Imaginary Interview

Saul Bass – The Man with the Golden Arm

Q: How did you start your career in the film industry creating title sequences?

A: It was after my title sequence for “Man with a Golden Arm” that I became widely known and after that I decided to create an innovative work to match the films controversial subject because that’s what had the most meaning and what was the most intriguing to watch.

 

Q: What was your main goal and intent for this work?

A: My main goal was to try to reach for a simple, visual phrase that tells you what the picture is all about and evokes the essence of the story you are about to watch. To create a true climate for the story that is about to unfold in front of your eyes.

 

Q: What was this film about?

A: This film was about drug addiction. The symbol which is the arm is expressive and disjointed which reflects the jarring existence of the drug addict.

 

Q: What are the techniques you use in your work?

A: I see myself as an employed diverse film maker that has special techniques. These include, cut out animation where I use bits and pieces of film or art work and place them together in a “collage” format. Fully animated mini movies, that include moving pictures. And finally, live action sequence. These techniques are what make my work unique, and act as a trade mark for myself; Saul Bass.

 

Q: How did you begin to get commissioned by Otto Fleminger and start creating title sequences for the first time?

A: I was creating symbols for ad campaigns and I so happened to be working on a symbol for him, and it was just a random and simple thought that we both sparked interest in and decided to simply “make it move!”

 

Q: After creating this piece, what advice would you give future designers?

A: LEARN HOW TO DRAW. Don’t ever work around it, you will need it. Drawing is one of the most important aspects to design. It is the communication that connects the intent to what is happening on the page. If the drawing is not up to par, the communication is completely lost. One can ‘get by’ without drawing but will never fully succeed in their career as a designer. And most of all, being a designer is a life commitment. Taking on other priorities or tasks is simply impossible when perusing a career in design. It needs your full and undivided attention.

 

 

Q: What are you most proud of as a designer? Especially when it comes to this work.

A: I take pride in the fact that I was the first to realize and acknowledge the importance of the opening and closing credits of a movie. No one notices that those people have a huge impact on the entire film. Creating a dynamic and interesting sequence that people can watch, entice them to pay attention and actually read the names. Once I worked in graphics for a long time I decided to move graphics into images on film and realized the importance of live action.

209f741ccf10934a05f22260e9d00457 1_kz2z7xwuyhqqdzlgjgqqga 1_ialrkajemlpl3gcgd_c-4q

Work Cited

https://medium.com/art-science/saul-bass-on-his-approach-to-designing-movie-title-sequences-47fd537c457b

http://www.artofthetitle.com/designer/saul-bass/

 

Imaginary Interview with Dadaist Hugo Ball

Imaginary Interview

Imaginary interview with Hugo Ball, in regards to karawane and dadaism

 tumblr_lluzgqocd71qghk7bo1_400

Ball, reading “Karawane”, Club Voltaire, 1916

Hugo ball was a dada-ist arist who experimented with sound, language, and poetry. Finding art in ways other than picture making, he founded a group of artists – the Zurich – who regularly participated in showings at The Cabaret Voltaire, the considered birthplace of Dadaism. Focusing on the phonetic sounds of human speech, Ball expressed his seemingly “anarchist” opinions openly, stating his dislike for the war and fleeing in pursuit of a less aggressive home. He represent the disconnect he felt with modern world by disconnecting from modern language.

Q: Good Morning Hugo! I hope your travels were safe. I know you had to come a long way to reach here from your most recent visit to The Cabaret Voltaire, how was that?

A: jolifanto bambla o falli bambla. großiga m’pfa habla horem. egiga goramen. Higo. bloiko russula huju. hollaka hollala.anlogo bung

Q: Oh, my apologies! As part of your most recent piece, I know you’re experimenting with sound and language. For the convince of our audience, we’ll provide a handy dandy translation from this point on – Now Hugo, please kindly repeat yourself? Our translator didn’t seem to catch that.

A: jolifanto bambla o falli bambla. großiga m’pfa habla horem. egiga goramen. Higo. bloiko russula huju. hollaka hollala.anlogo bung

(The Cabaret Voltaire was as lively as ever. It was invigorating, intellectually stimulating, and Emmy presented a lovely poem discussing Death’s waiting list.)

Q: That’s wonderful to hear! I’m sure it was absolutely provocative. The Volaire seems to be a consistent place for you and your friends to showcase your talents, is there any particular reasoning for this?

A: higo bloiko russula huju. hollaka hollala. anlogo bung. blago bung blago bung. bosso fataka. ü üü ü. schampa wulla wussa olobo

(The Cabaret Voltaire goes beyond just a club. It’s a place of refuge for those who are experiencing the anarchy of the world. We can openly express our thoughts on the war and everyday turmoil.)

Q: Is that what your works are about? Expressing the turmoil of everyday life?

A: higo bloiko russula huju hollaka hollala  anlogo bung blago bung blago bung bosso fataka ü üü ü schampa wulla wussa olobo hej tatta gorem eschige zunbada wulubu ssubudu uluwu ssubudu–umf kusa gauma ba–umf

(It goes beyond that; my art is about change. Change with the world and language.“I don’t want words that other people have invented… I want my own stuff.” I want to challenge the things I don’t agree with in a way that makes people think. I don’t want my work to be binary and easy to understand. It’s a representation of chaos.

Q: Would you say you represent this in ways outside of sound as well? 

