Ephemera Project – Eike König

Eike König is the founder & creative director of HORT Berlin as well as a professor at Koenigsklasse, HfG Offenbach, university of arts.

Hort emerged from the Frankfurt techno scene in 1994. The studio moved to Berlin in 2007 and has been growing as a group ever since. Hort does art direction, branding, creative consultancy, editorial design, graphic design, illustration, lectures and workshops. Hort works with institutions such as Arte, Bauhaus Dessau, Bergen Assembly, Mousonturm, Frankfurter Positionen and Tanzplattform Deutschland, as well as brands like Adobe, IBM, Microsoft, Nike, The New York Times and Universal Music.

    Hort is largely a design company centered around the creation of typefaces and and poster design as well as book cover design . Their work is unique in its style and varies hugely from piece to piece.

As their history suggests, they have strong ties to dance events and music. Above is a poster design for the German Dance Platform 2016.

    This piece is another poster of curious design centering around music. The design choice is very brave and I assume tailored to the client as it follows absolutely none of the graphic communication rules or guidelines I have learned so far. It is absolutely abstract with no clear order.
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    The man himself has a wide portfolio and numerous interesting pieces. As you can see in the above image he personally has a knack for block letter posters. His innovative ideas have made him a famous name among the graphic communication community.
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Ephemera Project – Veronica Fuerte

Veronica Fuerte is primarily a graphic designer working for Hey Studios, a design studio based in Barcelona, Spain. Hey was founded in 2007 with the idea of transforming ideas into communicative graphics. They specialise in brand identity, editorial design and illustration. Their work leans heavily on geometry, color and direct typography. As well as working with large companies such as Apple, Vodafone, Three, Turkish Airlines and General Electric, they undertake what they call ‘side projects’ with the aim of playing with new ideas, pushing creative boundaries and developing a passion that is then injected into client’s work. In 2014, they opened an online shop, a place  in their words ‘to share our passion for typography, illustration and bold graphics.’

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Veronica Fuerte has a strong social media presence across multiple platforms which gives a catalogue of her work. It’s clear that her work is in keeping with the stated goals of they Hey Studio. Her work is crisp and minimalist using simple block colours in geometric patterns. Her Instagram profile contains much interesting work.

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The work she creates has a beautiful simplicity that is very pleasing to the eye. The simplistic geometry will certainly effect the manner in which I display her double page in my project. With each of my artists I hope to subtly emulate their style. With Veronica Fuerte I believe this will be not only easy but profitable.

Ephemera Project – Oded Ezer

Oded Ezer is a graphic artist and typographer. Before starting his career as a designer, he was a musician and a poet. Ezer lived in Jerusalem, London and in the Negev Desert before he settled in greater Tel Aviv. Ezer is best known for his typographic design fiction projects (such as Biotypography, Typosperma, Typoplastic Surgeries and, more recently, for his series of eight typographic videos for the V&A), his design for the New American Haggadah and SkypeType poster, and for his ongoing contribution to Hebrew type design. Ezer studied graphic design at the Bezalel Academy of Art & Design, Jerusalem. In 2000 he went on to establish his own independent studio, Oded Ezer Typography, where he specializes in typographic and fonts design.

oded_ezer_interview_01    In 2004 Oded founded HebrewTypography type foundry, selling his own typefaces to leading media companies and design studios. His projects, posters and graphic works are showcased and published worldwide, and are part of permanent collections of eminent museums such as the New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA, NYC), Israel Museum of Art (Jerusalem), Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A, London), Museum für Gestaltung (Zürich) and Design Museum Holon (Tel-Aviv).Oded Ezer is a senior lecturer at the Holon Institute of Technology (HIT); Teaches at the Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti Milano (NABA); Was an artist-in-residence at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD); And frequently leads typography workshops in the US, Europe and Asia.Ezer was elected to the Alliance Graphique Internationale in 2009. His first monograph Oded Ezer: The Typographer’s Guide to the Galaxy was published by Die Gestalten Verlag in May 2009.

