6 Words to Describe De Stijl


6 Words to Describe De Stijl:

Simplified Order, Universal Clarity, Harmonious Precision

De Stijl is characteristically ordered and precise, which Alex Bigman asserts is a reaction to the chaos of World War 1 that preceded this movement. It aims to bring clarity and harmony to design, using basic elements of line, shape, and flat planes of primary colour to create a universally approachable style. Piet Mondrian was an important player in this movement, and created a distinct style of geometric and linear grid paintings that influenced my image here.



Six Word Summary


The font I decided to use is inspired by the classic French Art Nouveau. It is based on the works of Alphonse Mucha and the Paris signage of this era. Alphonse Mucha’s JOB Cigarettes advertisement and inspired my composition and incorporates image and text in a flowing, curvilinear fashion. My text, “integrated text & image, cosmetic over communication” relates directly to the Art Nouveau ideal of beauty over all else. Through my composition, I depict this by highlighting the most detailed part of Mucha’s 1887 JOB Cigarettes advertisement and placing my text around it. I chose to do this to show the viewer the focus on the beautiful, curvy lines in the Art Nouveau style.

Source Image:

Alphonse Mucha

Job Cigarettes Advertisement



Six Word Summary: Futurism




destroy the past

speed ahead

Futurists were inspired by the movement of machines and the beauty of speed. Futurism is about dynamism brought on by the inventions of faster transport, but it is also about violence and cleansing the world. The futurists saw war as hygienic and wanted to obliterate the history of the past.

I tried representing that through the words I choose and through the perspective warp of the text, showing it traveling forwards, towards the future.

I was inspired by Zang Tumb Tumb and Depero Futurista.

220px-zangtumbtumb-1914 bolted-book-facsimile-and-readers-guide

Six Word Summary – Constructivism – Ian Keeler


Social – Constructivism had a strong political component. (Drucker & McVarish, 182)

Minimal – Constructivism used limited colors and simple shapes. (Drucker & McVarish, 182)

Austere – Constructivism stripped away decorations.

Forceful – Typefaces were bold sans-serifs, and colors were powerful. Arrangements were dynamic.

Geometric – Designs had strong angles, straight lines, and perfect circles

Functional – Artists in the Constructivist movement were against “Art for Art’s sake” and wanted to make useful works. (Meggs & Purvis, 301)

After looking through images of constructivist designs assembled by Ilene Strizver (Russian Constructivism and Graphic Design) I decided on a radial composition. The type forms part of the spokes and the design radiates from the word “social” representing the fact that social beliefs were core to the movement. The gear design represents the functionality of the movements, as well the illustrative representation used by Constructivists . The type and color palette also derives from these original works.

Works Cited

Drucker, Johanna, and Emily McVarish. Graphic Design History a Critical Guide. Pearson, 2013.

Meggs, Philip B., and Alston W. Purvis. Meggs History of Graphic Design. 5th ed., Wiley, 2012.

Strizver, Ilene. “Russian Constructivism and Graphic Design.” CreativePro.com, 27 Sept. 2017, creativepro.com/russian-constructivism-and-graphic-design/.

Bobby Wickham – Futurism

This poster is intended as a representation of Italian futurism. Through its distortion of a traditional grid, to its expressive representation of typography. The six words I used were; Technology, light, automation, speed, power, and, in the futurist style, a made up onomatopoeia “skra-kang-kang’ to truly encompass the style. This image was heavily influenced by Filippo Marinetti, as well as more modern speculations from Sean Hall’s Futurism booklet. Through my simple use of colour, type, and line I hoped to get across the ideology behind this movement as well as I can.


Bobby Wickham


Creative Synthesia : Jane Avril


Jane Avril, by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec , 1893.

Jane Avril is a lithograph print created in 1893 by artist French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. A long time friend and also the subject of this print, Jane Avril, commissioned an advertisement for her cabaret show at Jardin de Paris. Jane Avril, a passionate dancer, was a favourite subject of Henri, as she can be seen in many other of his famous works, such as Divan Japonais and Jane Avril Dancing. These pieces were prominent during the Art Nouveau period, which can be defined by floral motifs and the common use of fluid, curving lines.


Art Nouveau was an art movement that sought out to abolish the traditional means of art – hence the name, which directly translates into New Art. This era was influenced by Japonisme, the movement where western art were heavily influenced by Japanese and eastern culture.  which the idea of litho block printing was derived from. Art Nouveau can be characterized by its strong and fluid linear qualities,as well as simple blocks of bold colour with little or no colour.


