Creative Synesthesia

“Creative Synesthesia is a condition in which one type of stimulation of the senses evokes the sensation of another.”

This perceptual phenomenon applies to Filippo Marinetti’s “At Night In Her Bed”. The father of Futurism, the goal of Marinetti’s work was to reject all that was traditional and celebrate urban culture and advanced technology. The Futurism movement wished to portray movement, speed, power and violence through a modern lens.  Marinetti’s main subjects/inspiration were the automobile and war, which represented all of these components.

In “At Night In Her Bed”, Marinetti depicts how sound would look. He has created a visual frequency of the sounds, using elongated or large type to show us a particularly higher/louder sound compared to the sounds that are smaller, which we can assume are shorter or quieter. He is showing us a bombing that is keeping a woman awake at night. It is an allegory, because she is thinking of her partner who is on the front lines fighting in the war. She is awake because she is imagining the bombings. It is total chaos, we feel the anxiety the woman is experiencing through Marinetti’s jagged lines. There is an influence from the Vorticism movement in this piece; the text is exploding upwards in a circular motion away from the woman imagining it. This piece is unique where it has already aided me visually to experience synesthesia. It’s very illustrative with the text, which brings me to interpret the sound of a bomb.

Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, At Night In Her Bed 1919


Works Cited:

De Stijl on a Platter

The De Stijl design movement of the early 20th century emphasized reductive harmony above all, striving for a universal style that communicated on the most basic level. Similarly, the charcuterie board simplifies hand foods to their most essential, malleable forms, idealistically attempting to provide any number of possible food combinations to satisfy the greatest number of consumers. De Stijl sensibilities are also echoed in the charcuterie board’s aesthetic qualities, in the harmonious arrangement of simple component parts referencing the limited use of basic shape and colour in De Stijl works. And Finally, the charcuterie board shares also the idealistic failures of De Stijl, where the designers of the movement strived for universal and accessible communication, the work was found to be too avant-garde and difficult to understand the intention of. The charcuterie board also, though intended for easy snacking, has complicated the task of meal consumption, and potentially alienated those not familiar with the eclectic combination of food items.

the ingredients included in the charcuterie board I prepared for this post are as follows:

-fresh grapes

-dried apricots


-sea-salted cashews

-lactose-free jalapeno gouda




– vegetable crackers


That good good small food plate, Scott Little (2018)

Siobhan Schmidt – Creative Synethesia – 1960s Psychedelic Art

Victor Moscoso, Miller Blues Band Poster. 1967
Victor Moscoso, Miller Blues Band Poster. 1967

In the 1960s, the psychedelic art, especially psychedelic poster art took off in counter culture movement groups. Its style was heavily influenced by the effects of hallucinatory drugs, featuring bold swooping shapes, curvilinear lines and type and vibrating colours. Psychedelic poster designers were in close communication with many musicians of this time and are responsible for the majority of their album covers and concert posters, which leads us to the sound of this era.

When listening to music from this time, it is easy to hear the correlation between many of the artists stylistic choices and the imagery of their posters. The extended guitar solos, complex riffs and experimentations with noise all evoke the same overwhelming hallucinatory feeling that the Psychedelic posters have as well.

A key feature of the Psychedelic posters is their vibrating colours. This was achieved by choosing two colours directly across from each other on the colour wheel and using them with an equal value and intensity in the design. The colours then bounce off of each other and make the image appear like it is vibrating. This vibrating effect is clearly heard in Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Child”. Right from the first riff you can hear how the final chord vibrates into the beginning of the pattern. As the song continues and more elements are added, the effects of these vibrations are exaggerated, creating an overwhelming soundscape that draws the listener in and leaves them in a trance like state.

Listening to the song with closed eyes enhances these effects even more, allowing the brain to focus on the music and the sounds to control the other senses. With your eyes closed, you will be able to see waves of colour moving across your eyelids, following the sound waves of Hendrix’s guitar. Just like how if you were to stare at a psychedelic poster for a few minutes and then close your eyes, the colours of the image would still linger in your mind.

When listening to songs like “Voodoo Child” it is practically impossible to not envision the posters accompanying them, which just goes to show how much the images sound like the songs.


Design Inspiration

Design Inspiration: The influence of Cubism on David Carson’s work

16007 raygun

David Carson revolutionized graphic design in the 1990s with his experimental and unconventional style of design. He is often referred to as the godfather of “grunge typography,” which is his distinct style seen in all of his work. Some of his work seems to have an influence from the synthetic cubism movement from around 1910, a movement led by artists like Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque.  David Carson’s work seems to take inspiration from Picasso’s collage work seen in pieces such as “Bottle of Suze;” in his magazine covers the overlapping of various mediums is evident. Although Carson doesn’t necessarily create a physical collage, he uses many of the same techniques required to make a collage; he overlaps different elements and mediums, using imagery, type and textures to create his grunge effect. Type is placed in an irregular pattern on the magazine cover, much like the pieces of paper placed in Picasso’s composition. There is a somewhat disorganized, messy and, chaotic feel to both pieces when looking at them broken down into little parts, but overall they both work well visually, creating a sense of harmony in the piece. Carson is known for having broken the traditional grid, and in a way that is exactly what Picasso had done with his cubist collages because he took what was originally an organized page and tore it into pieces which he then reassembled. Carson did the same thing, only digitally or at least created the illusion of a collage.