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As viewers, we tend to want to put things into a box. And that’s the problem with Oded Ezer, and typography at large: You can’t
Print Magazine

Oded Ezer’s work is emotional and powerful… His typographies are as exceptional in this field as they are outstanding, to say the least
Gestalten

Often described as an ‘experimental typographer’… Ezer’s work pushes the world of words into new realms
Victoria and albert Museum, London

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This is an instillation of Oded Ezer I found, fitting, while browsing Designboom’s website. The name of the work is ‘Skypetype’ and it was created by Ezer after being commissioned by Print Magazine for the Krakow Jewish Festival, he invited the public to take part by taking selfies over Skype including a single letter of a sentence which were then fitted together to create this mural. Ezer is often praised for his level of engagement with the public in the creation of his work. In this particular piece I feel it has improved the overall impression as it feels very fitting to use public faces to advertise a festival.

Oded Ezer is a very interesting figure and this research into his work as a designer will certainly help me to understand the man I will be representing in my ephemera project and influence my design choices.

Printed Ephemera – DesignBoom Research

For this task my first step must be to research all the relevant information. First of all I have decided research the client for whom I am creating this piece.

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Founded in milan in 1999, designboom is the world’s first and most popular digital architecture and design magazine. Design boom’s stated goal is to bring to bring together professional and young creatives from a diverse range of backgrounds. By publishing the latest news and key issues in the fields of architecture, design, technology and art over the past 17 years they have sought to unearth the best projects and curating a selection of the most interesting aspects of contemporary culture before it is available anywhere else.

Today designboom is the most comprehensive source in these fields with over 43,000 articles worth of useful information and insightful interviews, studio visits, documentation of new products, reviews of exhibitions and books, and historical surveys. Design boom’s website is packed with articles encompassing all aspects of design, from furniture and architecture to motorcycles and art installations. They include a timeline of their growth and successes during their 17 year history which I found very informative.

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Designboom, rather than being a source of design itself, is a catalogue of cherry picked, innovative works from designers across the world. The wikipedia of design with a reader page reminiscent of Pinterest.

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Constructing Page Layouts

Task 1

The first task we were asked to complete was to take a printed paragraph and manually improve its composition.

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My first step was to use the recommended number of characters per line (39-45). This is meant to be the optimum line length for text to avoid having the reader lose their focus. I drew a line with a ruler as a placement guide in order to maintain their alignment. I then cut out and placed each line individually, the line lengths did not divide equally from the original, this meant I frequently found myself cutting out small groups of text or even individual words. The placement of the lines had to be precise to maintain even leading. This was very time consuming. I felt that the text was too large to be one paragraph and so I chose to split it into two, my two main considerations while doing this were to not cutoff a too closely connected sentence from the former sentence, and to make the two paragraphs roughly equal in size.

I am satisfied with the outcome, my only issue was with the less than stellar rag created in the second paragraph. Although without changing the content I was limited by the words I had to work with and the line length I had chosen.

Task 2

For the second task we were asked to create various page layouts using cutouts of our choice from various magazines and newspapers. Our choices were –

  • Symmetrical Landscape
  • Asymmetrical Landscape
  • Symmetrical Portrait
  • Asymmetrical Portrait

We were asked to create any three of these.

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Asymmetrical Portrait

 First Piece

My first attempt was an asymmetrical portrait. I found three images in an article that had matching dimensions and attempted to create a pattern layout. In concept this was promising. However I failed to consider where my text would go in relation to the images and the pattern therefore suffered. I did attempt to use some of the significant negative space and fill it with an image which gave a level of depth to the article as an image. The overall effect was acceptable but not a personal favorite.

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Asymmetrical Landscape

Second Piece

This attempt was of an asymmetrical landscape. I decided to use a single large image as the primary focus of the piece, centered to give the piece a solid structure for me to add to. I chose to add a black text box as seen in magazines to appear to give context to the image. My title and text block are left aligned to the image to give a simple, clean cut overall look. as an extra touch I added a floating quotation for further image context.

This second piece was a definite improvement on the first, while still including large amounts of negative space, it is evenly distributed and orderly. The contrast also works against the thick block of visual information in the center. I also like the way the image is the primary point around which the other elements collect.

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Symmetrical Portrait

 Third Piece

This attempt was a symmetrical portrait. In this piece I decided to have a text heavy layout with the text box defining the symmetrical layout. In all of the pieces I’ve created in this task I’ve been limited by time and the number of elements I was asked to use (between 3 & 5). This is by a wide margin, my favorite of the three pieces I’ve created. The bold, black heading and the equally dark image of a dog contrast well with the negative space surrounding them both and with the bright red of the subheadings. I am also proud of the cutting down of the text I did to allow for the dog to appear to be layered on top of it. This and the block text ‘MAGNIFICENT’ lend a three dimensional effect to the piece as a whole.

