeps drawing me back to graphic design as a process? There is huge power in graphic design, it can change behaviours, influence the political landscape, bring together movements of people and make people feel a part of something. I think in a global future the need to instil a sense of community and identity in smaller towns, cities and countries will become increasingly important. I hope that graphic designers continue to communicate stories that matter to people, information that betters people’s lives and ultimately connects us more to our time on earth.

Exploring the categories used by D&AD “sometimes you need terminology with which to view the world through and sometimes terminology or categories, can limit and set boundaries for our creative practice. It has it’s uses at times and at other times it’s unnecessary” Kristoffer Soelling What a broad, varied, overlapping yet also limiting set of categories… I don’t think the boundaries within these categories reflect the boundaries I had highlighted after watching this weeks lecture material. If I reflect back to the quote from Kristoffer I think in the case of D&AD there isn’t perhaps a need to have such a range of categories, I feel the range is actually slightly limiting.

Our categories span the full spectrum of disciplines, from commerce to digital; graphic design to book design; art direction to writing; entertainment to gaming & virtual worlds; impact, collaborative and side hustle; and much more. ” D&AD Graphic Design as a standalone category has huge overlaps with book design, future impact, experimental, magazine and newspaper design, packaging design and typography just to name a few. Are we saying that a graphic designer cannot be experimental? Some notable gaps that I can see are campaign design, accessible design, design for education and design for planet. These to me are hugely relevant in today’s graphic design world and personally are probably the only sub categories I would be able to enter with my current design portfolio I really enjoyed looking at the work in the Graphic Design category. It was super varied and often work in this category was also placed in other categories too. One project I absolutely loved was produced for the Ministry of Health Kenya. Lesso Lessons combined educational material for mothers on beautifully designed Lesso’s which have been given out across Kenya to highlight the importance of breastfeeding for child development. The designs have drawn inspiration from traditional prints from the area. This is the sort of project that communicates why and how important graphic design can be…. this will save the lives of children, and it is just a bit of fabric! So cool.

What I have noticed after analysing the categories in the D&AD and comparing them to last weeks challenge of identifying practitioners local to me is that actually I really value practitioners that do one thing, Gordon Young and his typographical public artworks… They are all very different but they have a strong similarity. Jake Dow Smith: https://jakedowsmith.com/ He was sited in the lecture material as a web designer who very much does just that. His aesthetic is very unique and he produces beautiful websites. Sam Winston and his beautifully crafted typographical pieces. Perhaps what all of these people have in common is that they have a strong sense of art and experimentation running through their work. In the case of Gordon Young I enjoy that he paints, everyday, yet this is never a feature of his public facing work. It must influence his everyday work but it’s almost like an athlete that trains everyday for a big event, he is just keeping his eye in tune with the world around him.

Breaking the Boundaries of Graphic Design What do I think fits under the umbrella of Graphic Design?
Print
Branding
Editorial
Art Direction
Production
Typography
Front end web design
Design for education

For an example of graphic design that doesn’t perhaps fit under the traditional umbrella I’ve settled on the work of Gordon Young, Why Not Associates. The example of the comedy carpet above is arguably just a typographic project, yet it evokes memories in people from the messages it conveys. People interact with the letters more like they are sculptures and people come from all over to visit this piece. You can see more here: https://gordonyoung.info/thecomedycarpet/https://gordonyoung.info/thecomedycarpet/

His typographical sculptures, I believe, push the boundaries of graphic design. They are art pieces, they are inclusive, they illustrate a story of a place or of people in that place.

Enveloping Design Wrap up, cover, or surround completely… A design practice that takes you into it’s story for a moment in time. Edit… I’ve updated this to: Slowly Immersive Design It’s not the catchiest title BUT I believe a slowness in immersion allows the viewer to greater connect to an idea / project / place. I’m particularly interested in this type of design as I believe it is the key to helping people better connect with nature and their immediate surroundings. I currently work creating educational resources for an environmental charity… there is a huge drive to reverse the rising disconnect of people and place and I think this can be done through design.

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