Learning Activites

Week 27 – Focusing on Pioneering Designers

Objetive observation

During the interview, Marian mentions, “When I worked at Digitopolis, I was working almost entirely on the computer, basically the computer and with photography. And now I am using a wide variety of materials, sometimes still involved with a computer and sometimes just with the materials themselves. But having a space like this allows me to obviously store them all, and to work on these various surfaces in different media.”

What is your opinion on the use of the computer combined with different media? Write one page (350 words) on your opinion of the importance of media and design and what your take is on the use of computer technology.

I honestly believe that different media can enable you to think more creatively – limiting yourself to one specific method is to limit your own creative boundaries. Having experience in working in a classroom, no student learn the same way. Therefore, using just one method of teaching or learning would limit the entire process as well. A good and motivational learning environment actually consist of a variety of tools, thinking methods and approaches. The same goes for working with design – using only one medium and one approach would severely limit our own way of thinking. By finding our own personal twist and preferences to our work, we can better represent ourselves as designers and better provide our customers with a variety of options.

That being said, I love using the computer myself to develop designs. I am not much of a drawer, but I do enjoy calligraphy and making bullet journals (hence I absolutely love typography). Using computer programs gives you an immense freedom in some sense – you can move things around, play with colours easily, change fonts at the blink of an eye. It’s not as permanent as working with the good old traditional pen and paper.

Without a sketch, however, is to me a bit pointless. Using media such as photography, sketching and combining a lot of media during the “ground work” planning the design is vital for me as a designer, and I draw inspiration from a lot of the things I see in daily life and my own interest. In those ways, the design becomes mine, which I believe is important to all designers – to incorporate some soul into the design. Therefore, a good design draws inspiration from everywhere, not only from computers and digital media. It can be the flower in your backyard. It can be the colours of the sky. A fancy book cover you saw while browsing for a present. The colour of your teacher’s shoes.

Pushing technology and changing philosophy

While describing her development of style, Marian states,”I am not an expert on illuminated manuscripts by any stretch of the imagination, but there are a couple of purposes of it. But one of those purposes is definitely to invoke wonder in this way that was very interesting to me and was feeding directly into my ideas about that symbiotic relationship between graphics and text.”

How do you think this links to the philosophy of the Swiss International School? How is it different? Has technology given us an advantage in expressing the symbiotic relationship between image and text? What about Marian’s work? Is this reflected in her work? Do a write-up (350 words) on the relationship between image and text, as seen in Marian’s work and relate this back to the Swiss International School. Substantiate your answers with relevant facts. You may use a visual example of both Marian’s work and that of the Swiss International School to facilitate your analysis.

Answering this is rather difficult, as there are links between the two, but at the same time both styles are unique in a sense. Both styles clearly has a preference in getting the message across, albeit the approaches to doing so is different. Marian prefers designs which will make the viewer look twice to interpret the actual meaning of the piece, while the Swiss style sports clear, to-the-point messages. Regardless, both styles favour designs that captures the viewer’s interest, although in different ways, and clean colours to further emphasise the message of the design itself. A huge difference, however, would be the implementation of a personal connection to the style. Marian’s style is very personal and unique to her, whereas designers working in Swiss style should refrain from leaving their personal touches on the design.

I do believe technology has made it easier to express image and text, by, as Marian does for example, creating images solely based on typography, or typography based on images or graphic elements. The freedom which we are given today by technology has given us more tools to move things around and experiment, albeit I personally believe that this isn’t limited to the technological advances we have gone and still are going through. Many of these things can be done without technology as well, using items to create patterns and words. Although it is difficult to go the other way without technology; to use typography to create items. Many of Marian’s works feature these elements, but she also makes use of both traditional and digital tools, to further emphasise the artistic side of graphic design.

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