Works Cited

“Artwork Detail.” Artwork Detail | Kemper Art Museum,


“David Carson | Biography, Designs and Facts.” Famous Graphic Designers,


“Design Styles Across 10 Decades.” Design & Illustration Envato Tuts ,–cms-29370.


Flask, Dominic. Ray Gun : Design Is History,




Creative Synthesis: Sense of Taste


Giorgio De Chirico, Vogue, November,15 1935


Creative synthesis is a term that describes how the experience of one sense links to another experience with a different sense. An example I’m most familiar is when creative synthesis describes people who see colours when listening to music. Many of these people unsurprisingly are musicians, or creative types. In the case of this blog post I’ll be comparing the visual elements of this Vogue cover created by Giorgio De Chirico to the sense of taste.


With a bit of imagination and influence derived from the colours, line work and texture used in this image I believe that it conjures up in one’s mind the taste of  a box of chocolates. Giorgio De Chiricos piece communicates this specific taste through his choice of colour palette and in the way he applied his line work


To begin with the colours are cocoa, Ivory and black with some rose colours. The entire palette is what one would usually see in a box of chocolates. One can taste the creamy white chocolates, salted caramels, rich dark chocolates and even ones with raspberry filling. The smoothness in the texture of the items depicted in the foreground creates the taste of a good chocolate; the kind that melts and dissolves in one’s mouth. The entire image tastes sweet and rich.


The idea of this being a very confectionary design is further reinforced with the line work. The squiggly lines are similar to the designs on these small chocolates. The lines on the mirror in the background create the impression of a shiny surfaced texture. This tastes like the piece of paper in which the chocolates are typically placed. Unfortunately, the paper wasn’t properly removed from the chocolate and now you are eating the pretty paper by accident. It tastes bitter. It tastes like a mistake.


Giorgio De Chirico’s cover for Vogue brings the taste of confectionary chocolates to life, even if unintentionally, by making specific colour choices and by the lines he creates and the way it is laid out like a plate on which chocolates would be arranged on a platter. Funnily enough, the rich and luxurious taste of chocolate fits well with the contents of the pages of vogue. The loose and suggestive line work is like those found in a fashion illustration sketch. These little chocolates taste like luxury and style.

Creative Synesthesia – Dui Yang

Swiss style, also known as the International style, is a graphic design style that emerged in Russia, Germany, and the Netherlands in the 1920’s and developed by designers in Switzerland during the 1950’s. In Swiss style, designers use geometric shapes, negative space, grid systems, sans-serif typefaces and typographic alignment to create cleanness, readability, and objectivity images. To this day, the design strategy of Swiss style still influencing architecture, graphic design and many design related fields.

Swiss style purged all the decoration to pursue the beauty of simplicity. But the designers structured the colors, shapes, and typefaces boldly, which makes the artworks vivid and filled with emotion. The simple but powerful design style always bring people more feeling not only on visual but also on other senses.

Karl Gerstner, Clichés-Offset Schwitter AG, 1964.
Karl Gerstner, Clichés-Offset Schwitter AG, 1964.

Just like the Clichés-Offset Schwitter AG poster created by Karl Gerstner in 1964. The strong color and unique design always remind me a song from Diane Birch, Staring At You. The separate circles and squares like the changeless drumbeat in the background of the song. And the circles and squares which linked together make me heard the ups and downs of the music. The different pure colors like the different soundtracks in the music. Karl Gerstner used different colors of the intersections of the shapes, which is the color combine by the color around it (like the intersection color of the black square and violet square is dark blue). These design of colors remind me the changes of key in the music. Finally, the clear and unemotional female voice just like the concise Akzidenz-Grotesk fonts on the poster, with the elusive lyric (like the indispensable texts on the poster.) constitutes the feeling of my auditory sense with this poster.

Design Inspiration-Vivien Zeng

" Adler" poster Lucien Bernhard  1914
” Adler” poster
Lucien Bernhard
"See America" posters M. Weitzman commissioned by the US Travel Bureau 1930
“See America” posters
M. Weitzman commissioned by the US Travel Bureau

Plakatstil also was known as the “poster style” developed in Germany around the 1900s as more designers adopted a more simplified approach. This particular style of graphic design can be characterized by its use of flat colours and shapes as well as the simplification of images to its most basic elements. Designers aimed to create memorable and dynamic designs that could be easily perceived at a glance. Lucien Bernhard, perhaps one of the most well-known Plakatstil designers, created posters that revolutionized graphic design as it aestheticized mass-produced products. In his poster, he used bright colours with high contrast to create visually stimulating compositions. The design was also very straightforward as it featured only the most important information; the company and the product. Bernhard’s work became the inspiration for many designers even to this day.


In the 1930s, during the Great Depression, a series of prints were designed to promote tourism in the States in hopes of improving the economy. These posters, designed by M. Weitzman, feature aspects of the iconic Plakatstil style. The use of flat shapes and colours echoes the work of Lucien Bernhard. While the colours are not particularly bright in this poster, there is still a high contrast between them. The reduction of the illustration to its most basic form is also reminiscent of the Plakatstil style as it makes for a very simple image that can be perceived at a glance. Lastly, similar to Bernhard’s work, the “See America” poster is free of any unnecessary components. It features a very simplified illustration, the name of the company and a slogan. Weitzman presents only the most vital information that aids in the communication of its narrative.


Work Cited

International Poster Gallery. Plakatstil Posters. 2010. 27 March 2018. <>.

Rothman, Lily. The Story Behind Those Gorgeous National Park Posters From the 1930s. 18 April 2016. 27 March 2018. <>.