Archive for the ‘Print’ Category

A very common cliché seen in corporate print material as well as websites is the use of stock photography; the subject matter of said photography is usually smiling business people of diverse ethnicities, selling you everything from internet and cell-phone service to pharmaceutical drugs. You’ve seen these people locked in eternal smile in dozens of advertisements on the subway, on tv, and in magazines. Maddox, of internet-trolling fame, gives use a not-so-insightful, yet rather humorous description of the semantic relationships these stock images have in relation to the text-content of advertisements.

Check it out here: http://www.thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=stock_photos

Be warned: the site above is definitely not safe for work, uses rather vulgar language quite frequently, and should in no way ever be used as an academic resource.

-rgm

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As we all know, there are many clichés and faux pas in both print and web design work that irk and upset both the design savvy and non-design savvy alike. Designers often react to these clichés with sneers, rude gestures, and loud commentary. Both Modern Life and Underconsideration have great lists that include—but are not limited to—some classic clichés such as rampant diagonal lines, the always horrible wet-floor effect, pixel fonts (which I am totally guilty of abusing), swirls and drips, cartoon mascots, textured backgrounds, globe and compass icons, computer code speak, and the dreaded ‘swoosh.’

The three lists linked to include some of the biggest perpetrators, however I have listed a few more for your pleasure.

1. Hand-written type
Hand-written type has become synonymous with naive, child-like, and hipster-cool.

2. The White Box website
For some reason, a ridiculous number of graphic designers’ portfolios follow the template of having just a white background with small text links on the left side of the screen and image on the right.

3. Distressed/Graffiti-esque type
“Grunge” typography has been, and will be, around for a really long time. Unfortunately.

4. Shepard Fairey’d
Once considered an underground, rebellious street-artists, Shepard Fairey is loved by all, even the government Fairey is rebelling against. Now, everyone is riding the OBEY wave, from Facebook photos to billboard ads to Optimus Prime.

5. Helvetica Bold
The most popular, most  clichéd typeface of all time.

6. Rounded edges, and the Apple-esque
Many—if not every—website nowadays seems to conform to the web 2.0 standard of rounding off the corners of each and every rectangular box on screen. This is epitomized by Apple’s style that is copied over and over again in advertisements and posters. How many more iProducts must we suffer before the fad dies?

That’s all I’ve got for now. Be sure to look for a  Clichés Continued post in the future.

-rgm

There is a very cool post over at a blog called Design*Sponge on Art Nouveau monograms designed in 1908 by Paul Starke. The images on the post come from a book called Modern Monogramme by Starke. The images below have just been copied from the Design*Sponge post.


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Monograms have been around since medieval times. They were first used by craftsmen and guilds to mark their products—often times these products would be furniture, metal tools, etc… Nowadays, they are primarily used as logos for large companies, design firms, and often, an identity mark for the individual designer. See the Wikipedia page on monograms here. Continue Reading »

I am a designer, and not a painter. Or an illustrator for that matter. Well, I’m not trained as an illustrator, however, in this contemporary world of ours, I feel that designers are often called upon to fulfill the role of illustrator/painter, and vice versa as well. Many of the best posters I have seen have a combination of illustration with good use of type, or photo with type, or a combination of all three—concert posters, as well as posters for art exhibitions, galleries, and other artistic means fall heavily into this category. Likewise, many of the best design pieces I have seen at school use a combination of good concept, good layout/type/design, and good hand-done illustration. Often, painters create some of the most beautiful “graphic designs.” Continue Reading »