A: higo bloiko russula huju. hollaka hollala. anlogo bung. blago bung blago bung. bosso fataka. ü üü ü. schampa wulla wussa olobo. : jolifanto bambla o falli bambla. großiga m’pfa habla horem. egiga goramen. Higo. bloiko russula huju. hollaka hollala.anlogo bung

(Of course. Performance, costume, and overall aesthetic all play part of the overall effect. Although my costumes may seem obtuse and the makings of a loon, I deliberately choose the materials and aesthetics to reflect current events. My “Karawane” performance is particularly notable, as it’s a subtle hint towards other movements- such as avante garde,- which dada-ism is often compared to)

Q: Do you consider what you do to be very “out there”, or do you think the artwork you and your group produce are things that everyone can enjoy

A: wussa olobo. : jolifanto bambla o falli bambla. großiga m’pfa habla horem. egiga goramen. Higo. bloiko russula huju. hollaka hollala.anlogo bung higo bloiko russula huju. hollaka hollala. anlogo bung. blago bung blago bung. bosso fataka. ü üü ü. schampa wulla wussa olobo. : jolifanto

(I don’t want the work to be easy to understand- I want the things I create to be challenging and make people think about the rationalized language of modernity. It should not be easy to understand or enjoy. People should feel baffled, there should be chaos, and they should feel intellectually invigorated. This being said, I don’t think we’re exclusive. Kandinsky, Chirico, and Richter are all people who have experienced our performance.)

 Q: Thank you so much for your insights on this matter! It was a great experience to look at your sounds in a different light- and surely wont be something that will be easily forgotten. With that said, blago bung blago! 

A: blago bung blago!

(Farewell!)

 

Works Cited

Lewer, Debbie. “Hugo Ball, Iconoclasm and the Origins of Dada in Zurich.” Oxford Art Journal, vol. 32, no. 1, 2009, pp. 17–35.JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/25650841.

“Hugo Ball Biography, Art, and Analysis of Works.” The Art Story, www.theartstory.org/artist-ball-hugo-artworks.htm.

Imaginary Interview with Michael English

Imaginary Interview

Interview with Michael English, designer (along with Nigel Waymouth) on the Pink Floyd poster entitled CIA UFO.

psychadelic

Hapshash and the Coloured Coat, CIA UFO, 1967

Q: So Michael, pleasure being able to meet you, it’s unfortunate that Nigel wasn’t able to make it to this interview – but hey, let’s look at the bright side, all the more spotlight for you eh? I’ve got to tell you, that CIA UFO poster was a great hit, I mean Pink Floyd is brilliant in itself but many forget to credit the artists behind their visual image I believe.

*Michael Nods*

You know when I think of Pink Floyd or any artists for that matter I think of the posters, the CD covers and what not that mold a visual image in my mind, and for a whole lot of other people I believe, so tell me Michael, how did this project begin? Did you know Pink Floyd personally at the time?

Oh no *laughter* well, Nigel and I knew of Pink Floyd, a fascinating take on music I must say, but the connection to the project came from our work under the alias Hapshash and the Coloured Coat, where Nigel and I took on work in  very expressionistic and psychedelic manner. I can’t really get my head to which one of our pieces caught the directors eye but one of the surely did, and just like that, we had the job! We got the opportunity to meet Pink Floyd subsequently so it unfolded in reverse actually.

Q: Now that’s without a doubt one hell of an opportunity, the pseudonym though – can you tell us about that, why Hapshash and the Colored Coat? Was it to separate the expressionism and the representational, the clientele?

Well certainly, you know how it goes in the art world, it doesn’t matter where you stand – there’s always going to be critics. I mean, it is a burden having to live two different lives, or four for that matter inclusive of Nigel, but at the same time, we’re not losing too much of our clientele at the same time, think of it as expanding into a different niche market, with the only change being our customers reporting to two different recipients who are unknowingly the same. Moreover, it was a personal reason that we decided to go under the alias, sometimes you want to let your creativity flow and not be restricted to the bounds of representation, and we though well, if we can make an earning of our experimentation, why the hell not? Our concept was to plaster the streets of London with this brightly colored and beautiful poster work at a time when most of the posters in the streets were rather drab and wordy. I never did think it would take us to Pink Floyd though.

Q: Make use of everything and follow you mind, I agree. So CIA UFO, take us through the project, did they give you any concept or boundaries whatsoever? Or did they let you take your own take on things?

It was a very cooperative project to be honest, we were pretty much free to do it in our own way, or well you could say they had their faith in us from our previous work. If any requirement at all it was mainly that we incorporated the psychedelic vibe to the design in as many aspects as possible you know? The composition, the color scheme, the text, the symbolism, I could keep going.

We worked on a Jimi Hendrix poster on the same year actually, and it was pretty clear that’s what they wanted, psychedelics – the directors, the musicians themselves, society – everyone!

S.23B-1978 Poster Jimi Hendrix Experience, Fillmore Auditorium; Poster for the Jimi Hendrix Experience at Fillmore Auditorium. Hapshash and the Coloured Coat London 1967 Screen print on paper

Poster for the Jimi Hendrix Experience at Fillmore Auditorium.
Hapshash and the Coloured Coat
London
1967

Q: It definitely is intriguing to see how the psychedelic movement wasn’t bound to San Francisco or just America overall for that matter, so how did you and Nigel approach this stylistic methodology artistically?

