Creative Synesthesia–Vivien Zeng

Lucien Bernhard Poster for Priester Matches 1905

Plakatstil is an art style that emerged from Germany in the early twentieth century. Unlike traditional forms of art in the past, Plakatstil uses a very simplified and graphic approach. Designers of this genre often utilized vibrant colours and dynamic composition to create a striking yet memorable poster. The main goal of the Plakatstil style is to create designs that can be easily perceived at a glance and as a result, it is often referred to as the “poster style”.  It relies heavily on symbols and shapes to communicate an idea rather than fanciful illustrations. Through this process, mass-produced products are aestheticized making it easy to appeal to consumers. This can be seen through the poster for Priester Matches by one of the most prominent Plakatstil designers, Lucien Bernhard.

The bright vibrant colours would feel warm and energetic. The black background draws you in as the matches and playful typography invites you to dance. The matches play an upbeat rhythm as each letter twirls and twists along with the beat. It is full of energy and laughter. The dark background is an endless tunnel that draws in further and further away from reality, inviting you in with music and the intoxicating smell of vanilla and coconut. It feels like a dream you never want to wake up from, a paradise you never knew existed, the perfect childhood that you wished you had. It draws you in with everything you ever hoped for as it drags you deeper and deeper into the inescapable void of consumerism.

Work Cited

Spiteri, Dylan. Plakatstil: German Posters 1905-1915. 6 January 2015. 23 February 2018. <>.


Design Inspiration — Sidney Tran

Design Inspiration

Sidney Tran



Historical Graphic Design

Howard Miller’s We Can Do It! communicates the American ideology of patriotism, hard work and everyone’s necessary war effort, regardless of gender. Its target audience was not only women but men as well. The new ideology being created because of Rosie and other similar posters was that women are stronger and more capable of doing work that men did, which were necessary and crucial to the war effort.

Miller created posters and other artwork reflecting the lives of women behind the war effort. Women took over the factory jobs that men left behind when they deployed for war. Miller became famous for his works portraying the work these women did.

Miller’s work has become a cultural iconic symbol of women’s rights and is sometimes adapted for other causes and political campaigns as well.


Later Work Inspired by We Can Do It!

In 2010, Robert Valadez painted Rosita Adelita. According to Valadez, he used the Rosie The Riveter image and combined it with another fictional pre-feminist archetype, La Adelita, which is a character of song and story who represented all the women who participated in the Mexican Revolution of the 1900’s. La Adelita is painted here in hopes of inspiring a new Mexican Revolution. Valadez reflects the painted quality of the original We Can Do It! poster in his own work. He also uses bold, strong and flat colours just like the We Can Do It! poster. By combining Miller’s Rosie figure with La Adelita, Valadez brings up two powerful iconic feminine figures from two different cultures, which creates an influential and motivational piece of visual expression.


Howard Miller, We Can Do It!, 1942, Poster. Photolithograph, 22 x 17 in (55.9 x 43.2 cm). National Archives, Washington, DC.



Robert Valadez, Rosita Adelita, 2010. 



Doyle, Jack. “”Rosie The Riveter” 1941-1945.” The Pop History Dig, 28 Feb. 2009,

Reimagining Strength and Femininity: A Visual Analysis of the Iconic “We Can Do It!” Image

“J. Howard Miller, Art History & Styles of Art.” Art Wiki,

Kimble, James J., and Lester C. Olson. “Visual Rhetoric Representing Rosie the Riveter: Myth       and Misconception in J. Howard  Miller’s “We Can Do It!” Poster. (Undetermined).” Rhetoric & Public Affairs 9.4 (2006): 533-569. OmniFile Full Text Mega (H.W. Wilson).


Creative Synesthesia for Art Nouveau_Ricky Lai


Creative Synesthesia:

If I am going to describe Art Nouveou with senses except visual sense, it might be like this: It might smell like lily or jasmine, with the smell of grass, remember the smell when the grass are just been cut by the sideways? Art Nouveau uses natural forms and elements as its design characteristics, if it has a smell it must be the smell of nature. It does not have to be flower, I feel like it is every natural smell together, a smell with grass, flowers, wood, and soil all together. It might sounds like bird tweet in the morning, music played with harp or oboe, or even mothers’ morning call in weekends. It might tastes like jasmine tea, a little bit of sweet, or it may taste like a rain drop in a forest. At last, when you touches it, it may feel like the surface of a tree, I feel like I can only touch it gently, and not scratch it, it might damage me or itself. This is what I feel how I treat “Art”, it is alive, it is breathing, I can feel the roots are growing deep under ground.

World War One in Switzerland – DADAISM


The Dadaist Manifesto, from 1918, clearly states as a heading for a large portion of the document that Dada Means Nothing (Tzara). Dada uses this nothingness as a form of protest of modern art, at the time, and the war happing globally.



Hugo Ball, Karawane, 1917.

Tzara, Tristan. Dada Manifesto. Switzerland, 1918.

Angelo Acosta WW1 Poster Design (1910-1920)

6 Words:

Political – These works of design were controlled by the world powers/government to push a political message

Representational – These works often depict people/message with literal and symbolic representations.

