Week 1 – Space & Place
For our first influences class we explored the use of graphic marks within an urban environment, how these marks, often signs have added meaning to our spaces, additionally how architecture cannot act alone and requires signage in order connect and communicate with people in an urban environment. Another aspect of this project was discovering how signage has a tone of voice just from looking at it, although everyone will interpret signs differently it is safe to say that some signs we may perceive as: Friendly/unfriendly, welcoming/unwelcoming, fun/serious. Additionally, we learned how we can identify cultural indicators, the purpose of a building, the age or history and perhaps services provided by looking at a signs content and design.
Week 2 – Iconography
We studied iconography and graphic design history in Week 2, concentrating mainly on the development of Macintosh and Windows computers, and how the user interface and icons have evolved over time. Skeuomorphism, flat and material were the symbol types we looked at and the artists we concentrated on were: Susan Kare, Armin Hofmann and Wim Crouwel.
We then moved on to read about Susan Kare, who created Apple’s first visual language. As I never learned the history of iconography, I considered this class very intriguing. Since then, as she is such a talented designer, I have watched documentaries and videos about Susan Kare and I decided to learn more about her and research how she uses her skills and abilities so effectively. In my work, I have tried to draw influence from her style and use characteristics of it.
Week 3 – Branding
We concentrated on branding and consumerism in culture during Week 3. I found it fascinating to learn that elements of culture such as food, electronics, travel and even science were influenced by graphic design. I guess it’s something we’ve heard about since childhood but never spent time investigating and analysing. The wide variety of articles and video material we were given to explore were all really encouraging in different ways for example, exploring the past behind printing and looking at samples of older printing methods made me understand that in the 21st century everything is a lot more accessible and research into Futurism and Art Nouveau encouraged me to see the graphic design styles of the 20th century.
Week 4 – Music Graphic Design
For our last week of our influences class we were asked to do a brief sketch of a badge design at the beginning of the class that would represent any given artist of our own choosing. I like these tasks that want you to think on your feet and create something fast, which I think brings out the raw skills and tricks that we have developed as artists. We had a very brief discussion about each person’s design after we completed the assignment. It was interesting to see how it was handled by others and how they interpreted a musical group by design, which influenced and taught me new ways of understanding a specific style.
We also took a look of the development of the Beatles graphic language. In order to focus on the artwork of an album, we heard how The Beatles were one of the influential bands. An album’s imagery gives the music its character, without even saying a word. The artwork will give you a visualization of the song, which can simply not be accomplished by the music itself.