Design practise in context 2, Structure and substance.

In December 2012 Ken Garland Structure and substance was published. Written by Adrian Shaughnessy is a comprehensive monograph devoted to the entire career of legendary English designer Ken Garland, from student exercises in the 1950s to his self-published photography books of recent years. I have studied this book as I wanted to look at the aesthetical approach other graphic designers have took when talking about ken Garland. This book has a modernist feel with the basic neatly set out image and text. Bold images of Ken Garland are set on a white background. Images are large and text is minimal.


Screen printing here has been used to create a poster for the book.


Design practise in context 2, How do my theorists relate to Graphic design?

My selection of theorists is Seneca and Alain de Botton. Both their work has been inspired by Stoic ideas. Much of their work and theories talk emotion, life, human nature an ethics. So how can i relate their practise back to graphic design? All design has had consideration of emotion and ethics. Its important as designers we understand our consumers for our design to be effective. Especially in advertising, ethics, emotion and human nature should be the designers main priority.

In my practise I can look at how these theorists might help or form ideas for Graphic design.

Design practise in context 2, Visual storytelling.

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. catchme

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.


Thinking and practise, Typography sketching.

Typography is something that I have been looking at since starting my studies as a graphic designer. In this workshop I was asked to explore type in a quick sketch like process, trying out new ideas in a loose and fluid process. Using hatch mark making I drawn explored letter forms, coming up with different shapes, curves and sizes as possible typefaces I could consider generating. I enjoyed working in this process as it allowed me to be expressive and not scared to make mistakes. It made me aware of how type can have so much variety. A practitioner who works in a similar way is Erik Van Blokland he describes designing type as… “Designing a typeface is a process in which a large number of (arbitrary) decisions on detail, construction, contrast, and relationships have to be taken.” He has a website which feature allot of this work and writings on the subject matter ‘’.

A font which I admire of Erik’s is called ‘FF hands’ which was created in this free form working style using a fat market pen. Its an everyday font that thats relaxed and fun due to the nature of the way it was created.


An interesting experiment I read about on ‘’  was by Nina Stössinger called ”
Sketching Out of My Comfort Zone: A Type Design Experiment”. Whereby usually Nina would create type in a reformed digital way she actually stepped out of her comfort zone and used a quick sketching method everyday for 3 months. This experiment was inspired by Erik Van Blokland. I strongly agree with Nina when she says “Craft is messy and dirty. Facing this is unsettling for a generation of designers raised with the shiny precision of computers.” Personally I prefer working free hand but in this day and age designers are so reliable on technology their creativeness is possibly being refrained. I like how this experiment educated Nina’s practise she said ” I’ve learned a lot: much about the myriad shapes that type can take; some sketches have spawned little digital typeface prototypes; and I got out of my deadlock and frustration.” Hopefully with her expressing how successful this way of working was in helping her designs, other practitioners in this field might also step out their comfort zones!


I really like this typeface that was designed during Nina’s experiment, the harsh edges give it a quirky unusual design.

Professional practise, Kevin Lyon.

creative director, designer, illustrator, and founder of Natural Born. He is a very successful graphic designer working for Nike, Converse, Umbro, Coca-Cola, American Express etc. He is most commonly known for his illustrated collection of monster characters. The characters have become worldwide recognised. Kevin has illustrated these characters on collections of shoes, t-shirts, street art, design campaigns and household products. ImageImageImageImage

His collection of illustrated doodles have been visually represented graphically in many different ways as you can see and for many different purposes. I like the playfulness of the characters and the use of the black outline. The versatility of the character is amazing as they can be used for many different purposes, to inform, entertain, educate or to advertise!

Professional practise, Richard George Davis.


“The evolution of man to what we are today as we are not men but purely numbers in the observation of time.” – Richard George Davis.

I have researched Richard George Davis who is a South African independent Artist and full-time Graphic Designer & Art Director living in Johannesburg as I loved his quirky interpretation of the evolution of man! What does he try to achieve within his graphic design work? “My artworks redefine reality and stretch the limits of the imagination by capturing the surreal beauty of strange objects, places and phrases in dream-like emotive images that make a statement about the conundrum of the human predicament by using photo manipulation, montage and digital painting. Many of my artworks have been showcased worldwide in different printed, digital and broadcasting media and have received awards.” –