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Branding Choices: Week 1

In a workshop titled The Labyrinth of the Library, I followed a bibliographic path from a given text to four further essays and books. I decided to work on my own and chose an article that had an interesting reference to Sartre’s “Being and Nothingness”. During my journey I got seriously stuck in the philosophy section of the library as the book I was searching for was unavailable and instead of searching for alternatives I ended up trying to download it facing some serious technical difficulties. Back in class I had nothing to tell about. I feel like having that little time for a workshop – working in groups is essential.

As for the branding and branding a person in particular – that was an interesting challenge. I think the main focus in this case should be the target audience and why, how and what the person offers. We all have quite a lot of history and it’s impossible to fit everything about a person in a logo or other type of branding. It’s essential to focus on the things that are relevant to chosen audience and main things that characterise the person as a professional(or whoever else the person chooses to be presented like). It’s all about choosing the most relevant bits of information and thinking of their graphical representation.

We where asked to brand our tutor – Sarah Snaith, I decided to concentrate on the same beginning/ending letters of her name and surname, her speaking/writing about things, I liked the fact about being loud that I heard and her glasses are very memorable also being a permanent part of her style. So I sketched a couple of ideas I attached below.

sarah

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FIRST THINGS FIRST ADRIANA EYSLER

“Formal experiments in the early decades of the 20th century were fuelled by

a belief in the power of design as an agent of social change.” The rise of industrial mass production  resulted in the Arts and Crafts movement which suggested that design style and production methods should express the values of the culture, the dignity of labour should be restored as well as the basic beauty and truthfulness of the useful objects and domestic spaces which existed before. Design got influenced by decorative and graphic arts of remote and early cultures.

Emerged as a response to industrialisation, Bauhaus was the movement that embraced change, machine aesthetics and geometric formalism.

During WWI the effectiveness of graphic design as a manipulator of public opinion became clear and made people think about the nature of propaganda and social responsibility of graphic designers who used their skills to promote readiness, recruitment, sales of bonds, discipline on the home front, and other war-related efforts. Avant-garde designers used deployed phrases, images and typefaces in their counter propaganda art to expose the powers of mass media and brain washing.

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LEFT BRAIN, RIGHT BRAIN HARRIET EDWARDS

When analysing the behavioral characteristics of the right side of the brain in contrast to the left, we can identify a concept that the right side is defined with normality and sanity, but the description of the left side of the brain has an association with a more menacing approach, almost an evilness. This paradox is evident in the English usage for the word “right” to describe “just”, and embracement of the Latin word for “left” for “sinister”, which supports a more injurious or venomous description. This is observed quite easily by the right side of our body being the naturally commanding  and dominant side of the two. 90% of our population being Dexter (Price, 2009) and this isn’t because of an ancient and arbitrary social construct, but more rather an innate reason. The selection of which hand we are habitated with is already selected in by 10 weeks as a fetus (Fetal Behavior Research Centre, 2004).

Searching deeper at the implications of our psyche and brain, we try establish the distinction between the two hemispheres, each controlling opposite sides of the body. This reveals that left handed people appear to rely more on their right side of the brain, which is usually responsible for visual memory and abstraction, as opposed to the left hemisphere which is usually decisive language thinking.

Today’s societies is so devoted to celebrating rational and practical thinking – just as what has been shaped in the 20th century, that it may very well be the case to discuss about “right shame” for creative and conceptual persons, or more widely observed at those who stride away from the “norm”. Still and all, it’s worth noting that the 21st century has brought an indisputable shift in favor of our left side of the brain; As David Crow champions in his “Left to Right” (2006), the advent of an increasingly portable range of digital technologies is progressively separating the necessity of text in communication, making visual and image-based language a rising reality.

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MEMORY AND LINE HARRIET EDWARDS

In Tim Ingold’s writings “Lines: A Brief History” (2007). He expresses that the artistic and philosophical vision is that anything we can fathom from our reality and consciousness can be simply portrayed as lines in its lowest expression. Furthermore, but not as deep rooted as scientific disciplines go, dividing things in plains, plains in lines, and further again, lines into dots.