This was a bizarre movement in comparison to anything we’d ever seen before, so of course we were intent on taking a new take on this artistically. Nonetheless, the past is always the best source of reference for anything so we skimmed through history and landed not too far back, on Art Nouveau!  It was as we saw it, a close relative of the psychedelic movement itself – the curvilinear rhythm, the sexuality, the colors, it certainly had that dreamy atmosphere to it. Alphonse Mucha was one of our favorites, if you look closely at the female figure we did it in our own touch of the le Mucha style. Of course the psychedelic movement didn’t follow the same French Symbolist principles, but it seems psychedelic drugs and music could take you to a dreamlike parallel. Then came our own added twist, refrain me from delving to deep but-

Q: Oh please, do tell?

Well first off we thought a lot of Art Nouveau was too clustered, we wanted the opposite of horror vacui, the castle floats in empty space in the composition, and it was our own way of conveying that psychedelic atmosphere through space, freedom and peace of mind. We played with the typography too, it’s a tad bit more fluid and experimental if you compare it with a lot of Art Nouveau work.

Q: Did it work out? I mean I loved it but how was it with the Floyd group? Do you see it having any influence on future generations as well?

Well, it did get published and Pink Floyd hired us again for a few other posters, so I think it grooved well with the lads. It’s one of my favorites to be honest, both composition wise and the fact that we had the honor of doing it for the music group. History does repeat itself in ways they say, like Art Nouveau influenced us in our making of this poster, perhaps someday in the future CIA UFO will inspire another youngster in his own movement.

Q: Well that’s a wise take on the subject Michael, I hope it will too. Thanks again for being with us, all the best in your career.

Appreciate it mate.

 

Sources:

Coulthart, John. “Michael English, 1941–2009.” { Feuilleton }, 6 Feb. 2012, www.johncoulthart.com/feuilleton/2009/10/03/michael-english-1941–2009/.

Council, British. “Hapshash & The Coloured Coat.” Visit Visual Arts, visualarts.britishcouncil.org/collection/artists/hapshash-the-coloured-coat.

Eskilson, Stephen J. Graphic Design: a New History. Yale University Press, 2012.

 

Imaginary Interview by Erin Kwon

Imaginary Interview: Which historical designer would you most like to interview?

1_-qqmkswpzqizvhkpj6b7ra

Cipe Pineles is an Austrian immigrant, now working as an American graphic designer and art director at Seventeen, Charm, Glamour, and Mademoiselle. Moving into America at young age, she later graduated Pratt University and was offered a job at Contempora Ltd. She has worked at Vanity Fair and Vogue, the world’s number one influential fashion magazine. Pineles is emphasized as the first woman art director of a mass market periodical, having her own innovative strategy of employing established artists for magazine illustration such as Ben Shahn and Andy Warhol. Her designs have established her independent reputation as a talented modern graphic designer.

The interviewer Erin Kwon, had an interview with Cipe Pineles, all the way from her beginnings of inspiration to now, of her art career.

Q: Before starting off, I would like to say thank you to Cipe Pineles for having an interview with us. Could you tell us how you were inspired to work as a magazine graphic designer?

Thank you, I am glad to have an interview with you guys. During the time I was working at Conde Nast, Mehemed Agha and his influence of graphic design style led me to here. He was same as editors of Vanity Fair, being open to progressive design than previous editorial magazine, Fortune. Like really, he has such a unique style of Art Deco style, how he is able to successfully synthesize a new kind of layout and typography, revealing the clarity of Constructivism. Perhaps his own ideas of design with the first usage of full bleed is still inspiring other designers. More than that, I was also learned how to be an art director. Agha spent a lot of time talking with his creative people about problems related to type. Agha was in charge of art director while I was hired by Conde Nast, working at Vanity Fair and Vogue. He influenced me and the other protégés at Conde Nast, such as Alex Liberman. Yes, he was the most fabulous boss to work for.

Q: I see that, so Mehemed Agha is like your motto towards the art director. Even before attending Pratt university, have you had any other art related careers?

I first attended Bay Ridge High School in Brooklyn and won a Tiffany Foundation Scholarship to Pratt University, studying fine arts. After graduating Pratt University, I was a 20-year-old amateur illustrator, walking around New York to sell paintings of coca cola bottles and sandwiches. Before getting into graphic design, I had a huge love of food, especially recipes. I experienced drawing and painting of food, with my one of the earliest paintings the watercolor render of bread and chocolate.

Q: It is really opposite between the illustration of food and the fashion magazine cover design. Have you revealed your passion towards food afterwards?

I privately kept books full of ingredients and recipes, while I was working as a fashion magazine graphic designer. I tried to manage both the illustration of food and graphic design, so I included my paintings of potatoes spreading out as the border design of Seventeen magazine, the one I am in charge as an art director.

 

1_dy2oohmndqcm2pwrl6qs0w

Seventeen, February 1948, pp. 90–91.

Q: It is very interesting to combine both of them together as one whole design. Getting into your discussion of graphic design, is there a reason why you chose the title of ‘Vogue’ as a decorative script?

The April 1st, 1939 cover of Vogue is the work while I was working at Conde Nast. It might look a little bit special since most covers of Vogue have the elegant Bodoni font, but I tried to handle with the title in alternate technique, by writing in a decorous script. Agha has never established a fixed set of principles for the front cover of Vogue, instead letting the design into freedom starting from scratch.

card-34471764-front

Cipe Pineles, Vogue. Cover, April 1, 1939. Conde Nast Publications

Q: What was your purpose of the design of July, 1949 Seventeen Magazine cover?

