These are just some of my notes and paper-based research of design history.
I was very nervous at the start but I ended up in a great group, we were able to work well together and divide the work up well. We had our first video call moments after the class ended and got to work.
These are the notes I took during the group meetings
He helped spark the postmodern design revolution, which mixed pure modernism with colour and pattern, historic references and unabashed pastiche. Now-classic Memphis pieces such as his Carlton room divider rocked the design world in the early 1980s, and continue to inspire designers today (a burned Carlton divider appeared in the 2004 show “Where There’s Smoke” at Moss). (Walters and May 2020).
Sottsass was considered the key source of inspiration and the binding force within Memphis, along with his partner Barbara Radice. His contributions to the group included furniture, lamps, ceramic and glass objects, as well as decorative patterns for material. (Memphis, 2020) Barbara Raddice was closely involved in the founding of Memphis. Along with Sottsass, with whom she had lived since 1976, she became the driving force and artistic leader of the Memphis movement. (Memphis, 2020)
Ettore – better description?
An Italian architect and designer known for his large oeuvre including furniture, jewelry, glass, lighting, and office design, Ettore Sottsass was also the founder in the early 1980s of the Memphis Group. Drawing inspiration from such movements as Art Deco ad Pop Art, Memphis produced and exhibited furniture and objects that were vibrant in color and futuristic in design. Sottsass’ own work was known for its variety, oftentimes incorporating playfulness through ornamentation and color. His Olivetti typewriter (1969), one of his most celebrated designs, made of bright red-orange plastic, was a Pop phenomenon in both its functionality and innovative design. His architecture and design career spanned many decades and styles. The Memphis Group’s designs have continued to be influential in the world of design, with its innovative vision inspiring the works of Tom Dixon and Thomas Heatherwick. Sottsass died in 2009 in Italy at the age of 90. Today, the designer’s works are included in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Design Museum in London, and The Museum of Modern Art in New York, among others.
Ettore Sottsass, Barbara Raddice, Michele De Lucchi, Aldo Cibic, Matteo Thun, Marco Zanini, George James Sowden, Nathalie Du Pasquier, Martine Bedine, Andrea Branzi, Peter Shire, Michael Graves, Gerard Taylor, Shiro Kuramata, Massimo Iosa-Ghini, Marco Zanuso Jr, Javier Mariscal, Hans Hollein, Thomas Bley, Masanori Umeda, Beppe Caturegli, Ernesto Gismondi (Memphis, 2020).
Little about Memphis was truly innovative. Most of its concepts had been trail-blazed by Alchymia. Yet the Memphis collaborators were much more adept at communicating their ideas and at manipulating Ettore Sottsass’ contacts. He even persuaded Artemide, the Italian lighting manufacturer, to work with them.
In 1981, Italian designer Ettore Sottsass founded a group of artists and designers called Memphis. Bob Dylan’s song ‘Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again’ was playing on repeat during the group’s first meeting, which led to the group being named ‘Memphis’.
After the inaugural meeting, the group decided that they would meet again in February 1981. The members brought over 100 drawings with them, picturing a variety of bold, colourful designs with multiple stylistic influences.
The Memphis Group went on to create furniture, fabrics, patterns, ceramics and other products in a distinctly Postmodern style that blended stylistic traits of 1950s kitsch, Art Deco, and Pop Art. (Fussell, 2020).
The style is known for its use of bright neon, primary and pastel colours, geometric shapes, and bold, repetitive patterns. It’s a mishmash of various design styles that were popular during the 1980s.
Graphic design has allowed the Memphis Style to be recreated for a contemporary audience, with designers creating patterns, textures, colour fonts and posters using its trademark geometric shapes and bold colours.
Even though the Memphis Group’s ethos was considered to be in poor taste by the critics of the day, the style they pioneered has proven to have lasting relevance for designers, who look to its off-beat, humorous approach to give freshness and life to their designs. What makes the Memphis Style so fun is the lack of rules and regulations associated with it. It really is a style that embraces eclectic and truly creative design. It’s also an inherently optimistic design style, which perhaps is why designers and illustrators are discovering a fresh relevance to the style today. (Fussell, 2020).
Michael Graves was a noted American architect and designer of consumer products. As well as principal of Michael Graves and Associates and Michael Graves Design Group, he was of a member of The New York Five and the Memphis Group – and professor of architecture at Princeton University for nearly forty year. Graves was also a member of the Memphis Group and a leader of the postmodern movement. He founded his own firm in 1964 and, in 1982, completed one of his best-known projects, the highly controversial Portland Building. His subsequent projects include the Denver Public Library, the Humana Building in Louisville, Kentucky, and several buildings for the Walt Disney Company. (Michael Graves Design and Architecture | Architectural Digest, 2020). Graves was widely seen as the leading voice of postmodernist architecture, which reintroduced human scale, colour, and, sometimes, playful forms into the stark white vocabulary of modernism
The Disney building – a world within a world
He was the creative mind behind the design of the Team Disney Building in Burbank. The Parthenon-inspired facade features the dwarves from Snow White as pillars because of him.
