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Posts tagged ‘graphic design’

Laurie Haycock : Cranbrook Lecture

So I went to listen to a lecture by Laurie Haycock at Cranbrook a few weeks ago, and it was definitely interesting, but quite beautiful. Most of the lecture she talked about the work she and her husband (Scott P. Makela) made together, and it was a tragic love story (Scott passed away very suddenly and she has been a widow for about 14 years now).



One of her Husband’s greatest accomplishments that she touched on was the typeface he created, called Dead History. It is licensed by Emigre and is a combination of serif and sans-serif typefaces. Scott used this typeface a lot in his pieces, and I think it’s very innovative and has a unique style to it that cannot be recreated.



Laurie seemed to focus a lot more on her husband’s work than her own, so below is one of the pieces her husband worked on. She said he was very obsessed with using the ‘twirl’ tool when designing thing (as evident in the picture) and it was very forward-thinking and dynamic in their time.



Lastly, one of the projects that Laurie and Scott were most proud of seemed to be the typeface used in the opening of Fight Club that some of their students actually created. I’ve never seen Laurie or her husband’s work before going to this lecture so it was nice that she mentioned something that has a much wider audience and received a lot of fame (since everyone has heard of Fight Club!). 297fdfbbd61e566cdb094faa81d963ad


Overall the lecture was very emotional since she definitely focused on the connection between her and her husband and how that affected the art they created.. They were great partners in life and in art and I am glad I went to the lecture and got to experience that. It also helped me to realize that I should break out of my shell and indulge myself more into my work to create something original and dynamic rather than something that will please everybody.



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20 Apr 2013

Spring Break Letter-Pressing

So I had an amazing spring break… one of the things I had the opportunity to do was to go to Signal Return Letter Press in Downtown Detroit and make some postcards… Below are a few of the ones I played around with. I really got a thrill out of doing this all by hand, and it definitely makes you appreciate the craft a lot more since it’s very time-consuming and tedious. I loved making this post cards and I definitely am more interested in hand-setting type and printing things the old-fashioned way! Hopefully I’ll get to go back soon and make some more 🙂



17 Mar 2013




I like the transparency of this design because it’s interesting and captivating but doesn’t look muddled or pointless. The color scheme is also very nice and soothing.

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7 Mar 2013

New vs Old


I stumbled upon an article on Eye that talks about Monotype’s typographical adviser, Stanley Morison, who published an article about newspaper design (that I didn’t get to fully read yet).

The quote next to this picture states “This cover photograph, probably conceived by Beatrice Warde, is the likely cause of the misconception that there was a typeface called ‘Times Old Roman’ prior to October 1932. Before that year’s redesign The Times had used a version of Monotype Modern, which was adapted from a typeface created by the Edinburgh foundry Miller & Richards.”

I think it’s just a cool looking poster and comes up with the idea of an ‘Times Old Roman’, even thought it never existed, yet you can clearly see the difference between the two typefaces.


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7 Mar 2013

Marian Bantjes Valentine



Love this! Wish I made it 😛 Great colors, great balance throughout and really keeps your eye interested and engaged. Also there’s a lot of depth created just by using different colors and simply-shaped lines. Very nice!

13 Feb 2013

Project 1 – Order!


Forgot to upload this a while back but this was my final poster for our first project that focused on Order. My image is off a mural on a random building in Detroit, and essentially I wanted to communicate that there is a particular Pattern Language in the world of graffiti, and I think that this image was a perfect example of how someone took that pattern language for graffiti and switched it up and created something entirely new out of it, becoming more of a piece of public art than graffiti. I want the circles to contrast the grid-like brick pattern in the image and I really wanted the image to be the main focus..

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13 Feb 2013

The Timeless Way of Building ~ Notes

Notes on ‘The Timeless Way of Building’ by Christopher Alexander.

“A pattern language gives each person who uses it, the power to create an infinite variety of new and unique buildings…”      – Chapter 10, opening page

  • I think this can easily relate to Graphic Design if you consider the ‘pattern language’ to be a grid or a uniform understanding that we are all enabled with, and it is up to each person who has that access to create something new and original out of it (create a new and unique building). Since Graphic Design always stems from the same place (a designer trying to create a piece that works around a specific grid/layout), it seems like it may be easy to get stuck in the same old pattern.. however, it’s up to those who have that ‘power’ of knowledge of desirable design to use it to it’s full potential and create something out of it that hasn’t been done before…

“The patterns which are typical of other barns are still present in these two barns; but the way in which the patterns are combined is utterly different” – p.178

  • This most obviously relates to Graphic Design in how all Graphic Design can be broken down into one thing: a basic grid or layout, but how things are arranged (their ‘patterns’), what colors are used, the variations in weight and size, etc., are all what makes each piece different, even though they are all essentially built with the same structure.