First of all, the font of the title, or logo is really contrasted to Vogue, discussed earlier. It is generally standardized in lowercase of Bodoni with italic form. with the history of constant change of logo design to fit each issue’s image. The choice of photograph is my favorite, the full shot of Francesco Scavullo. I used it as part of the design element, then reflected the whole design in order to make the audience’s view to glance towards the reflected image, perhaps emphasizing as the reflection of water. Although the image original and the reflection are not exactly same, it is on purpose to show the true nature of the cover. Lastly, the color palette of the red, white, and blue represents the holiday of July 4th, just as the month and season the magazine was published.

17a-optimized_522_705_72

Cipe Pineles, Seventeen. Cover, July, 1949. Conde Nast Publications

Q: As you became an art director, what are your instructions for different kinds of artists, to illustrate mass-market publications?

I ask artists to read the whole story of the topic, then let them to choose and illustrate whatever they want as long as the commissioned work is good enough to hang with their other work in a gallery. Fine artists are also included in this group of artists, because they need opportunity to access into the commercial world. Since I studied fine art, I wanted to bring fine art and modern design, bringing contemporary art to the eye of the young mainstream public.

Q: Before ending the interview, how do you feel as the first independent woman art director in male profession?

As a woman art director, I hope lots of female graphic designers and artists of next generations are encouraged to maintain their dreams and passion towards art.

Q: It was an honor to have an interview on this spot. Thank you very much for today, Cipe Pineles.

What a pleasure, thank you very much for me to have an opportunity to interview with you guys.

 

References:

Christy, Emily. “Editorial Design: A Closer Look at Cipe Pineles.” History of Graphic Design, 6 Apr. 2014, emilychristy.wordpress.com/2014/04/06/editorial-design-a-closer-look-at-cipe-pineles-2/.

Eskilson, Stephen J. Graphic Design: a New History. Yale University Press, 2012.

Scotford, Martha. “Cipe Pineles.” AIGA | the Professional Association for Design, www.aiga.org/medalist-cipepineles.

Vianello, Laura. “Cipe Pineles, and the Modern Magazine Layout. – Laura Vianello – Medium.” Medium, Medium, 8 Nov. 2015, medium.com/@LauraVianello/cipe-pineles-and-the-modern-magazine-layout-41e0ba68cf78.

Official Cipe Pineles Website: https://www.cipepineles.com/

Imaginary Interview

109_268_bauhausaustellung_weimar_1923_0-jpg_1186904616

Interview of Bauhaus graphic designer: Joost Schmidt (1893-1948)

 

Q: Hi, Mr. Schmidt, everybody knows you are a teacher or master at the Bauhaus and later a professor at the College of Visual Arts, Berlin. You are a visionary typographer and graphic designer who is best known for designing the famous poster for the 1923 Bauhaus Exhibition in Weimar, Germany. And could you please tell us what was the purpose of you created the poster?

A: I developed the poster, which was designed for a competition.

 

Q: what is the meaning you want to representing?

A: This work reflects many of the “transformations” of the Bauhaus school philosophy from “art collision process” to “art collision machine”.

 

Q: what is the reasons makes you use the geometric shapes in the composition?

A: In fact, I need to say something, the poster contains a large number of geometric shapes and lines, it was exactly representing the characteristics of the Bauhaus movement. While the poster is set to “Z” form, “from the upper left corner of the eyes painted diagonal STAATLICHES will object, by the middle of the object center cutting, the lower left corner to the lower right corner, ended in the bottom of the semicircle”, this combo is a kind of effective method of poster, because it allows the viewer to review all the posters must provide all of the posters, even for all meaningful black space as well as the shape of the diagonal direction tilt, also display Settings. “For the reason of the parameter, if the poster is vertically separated in the middle, you can see that the poster layout is not uniform due to the heavy fact on the right, which may limit the combination of the machine.” In this poster, you can see I only used the geometric shapes. It is set in a cross form of circles and squares. It consists mainly of rectangles and circles. From the bottom up there is a semicircle, then a rectangle, and then a circle at the top, and we can see that the logo is also very geometric

 

Q: why you chosen this color pallet?

A: The flat tone of the color complements each other, and work together like a machine, stressing the beauty of the machine again. The color pallet also represented the function of publicity, to make everybody knows the event. but red is a very emotional color. It improves the visibility, this is the reason why stop signs, and also the fire equipment are usually painted red, in addition to the eyes of visibility and attractiveness, it also hides the hierarchy of in any case, this is also reflected in the poster, because red is the color of the highest at the top of the circle.

 

Work Cited:

https://oliviaggraphicsproject2.wordpress.com/2014/01/28/joost-schmidt-bauhaus/

https://kcimgdliamgallacher.wordpress.com/2015/12/15/modernism-poster-analysis/

Imaginary Interview: Jan Tschichold

Hello Jan Tschichold, can you tell us who commissioned you to create your poster, Die Frau ohne Namen, Zweiter Teil?

This is one of my very first posters that I created in 1927 for Phoebus-Palast in Munich, Germany. It is an advertisement for a film called Die Frau ohne Namen, Zweiter Teil, which is German for “The woman without a Name, Part II. This poster was also exhibited in the 1927 Internationale Schau zeitgenössischer Reklame (International exhibition of contemporary publicity) in Mannheim, Germany.

