Thursday, 6 September 2007
The 'Green My Apple' campaign has also set up a website www.greenmyapple.org that directly mimicks Apples. Apple rated low on use of toxic materials and recycling so it is directed at them as a company, not just at Apple consumers.
James Montgomery Flagg in 1917 created the propaganda poster below of the US WW1 army recruitment drive. A powerful image that aimed to knife patriotism and pride into the heart of all Americans. It was then subverted in 1971 in the 'Campaign to unsell the war' as an anti-war message. By then the image instantly recognisable, was used to tell the opinions of the people back at their government. This i think is a highly successful idea because it is demonstrating visually to both the people and the government what they really think of the idea of going to war. It is thoughtful, honest and above all eyecatching.
Here is another similar idea, recycling images and ideas as a way of trying to reach the rememberance of the horrors of what the war caused.
Images such as the one below can be found on the website http://glyphic.org/collection01.html
Most interestingly I discovered that the Aztec Calender's many patterns and symbols have meaning, but most importantly meaning beyond that of the Aztec culture. The Aztecs are well known to have conquered civilisations and stolen their cultural and religious icons. The calender, is acually not used as a calender at all but is a sacrifical alter known at the 'sun stone'. The face in the middle is the face of the sun (Tonatiuh) was the lord of heaven around which tokk place all daily or periodic phenomena. The crown, nose pendant, earings and neaclace showed that the god was wealthy and worthy. Wrinkles illustrated wiseness and maturity and the tonge like an obsidian knife indicated the need of being fed with blood and human hearts. These ideas have been followed through history, and have been taken from pervious cultures.
Mesoamerican artifacts have so much to show us about the lives and symbolism of the people that lived in what we would call a savage and cruel civilisation.
I especially enjoyed this piece because of the bold use of earthy reds and browns. This is a good representation colour for Mexico, as it echoes the colours of their skin, the land they work, and the blood that has been spilled to make Mexico the independant country they are today.
The images mirror everyday life and the struggles that have been overcome. It is an overall representation of the people of Mexico.
This piece of artwork also demonstrates the Mexican' s love of colour and form. It has airs of cubism and surrealism but the meaning and emotion i think is easy to see. Mexcio, has a love for music - most of it Marriachi - but even the sophistiction of western classical music has a folowing here.
The colours and composition of both the pieces create visual harmony, a harmony echoed in the everyday lives of the people.
Wednesday, 5 September 2007
Steadman created the front cover for Frank Zappa's "Have I Offended Someone?" album:
If you thought you knew everything about the art of these artists, think again, Schama has taught me things i would never have deducted for myself.
It is not difficult to see that something needs to be done to allow the old, ethnic, disabled population more access to the advertising, packaging, even signage that the rest of us take for graunted. Most graphic designers (according to the design council) are male, young and white, and im sure none of them are blind.
In accourdance with this the Royal National Institute of the Blind is launching a set of guidelines specifically for the deign industry, aiming to encourage designers to produce material that is legible by people with sight problems e.g. caps type can be difficult to distinguish for people with very poor eyesight as they will normally recognise the shapes of the words.
This idea of inclusive design opens up a whole world of new and exciting prospects for design. It is a subject that i would like to work more closely with in future assignments. I am not so niave that i don't realise creating something that appeals to a traget market as well as not alienating those who have disabilities or are minorities is a near impossible feat - you cannot please everyone - but i would like to see how far this could be taken.
Of course we are all aware of the pending global warming crisis that governments (and film stars) fear is upon us. Sustainable design is already apparent in the fields of eco-houses, sustainable energy resources, recycling. However it is not so obvious in graphic design. Sustainable Graphic Design concentrates on the use of packaging, what packaging is made of, what is used to print the images and words that differentiate each product. This i think is an interesting area and one that all Graphic Designers are going to have to welcome sooner or later.
There is an interesting site www.designarchy.com that you can check out if you like the idea of sustainable design. This graphic design company have embraced using sustainable materials, inks and concepts, and have produced some pretty good work along with it.
If i am honest i could rave about this company for hours. Instead check them out for yourself: www.whynotassociates.com
The image is so powerful, use of the English flag as a focal point is instantly recognisable, as is the footballer Wayne Rooney. Rooney's expression mid-scream amongst the taught muscles of his body replicate a 'Braveheart' impression, as well as a sportsmans victory. The image is raw and compelling, not something that is usually found in slick sports adverts.
Perhaps most interestingly however is the controversy that surrounds this advert. Nike was attacked over the Rooney 'warrior' advert by MPs and church groups for being 'offensive', 'explotative' and 'tacky' (2006). It seemes it is the christ-like pose that provoked condemnation. Other people have interpreted it as a battle cry, as arousing war amoung football fans. Labour MP Stephen Pound commented "This is such a horrible image and is so horribly war-like that it can only be described as Nike being crass, offensive and insensitive as they try to hitch poor old Rooney to their commercial bandwagon." (2006). Nike replied by saying they had non of the above attentions, they were merely showing him in his trademark goal-scoring celebration gesture.
I am interested in Ethics in Advertising and so to me this advert has become all the more compelling. Personally I think that this is a Nike ad, a sports make. I think we can safely say that any deeper meaning below patriotism, passion and pride was unintended. What could Nike gain from religious symbolism except for perhaps more publicity over their advert?
Pound, Stephen (2006). Daily Mail - Nike Attacked Over Rooney 'Warrior' picture [Accessed online 4/9/07] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=391684&in_page_id=1770
Tuesday, 4 September 2007
I was also interested by his use of 3D in the image above. The stigmata wound on her hands actually protrudes from the painting with rather crude, papier-mache. This i think could have been created more successfully but the disbursions and spraying of blood crete the impression that this is not her blood but the blood of the painting. It is an exciting effect that makes you delve into the possible meanigs in and behind the painting.
I have provided a YouTube video i found as i do not have a ditital camera with video capabilities. The sound quality is not that good because of the sound of the wind, but in real life the sound is much more impressive. It would almost be calming if it wasnt so cold!
I think that the reason that enjoy and find so alluring mexican street graphics is that they are not perfect. the high-tech world of graphic design at the moment allows artisit to create 'perfect' design. These hand painted designs emitt the soul and personality of the person who created it. A crooked line, a mistake often has more fervor and sincerity.
To a foreign visitor from a western country where functional advertsising uses primarily photographs, some of the images seem a little absurd, immature perhaps. Even the content of some images are confusing and contradictory e.g. a roman ceaser eating a mexican torta. However it is this fantastic juxtaposition that goves mexican graphics their own distinctive identity and dynamic.
Many of the images shown here have been created on one fell swoop, without preliminary drawings or plans. This is difficult for me as a student in britain to comprehend because planning to me is of utmost importance. For me to create a piece of graphics or art, i find it necessary to create different preliminay versions before creating my final image, and even then changing it, often dramatically. It could be seen however that the mexican's casual creative procedure as either being original or impassive.
Finally i was most attracted initally by the usage of colours. Mexico is a bright, colourful country in the face of poverty and depression. People go about their everyday lives with more vigor and get-up-and-go than the citizens of our inifinitly more comfortable, weathly country. And this si think is refelected in the colours of their clothing, their houses and their street graphics.