Friday, June 11, 2010

Philippe Starck | Designer


If you hadn't heard of him before, you would certainly know him now, due to his recent appearance in the BBC tv program Design for Life. However there are few people interested in design that would not know the name Philippe Starck.

Philippe Starck is a French product designer and probably the best known designer in the New Design style. Unlike most other New Design artists, his work does not concentrate on the provocative and expensive single pieces. Rather, his product designs are of usable household items which are marketed for mass production.

His designs range from spectacular interior designs to mass produced consumer goods such as toothbrushes, watches, houses and interiors. He recently designed wind turbines, beginning a new direction based on ecology. Starck's products are often stylised, streamlined and organic in their appearance and are often constructed using unusal combinations of materials (eg. glass and stone, plastic and aluminium etc).

In the 1990s much of his work was inspired by fashion and novelty. Now, however, Starck is promoting the ethos that honesty and integrity should be at the core of design. He believes that products should not be created as throw-away artifacts only surviving for as long as they are in fashion, but should ideally have longevity and durability.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

PENNY: Post 8: Zines

A zine is a publication of texts and images, usually circulation is 5,000 or less, more commonly in editions of less than 100. More broadly, the term relates to any self-published work, usually of interest to a minority. Commonly reproduced with a photocopier. Profit is not the primary intent of publication.

Long Live Mutiny! Pirate Tactics
"Borrowing from what I assume to be traditional pirate customs, the authors of this guide explain how to create secure conditions for Black Bloc activists to get together to organize and carry out direct action. Topics addressed include "How do pirates organize", "Radical Defense", "How do I become a Pirate", "What the hell is a swagger", and more. The guide gives good directions on how to maintain anonymity and avoid infiltration by state agents and others, how different groups should connect together, how information can be safely distributed, etc. If you want to
get involved in covert direct action, this is a good place to begin. "

Zine format can be computer-printed text, comics or handwritten text. Topics covered are broad, including fanfiction, politics, art and design, ephemera, personal journals, social theory, single topic obsession, or sex; with content far enough outside of the mainstream to be prohibitive of inclusion in more traditional media.

"Zines are about diversity, creativity, innovation, and expression. As a group, zines deliberately lack cohesion of form or function, representing as they do individual visions and ideals rather than professional or corporate objectives. With zines, anything goes. Anything. They can be about toasters, food, a favorite television show, thrift stores, anarchism, candy, bunnies, sexual abuse, architecture, war, gingerbread men, activism, retirement homes, comics, eating disorders, Barbie dolls - you name it."
Julie Bartel

Zines can be sold, traded or gifted,from zine symposiums and publishing fairs, record stores, book stores, zine stores, concerts, zine 'distros', mail order, websites, social networking profiles or through direct correspondence with the author. As zines are usually sold for relatively little money, from one fan to another, the time and materials used to create a zine are seldom matched by income from sales.

Zines have been around for hundreds of years in one form or other, however, it was only in the 1930's that 'zine' became a common term. Science Fiction fans began to write their own magazines commenting on the validity/probability of SF storylines and writing their own stories (The Comet, was published in 1930 by the Science Correspondence Club in Chicago). Zines stayed in the realm of SF, branching only as far as comics (The Comic Collector's News, was the first comics fanzine, in October, 1947) and horror ('Trumpet', was a 1960s SF zine that branched into horror film coverage), until the 1970's when 'Punk'happened and zines sprung up everywhere. (The first UK punk zine Sniffin' Glue, ran for 12 photocopied issues. The first issue was produced by fan Mark Perry immediately following the London debut of The Ramones on July 4, 1976).

"Around 1975 the price of duplication went down dramatically,"..... noting that Xerox went from approximately 50p a sheet to 10p. "Copy shops started to spring up all over Britain. At the same time Kodak introduced instant printing. The combined effect of these two things was dramatic, really on a par with the arrival of the internet."
Joly McFie

'Maximumrocknroll is a widely distributed, monthly not-for-profit fanzine based in San Francisco. Maximum RocknRoll is considered to be one of the most important presences in punk, not only because of its wide-ranging coverage, but because it has been a constant and ideologically influential presence in the ever-changing punk community for two decades.'