The poster features a significant amount of different photographs of women. Is it based on a social and/or political aspect for this poster?

When the Nazis were in power, they removed almost all of my posters because they thought they posed a political threat. So for this poster, it has a social influence because it was created for a social event, which was for the German silent film, Die Frau ohne Namen. Considering the title of the film includes women, this contextualizes the reason why I incorporated numerous photographs of women. The photos revolve around socially related activities or representations of women that range from women wearing hats and a child being held by two people.

Your posters tend to be very simple and airy with a high amount of white space, this one in particular. Is there a reason for this simplicity?

One concept that I strived to emphasize is clarity, not simply beauty. In this poster, I kept it fairly simple for straightforward communication by just putting the name of the film, along with some images from the film to make it fast and easy for the viewer to understand. This relates to Lucien Bernhard’s plakatstil concept of poster design that only shows the product and the name of it on a neutral background to easily communicate important and necessary information for the viewer to understand in a quick pace. I was also heavily inspired by Russian Constructivism that rejected the use of ornamentation, but I was also influenced by the Bauhaus concept of functionalism. This inspired me to combine these two art concepts together to create simple communication it into my poster.

In your poster, you use a sans-serif typeface. Why do you feel like the use of a sans-serif typeface is more compelling than a serif typeface in regards to modern design?

Just like when I was explaining how the purpose of modern design is about the reduction of design for functionality. In that case, it relates to typography as well by reducing its form. Back then, I worked with blackletter typography because it held heritage to Germany, even though I favor modern typefaces. I reject German typography because I believe that if modern society is rapidly decreasing in design, typography should also follow. The purpose of the creation of sans-serif typefaces was to loss the serifs to create display fonts for posters. This helps to increase legibility for the viewer to be able to read from a distance, which is the main reason why I used it for my poster to draw emphasis to the written information for the viewer to spot in a distance.

This poster is also notable for the use of perspective between the type and the images. Is there a reason you created three-dimensionality with the use of two-dimensional elements?  

Other than simplicity, I also reject the traditional, static, and symmetrical typographic layouts, which enticed me to introduce new possibilities of design. I treat the poster as if it is a blank field, where the elements can be placed anywhere on the composition to create striking and compelling posters. In this poster, I use one-point perspective by bringing the train forward, bursting through a flat red circle as if it is projecting out of the composition and into the viewers space. This helps add vitality and excitement to the composition, which successfully invites the viewer to examine the poster. I also include typophoto to the poster by adding perspective to the type to create a relationship between the type and the photographs.

Speaking of the train, the poster incorporates machine and it is very geometric. What inspired you to incorporate these two elements into your poster?

Modern society is rapidly experiencing a technological paradigm shift, which is known as the machine age. Because of this innovation, technology is becoming a significant subject matter that is featured in films and posters such as this poster I designed. The incorporation of machine and technology in the graphic design and typography helps uphold this modern spirit. I admired the use of machine and technology in Russian Constructivism composition, which represents the development of modern society through the Russian Revolution. Once Russia became a modern society, it reflected in the graphic design work that used geometric shapes to show the dynamism of modernity. I took this as inspiration to my poster by using geometric shapes and images and perspective in my poster to create constant motion to represent the exponential evolution and growth of modern society.

References:

Alya. “Cultural Studies.” Jan Tschichold, 1 Jan. 1970, Web. 2018.                                                                                   <alya-ali.blogspot.ca/2012/04/jan-tschichold.html>.

Antoine. “Antoine Sammut.” New Typography Movement, 1 Jan. 1970, Web. 2018. <antoinesammut.blogspot.ca/2014/01/new-typography-movement.html>.

Bungard, Brigitta, and Department of Advertising. “MoMA | Rediscovering The New Typography.” InsideOut, Web. 2018. <www.moma.org/explore/inside_out/2010/02/12/rediscovering-the-new-typography/>.

Eskilson, Stephen John. Graphic Design: A New History. Yale University Press; North America, 2012. Print.

Tschichold, Jan. “Jan Tschichold. Die Frau Ohne Namen (The Woman Without a Name) (Film Poster for the Phoebus-Palast Cinema, Munich). 1927 | MoMA.” The Museum of Modern Art, Web. 2018. <www.moma.org/collection/works/5754>.

“Jan Tschichold’s Ultimate Goal of the New Typography.” Twopenny Posts or A Think Piece, 7 June 2016, Web. 2018.                       <twopenny.live/2016/05/10/jan-tschicholds-ultimate-goal-of-the-new-typography/>.

Jan Tschichold, Die Frau ohne Namen, Zweiter Teil, 1927
Jan Tschichold, Die Frau ohne Namen, Zweiter Teil, 1927

 

An Interview with Pilar Zeta

Q: Welcome back everyone. Now today I have a special guest interview and her name is Pilar Zeta. I’m a huge fan of your work!

A/Zeta: Thank you thank you, its great to be here.

Q: Alright, well, lets start with the basics on your back story. Now when and where were you born?

A/Zeta: I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, June 15th 1986.

Q: So you’ve certainly come a long way from there. Tell me, what was your childhood like?

