PPD Blog Summary Post Assignment

As the Year 01 of Design for Graphic Communication course is inevitably heading to an end, it is time to think about all those months spent at university studying, researching and executing projects, and gather some wider reflections upon it.

First of all, I am astonished with the fact how quickly time passed by during this year! It seems like yesterday I‘ve went through the doors of LCC for the first time to start studying there. Now, when it is almost over and I’m looking at all these projects done throughout the year it feels like it all happened in no time. It makes me realize how time management is vital to successfully accomplish ones goals. I must say I was never good at it, but long time projects thoughout this year definitely helped me overcome my inabillity. But that’s not the only thing I have improved.

When I first started studying at LCC I felt a bit unprepared to undertake things I had to do in days to come. I have never experienced a group work with proper techniques (like 6 thinking men) applied to develop further ideas and make the outcome better. As a designer I feel secure when working alone, as many designers do considering the absolute position in terms of decisivness and full responsibility taken for ones work, and exercising team work at our workshops really helped me develop my abillity to compromise with somebodys input to the project and improved the ways of communication between me and other people in providing my own ideas. Also, such projects as GDF and GDA really helped me understand how essential is to make a research in order to fully understand given area I worked in.

First major project was GDF. It was about working with local, national or global client, setting  particular target audience and aiming it with our outcome. I found it really helpful with providing in-depth analysis of how everyday designer’s work looks like, what things one might face, what problems one might expect and how to overcome them. Before that I never actually thought about it, the process of designing itself was the only thing what mattered before and I feel that this task gave me a full understanding of the whole spectrum of the designing progress. GDA, on the other hand, was a real experience with a real design company. It was really stressful for me at the begginning of this project as I had never worked within design industry yet. We were asked to make a research and combine it into a presentable material and then, when approved by Dalton maag, we shall design a booklet about given subject. As we weren’t accompanied by any tutor we had to figure out how to divide certain roles between us and how to plan our working schelude that it would suit everyone. It was a good thing that we haven’t been assigned to any tutor and had to figure this out on our own – it really pulled me out of my comfort zone in terms of planning and showed me how it would work in real life. It turned out wonderful as people were really devoted to the matter and willing to make an effort and by putting our minds together everything worked out really well.

Mapping, another major project of Term 02 was a bit confusing but it really helped considering working with the materials collected thoughout the time for preparation for the project. I found creating mood board crucial to designer’s work. Working on this project also taught me that it is better to collect bigger amount of data and narrow it down to the neccesary number I need instead of working the other way, by trying to expand my research during the execution of the certain project as the metioned method seems to show through its insincerity. All those PDF projects seemed to lift up my abillity to gather, document and present my work in a proper and understandable way.

Thoughout the Year 01 we also have had Visual Cultural Theory classes, something more of a theoretical approach (as the name clearly states). At the begginning I found those classes quite interesting but as the year grew on I didn’t particularly enjoyed them. It is hard to actually judge it, as the majority of the things we had on that classes I had on my cultural studies at my previous university, so I guess that’s the reason why I haven’t found them exeptionally interesting. But the curation of the exhibition task was quite enjoyable as I had never looked at the exhibition from ankle different than just a regular viewer. It was quite interesting to perceive a particular exhibition from the other side then one’s got used to.

After that year I find myself more devoted to more professional approach to the design process by applying proper methods to the particular aspects of the designing and paying attention not to overlook things I haven’t previously payed attention to. I am fully aware how things work in theory within the design industry area. Also I’ve learned to put myself out of my comfort zone to challenge myself and try to learn something new than just focusing on developing things I already know. As I came to university I was completely blue in comparison to the experience I have gained thoughout this year which I am very thankful for.

Live the language

One of the short films from series called “live the language”, a group of adverts for learning foreign languages. It shows a brilliant usage of typography. You can reckon how much a proper use of fonts can give to a video. I love the feeling it generates!

Alone Together

Brilliant animation made by Aniboom Visual studio that visualizes one of the pieces made by famous Jazz musician Chet Baker. Lay back and enjoy the midnight decadency!

Food Icon

Today I found this marvelous example of the fact that, with a good idea, even the most obvious things carry the potential of brilliant re-design! A nice mark, logo or icon, great simplicity and linework.

Mind blowing 3D glass painting artist. *Interview with Xia Xiaowan.

Xia Xiaowan

When I ask Beijing painter Xia Xiaowan to list a few of his favourite artists, he replies, simply, “Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci”. When I ask about his latest series, a haunting collection of 3D paintings on layered sheets of glass, he sounds like Descartes, slipping into a trance-like meditation on his quest for three dimensional space. In short, the guy’s an artiste. A blue-blooded, highly-educated, born-in-1959, highbrow Chinese painter completely submerged in the field. A master, as they call them; waxy candles, notebooks full of sketches, engaging debates, lectures and reflections on the pros and cons of oil painting… the whole nine yards. And despite the dark look of his CAT scan-inspired 3D paintings – that arrested the blogging art world a few months back – Xiaowan describes his work optimistically, as explorations of “human being humanity” (sic)…

When did you start working with sheets of glass in 3D?