The 1990's saw zines head into the territory of 'Riot Grrrl' and 'Queercore', both offshoots of punk, but entirely different in attitude and agenda.
Queercore is distinguished by a discontent with society in general and a complete disapproval of the gay and lesbian community and its 'oppressive agenda'. Queercore zines covered political agendas along with music and Queercore musicians were often but not exclusively homosexual.

Riot Grrl was an underground feminist punk movement often associated with third-wave feminism. The Zines were often related to music but also to the same topics the music embraced including sexism, mental illness, body image and eating disorders, sexual abuse, racism, rape, discrimination, stalking, domestic violence, incest, homosexuality, and sometimes vegetarianism.

Fanorama is a Rhode Island-based zine and zine-distro produced by journalist/activist REB (Richard E. Bump). It is the "grand-daddy of the queer zine scene". First published in 1992, it was initially a punk-edged collage of gay porn and commentary.
"This is best described simply by quoting from the introduction:
One night while rooting through the recycling bin for magazines, I found all the confidential Ph.D. applicant files for the biology department at an Ivy League university from the years 1965-1975. Stapled to many of the yellowed documents were photographs of the prospective students. They were treasures! I tore through the folders and rescued every portrait I could find. I had to have them. The recommendation forms supplied accompaniment, via their "strengths and weaknesses" or "personality" sections. The quotes below each photo are actual things said about the pictured students by their formed professors or employers, not intended to be seen by anyone but the application review committee. My selections are often unflattering, but perhaps insightful into these students, as well as their referees. "
Zines allow open creativity in any area the author chooses, this has created some amazing work, authors, designers and artists. Contributors to Zines were/are often hired by paying magazines, some zines themselves moving up from unpaid to paid as a whole. Notable among these are Giant Robot, Bust, Bitch (magazine) and Maximum RocknRoll.

"Just before punk kicked off, broadcaster/critic-to-be Paul Morley did one issue of Out There, an attractively designed zine that was attacked by Sniffin' Glue's Mark P for "looking like fuckin' Vogue", then received the proverbial telegram from NME. Everett True went from doing rebarbative indie zine The Legend to becoming Melody Maker's champion of grunge and is currently the publisher/editor of independent music magazine Plan B. Most meteoric of all was the ascent of James Brown – in the 80s he was the mouthy git behind Attack on Bzag! before he became the creator of Loaded and a magazine-publishing magnate-about-town."

In recent years the traditional paper zine has begun to give way to the webzine (or "e-zine") that is easier to produce and uses the Internet to reach an ever larger audience. Nonetheless, printed fanzines are still produced, either out of preference for the format or to reach people who don't have convenient Web access.

Giant Robot is a bi-monthly magazine of Asian and Asian American popular culture founded in 1994. The publication grew from its original format—a small, photocopied zine, foldedand stapled by hand—to its current full-color format.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Johnathan Barnbrook

Jonathan Barnbrook is one of the most renowned and provocative graphic designers working in the UK today. Originally part of the 'new wave' typography movement in the 1990s, Barnbrook has since worked with the likes of notorious, anti-advertising magazine Adbusters; designed record covers for David Bowie; and collaborated with Damien Hirst. He has also maintained a personal poster project, and created a number of ubiquitous font designs, released through Emigre and his own company Virusfonts. His contribution to graphic design was recognised through a major exhibition at the Design Museum, London in 2007. Barnbrook has also created the visual identity for the 17th Biennale of Sydney and is one of the participating artists.

Barnbrook is a pioneer of the notion of graphic design with a social conscience. He makes strong statements about corporate culture, consumerism, war and international politics. Working in both commercial and non-commercial spheres, Barnbrook combines originality, wit, political savvy and bitter irony in equal measures. Ironically for a designer who consciously challenges capitalism through his work, his commercial success both as a type designer and typographer in general has made him one of the most influential voices in typography in the 90s.

