First version: the transition between two worlds

February 23, 2009

We know that any system has its first version. I remember when I was studying at the National School of Graphic Arts in Chile, and one of my first expression was: wow!!! who created this computer?

For the graphic industry it was the beginning of the revolution, an Apple classic II.apple_macintosh_classic_ii

In my graphic composition class (1988-1989) we were learning Linotype, that it was the old mechanic system of  lines composition with melted lead.

In this generation of graphic composition I was one of the first graphic designers in became part of the transition from the old system of graphic production and the new system called: “desktop publishing”.

My first experience using a software was with the famous Page Maker (Aldus Corporation) in 1989. aldus-logo1

I learnt how to produce forms, magazines, brochures, pamphlets and other graphic products. Basically, I was in presence of the first digital interfaces as a desktop.

“No more dirty hands in production” I really worked with a “white jacket” to give the welcome to the future… hahaha no more dark grey overalls for personal protection!!!

Nowadays, the new generations of graphic designers and multimedia artists only want the latest version of software. Most of them do not know how was the analog system of graphic composition. I consider me a fortunate person, because I lived in the transition between two worlds.

I sincerely believe that my experience in this transition gave me an important and consistent knowledge in the artistic field as a graphic designer. I can explain the transition between two worlds: the analog system and the digital system.

What was your first version?


The Graphic Designer’s method

February 20, 2009

I am participating in the new media design and web development program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), and I have been learning about the codes for web:  HTML, CSS, actionscript, javascript and PHP.

Despite to read many times different sources as books, manuals and specific web sites for understanding the principle of these particular languages, I have been thinking in the necessity of learning using graphic elements to explain the content.

Why? Very simple, if an instructor uses a creative method she or he can explain these issues visually and graphically more consistent than a way based only in the codes as a method.

In my experience, we should learn using icons, symbols, combinations of colors and different sizes of groups of information. Basically, a metaphor can help us to understand better than have lots of blocks of codes.

Too many signs and combination of characters do that we lose the sense. All people that have experience in these codes speak about “the semantic web”. We know that exist methods more consistent than another.

Probably we lost too much important information only for a wrong way in that an instructor is explaining us these languages of codes.

Graphic designers and programmers should have a similar method if the work needs the same results. A good example is when we are in a building for first time and there are lot of floors, rooms and corridors. If we do not have a clear signage that shows us what is the direction it is impossible to understand where we are.

The logic always works after all.


June 29, 2008

Last year I had a class that its name was “applied typography”.

In this class we had a study of the history and forms of characters.

I did a study of 2 fonts. For this project I chose the fonts Latin Wide and Garamond bold. I wanted to merge and to create a new font for display.

The result makes the students think in all forms of characters.

For example, the x-height and the spaces within the characters.

I did this work using Adobe Illustrator software.

Then we made another study on the pixels. For this project I did a square (1 mm) .

The instructor told us that we should have as principle 8 pixels for its height, and 5 pixels for the wide.

This assignment was very entertaining, because we saw the creation of fonts to display in its essence from the pixels and its behavior in different applications.

The final work for this class was a font that I called “John Zorn”.

During the class we heard a theme of the musician John Zorn.

Basically, the idea was to perceive the feeling that the music is transmitting, and then to draw or to write the name of the musician.

For this project I drew the name with black ink and brushes.

This work was experimental and one of the biggest benefits is that it creates an environment that helps us to develop the concept.

It appears that the fonts come to complete a draft design.

I think that we should only have the subtlety to find the correct font to communicate the message.

The importance of a typeface is vital to any design’s project.

The Graffiti

June 27, 2008

The graffiti has been developed several decades ago and slowly has captured many supporters and detractors around the world.

In this project I would like to show the graffiti as a means of popular expression. To graph that this applied expression is one way to see the art.

However, we shouldn’t confuse it with vandalism (which is also a means of expression that I will not be discussed in this post).

The graffiti has become a globally cultural phenomenon and has been a source of criticism unjustified in many cases.

I would like through this work for MDIA 2185 Adobe Photoshop class, to show this artistic medium.

When a graffiti is correctly applied, it shows us the culture, wealth and empties in our city.

I don’t accept the graffiti like a vandalism art. I respect the private property. Is not necessary to explain it.

Through these images and personal interpretations of reality, the artists are giving us a vision of our culture, as well as an important means of social criticism, for our city and thus of our society.

These images ornaments and decorates some abandoned sectors of the city, which undoubtedly is a visual change from something negative to something visually pleasing.

Sometimes, the graffiti is giving us life and color to the environment, depending on how we want to see it.

I wanted to show in this poster a change between the gray and dark of an environment with a color wave.

The colours are life!!!

The World Soundscape Project (WSP)

June 27, 2008

In 2007 from July to December I was participating in a program called “The sound as a material of design” in the Catholic University of Chile (Universidad Catolica de Chile).

There was a specific program in study, and we read a lot of information about The World Soundscape Project (WSP).

