More than words

From the late 1940s to the late 1960s, due to the shortage of rationing and resources, people paid attention to functions and economic signs, while the economic prosperity of North America shifted the balance of world power from Europe to the United States. Some political and economic changes have expanded the style products and messages for graphic designers to coordinate images of large organizations. The international typographical style becomes a simple and clear means of communicating abstract concepts, so that the text in complex entities plays an important role in the style and fax type. Avant-garde design shaped the Aesthetics of the international typographical style, but put to the service of functionalism graphic design becomes a problem solving practice.

McCall’s” these two works give a strong visual impact, both works are composed of three parts of characters, text and background, both of which are in strong contrast using black and red, they are both printed works. The layout of the two works is the same, with the characters in the middle, the movements, expressions and emotions of the characters can reflect the emotions that the whole work wants to bring to the viewer, and placing the text next to the characters can make the viewer take read emotionally. The strong contrast between the background and the theme can first attract the attention of the audience. Otto Storch’s designs for McCall’s, shown here in a two-page spread from 1959, brought typographic verve to the high-toned color and striking poses of the models. The sheer density of color printing, along with its inexpensive availability, changed the graphic designer’s art, as did the use of photographic means to arrange typographic elements, including those knocked out of solid fields. Storch’s simple shapes and saturated hues echo the work of geometric abstract painters of the 1950s, such as Barnett Newman, although the stylistic innovations of advertising and editorial design may have nothing to do with the aesthetic concerns of the anarchist painter. ( Graphic Design History 259 )

The overall design of the United States Department of Labor publication feels clean and simple.  It only uses black and white colors without any patterns. By increasing the center content and layout, it clearly expresses what it wants to express. John Massey’s cover design for this report applies the graphic standards that he devised for the U.S. Department of Labor. These specified typography, margins, and grid variations for every textual occasion. Here, contrasting weights of sans serif type are used for textual meaning and formal effect. Information is defined by Massey’s system, but the system also overwhelms specific issues of work hours, wages, and health and safety conditions by turning the entire design into a formal exercise. Reason and systematic logic rule the graphic approach, suggesting that they also govern the policies described in the publication. ( Graphic Design History 258 )

Technology Systematic approaches to graphic style were supported by changes in the technological means at a designer’s disposal. Photographic production methods became the standard platform for static and animated graphics in the 1960s and 1970s. Although many designers were trained to hand-letter type and make thumbnails and sketches with pencil or ink, the sleek surfaces and functional look of International style formalism depended on mechanical means of production. Handwork became a sign of eccentricity, unwelcome in the corporate world of conformity and efficiency. Marks of individualism vanished in the photographic production of type, images, and layouts. Th e notion of professionalism in graphic design was associated with a capacity to command technological means of production, rather than with skills at the drawing board.

Work Cited

Graphic Design History

The Museum of Modern Art

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