Category Archives: Text

Anti Design Festival 2010

What are your views on the website for last years anti design festival? I remember receiving the link and completely hating it, I struggled so much I had to shut it down. My friend who is an artist and involved in the festival thought my reaction was great. To me, my “loss of mental focus” seemed pointless….

Art v Design

Form over Function….


Paul Rand’s use of typeface

I read the following on a book on Paul Rand, by Steven Heller (pg. 122) and I thought it applied well to our discussion on the texts by Beatrice Warde and Jeffery Keedy

…1945, without previous experience in book design–a craft that was jealously guarded by traditional typographers and compositors

So, as Elizabeth had mentioned yesterday, Keedy’s text about Beatrice Warde, comparing her views on book typography, in 1932, and his views, in 1993, on book typography, (not necessarily classics) as well as the use of type in ads, is not feasible. It is like comparing oranges and apples.

…since Rand was a functionalist, he respected those rules that contributed to legibility, and his interior book design was clean and handsome. His typography illuminated the theme of the book, but it was void of allusions to the past.

…while Rand refused to adhere to outdated rules and modes of composition, he never entirely rejected classical design, especially venerable typefaces, when deemed appropriate: ‘it is a mistake to think that the modern typographer does not have a healthy respect for tradition’, he wrote in American Printer in ‘What is Modern Typography?’ Rand argued that, ‘one cannot deprecate the contributions made by such men as Goudy, Rogers…


Allen Hori’s 1989 poster ‘Typography As Discourse’ was designed to announce a lecture by Mcoy,  is a manifesto for a design practice informed by literary theory.

Hori’s Typography challenges the traditional opposition between seeing and reading. He treats the surace as both theoretical content and a sensual form, as both text and texture.

Rather than delivering information directly, Hori’s poster expects the reader to work to uncover the messages.

This approach appears to be very radical compared to the ‘form follows function’ approach, but is equally as interesting. Does it read well? Maybe not. Does it spark interest through the reader reader engaging with the piece? maybe so.

So bad it’s even been on the news and soon also in the movies

Helvetica, the movie

Maybe something for us to watch?

“Overlong but fascinating, Mr. Hustwit’s documentary posits Helvetica — a sans-serif typeface developed in 1957 at the Haas Foundry in Munchenstein, Switzerland — as an emblem of the machine age, a harbinger of globalization and an ally of modern art’s impulse toward innovation, simplicity and abstraction. Its versatility is showcased in shots of storefronts, street signs, public transportation systems, government forms, advertisements and newspaper vending boxes.”


Sorry, I just had to! If nothing else, as a contrast to the beautiful poster Joana showed us 🙂

“Les Calligrammes” by Apollinaire

Hey guys,

Here is pictures of “Les Calligrammes – subtitled Poems of war and peace” “visual poetry” by Guillaume Apollinaire between 1913-1916. I think it is interesting to see what he creats with the combination of poem and visual form in such a period. Here is a quote from him which I think redraw the strong context he was in and the purpous of his work :

“The Calligrammes are an idealisation of free verses poetry and typographical precision in an era when typography is reaching a brilliant end to its career, at the dawn of the new means of reproduction that are the cinema and the phonograph.”


reflecting upon some of the   The Crystal Goblet ways of using text
Process Values
•    To reject traditional forms and decorative elements
•    To seek a solution that was simple and direct
•    To be concerned with process by which the designer worked
•    To use systematic methods rather than intuitive ones
•    To use rational, objective approaches to the solving of graphic problems
•    To think about relationships in form and content
Formal Visual Values
•    To use geometric shapes: the circle, the triangle and the square
•    To use primary colours
•    To use sans serif typefaces
•    To show contrast in typography material
•    To base work on pragmatic issues of printing, paper sizes, photo-engraving, standardisation
•    The use of photomontage rather than drawings or illustrations
•    The use of silhouetted photographs with white backgrounds
•    The use of maps and diagrams
•    The use of graphic symbols and icons
•    The use of asymmetric page layout
•    The use of grid or clearly delineated page-organizing method
•    To apply a planned visual hierarchy in the manner in which the graphic elements were integrated
•    To know and apply perceptual laws (i.e keeping elements grouped)
•    To apply continuity in page flow

Design Writing Research


I found this book in the library, theres lots of interesting reading but the “Laws of the Letter” writing is particularly relevant to our Text essays:

Design Writing Research: Writing on Graphic Design by Ellen Lupton, Abbott Miller

Theres more copies I think!