Since 2003.

Where’d you get the idea?

I had a solo exhibition in Beijing, at Today Art Museum. I showed my sketch on paper works, nearly two hundred pieces. The exhibition hall is really huge, upright and foursquare. I had many problems expressing space in flat paintings. I recognised that painting can never surpass its flat quality in a real space. Therefore, that made me crazy about the problem. Can painting be painted in a totally space way? I began to practice associating painting with the theory of CT (CAT) scans in medical technology.

How do you actually put the paintings together? What’s the process?

First, I create a sketch on paper of the image I want to paint. Then I divide the image spatially, according to my own understanding of its shape and volume. The third step is I paint the cut shapes continuously and successively on different glass sheets.

And how long does each one take, generally?

One or two months, depending on the degree of complexity of the image.

Do you prefer painting like this to traditional two-dimensional paintings?

I never give up creating traditional two-dimensional paintings and will go on.  I just do some experiment on spatial paintings to find a more precise theme in recent years.

Visually, they’re pretty dark and disturbing. Is there any kind of back-story, or a common theme that ties them together?

I think it’s because I am very interested in expressing a theme of humanity. I was influenced by the Western humanities and classical arts when I was a student.

What kind of themes were you exploring with the latest series?

Human being humanity.

What’s the strangest/worst reaction you’ve had to the work?

Some think transforming flat painting to the form of 3D has no constructive meaning on the style. Others recognise this kind of space work just as technological design products.

And the best?

Besides exclaiming the strong visual power of the work, many are very interested in the new form of painting and the unclear definition, such as painting, sculpture or installation. I feel really happy and lucky the works can directly express themselves without explanation.

How many versions of each piece do you make?

Usually just one.

How do you transport them?

I appoint a professional art transport company in Beijing to cover and transport my work to different places in the world.

Who are some of your favourite artists?

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci.

According to Wikipedia, you’re a member of the China Oil Painting Institute, the Beijing Artists Association and the Beijing Arts of Oil Painting Commission. Sounds pretty deep. What does being a member of these organisations entail?

If one artist wants to be a member of these organisations, he must participate in many important exhibitions arranged by these organisations and be voted in by specialists committees. The artist must be a professor in college or very famous.

And are your handmade 3D paintings, in any way, a deliberate move towards non-digital work? Are you making some kind of statement?

I never use digital technology in my creation. I do not intent to expel using digital technology, I just think it is not necessary to me to use the technology. What I really want is to paint, simply and directly.

What about 3D movies? Seen any good ones?

Until now, just one movie, Avatar. Pretty good. I like it very much.

Okay, what’s an average day to you?

I was born in and live in Beijing. My life and work has little change. I just move between studio and home almost every day. Occasionally, I visit friends’ exhibitions.

Where do you work best and feel most creative?

I have been accustomed to live and work in Beijing. I believe stable and peaceful condition is more suitable to my creation.

Any thoughts on the state of the world?

The way I understand it, the world limits reports about contrived major affairs or environmental disasters from medias. Educated by book or feeling by myself, I am not sure where I get the view that human beings can never stop their steps to destroy themselves for interest. Nothing can save human beings when cruel facts have happened. That is the very reason why I chose the humanity theme. I really hope that we people will never “hate you others” just because we only love ourselves. We can save ourselves by actually loving others. But what I really mean has little to do with religion.

And what’s next? Where’s the next exhibition?

I will hold a small solo show in Beijing in September. Other exhibitions are just in project stage.

*This interview is the courtesy of dontpaniconline.com

Hush Hush Pony EP artwork + poster

I have recently worked with ‘Hush Hush Pony‘ to produce an artwork and promo party poster for their new release. This DJ collective have just released their new, fresh EP at french record label Moveltraxx Records. You have to check them out!

 Once again, Hush Hush Pony – fresh trio from Poland teamed up with Moveltraxx to delivers new year’s gift – free EP that includes track “Baboo” and two exclusive remixes from Brane and Spox. UK Garage uptempo vibe mixes with lots of funky samples from old, crusty vinyl records, giving real dancefloor bomb. Two remixes are great addition to that tune – Brane came up with heavy bassline 2step killer and Spox delivers catchy, dreamy and very groovy midtempo house. There is still a lot more to come from Hush Hush Pony in the near future, so better get ready!

handmadefont.com – beautiful typography

Estonian design company Hand Made Font, founded in 2008 by Vladimir Loginov and Maksim Loginov, is specializing in developing unique, untraditional fonts. Their stunning typography had been used in multiple ad campaigns, magazines, packages and publications. Those guys seem to manage to make fonts out of literally everything! To discover more – visit their website handmadefonts.com. Simply Brilliant!

Fly away

An old one. I always imagine those shapes flying around in the sky when I’m in a plane.

Je t’aime

A souvenir poster design I’ve made some time ago. I fell in love with Paris at the very first sight.

Couture Wisdom

“To me it was always contra mundum… it was always against the world… now I know… it’s sort of limitless.”

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