This project was established as an educational and research group in Vancouver by R. Murray Schafer at Simon Fraser University during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Its principal purposes were to put attention to the sonic environment through noise pollution in Vancouver.

Murray Schafer (in 1973) called “The Music of the Environment”, in which he describes examples of acoustic design. He wrote:

“Noise is a much bigger problem today than it was ever before. And so it is in the midst of the present cacophony that we’ve begun to listen very carefully to what is taking place around us with the hope that if enough people can be made aware of the facts, changes might be demanded and eventually brought about.”

R. Murray Schafer

Principally, this project recorded the Stanley Park sonic environment in a tape and then Murray Shafer studied the frequency and levels of sound. As result he called it Soundscape” having reference to landscapes.

The soundscape ideology recognizes that when humans enter an environment, they have an immediate effect on the sounds; the soundscape is human-made and in that sense, composed.

In this course I understood that “Soundscape” is the acoustic manifestation of “place”.

In this project we could feel the Hi-fi and low-fi Soundscape and its interaction between noise and people.

This is a very interesting project where the sound is the centre of design.

How can we design with sound?

The intervention of a graphic artist

June 26, 2008

I have always asked myself why sometimes the art is catalogued as elitist?

The question at issue: What is art and for what serves?

Perhaps, one of the many answers we could find in the prehistory and the desire of human beings to translate the reality and immortalized for the benefit of a people and future generations.

Since when art is sold?

The art has always been present in every historical period. It is important for example, the philosophical and artistic development during the Renaissance.

The Renaissance was only a local movement. To be more precise it was in the Florence city, Italy, but given its artistic features this phenomenon was able to go through over time and to influence to other cultures.

In this period of Europe’s history was forged one of the most important events for the art.

The commission and the sale of an artwork.

The art schools preparing disciples. Masters, teachers and disciples by speciality.

As in any period, there is a group of artists who are called avant-garde.

This group of artists development of the technical breakthrough in thoughts either against the system, against the company or perhaps, against the same artistic methodology legacy of their masters.

Considering the forefront as a form of expression there is an alternative art scene that must be present to transgress some rules.

The Graffiti is an artistic expression that makes its work on the walls or private property. This movement has a deep sense of social criticism.

In some cultures it is called vandalism.

The Urban Intervention is a movement where artists use the environment as an artistic support. The environment is used for paints, structures, sculptures, sound or spaces.

There is another artistic movement called Stencil.

This movement can have social criticism connotations where humor or the ironical has vital charge. However, the stencil is not a phenomenon of our times.

In prehistoric times we had already called the Cave Art. In many caves the man was protected from weather or predators.

This technique is associated with the stencil (to spit ink over the hands) that may has survival ideological roots.

There is another spontaneous movement called Sticker. This street art movement is used to intervene all public spaces.

The sticker uses as backing the street, signage, walls, billboards, buses, walls and every place where to put a message.

It appears that the artistic movements as the Intervention, the Graffiti, Stencil, Sculpture, Painting and Sticker are not contemporaneus and it have always been for the people.

What is the sense to hide an artwork? For that reason the mu$eum$’s cellars are full of artistic pieces.

What will Leonardo da Vinci tell us at seeing thousands of people waiting hours for entering to the museum and see his work called La Gioconda?

What kind of design do you prefer… the Apollonian or Dionysian?

June 26, 2008

We must recognize that our culture is influenced by the Greek world, for its mythology, and their gods.

Ancient Greece is known for its stance towards life and of course in the way they raised, experienced and created art.

One of its most recognized deities was Apollo.

Apollo is a God of beauty and wisdom in the full knowledge of things. A God of subtlety, beauty, poetry to life and its pleasures of well-observed.

Also we have Dionysus. He is a God of ecstasy, violence and the force.

A God who motivates with force, with masculinity and rudeness of physical expression.

These Gods show us two ways. These roads are embodied in our own design projects.

The Apollonian line is subtle. From harmonic ideas, that has to do with the enjoyment of the beautiful aesthetic.

The sculpture, poetry and music was mostly influenced by what the Apollonian line.

Instead Dionysian line is expressed in some cases violence. The art of war was influenced by Dionysus God.

This line of thought is connected with the strength, energy, movement, and the exacerbation of the senses.

Considering these philosophical lines in our projects that are crossing between what Apollonian or Dionysian line.

In a graphic piece we can have exasperation, anger, excitement, anger or exaltation.

Moreover, in a custom design we can take Apollonian beauty, harmony in the colors and shapes.

How to equate these lines without losing the goal in the design?

The goal in graphic design is the most important. The objective in any project is Communication.

Considering the communication as the primodial element, nothing is more important than talent or virtuosity of the designer, but his or her assertiveness in communication. Regardless of their artistic graphic vision which should prevail in its structure and content.

Taking clear the main idea Apollonian or Dionysian lines will give us the answer and the certainty of a goal achieved or not achieved goal.