Vibrant – These works of design, sprouting from poster/graphic design of the 1910s, often have characteristics that pop/contrast, impacting the viewer

Persuasive – These works of design pushed an agenda where there was type that  persuaded the war efforts. Often using persuasive language and typefaces that helped the urgency of the message.

Nationalist – These posters essentially were used to boost the morale (propaganda) of a country and the peoples pride.

Illustrative – These posters often contained visuals made by illustrators of the time – who were hired and volunteered.  These images again are shown to depict people/actions that benefited the War Efforts (ie// USA Bonds by Leyendecker which is an illustrated piece depicting heroism and the American flag, aided by an American boy).

screen-shot-2018-02-13-at-7-04-21-pm  (jc leyendecker, USA Bonds, 1917)

All words influenced from lecture 4


Design Inspiration: Art Nouveau

Many passionate artists and designers strive for new inspirations for their next masterpiece. They often want to create artworks based on the current trends/ art movement or want to explore new ones. Thus, Art Nouveau movement was born in the art community.

Alphonse Mucha, "Bières de la Meues," 1897
Alphonse Mucha, “Bières de la Meuse,” 1897

Mucha’s advertisement for Bières de la Meuse is a prime example of an artwork in the Art Nouveau movement. The subject matter is a young woman expressing beauty and her sexuality. The designer merges hand-drawn letters in a curving rhythm that matches the body language of the woman. The artwork separates from popular historical styles and characteristics. Instead of following the strict rules of realism, they aim to modernize design and escape reality. Artists and designers in this movement drew inspiration from organic and geometric forms, focusing on flowing, rhythmic, natural, asymmetrical, elegant and graceful lines and shapes.

Ariel Arburola, "Lolita Pinata y Televisor," 2007-2008.
Ariel Arburola, “Lolita Pinata y Televisor,” 2007-2008.

Although the movement had a rapid decline in 1905, it’s importance and characteristics of the arts remain to this day. Many creators still use the sinuous lines, floral and naturalistic elements. Graphic designers, illustrators, and architectures in today’s society are influenced by Art Nouveau’s dominant characteristics and incorporate it onto their own piece.

Image sources:


Matthew boyes: Creative Sythnesia. Uboote Hearus

Creative Synesthesia:  Hans. Rudi. Edrit Uboote Hearus, 1917


Uboote Hearus or the U-boats are out 1917, by Hans Rudi, is a German WWI chromolithographic propaganda poster for the first propaganda film on U-boats “Konigliche Bild-und Film-Amt” by Bufa. Like all propaganda posters, its function is to rally the public of Germany into believing in the superiority of Germany over the allies. Also, Ruid, like most German poster designers of the period, “combines hand-drawn lettering and bold areas of flat colour, integrating image and text into one message.” The most striking example of this is displayed by how the ‘U’ is both part of the text and fundamental to the posters design as a whole. These traits are reflective of the Sachplaxat style which was still in effect at the time of the war, however it does not use blackletter of Fraktuer but Roman typeface. Overall, it is a very bold statement on how Germany’s development of a new type of weaponry is conveyed successfully because its intent was to take viewers away from the violence and horrors of war, and instead fascinate and encourage the development of new weaponry but also support of Germany.


For me when I look at the poster I personally experience a lot of various smells. This includes the smell of shoe and metal polish salt and coal fumes This piece of graphic design displays this through the application of colour, and the text scale and placement. I experience the smell of coal through the black colours of the U officer and the smoke created by the wrecked Allie ship that is in the background of the poster. The black also represents shoe polish, both with the use of flat colours which is similar to the appearance of the polish and the can.  The most significant indication of a sheen is from the highlights on the captain’s hat. The Metal polish comes from the word “Boote” as well as the ships and periscope the captain is looking through. Finally, the smell of salt is represented from the abundance of white in the background of the text which, in my mind, signifies the abundance of the salt water surrounding the northern tip of Germany near Denmark and more importantly the continent of Europe in general.














Works Cited

http://Eskilson, Stephen. Graphic design: a new history. Yale University Press, 2012



Design Inspiration

Posters have been sources of information from as early as the 18th century. For most of the 19th century, posters were designed using a three stone lithographic process. The process allowed artists to play around with different colors, resulting in posters with a perfect blend of nearly all colors of the rainbow. Historically, 19th and 20th century posters brought a unique way of combining text and image in intense color on one side and just perfect transparencies on the other. Even with modern computers and printing technologies, it is almost impossible to reach such levels of artistic perfection.

Poster design of the 19th century was dominated by the Belle Époque designs and Art Nouveau, made through the three stone lithographic process. Famous posters of the era include the Byzantine arts and Moulin Rouge. However, the fine art of the Art Nouveau era came to an end at the turn of the 20th century and with it, the end of the three stone lithography. Art deco, a more mechanized form of poster design dominated most of the 20th century before the advancement of computer and printing technologies.

Although the golden days of poster art are long gone, modern posters still follow aspects of 19th and early 20th century poster design. These posters are still printed using lithography, although modern lithography uses rubber plates instead. Just as the old posters aimed to dazzle, entertain and inform, modern posters still follow the same guidelines. Cinematic release posters, like that of the 2017 movie Coco, are examples where creativity in poster design is still common.