Blog 2: Alexey Brodovitch

Design by Alexey Brodovitch in 1936
Design by Alexey Brodovitch in 1936

Alexey Brodovitch

Qin Yan Tian

      Alexey Brodovitch was born in 1898 in Russia. He is one of the pioneers to bring modernist ideas to America, the simplified modern graphic design becomes the dominant style. He prefers photography to make magazine covers and illustrations and develops into a primal style of expressionism. He created a department of advertising in 1930 in America, also he did a lot of illustration work. And then he entered Bazaar and became art director, a revolution started in fashion and magazine design. His style was not changeless, he used works of Vogue, Dr. M.F. Agha for reference and creating an attractive style at the beginning after his style changed to be simple. Until the 1950s, his style transformed to be familiar for audiences which were the white space. His works had an illusion feeling and ethereal presence of font, that fitted with the theme of works. He was not only a designer, he also was a teacher. He did not have an obvious criterion for criticism, his students thus discovered many unique ideas.

      He made photography to be graphic design, and it was different from collage. This would also be a reason for adding to our textbook, his style adds diversity of graphic design. The illustration of The Consensus of Opinion by Alexey Brodovitch in 1936. A graceful lady holds a black-laced fan and stands on the ground in black and white tone. Her forehead, fan and black skirt touch four sides of the photograph, that reveal a powerful atmosphere. “A kind of solar swirl curves through the background as if the model, who cups her left breast in her hand, has inhabited an erotic dream; the mystery of her desire only heightened by her black-laced fan that flares out like an attending wing”(“Alexey Brodovitch Artworks & Famous Paintings”).  The article layout refers to the posture of the character and its structure becomes a “Z” letter. The perfect design of the magazine includes all of the details, the design of illustration and text combine together to create unity. 

      His artwork is beyond understanding which is difficult to conjecture the meaning of his artwork. The graphic design of his many artworks has an inspired feeling and figures do not have much emotion, that make a distance between the artwork and audiences. 

Our textbook includes many great artists, different styles of artists create their individual artworks. They fill the diversity of the art world, and the textbook needs more and more variety of different styles. Alexey Brodovitch should be in our textbook because his style is hard to replicate. “Even if seldom imitated, and the artists, photographers and designers whose careers he influenced continue to shape graphic design in the image of his uncompromising ideals”(Grundberg, 1987). We can learn many things from his artworks. 

Work Citation

“Alexey Brodovitch Artworks & Famous Paintings.” The Art Story,

Grundberg, Andy. “Alexey Brodovitch.” AIGA, 4 Sept. 1987,

Blog Post 1: Totoro film poster

Designed by Huang Hai Dec. 14, 2018
Designed by Huang Hai
Dec. 14, 2018

Totoro Film Poster

Qin Yan Tian

       The Chinese version of the Totoro movie poster designed by Huang Hai. The first time of release date on April 16, 1988, in Japan, after 30 years it released in China. The movie has many versions of languages for different states it has a huge number of world fans. 

       Huang Hai’s poster composition is concise, and the concise design includes three main characters. Two little girls wear hats and walk-in prairie. The prairie looks a little strange, there are some gree triangular shapes on the top. Actually, those shapes are patterns of Totoro which is one of the main characters in the movie, thus that two girls walk on Totoro’s belly from another perspective.

       In the original poster, a little girl holds an umbrella with Totoro stand by a bus station. There is only one strong light on the left side toward them, so audiences can not see clearly the woods of the background. If you watched the movie, you will know that the little girl of the poster doesn’t appear in the movie. The original poster design has a story,As the world expanded and the production grew, Miyazaki decided it would be a better narrative decision to split the character of “Mai into two separate characters”(Scintilla, 2019). The different traits of sisters combine together and show more states and reactions of the child, and make the children’s world to be more interesting.

       Although this is first time of release in China, many Chinese audiences have watched the movie before. That audiences of 30 years ago become middle-aged people and review the film again in the cinema. Huang Hai’s poster seems to describe their childhood and they could through two little girl’s versions to enjoy again in a small room together. Hai’s poster makes a beatific feeling for them, and they could feel warmth at first glance. 

       The poster shows the released date bottom right corner, and there have four Chinese words under the date which means hug warmth. The meaning is the theme of Hai’s poster, and the definition of “warmth” is different by everyone. The whole poster does not have many elements and objects that augment imaginary space for people. Two girls walk in a “special prairie” what are they looking for? Are they going to somewhere?  The story narratives children’s life, “The perspective, gazing down on the girls from far above, elegantly reminds us of how young and full of potential they are by drawing the characters as such small representations, with so much of the wide, wonderful world waiting in front of them”(Baseel, 2018). Also, the film story includes many things, such as the love in people each other, harmonious in human and nature, children’s kindness… Huang Hai shows them in the Totoro film poster.

Work Citation

Scintilla, Christopher. “Who Is the Mysterious Girl in the Official My Neighbor Totoro Movie Poster?” Poster Pagoda, 26 Aug. 2019,
Baseel, Casey. “Chinese Poster for Totoro’s First Theatrical Release in Country Has a Beautifully Subtle Secret.” SoraNews24, 1 Dec. 2018,

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