Today’s oldest attempt at a visual recording made by humans can date back to around 39,000 years ago (National Geographic, 2014), and is considered nothing more than a collection of hand outlines. Writing and scriptures are humanity’s oldest form of documentation, which is just a series of organised lines, if not  continuous lines itself for comfort.  Lines are not necessarily tangible or visible, such as the boarders between countries, or a path described as Point A and Point B. If not a line, can it be curved? straight? these can be described as imaginary lines. Even we as individuals can be considered ‘just a line’: A stream of consciousness, as argued by William James (1890:239).

We must ask ourselves if this is how things are with different compositions of lines, or just on how our minds try to clarify the information we’re trying to digest? In the end, lines reveal themselves to be a simple, yet a powerful body to encase emotion, sounds, gestures, something abstract or a real description.

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LANGUAGE AS MATERIAL: MATERIALITY AND METHOD ANDREA MASON

When you strip the text of its storytelling function – it becomes a material which may be shaped and altered in any way to produce a piece of art. Uncreative Writing explores the connection between typography and context leaving the content out of the equation.

I see it as a way to truly explore creative typography and learn to link the form to the meaning, separate them, alter the text to the extent when it completely changes content and so on. The exercises we did during the lecture were entertaining, especially Blackout Poems. The ability to mess around with other authors work gives a certain feeling of power and I think it has much to do with the fact that you don’t face a blank page anymore – it’s more like rearranging elements to the point of satisfaction. In his book “The Author as Producer” Walter Benjamin writes that the main goal is to turn “readers or spectators into collaborators” and there are many movements that encourage readers to experiment, “to participate in the poet’s act of creating a poem”.

the                                                                                                           way to

consciousness                                            isn’t clear

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THE AUTHOR ANDREW SLATTER

Where does the work of author finish and the work of designer begin? Different people, starting from the creator of a piece and finishing with the observer, usually manage different stages of production. We are used to the familiar pattern of an author making a piece of work then designer choosing the typeface and arranging everything, and the last stage is the viewer who observes the work done. However through out years the lines between the contributions of these individuals became blurred due to the new technology and ways of communication.

The production of work is no longer divided into separate stages and access to computers and other platforms allows writer to instantly become a designer/typographer of his own work. So a writer himself can now choose a typeface and manipulate his creation.

Jonathan Safran Foer once said “I see myself as someone who makes things. Definitions have never done anything but constrain.” (2010) and by that it’s obvious that in our modern time such things as author and designer become often one and the same. If we ask ourselves does it mean that to be truly called an author one has to become an expert in as many subjects as possible – the answer will most likely be yes.

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BLEACHED DREAMS/TROUBLING PLACES GRETA HAUER

This lecture reminded me of genius loci concept as I was researching a lot into imaginary/non-existent/dream spaces. Greta talked about different types of places and their characteristics.

First was simulated space – the one people usually use to play or educate, for example there is a camp in Utah where scientists can experience something close to living on Mars. Also there are dozens of simulators for pilots and drivers as well as video games which simulate life, fighting, driving etc.

I like how Jean Baudrillard describes the world famous virtual space: ’Disneyland is presented as imaginary in order to make us believe that the rest is real, when in fact all of Los Angeles and the America surrounding it are no longer real, but of the order of the hyperreal and of simulation.’ Casino’s and some malls act the same way and at the end of the day, it’s all about the need to make you consume more and more.

Another type – Non-place is described as a place which is absent of soul, having no face, or identity. It doesn’t appeal to any of our senses, therefore the only characteristic it bears is it’s raison d’être – these are places like car parks or waiting rooms – faceless and emotionless.

And, finally, Unreal Spaces – living only in our dreams and fantasies, the ones we usually see in movies, detached from reality as much as possible.

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