A/ Zeta: Well I can definitely say my artistic side really began to come out when I was around six. I can always remember drawing and painting on my own. But my influences really kicked in once my family started introducing me to various art pieces, techniques and theories. Beginning with my Dad, he would take me to museums when I was younger. I would become so overwhelmed by the colours that as soon as I would get home I’d have to find a way to recreate my favorites. But my mother also began to show me cosmology, metaphysics and meditation. This in addition to my brother introducing me to music such as Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, I quickly became interested in the psychedelics of their album covers. But it wasn’t until I was nineteen that I moved away from Argentina and came to the United States around 2005. It wasn’t long after that, that I became a graphic designer.

Q: Seems like your family really immersed you into your current style! Who was your largest influence?

A/ Zeta: I would probably have to say my mother. Although my father introduced me to art itself, my mother showed me meditation and metaphysics which still influences my design work today. If it weren’t for her, I don’t know if I would’ve found myself within my work.

Q: I have to say, its pretty impressive that even moments after coming to the United States to study you were already picked up as a Graphic Designer. Now I know your most popular work right now was the recent Coldplay “Head Full of Dreams” album cover in 2015. Can you tell me a little bit about your process there?

ahfod1000

A/ Zeta: Absolutely! This was by far one of my biggest works yet. Before I had only done smaller pieces for mostly underground electro artists. It all began once I moved to LA and started working under a company called Maavan. They represented a few artists at the time, and one day sent out my work as weekly GIF blast. Phil Harvey noticed and thought I’d be perfect to design the album cover for their newest release. From there, we met and discussed various colourful ideas. We had talked about a huge collage of childhood photos, and from there I began creating. The collage piece I put together was far to big for an album cover so that was definitely something I struggled with. We also wanted to experiment with the Flower of Life. This was a concept that if you took a leaf and multiply it, you would have the Flower of Life. This is where we came up with the beautiful symbol you see in the middle of the album, and the vibrant boarders of the collage piece surrounding it as a way to incorporate everything we had thought of into a beautiful cover.

wemfinal-1-1

Q: Absolutely stunning work! You certainly have such a unique style, incomparable to anything Ive seen before. Would you consider this your big break?

A/Zeta: Absolutely! After this my work really took off and I have several big things to come. I’m really looking forward to what the universe has in store for me!

Q:  So lets talk a little bit more about your process. Where do you start? What kind of materials do you focus on?

A/Zeta: My final pieces are almost always finalized digitally, but my process will always range in mediums. Most of my work throughout my portfolio is rendered digitally since I usually work with album covers and psychedelic themes. But If you look at my process throughout Coldplay’s “Head Full of Dreams”, I worked hard to use paints, edited prints, photographs, all which come together to create something extraordinary. One thing I can say is that geometry is something that will always influence my process. It has a way of really connecting me to my work.

wemfinal-1

Q: That’s so interesting! With your work being so extraordinarily unique; where does your inspiration come from? Who has influenced you during your time?

A/Zeta: Aside from my family, who really started me off in my design career, I have to say Jimmy Edgar had a large influence of some of my pieces. After all we did collaborate together on a few of them and his insights were truly interesting. I collaborated with his music on a piece called “Hot Inside” which presented a lot of high contrasting colour and three dimensional animations. His style of music and eye for colour is something that him and I really connected with, we also tended to have very similar ideas in regards to our projects. It was definitely eye opening to work with someone of similar tastes and also allowed me to expand my portfolio a little more into motion graphics rather then just album designs.

Q: That’s amazing, you seem so experienced, all from such a young age. You’ve gone through so many stages, so many themes and mediums, and many influences throughout your artistic career. How many pieces have you created in total?

A/Zeta: Professionally, I have about 36 pieces that have been released. At least thats how many I’ve released onto my website. But overall, I don’t think I could even say. I have many personal pieces I have yet to show, and so many ideas to come. I’m constantly trying to find myself through my work, so I will continue creating and see what the universe has in store for me.

Q: Well I can’t wait to see what you have in store for the world! We really do look forward to seeing your work somewhere in the future. Unfortunately that’s all the time we have for today. But a huge thank you to Pilar Zeta for being here for this interview today! We look forward to hopefully catching up with you! Until next time.

 

The End

 

Work Cited

 “Pilar Zeta.” Pilar Zeta, www.pilarzeta.com/archive/.

“Pilar Zeta.” Wikipedia, 24 Mar. 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilar_Zeta.

“Interview: Pilar Zeta (AHFOD Artwork Creator).” Coldplay, 20 Dec. 2015, coldplay.com/interview-pilar-zeta-ahfod-artwork-creator/.

Fon, Raven. “SACRED GEOMETRY ART FOR INDIGO CHILDREN BY ARTIST PILAR ZETA.” Spirit Science, 19 May 2016, thespiritscience.net/2016/05/19/the-geometry-art-of-indigo-child-pilar-zeta/.

Imaginary Interview

I had the pleasure to interview with the creator of the iconic simple apple logo, Rob Janoff in 1977 where he started to sketch the first logo concept for Apple Inc.

“Apple Inc. is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Cupertino, California, that designs, develops, and sells consumer electronics, computer software, and online services. Apple was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne in April 1976 to develop and sell Wozniak’s Apple I personal computer. It was incorporated as Apple Computer, Inc. in January 1977, and sales of its computers, including the Apple II, saw significant momentum and revenue growth for the company. Within a few years, Jobs and Wozniak had hired a staff of computer designers and had a production line. Apple went public in 1980 to instant financial success. Over the next few years, Apple shipped new computers featuring innovative graphical user interfaces, and Apple’s marketing commercials for its products received widespread critical acclaim. However, the high price tag of its products and limited software titles caused problems, as did power struggles between executives at the company. Jobs resigned from Apple and created his own company, NeXT.”

applelogo84applelogo

Q: Hello Mr. Janoff such a pleasure to have the opportunity to interview you, let’s start off by getting to know you a little more. Where are you from and did you attend any schools? What was your first job?