Barnbrook is arguably most-recognised for his work on the cover artwork of David Bowie 's 2002 album Heathen which featured the debut for his 'Priori' typeface. Other well known fonts designed by Barnbrook (and released through 'VirusFonts' ) include Bastard, Exocet, False Idol, Infidel, Moron, Newspeak, Olympukes, Sarcastic, Shock & Awe, and Tourette. Many have emotive and controversial titles reflecting the style and themes of Barnbrook's work.

He has also worked with Damien Hirst – for whom he designed the visual identity of his monograph “I Want to Spend the Rest of My Life Everywhere, with Everyone, One to One, Always, Forever, Now”

He has also worked with the anti-corporate design and culture jam magazine Adbusters and on the First Things First manifesto The First Things First manifesto, backed by over 400 graphic designers and artists which rallied against the consumerist culture that was purely concerned with buying and selling things and tried to highlight a Humanist dimension to graphic design theory

Barnbrook himself argues for a new design based on ethical principles – one of sustainability and social conscience. One that isn’t divided from the individual who creates it by the rules of free-market economics. His own political posters have been illegally pasted up around London and elsewhere.

1990 PlayStation Claire

The PlayStation brand is a line of video game consoles created and developed by Sony Computer Entertainment, it was first introduced by Sony Computer Entertainment in Japan on December 3, 1994

"Live In Your World, Play In Ours." (The PlayStation face button icons were used to denote certain letters: Live In YOur WXrld, PlAy In Ours)

Controversial advertising campaigns
The PlayStation brand has gained a rather infamous reputation of occasionally utilizing extremely unique and often controversial advertising campaigns throughout various regions in the world.
Sony admitted in late 2005 to hiring good graffiti artists to spray paint advertisements for the PSP in seven major U.S. cities including New York City, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. According to Sony, it is paying businesses and building owners for the right to spray paint their walls.
In 2006, Sony ran a poster campaign in England. One of the poster designs with the slogan "Take a running jump here" was removed from a Manchester Piccadilly station tram platform due to concerns that it might encourage suicide.

In July 2006, Sony released an advertising campaign in the Netherlands featuring a Caucasian model dressed entirely in white and a black model dressed entirely in black. One ad in particular featured the white model clutching the face of the black model; with the words "White is coming" headlining the ad. Critics have viewed the ad as racist. A Sony spokesperson responded that the ad does not have a racist message, saying that it was only trying to depict the contrast between the black PSP model and the new ceramic white PSP. Other pictures of the ad campaign include the black model overpowering the white model.

PlayStation 3
In September 2009, Sony revised one commercial in their "It only does... EVERYTHING" campaign after a complaint was made by the Nigerian government. Prof Dora Akunyili, Minister of Information and Communication, said that the advert was a "deliberate negative campaign against the country's image and reputation". The commercial showed one man trying to convince another that the rumours about the PlayStation 3 selling for the lower price of $299 were true. The man replies "You can't believe everything you read on the Internet otherwise I'd be a Nigerian millionaire by now." referencing the common 419 scams originating in Nigeria. Sony issued an apology and a new version of the advert with the offending line changed.

This was an interesting and mildly seen advertisement from Malaysia back in 2005. While small in scope and not particularly impactful on the industry, this unconventional approach did provide a very clever and unique way to get products into the minds of potential consumers. What we're seeing here, at first glance, is a relatively inconspicuous bus stop with a plain PlayStation 2 logo adorning the rooftop. Upon further inspection, however, we can see billboards lined with PlayStation-themed bubble wrap.

The campaign appeared around July last year; it gave students an amusing solution to classroom tedium by allowing them to hide their PSPs behind disguised cutouts of Dante's Divine Comedy. On the backside, there are photo instructions showing how to use the disguise during a lecture, while a CliffNotes summary on the classic poem is provided to save students from surprise questions that may come their way.


