Monday, September 12, 2011

Response to Readings: Towards Critical Autonomy, The Designeras Catalyst, Beyond Literal Materiality, Now That We Can Do Anything, What Will We Do?

Towards Critical Autonomy or Can Graphic Design Save Itself? by Andrew Blauvelt

Computer-aided design is a debate as the article mentions as well as the limits of readability and legibility which was sparked in the nineties. The bedrock principle of designing stylishly. Styles match to the logic of the marketplace, today style has been reduce down to convenience. I think in response to Andrew Blauvelt and the comment he makes that graphic lack coherency and is disperse due to the expansion of the various outlets that "visual" can be shown such as print, television, video, film or the internet. I think that now designers are more aware in creating an identifiable system that can be translated and keep qualities of their identity through the various platforms. The author also makes the comment that "graphic design is identified more through various products than any sense of social practice. I think this important to keep in mind for Ivanhoe to not just limited our ideas to artifact but rather what is the social responsibility that should inspire individuals from this community to do.
In the late eighties and early nineties, individual expression became important or personal style, yet the author makes note that today we should make it inventive contextually. Graphic design should have an emphasis on actions, demonstrate self-awareness and that the system can be manipulated in order to reflect those actions.

The Designer as Catalyst: Cultural Catalysts, Cultural Agency

Designer has 2 operative roles: to sedate consumers or to activate citizens.

Sedate consumers the designer is essential as an instrument of commercialism. The design is sedative, in a way that the consumer is suppress in picking that item, even though "he has a choice" or other brands. Typically found in advertising.
Activate citizens, is a civil discourse. Which provides citizens with means of information and communication given the chance to make responsible decisions, argue choices. Cultural agency
it activates by offering an understanding of, comment on or an alternative to them. This approach the message of product will have wealth of cultural and social connotations.

Design by the author is viewed by design=agency and designer=catalyst and co-authors of the visual text. Catalyst or designers activate or accelerate the viewer in what they observe, understand and assess. I think that something to keep in mind with our design for Ivanhoe as mentioned in the article is the allowing the recipient to "talk back to the message" to ask critical questions or disagree with it, a way for them to respond or have feedback from the users.

Massive Change: Now That We Can Do Anything, What Will We Do? by Bruce Mau

Under the subheading We Will explore design economies, due to new products, processes and services are accesible to the general public, the role of design has evolved. The design discourse has changed from being limited and enclosed to classical design principles to the exploration of exchange or design "economies". We look at the movement and the economies of movement and liking across disciplines. Design success=global success, there are many projects being develop and they are people that use the word "design" to describe their work. The client/ designer relationship that we spoke it before needs to be removed, because advanced design today is composed of three ideas: distributed, plural and collaborative. Design is not meeting the means of one person or client but instead is taken problems everywhere in the world. Future design needs to be more modest and ambitious, modest by taking our place and dealing with the demands of the given project. Ambitious by taking our place in society and willing to participate.
"We" meaning citizens as a collective need to, discuss and with the broadest audience to the people that are affected directly by the work of designers. Massive Change calls for greater public discourse and personal responsibility for designers, fulfilling a practical objective.

Quantum Leap: Beyond Literal Materiality

It talks about type style and and only those who are trained to see changes in the type style or formatting. Most style choices are made to please the eye, make a text legible and presentable or produce an "aesthetic" design. There are graphic instances that have graphical codes that affect our reading and we make connections of a time or era. Interestingly, the article talks about how in early twentieth century journals were style to appeal different audience. Unbroken columns of text were aimed for a masculine sensibility while the broken up of chunks and graphics aimed at a female reader. The desktop user has the possibilities in treating various type settings and therefore many graphical components assume their own "entity", is what the author calls "literal materiality" that a graphical entity is simply "there" and thus available to a rich, descriptive discussion of its self-evident characteristics. Characters depending on it's use (position, juxtaposition and context) it has a different effect. For example hand-lead text the shifting it up and down, weight can all be factors of placement, juxtaposition, leading and surrounding space.
Even though various graphical elements (type style, font size, column with, etc) are "entities" they are not just "things" they support the "ground" or paper.These entities are dynamic entities that work together in a system.
White spaces can be divided into three basic categories depending on their behavior and character: graphic (structural organization) , pictorial (identifiable image or visual meaning in shape or pattern) or textual (organizational convention, keeps characters lines and blocks discrete). Typographic elelements depend upon the use of white space to sustain the careful articulation that gives them their stylistic specificity. White space plays an important role , in supporting the medium in guaranteeing the typography its stylistic identity.

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