Facts not fears
With little else to do during a quarantine, almost all of us are moving our social interactions online. Facebook, WhatsApp, Zoom, Skype and FaceTime are the new replacements for catching up over a cup of coffee or glass of wine. The times they are a changing, as Bob Dylan would groan. Somewhere online, I saw someone crudely flip the familiar …
2020 hasn’t been quite the happy new year that we all wished each other just three months ago, has it? With floods verging on biblical, the realisation that Brexit is a sad reality and now a public health crisis to contend with, can things get any worse? Sadly I fear they can. Back in the eighties when I was designing …
Episode 10 – The Cloth
This episode is an audio supplement to Classic Pop magazine, issue 4, published May/June 2013. In this podcast I interview artist, Fraser Taylor, who was part of a design collective called The Cloth (1983-1987).
Fraser was one quarter of The Cloth along with David Band, Helen Manning and Brian Bolger. The art of Fraser Taylor and David Band featured on many record sleeves in the early eighties, most notably for Spandau Ballet, Altered Images, Aztec Camera and The Bluebells. Music from these artists and others is included in the episode along with archive interview content from Gary Kemp and David Band.
The punishment of luxury
I like it when my joint worlds of art, design and music collide. It’s a collision of the nicest kind…
Last year, one of my favourite bands, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) released a new album. They’ve been at it now since the late seventies and The Punishment of Luxury is their 13th studio album. The album’s title was inspired by a painting that I’m familiar with from my many recreational and business-related visits to Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery.
You get what you pay for
The word ‘Design’ understandably crops up quite a lot in my social media posts and clever algorithms ensure that I see advertisements catering to my specific interests. Or that’s the theory anyway… Technology really is a wonderful thing and I am as geeky as they come – I even worked at Apple for a while so that I could get up close to all the shiny goodness that makes life easier. Not everything can be aided by technology yet though, and creative imagination is a prime example.
Tomorrow, the largest format article I’ve ever had my design work printed on to will be hung outside one of my city’s loveliest buildings. Lubaina Himid’s Meticulous Observations and Naming the Money exhibition is on now at Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery until 18 March 2018 and my hard to miss hangings inside and outside will welcome people into the building.
Can graphic design save your life?
Last week I was in London for a few days and made a special trip to see the latest exhibition of The Wellcome Collection entitled Can Graphic Design Save Your Life? I’d read about the exhibition and because of the nature of what I do, it was an obvious draw. My answer to the question is an emphatic Yes! Graphic design can save lives. The exhibition goes on to show many of the creative and ingenious ways that design has been used over the years to distil complex information into a public friendly package.
Back to the future
I design a lot of logos. I spend ages on them, pushing around every element – pixel by pixel, vector by vector. They’re hard work, what often appears as deceptively simple, is usually the result of dozens of iterations and experiments. Preparing something that harmoniously sits together, with considered capacity for use in multiple formats across multiple platforms isn’t something that can be automated or rushed. Good logo design is an art form for graphic designers.
Detail is important
In my last blog entry I mentioned that I had recently been commissioned to audit the brand identity of an organisation. In my design proposal, which is now being implemented, I cast a critical eye over all of their material and put forth a constructive series of creative proposals to improve things. It is the grander gestures that are most noticeable; using great photography instead of nasty clip art, or being consistent with a restrained colour palette instead of using everything in the Pantone book.
I recently saw a company name I have not seen in a long time – Letraset. Who remembers them? I guess that design students now would have no reason to even know what Letraset once was? For me, as much as I do not miss it one bit, Letraset did help to hone my eye for good typography and is what made me the font pedant I am today.