Swatch is a brand name for a line of Swiss watches and other related products. Initially Swatch needed to re-capture their entry level back into the market share after the introduction of Japan's "Delirium digital watch", and once again popularize the "analog" watch. The directors understood that by offering the concept of simply a good watch was not enough and moved to attractive, cheeky and good fun designs to regain their place back into the market share.

The key factor for the Swatch's success was related to the artistic designs used for the appearance of the watches. Swatch realized that if they varied the designs they could show the public that swatches were of good quality at a low price and that you could own more than just one with the different fun designs available also marketed as an affordable accessory for the latest fashion. Swatch looked at art for inspiration through the artists themselves and took on board artistic designers such as Vivienne Westwood (famous fashion designer), Keith Haring and Sam Francis to name a few. The designs were influenced by the pop generation of the 80's along with renaissance, celestral and oriental influences over the years. Today Swatches dedication to modernist timeless designs and as a daily commodity as a popular fashion accessory, but as a collectible cultural piece of art. Designs overtime have wondered away from it's center every 15 years or so and with designers following fashion trends, these trends typically go too far and designers end up pulling back to the core definitions of good designs and quality branding.

History and Advertising of Nokia Phones 1990's-Today - Rosie

Mobile phones went handheld in 1987

Original mobile phones were heavy, bulky and usually permanently installed in cars. 1987 saw a breakthrough when Nokia launched the Mobira Cityman, the first handheld mobile phone, a model that was to become a classic.

On July 1, 1991, Finnish Prime Minister Harri Holkeri made the world’s first GSM call, using Nokia equipment. Nokia was one of the key developers of GSM technology. The Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) was adopted in 1987 as the European standard for digital mobile technology. GSM’s high-quality voice calls, easy international roaming and support for new services like text messaging (SMS) laid the foundations for a worldwide boom in mobile phone use. By the end of the 1990s, Nokia had supplied GSM systems to more than 90 operators all over the world.

By 1998, Nokia’s focus on telecommunications and its early investment in GSM technologies had made the company the world leader in mobile phones. For most of its history the company had exported to Europe, other Nordic countries and the Soviet Union. After the strategic change of 1992, Nokia saw a huge increase in sales to North America, South America and Asia. Between 1996 and 2001, Nokia’s turnover increased almost fivefold from EUR 6.5 billion to EUR 31 billion.

In 1999 The Internet went mobile Nokia launches the world's first WAP handset, the Nokia 7110.

Nokia launched its first 3G phone, the Nokia 6650, in 2002. The launch of 3G ("third generation") technology meant mobiles would never be the same again. 2002 also saw the launch of Nokia’s first phone with a built-in camera, the Nokia 7650, and its first video capture phone, the Nokia 3650. 3G meant you can use your phone to
download music
make video calls
watch TV on the move
browse the web

A new generation of multimedia devices was born in 2005 with the launch of the Nokia Nseries. The easy-to-use devices combine state-of-the-art technology with stylish design, creating complete entertainment and communication packages. Some of the features of the Nokia Nseries are taking your music collection mobile, shooting and editing feature-length video and watching TV

erik spiekermann, in the last 20 years, briefly, (ian)

Erik Spiekermann calls himself an information architect.

In 1979, where, together with two partners, he founded MetaDesign, Germany’s largest design firm, with offices in Berlin, London and San Francisco. The firm’s projects included work for Audi, Skoda, Volkswagen, Lexus, Heidelberg Printing, Berlin Transit, Düsseldorf Airport and many other clients.

In 1988, Spiekermann started FontShop, a digital typeface foundry and distributor of fonts.

His book, Stop Stealing Sheep, first published in 1993, has sold over 150,000 copies and is currently in its second edition.

In 2000, work on a new project: The United Designers Network, a collaboration of many designers he has worked with over the years.

# ITC Officina Sans (1990)

# ITC Officina Serif (1990)

# FF Meta (1991-1998)

# FF Govan (2001)

# FF Info (2000)

# FF Unit (2003)

# FF Meta Serif (with Christian Schwartz and Chris Sowersby, 2007)