DES2104 – Wk 7 Lecture

This week we started looking at Editorial Illustrations, which started with a brief history of illustrations, and the use of pictures in design. An understanding of this history will allow us to better communicate our design reasoning with clients, as well as aid us in our quest for design inspiration.

Some of the points discussed in the lecture were:

  • Editorial illustration is an approach to visual communication that is older than Graphic Design, and has different motivations.
  • Graphic design is generally regarded to have started with the ‘art poster’, a medium created with pen and brush, then copied with lithography or serigraph.
  • As well as rivalry occurring between the worlds of graphic design and editorial illustrations, photography also weighs into the mix of mediums competing for space.
  • Photography allows for replication (just as lithography did) but also took less time to to capture images.
  • Following the rise of photography and apparent objectivity of the photograph, painting/drawing was able to diverge and become more ‘animated’ and abstract.
Illustrations by René Gruau

  • Photography became a medium for objective and rational representation, splitting off from other mediums now considered subjective and emotional.
  •  The book Ornament and Crime: Selected Essays, by Adolf Loos advocates for the rejection of decoration / manufactured goods and an appreciation for the abstract
  • The migration of Bauhaus designers during and post WWII, coupled with the growth of the medical/pharmaceuticals industries lead to specific forms of graphic design overtaking other parts of like (movie posters, opera posters, building designs)
  • Photography and specific layout forms began to overtake in the US; however in the late 60’s there was a revival of older art styles
  • Computers came along, and although screens are ‘all about grids’ designers instead used them push beyond. See: deconstructionist aesthetic
  • Following typographic experiments in the 80s/90s, typefaces were re-engineered for the digital realm.
Vintage pharmaceutical packaging by Gary Emery

Note to self, iconic designers worth looking into further:

    • Richard Saul Wurman
    • Patrick Nagel
    • April Grieman
    • Zuzana Licko
    • Meville Brody
    • Brody Carson
    • Patrick Thomas
    • Andy Simionato

“Being original isn’t about being the first or unique, it’s about knowing the origins of different approaches and styles” – Andy Simionato

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