Saturday, 3 November 2012



Source: thisisdisplay

This is an the 3rd issue of a Graphic Design Journal published in Italy in 1938.

Campo Grafico was Italy’s premiere, independent printing, typography and graphic design journal of the 1930s. 66 issues were published in Milan, Italy from January 1933 to May 1939. The journal pioneered a platform for discussions and experiments re: the ideals of European avant-garde design.

You can see by the left hand alignment of perfectly spaced lines which end as soon as the title is placed 3/4 of the way down the right hand side of the cover. The beginnings of the grid system are visible, as so was minimalism, in terms of design, colour and style. This early work shows the similarities in design between Italian modernist designer Vignelli, and the Campo Grafico cover as shown above - they only include what is needed, to the point text, minimal illustration or aesthetics.  

Source: flickr

Georgi and Vladimar Stenberg 1929.
Russian Constructivist film poster

Georgi and Vladimar Stenburg are well known for their architectural style, showing warped perspectives and scales, showing movement by the spiralled text. The way the woman has been cut out and placed shows movement and dominance as she appears so big. The colours used, primarily yellow, black and white, were prominently used in the Russian Modernist Movement. By "Combat[ing] all the wrongs developed by industrialisation during the last century" Vignelli believes design can be improved learning from mistakes, and taking and improving features also. This is still seen to be on going, and features that are on this poster also have been adapted and used in Postmodern design.

Source: raifishdesign

This movie poster is designed by Experimental Jet Set, a design agency based in Amsterdam. It is set out in a traditional swiss graphic design type, using the International Typographic Style, and classic standard modernist features, such as aligning to the left, uppercase Helvetica, monochrome and basic information displayed. It's to the point, and is humorous and ironic in a playful manner. 

Source: rsu-design

Josef Muller-Brockman, was a designer who created the now commonly used 'grid systems' within design. You can see that even the type has been laid out perfectly in the centre of the grid; both vertically and horizontally. The title is in English and Swiss, and the subheaders are even aligned to the left of the grid. Typography; Helvetica.

Source: conceptgenius

Massimo Vignelli Subway Map

Vignelli is a Graphic Designer from Milan, Italy, and uses strict Modernist features in his work, and always sticks to a grid format within his work. He uses the rule of form follows function, and keeps to a minimalistic to the point style when designing. On this New York Subway map he is famous for designing, you can see that everything is to the point, and there is nothing shown which doesn't have a reason or a meaning to be being there. It uses Helvetica as it's typeface which is clear and legible, and the colours and highlighted by a key. Even the text is flushed to the left next to the key, and is laid out perfectly. Using the modernist style he uses throughout his work, he says "Modernism was never a style. but an attitude" - and it was. It was his attitude towards simplicity and structure which he uses on this subway map, which shaped future versions and variations globally. 


Source: henryseneyee

Jamie Reid, God Save The Queen Poster, 1977

Reid took side with the rebellion in the 70's, leading to 'anarchy' and the punk scene which came from the decade, by ripping out the Queen's eyes and mouth and replacing it with ironic Sex Pistols lyrics. This is appropriate for the era and since has become an iconic poster globally. It's post-modern design is clear in comparison to the modernist era. This poster is experimental, daring to the modernists, through the use of different sized fonts at different angles, and not being produced in a strict format with boundaries and guidelines on only using Helvetica and conforming to the International Typographic Style, postmodernists were breaking away from. Nothing is set out on a grid format, and it relates to more political issues, looking at social class and wealth, which were issues at the time also. However, not everyone believes that issues can be solved through that experimental medium. Massimo Vignelli believes that, "The followers of the Post-modernist are gone, reduced to caricatures of the recent past" summarising how everything that Post-modern designers have created, has only helped improve the Modernist designers. I really like this poster design, however, it wouldn't work well in the current decade, but at the time would of been powerful for the scene's followers. 

Source: behance

David Carson, is known as somewhat of an experimental designer, breaking rules and boundaries. He reflects postmodernist throughout his work in key ways - bold, experimental colour, different media and stock experimentation and collage, mixed typefaces at random sizes, and angles. He isn't afraid to try new layouts, compositions, patterns and type unlike modernists are. 

Source: n-cruickshank

Barbara Kruger is a well known post-modern designer, especially for her use of juxtaposition and photography. The image has been made to look like a shattered mirror through cutting and re arranging, like the type cleverly placed framing the main feature. The Sans Serif font is easy to read, and arranged in an experimental yet aesthetically pleasing manner. Her work can be seen as controversial touching on social, political and economical topics, which are appropriate at the time. You can see the elements of modernist design in this image also - type working around an image taking the focus, and being quite too the point. "The solutions are a problem are in the problem itself." - Massimo Vignelli  

Style and subversion 1970-1990

This postmodern poster design was part of an exhibition for the V&A. It's very experimental in it's style. It's use of geometric shapes in a multi coloured, multi patterned magazine cover, with blacked out eyes over the cover star, making it harder to work out who it is. There are also randomly placed illustrations of various objects/people; something which was unseen until this late postmodernist era. During this era their was a high sense of pop culture emerging, pop art was exhibited and displayed increasingly more and introduced icons such as Andy Warhol. There was a sense of pastiche, nostalgia,  youth, irony and culture in Graphic Design at this point in time, especially in the 80s.  Punk had taken over with the Sex Pistols iconic Jamie Reid Poster, grunge style and anarchist lifestyle. There's a strong sense that minimalism and stripping back to bare basics with design was being outweighed by this new experimental view. Modernist designer Vignelli would however look at this and think that he could "make it better".

Source: designomyte

This is a German poster from the Postmodern era, which shows typical features of design which was seen as 'outside the box' to the Modernists. This poster involves environmental influences which arose also within design, shown on here by the colours, patterns and shapes on the lefthand side. The type is really experimental being slightly transparent with different coloured type below as a sub header. The use of gradients and angular shapes is decorative and some may say unnecessary but shows the style perfectly. Playful type arose in the Postmodern era, moving away from strictly Helvetica and basic monochrome print, introducing grunge and exaggerated, and perhaps slightly illegible type. However, it works aesthetically and is so experimental that it works, even if it does really have no meaning. Work without meaning wasn't seen before, and Modernists thought that everything should mean something. Form should follow function with the "modernism's spartan, aesthetic look" (Vignelli) which has no room for fuss.