A: My pleasure Ms. Gilmour, great let’s start! I would love to tell you about myself, I grew up in Culver City, California and attended the great San Jose State University. At the time, there were many changes going on in my neighborhood, with many factories replacing the green life. My first job after pursuing graphic design was with a marketing firm in Palo Alto called Regis Mckenna.

Q: what was one of the most memorable projects that had been given to you after you started your job at the marketing firm?

A: A guy named Steve had a new computer that was a very big deal and I got this assignment to create a logo for their product due to my conceptual thinking as an art director. I was to make something that would make apple big as they were coming up to big named companies. The direction I took was to make this new complicated microprocessor into something visually pleasing mixed with a metaphor perhaps.

Q: Very interesting and sounds stressful, especially because you had just started your new job in the field! Did they already have a logo or was this the first one ever made for their company?

A: Yes! Very stressful but I couldn’t let that get to me I had to solve their problem, it is my job as a designer. Apple already had a logo resembled an embellished pen and ink illustration of Sir Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree which had been drawn by Ronald Wayne.

Q: Wow amazing, so how did you start on this project what were the projects requirements and Steves intentions for this new Apple logo that he wanted you to create?

A: Ahh, great question! Not only did I have to design the logo but the transformative look for the West Coast Computer Faire where the computer would be presented. The logo has to be full color and is needed to attract the audience at the fair’s attention. There was also the design for the label where the software was on cassettes audio tapes. I never actually saw the computer while I was designing the logo I was only shown the case in which the computer would be held which had no badge on it. The case consisted of softly curved edges and looked similar to an appliance.

Q: Very nice, I can’t believe he didn’t want you to try out the computer and that you were only allowed to see the prototype shell of the design! So tell me how did you create the design, what inspired you and how did you start your process?

A: The way I started this project was like most designers would start by drawing sketches of my ideas, which was mainly apples for obvious reasons haha. I did this to create and perfect a silhouette of an apple over the weeks and then came the bite portion that’s missing from it. My goal was to make sure that the apple did not resemble another fruit. People like Paul Rand and Saul Bass truly inspire me and that’s where the idea of simplicity came from for this project as well as my design career.

Q: It was such a pleasure to hear about your experience with the creation of the apple logo! I’m so happy for you that your first project was a success. It was such an amazing time hearing about your story, thank you for taking the time to have this interview with me.

https://9to5mac.com/2018/03/26/interview-apple-logo-designer-rob-janoff/

http://robjanoff.com/applelogo/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rob_Janoff

Imaginary Interview — Jamie Reid

This is an interview with Jamie Reid on God Save the Queen, from 1977.

Who did you create this cover art for?

I made this cover art for the Sex Pistols’ single, God Save the Queen. I was actually hired by my friend from Croyden College of Art, Malcolm McLaren, who was the manager of the band at that time.

What is the technique you used to create this?

This is a collage made from a repurposed photograph of Queen Elizabeth the II and pasted over the eyes and mouth are cut letters from newspapers that spell out the song title and band name. The technique is called “detournement” which literally means deflection or redirection. The idea is to subvert ideas or images as to reinterpret the original intent and undermine their authority. So this royal photograph then is transformed into something that alludes to a ransom note and represents with the Sex Pistols’ lyrics.

When did you start to paste on the letters like this in your work?

I actually began using this technique while art directing a radical political magazine. In the ’70s graphic designers needed to commission a typesetter to create the type and they wouldn’t see what it looked like until it came back as finished copy printed out on a sheet. Rather, by cutting and pasting the type together with the image I could see how it looked as I went along and was much more free to try out different font styles and sizes. It also freed me from using a structured typographic grid which later becomes kind of defining in punk art.

What artists or movements inspired you?

I am very inspired by the Dadaist movement. You can see a lot of similarity in our work, from the collage, chaos, and political content.

Were you surprised by the Backlash of this piece?

I’ve found there’s always going to be someone who doesn’t like what you do. In this case however both the negative and positive response to this was quite shocking. You certainly don’t think it’s going to be taken as a declaration of civil war, but that’s what happened. John Lydon, the singer, actually became a target and had been attacked in the streets.

What was your original intention behind this cover?

I come from a very politically active family, and I think this informed my work. I was part of a movement that was challenging everything and responding to history… Although my main purpose was to communicate the Sex Pistols new single I think it was so successful due to the political meaning behind it so many people found funny and also agreed with.

Many people say this piece marked grunge and punk art becoming mainstream… do you agree with this?

I do not think there is one thing that marked the explosion of punk art. The outrage around this piece was certainly one of the factors, however everything builds on everything before it and many small movements led to this.

 

                       Jamie Reid, God Save The Queen, 1977

 

http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A71413271/AONE?u=toro37158&sid=AONE&xid=ff8ed56d

https://typetastingnews.com/2013/10/24/how-punk-changed-graphic-design/

https://www.widewalls.ch/artist/jamie-reid/

Eskilson, S. Graphic design: A New History. 2nd ed. New Haven: Lawrence King Publishing,2012, pp. 108-111, 286-311.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imaginary Interview

rand05-970x603

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing a very well known art director and graphic designer, Paul Rand

Welcome Mr. Rand it’s a pleasure to have this opportunity to speak with you and ask you questions about specifically your most famous logos you produced for the world, being in the design world myself, so thank you for speaking with me today!

