Todays lecture made me realise we are surrounded by graphic design wether we are aware of it or not, it may be for decorative purposes or informative purposes whatever the purpose it is all around us. Neville Brody a famous graphic designer talks about Graphic design is a way of “communication” its a “combination of image and words” and he says our job as a graphic designer is “to understand the material that is trying to be communicated.” A famous quotation from Brody is “Design is more than just a few tricks to the eye. It’s a few tricks to the brain. I strongly agree with this as design is a very powerful method of communication, wether it be with type or image it is constantly feeding us information.
Within this lecture we looked at how information is shown visually. A famous scenario whereby design has ben successful in informing us was back in 1858. John Snow‘s study of the deaths occurring within Soho London allowed him to discover that cholera is spread by contaminated water. Snow used a spot map to illustrate how cases of cholera were centred around the pump. The impact on Johns use of visual storytelling had a massive impact and changed attitudes and behaviours of the public.
Another good example of visual storytelling was Harry Beck’s design of the London underground tube map. Before Bec’s diagram, the various underground lines had been laid out geographically, often superimposed over the roadway of a city map. This meant the centrally located stations were shown very close together and the out-of-town stations spaced far apart. It was clearly Beck who had the idea of creating a full system map in colour though. He believed that passengers riding the Underground were not too bothered about geographical accuracy, and were more interested in how to get from one station to another and where to change trains. Thus Beck drew his famous diagram, which looked more like and indeed was based upon the concept of an electrical schematic than a true map, on which all the stations were more-or-less equally spaced. This revelation in design changed the views of people forever, the old maps where never used again.
Then we looked at how information can be beautiful. We looked at the title sequence of the film ‘Catch me if you can’. Kuntzel + Deygas stylistically transpose the handmade design of Saul Bass using decidedly modern means. I love how the title sequence’s transitions beautifully blend and merge. The kinetic type used influenced by works of Saul Bass.It is a very minimalistic animation that draws the viewer in and tells a story of its own. Just through silhouettes, it is able to capture the essence of the characters and tell their story.
This is an image taken from the title sequence and this an example of Saul Bass’s work. You can see the similarities quite clearly through the bold use of colour and text and black silhouettes.