“It is not the idea of copying which is at fault…this image, which the farmer has in mind… is a system of patterns which function like a language.”

  •  As Graphic Designers, we all share this ‘language’ of what is successful design and what is not, so the notion of ‘copying’ is a common one, although it isn’t copying since it is already part of our language that we understand, we just need to alter it in some form. It would be impossible for a Graphic Designer, or any person in general, when prompted to imagine what a Magazine cover looks like, to not have an image pop up in their head. That image of a magazine cover is successful as a language and therefore embedded in our system, so no designer would approach  a Magazine Cover design with absolutely no recognition as to what’s already been done successfully.. (I wanted to go on but I lost my train of thought….)

 “When the barn builder applies the patterns for a barn to one another in the proper order, he is able to create a barn. This barn will always have the particular relationships required by the patterns; however, all other sizes, angles, and relationships depend on the needs of the situation, and the whim of the builder.” – p.183

  •  It’s true that Graphic Designers have a particular “template” or “rules” in their head that base what they create their designs off of, but all designers will create something different based on their individual creativity and personality, and what circumstances the design is intended for…

“But overall, throughout the differences, there is a constancy, a harmony, created by the repitition of the underlying patterns.” – p.191

  • No matter how many strikingly different kinds of designs there are out there, or different styles of creativity, they all will essentially have a similar underlying layout or grid, which if people take the time to dissect and understand design, they will notice (which is essentially one of the cores of my education – learning how to dissect these designs to see that no matter how different they are, they all start out the same way).

“The patterns, which repeat themselves, come simply from the fact that all the people have a common language, and that each one of them uses this common language when he makes a thing.” -p.209

  • Pretty self-explanatory :p


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12 Jan 2013

Coffee & Cigarettes

This truly is a genius design in my opinion. Combining images and the simple letterform of an ampersand to basically state the title of the film without using any photographic images is impressive. If you took away ‘Coffee and cigarettes’ at the bottom, after spending some time looking at it, one would be able to recognize that there is a coffee cup in the bowl of the ampersand and that the end of it resembles the butt of a cigarette. This design is very simplistic yet imaginative since you really have to look at the form to understand what is being presented to you. Also, the fact that the ampersand was most likely not altered to fit the images into it (such as it wasn’t skewed or twisted, etc) also adds to the fascination and beauty of this piece. Also the use of a beige-type of background reminds you of the effect a coffee stain would have on a white table, or how the cigarette paper burns as you smoke it. There’s a feeling of simplicity and sophistication in this piece since it makes you feel like all you need is some coffee and cigarettes (:

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21 Nov 2012

Marian Bantjes


So I’ve discovered the astonishing work of Marian Bantjes, a canadian designer, and I am impressed to say the least. Not only is this cover to her book completely mind blowing, but the previews I’ve seen of all of the pages inside are even more impecable (pictures below). But to keep this related to Typography, the cover of this book is truly a work of art. At first glance, the intricate gold and silver design easily looks like it might swallow up the text, but the text stands on it’s own and is clear to see. Also, with the font being Silver and the rest of the design being Gold with tiny specs of silver, they balance each other out. I really enjoy that this typeface (I assume) was created just for this book and therefore hand-drawn (it is very clean and crisp but lacks the strict, uniform, mechanical aspect that most typefaces have nowadays – I like that it’s different! That makes it more unique to me). I do feel that the Design on the cover is the first thing in the hierarchy of this piece, but like I said that both work very well to it and kind of have this story-book feel to it (with the type having a sort of handwriting quality and the use of strictly gold and silver makes it very fantasy-like). I feel that works like this should be more respected in the art world, since nowadays the minimalist style is very popular (keep it stupid simple, keep it simple stupid), but works like this pay attention to the most minute details and I think that most people tend to overlook it. Another thing I was going to mention about the Type of this piece is that the serifs and legs extend and wrap around the design on the rest of the cover, which also unifies these two together. I guess if I stare at this a little longer I can come up with something deeper but I’m still in awe 😛 I really want to purchase this book now because I feel that it will inspire me a lot now as a growing designer, and in the future once I have a career!


(pictures from other pages in the book)


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31 Oct 2012

Alexander Rodchenko

-painter, sculptor, photographer, graphic designer

– born in Russia

– works with a lot of geometric shapes – thick text, bright colors, unique compositions

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25 Sep 2012