When I see this print by Henri, I can almost hear Jane Avril dancing in the music hall to the cheery and upbeat music. Because of the composition and the way the bass player is merely a silhouette, it allows me to feel like I am a part of the very scene itself; looking on to Jane Avril doing the can-can from the audience. The mood and atmosphere that the image provides brings on a certain nostalgia to an era that I have never experienced. The colors During the late 1800s, the music was very happy and upbeat – popular genres would include jazz and ragtime. This image reminds me of older cartoons where characters would almost comically dance to the sharp, bold notes and underlying piano. I can hear the rapid footprints of her dancing the can can, the cymbals clashing in the background along with upbeat trumpets. The whole thing sounds like a grand celebration! I attached what I think it would sound like below.


Imaginary Interview – Menna Hafez

The chosen graphic designer for the interview is Ellen Lupton

It is important to give a brief history of Ellen Lupton as a graphic designer. Lupton is one of the few female designers not only in America but worldwide. This is because this profession is dominated by males as compared to the female gender. Apart from being a Graphic Design MFA program director of at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, she also works in the National Design Museum as curator of contemporary design at Cooper-Hewitt (Ellen, 2010). She was born in 1963 in Pennsylvania but grew up in Baltimore MD. She is a twin sister to Julia whose life has not been published as much as Ellen’s She has published several books of graphic designs in different spheres for a variety of audiences due to her love for typography and art. Below is an excerpt from an interview that I carried out with her:


Question: Who is Ellen Lupton as an individual and in the context of graphic design?

Answer: I am many persons in one being. First I am a mother of two lovely sons, Ruby and Jay; secondly, a wife to Mr. Abbot Miller; thirdly I am a sister to one and only twin sister called Dr. Julia who we have collaborated with in design work and have written few books together such as Design Your Life: The Pleasures and Perils of Everyday Things and D.I.Y Kids, just to mention the two.

Within the context of graphic design, my hands are full because apart from being a graphic designer, I am also a director and curator by equal measure and most importantly a writer. I have personally authored more than ten books and co-authored several excluding the peer review ones which I have done many times.

Question: I know you have been involved in many graphic design projects. Would you pinpoint one of your memorable projects by giving the facts how you commissioned this project?

Answer: I do not want to give an impression that I take a specialty in my different projects. I must mention that I do treat and value all my projects in equal measure. However, because you have asked about only one I would like to mention the one I did in 2006 which was about the Triennial. It was titled “Design Life Now.” The reason why I take this project with the exception is the fact that it was purposely designed to catapult the graphic design to the modern life. It was an eye-opener to the social media as it included some populist forms of new social media such as the open-source software, blogs, and D.I.Y magazines (Ellen, 2010). All these were designed to make design literacy part of the mainstream culture, thus helping to put my own desire and design in the public domain. To affirm this point, I need to point out that I am an avid blogger just for the purpose of constructively engaging the public on matters graphic design. I am much active on two blogs: design-your-life.org and DIYKids.org. These are two sites that constantly apply design to everyday life and are co-edited with my twin sister Julia.

Question: Thank you for that in-depth answer. Now, would you volunteer to us some of the restrictions and requirements that the project had to put in place?

Answer: Thank you also for asking such an important question. First, I want to make mention of Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore where I am the Graphic Design MFA program director. This is a special mention because, apart from the institution providing me with the graphic design lab that I have enjoyed working from, they availed to me some of the budding graphic designers who are still adventures and able to learn through taking academic risks. The project required such professionals in order to come to fruition. Another important requirement for the project were the resources (in terms of literature for research purposes and equipment; this was made available by the lab that we worked from). Secondly, when you talk of restriction, I may not be in a position to tell which restrictions you are inferring to; but I can tell you for a fact that I was restricted by the funds that were available to the project. We could only do as much as the point to which the funds allowed us. A caveat though, I am not lamenting of the scarcity of funds to cast the institution in a bad light. No, the institution has endeavored to ensure that it appropriates research funds accordingly and has been helpful to us only that the institution has several projects in different faculties that must also run.

Question: What were your intentions, viewpoint, and thoughts on this particular project?

Answer: You see, one of the notions that people have always held on to is that graphic design is a reserve for the chosen few: and that it should be within the realm of such people. But you realize that we are leaving in a global village and we must act like the same. Culture is dynamic and globalization makes it change in such a way that is terrific. Bringing graphic design to the social media was a way of reaching to everyone that values graphic design. Moreover, I think that it helped me to demystify this notion that it is only a reserve for the few. And I think the project helped in doing just that.

Question: How do you think your contribution as a graphic designer has impacted on your admirers and anybody that follows your work?

Answer: I am glad that I am not only a designer but also a curator too. Going by the nature of my work, I am glad that it has not only imparted knowledge to many but informed the general public because my graphic design work touches on different spheres of life.

Question: Lastly, How do you feel about the fact that you are one of the few females in this profession?

Answer: Awesome!!

Interviewer: Thank you for your time.