Saturday, November 1, 2008

Show& Tell: Typography

For show & tell this week, I brought in Mark Danielewski's "House of Leaves." There's a lot going on in this story, and the different typefaces help distinguish between the three concurrent narrators.

In addition, the typography begins to get crazy as the events within the house become crazy. Sometimes words will run up and down a page to mimick movement along a staircase, or only a single word will be on a page so you feel the narrator's increasing isolation, or the type will be backwards to show his movement through a place. This treatment is always a thoughtful decision that reflects the story--it's never done as a decorative element, it's done because it adds to the story. In addition, there is a page of braille, there are crossed out lines in red, missing text, text overlap, etc.

It's very fascinating and even though it can get tedious to read a footnote that extends into a story on the following pages, and then turn back several pages to get to the original story that had the footnote; and to turn the book 360 degrees while reading, it's quite the experience that adds to the act of reading. I suggest reading and trying it to see how it effects you.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

REDESIGN, Project 3: Call to Action

I'm a strapped for time this week. But I had an epiphany and am now redesigning my phase 4 comps for Project 3. While I like where I'm going with this, I'm wondering if I've "been in the monkey house too long" and can't smell the stink.

So here are the before and afters. Please let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions--if you don't like the new ones, please say so, considering the professors won't hesitate to point out everything wrong, I'd rather not walk into class disillusioned that I had a good idea, but then again, maybe you'll like them...? I'd greatly appreciate comments, although understand, again with the time budget, I don't know what changes, if any, I'll be able to get to. But thanks!

Magazine ad:

Post card: the redesign isn't quite finished, and I forgot to make a jpg of the old version--but it was horizontal and it had a picture of the movie poster and book cover and it said VISION.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Design Ethics: Shepard Fairey

I was meandering on the web, when I found myself in the art section of the Obama store. If you scroll down to the sold out, iconic red, white and blue image of Obama and CHANGE poster at the bottom, you'll see Shepard Fairey was the artist. What made me think twice about him was in his quote he wrote, "I know I have an audience of young art fans," which I think is an interesting statement and I wanted to know more about him.

Well, it turns out he's the designer behind my favorite fashion line (OBEY)! And let me clarify by "my favorite fashion line," I mean, my favorite shirt is an OBEY shirt, and it's the only one in the line own, but I do heart it a lot and as a result OBEY is probably one of the only fashion lines I can name. But to continue on...

I was super excited to find out more about Mr. Fairey's company, past, art skills etc. (a la Wikipedia), but then I came upon this page: Obey Plaigerist Shepard Fairey. Essentially, the article claims that Fairey has pilfered the majority of his works from dead and living artists. He reappropriates art and imagery into a new context, but usually changes very little or none of the art itself, and he mass markets it under the presumption that it is his own work--never giving credit to the original artist or piece. [The side by side comparisons in the article are quite incriminating. Some look like exact replicas.] And, as the article points out, not only does he do this--he profits from it. Essentially, the article claims, he is stealing both art integrity and money from the original artists.

I'm just curious where people stand on this. Is Fairey a hack who has crossed the ethical design line? Has he cut ethical corners like any other business man does? Can he claim it as his own because he has created it in a new context? If it's not copyrighted and in the public domain--either because it's too old or was never registered--is it fair game? Is Fairey taking advantage of the fact that is hard to patrol and penalize art/idea theft? Does the belief, that an artist has a moral obligation to other artists to respect their work, exist in other career fields or is special to the art field because our creations are personal?

I'd like to know what you all think on any of this. Also, if you read my previous post on Foundation for a Better Life, you'll see that a similar thing happened to me--I love something, google it, then find obscure article blasting it. And like in real life, I'm having trouble finding the final Truth on the subjects on the Web. Ahh, elusive Truth, where have you gone?