Q : We’ll start with the main  idea and concept most graphic designers think about once finding themselves immersed in this world of design is what good would you say does graphic design or design do in general for our world?

A : After thinking about this concept for many many years I came to a realization that we as humans are not as important as we may feel at times throughout our lives living in this big world of ours. In a sense it is better for things to look good rather than look bad, I think that is something everyone can agree on, its better for our environment and our world. I think that the value of a designer may still go unnoticed by many business men in a way. The value of a designer to a businessman’s product is that the designer can add great value to his product, and I don’t think this is something that is fully realized yet. He can improve the quality by making it look better and function better. A good designer who is good at his/her practice will know how to make their work memorable and easy to recall and improve the general quality of life, which in turn is really the only reason for our existence and is the ultimate goal.

Q : What gives you the greatest pleasure in the kind of work you do? In design?

A : The greatest pleasure is simply solving problems. This probably comes off as an awful way of describing my pleasure but its getting a kick out of doing something the right way. You know? Right for the job that is. I think people can make beautiful things that are completely inappropriate for what your designing for and in that sense I think its absolute nonsense. I think it’s to be practical and impractical at the same time,  in the common understanding of what practical means. I mean it’s very important to consider aesthetics and its very important to consider content but both need to be existing simultaneously or else you’re just wasting your time. A lot of the good stuff that particularly students complain about after they get out of school is because once they do, even if they’re talented, and even if what they do is beautiful, things they produce just dont work. I mean they don’t communicate, people don’t understand what their doing and so they have a very hard time trying to find a balance between designing something that is beautiful but also full of content, and that both of these aspects are actually being communicated to a wide audience, not just to them.

Q : Do you think it’s because they are too interested in being fashionable and trendy rather than thinking about communicating something?

A : Yes, I would say that’s a big thing today, trendy and fashionable, and doing the latest. Choosing typefaces for instance that no one has chosen for no other reason but that, you know stuff like that

Q : In terms of doing something right, the IBM logo, what makes this design so right, actually quoting you, somewhere I recall you saying “ theres nothing about the IBM symbol that suggests computers except what the viewer reads into it, stripes are now associated with computers because the initials of a great computer company happen to be stripped”, it sounds like you’re almost diminishing what’s there?

ibm-logo-png-transparent-background

A : No no , I’m not diminishing , I think that’s a fact. I think people don’t understand how or why a logo is designed, they simply don’t understand. Most clients or people on the street think that the important thing about a logo is that it illustrates what the business does or what it represent, which is nonsense, which is something I think that is proven by this logo. I mean a logo becomes meaningful only after it’s used. In other words, the illustration that represents the logo is the product and not the logo. The logo comes after, once the two are seen together and people associated the two with one another. The association is what makes the article.

Q : How the logo for IBM has 8 lines going through it, does that have some sort of deeper meaning behind it?, why 8?

A : Well no, it doesn’t mean anything else other than rationalization. It’s just practical to have 8 lines. It’s just a matter of value. Having more lines, 13 for instance would just decrease the logos value. The reason I chose the stripes was because when I first did this design there were no stripes and I just didn’t like it, something was missing and it seemed too dull. Ironically people started copying this idea of stripes in logos after this one had come out. Before 1960 no one had used stripes in logos. They replicated this idea because they must have thought that stripes had to have meant computers or spread, but it in fact had nothing to do with either, I just liked the way it looked.

Q : I think you’re well known for not believing in showing a client a whole slew of options, you just present them what you think is the best option, but most of us and I know I for one am guilty of this, show them one and they say they have nothing to make a decision based off because they have nothing to compare it to, how do you know the one you chose to present to a client is the best possible option?

A : It’s simple, I’m the designer, I designed it, so in turn I must know which one is my best work. This happened to me when I designed the UPS logo. I brought it into the office and handed it to the client and he looked at me and asked do you have anything else? And I said no, that’s all

929a64f2d0efe2bdf3ed6408dc9b2f4e-jpg

 

Q : Were they startled in you confidence in your design?

A : No no, listen, I’m a very sincere guy, I consider myself no brighter than any other person. If I think it’s right, why make anymore?

Q : You work it out and go through all of the options and explore all of that yourself I’m assuming?

A : Oh yes! Those things look simple but they take forever to design

Q : In your book you use a lot of typewriter, plain typewriter type in a lot of your advertisements and posters, which looks very direct and primitive compared to some type that is very fancy, why the decision to go that route?

A : I think most good things have a timeless quality. People associate typefaces with styles. You know like Caslon with the 18th century. And typewriter is universal, common, ordinary, and recognizable. People are comfortable and familiar with it so why not stick to something that people are comfortable with?

 

References :

Fernando, Luiz. “Paul Rand.” Blog.TNB, Blog.TNB, 4 Feb. 2015, blog.tnb.studio/paul-rand/.

“Paul-Rand.com.” Paul Rand Interview by Steven Heller | Paul Rand, American Modernist (1914-1996). 

“Logos.” Pinterest, www.pinterest.ca/pin/344525440215322880/.

“IBM Logo PNG Transparent Background – Famous Logos.” Diy Logo Designs.