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 »

Ken Garland, a British graphic designer, states that graphic designers are being constantly pushed to work for advertising design, as opposed to any other type of design. He states that this is a problem because much of this advertising is for “trivial purposes,” or basically, insignificant products such as “cat food, stomach powders, detergent, hair restorer, striped toothpaste, aftershave lotion, before shave lotion, etc…” As the document is a manifesto, it by definition, is a call to arms for graphic designers to take up Garland’s cause. However, his cause is somewhat contradictory and undefined—I am not quite sure Garland knew what his cause was either. Continue Reading »

There is much discourse in the design world about how much of an impact the media has on the individual, thereby having an effect on the masses. In No Logo, Naomi Klein argues that branding—or rather, over-branding—and over-consumption due to Capitalism-sown-greed has doomed mankind to be slaves of their own branded objects of desire; the corporate head-honchos are to blame for mass misery. Needless to say, my particular disdain for her piece of journalism will lean towards over exaggeration.

David Gauntlett’s Media, Gender and Identity, however, provides a less biased, and slightly more nuanced view of the media’s effect on the individual, as compared to Ms. Klein’s No Logo. Continue Reading »

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