Graves went on to design the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin resorts, as well as Disney’s Hotel New York at Disneyland Paris. He even designed some items for Disney Consumer Products, including housewares, bookends, and watches.
In fact, Michael Graves was one of the first outside designers granted “artistic freedom” to use Disney characters outside of their character integrity guidelines.
Graves also worked on many non-Disney buildings, including what many consider the first post-modern building in Portland, OR, most recently the Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore, as well as houseware designs for Target, JC Penny, and more.
Just in case
Brody Associates is a London-based design studio specializing in identity, typography, and creative direction across all platforms. Founded by Neville Brody in 2014, we collaborate with the world’s biggest brands, celebrated institutions, and exciting start-ups.
Neville Brody is the founder of brody associates – a globally renowned, innovative, creative agency specializing in digital, typography and identity. brody is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the fields of graphic design, art direction and brand strategy having established his reputation working with record labels (stiff records), magazines (the face and arena) and a range of other international clients (samsung, yamaha, LVMH, NIKE, the BBC and the times london among them).
Rachel designed the background and I was tasked with designing the typography for the title page.
I decided to go for something heavily reliant on shapes and vibrant colours – quirky like the style of the Memphis group. I started off quite bright but then dulled down the colours a bit as they clashed with Rachels background. I used the straight black lines for letters like the Ts as they made quite the impact, which I believe is the essence of the Memphis style.
Next slide please
Next slide please
Next slide please
Next slide please
I’m now going to pass you over to Emma who is going to talk about Paula Scher and vernacular design
To begin with I am following the layout we have been doing with Paul as I am more familiar with that, once I finish the HTML and the CSS and am sure it is working I will start changing the background and the layout a bit.
Bellow is the link to my essay
After doing some research I found out that in typography, type specimen refers to a any presentation of a certain typeface to showcase its design and/or use.
For this project I will have to design a type specimen screen for an iPad based on one of the following fonts:
I have chosen to go with Palatino – I like the simplicity of the font and how easily legible it is.
After doing some research on my chosen type face I decided to keep it simple and clean – this typeface was designed and released shortly after the war ended, I would like to integrate some colour in my design as a way of symbolising freedom and the end of darker times.
Key information on the Palatino typeface:
Sketches and notes in preparation:
Initial digital designs:
I think that the type specimen screen with the colourful shapes is the best one to represent the boldness of the typeface Palatino.
As shown in the pictures of my notes, I interviewed 4 people and I found that a younger viewer prefers the more colourful designs, I added up their votes and the 3 most popular designs were the following:
After presenting my work to both Kyle and Pauline, they gave me a few pointers on how to improve my designs.
My favorite design by far was the colorful one with shapes but as my tutors correctly pointed out, that that design focused more on design, and shapes and being appealing rather than the typography – which was the whole point of the project – focusing on the typeface. The design was competing against the typeface.
I decided to focus on the one with the big bold letters as I got positive reactions to it from my tutors and they suggested that less is more, I’m not normally comfortable with that so I am picking that one to challenge myself.
After watching the talk given by Wilson Minor I saw a bit more clearly that objects, no matter how nice or well designed are simple “empty vessels to fulfill our desires” that we accumulate to gain some kind of sense of belonging or to be appreciated by others due to our material possessions. It makes me think of phones – how they are always being upgraded and how companies are always coming out with a newer, ‘better’ version that we ‘must’ have and how many of us fall prey to this. Weirdly enough the talk made me think of the song ‘Never enough’ in the greatest showman – no matter what we have or get, we will always want something else, it will never fulfill us or make us whole.
“we shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us” – Marshall McLuhan. What he is trying to say is that things can create a new environment, changes outlooks and attitudes in societies, it affects everything. The light bulb lengthened the work day and changed how we interact; cars changed our environment, we had cars so we needed roads, so we needed highways and so on.
I may not fully realize the extent of the change or impact an invention or design might have on the world – with the right tools anything is possible. Phones changed completely how we interact we each other and created a divide between generations – smartphones, for example, are all someone born in 2000’s has ever known, its a central point of our society, work and method of communication. This tells me that the things we surround ourselves with shapes us.
Everything I create as an Interaction designer should be designed to last and evolve with the time. Things that were important, relevant or revolutionary 100 years ago are now irrelevant or improved upon so much and changed it would be hard to know that the originated from that ‘outdated’ design or technology. The world is constantly changing and if we don’t want to be left behind then we must change with it.