Task 3

For this task we were asked to work in pairs, evaluating each other’s work and selecting the weakest of the others pieces. My partner for this was Ben. He and I both agreed that my weakest piece was the asymmetrical portrait I had created first. I therefore took that piece and created a photocopy. The task was to cut out the photocopy and rearrange the elements to improve the page design.

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Photocopy

Before I could begin working on the new piece, I began drawing up some quick preliminary sketches to help guide me. Using these I made several changes and overall, feel I improved the design significantly.

I decided to leave to heading where it was, i saw no easy way of improving the positioning. My major changes were to give the images and text boxes a tiled appearance giving them an asymmetrical pattern far preferable to the one I had previously used. I also lowered the subheading to reduce the top heavy nature of the page. My final change was to adjust the lamp image and use a pencil to outline where I wanted it to extend through the text boxes from behind, perhaps with a reduced opacity.

Overall I feel the second incarnation of this page layout is far superior to the first. The spacing is far more uniform and the page is less lopsided. The major change I would make further is to extend the lamp image further down the page and into the negative space in order to break it up somewhat.

Constellation 6/8 – Redirective Practice

  • de-materialisation – good word

replace products with services concieve

support products with services

long life products

Redirective Practice

The future of the debate

  • efficiency needs to give way to slower consumption
  • About taking the way we conceive  (design) things and value them and changing it as it’s unsustainable
  • How do we decouple ourselves from this system and find and alternative way to meet the wants and needs we have

Products embody an unsustainable system/paradigm – we need to change the nature of products to reflect a sustainable society.

The theory goes that by changing individual products one at a time we can alter the system within which they exist.

Tony Fry

  • Designs currently helping to ‘defuture’ us – literally taking the future away from us by removing the future resources we will need to advance.
  • Designed objects and products aren’t just in themselves using resources and creating waste, but are influencing the consumers behaviour to make us wasteful and this is far more impactful than the products themselves Design Designs (1999)
  • ‘We design our world while our world acts back on us and designs us’ (Wills, A.2007)
  • Promoting sustainable behaviours through designed objects.

– automatic kettle can be turned on and forgotten about over and over wasting energy

-simple whistle kettle is loud and constant, forcing you to turn it off and/or use it

Stuart Walkeryoutube

 

Summary

In this lecture we explored the notion that if something needs to change in our level of consumption, perhaps streamlining products and reducing their impact is not the only or even best way to reduce our consumption. The lecture centered around the idea that products have the power to change how we think. As we build new products that make tasks easier we view those tasks with less importance or significance and may actually increase our consumption. An example given was a kettle. The majority of people own a kettle which will automatically turn off once the water has boiled, this means we can lave it to  do the task and focus on other things. This can result in us forgetting about the brew we about to make until the water has cooled sufficiently that the kettle needs boiling again, this is highly wasteful as a kettle consumes huge amounts of energy during the boiling process. An older style kettle with a whistle will draw your attention and be annoying until you turn it off, making you aware it’s ready for use. Thus the second boiling is unnecessary.

The way we view consumer products must change in order for our consumption to drop. The onus must be on us, not the products we build to be less impactful. By changing individual products one at a time, we can alter the system within which they exist. The whistle kettle changes the behavior of the consumer.

Examples of Best Practice in Sustainable Design

Eco-friendly Design

According to a definition given by the website all-recycling-facts.com, eco-friendly products are “products that do not harm the environment whether in their production, use or disposal”. In other words, these products help preserve the environment by significantly reducing the pollution they could produce. Eco-friendly products can be made from scratch, or from recycled materials. This kind of product is easily recognizable as it is, in most cases, labelled as such.

Some people think that it requires lot of time, effort and money to make a home eco-friendly. The truth is that there are lot of eco-products that you can start using right now which can help you to reduce waste and make this planet a better place to live. Eco-products are also known as environment friendly products or green products as they cause minimal harm to people and the environment.

Steam Cleaners

Although primarily designed for making people’s lives easier as a consumer product, steam cleaners have a claim to be eco-friendly. Cleaning products are hugely impacting on the environment, for their high quantity of packaging and the chemicals they contain. There are thousands of chemicals in common use and many have not been tested for safety, though the effects of many are known. They may pollute streams and rivers and may take a long time to degrade into harmless products. Some may not break down at all but may persist in the environment. These may enter the food chain, being eaten by aquatic creatures and perhaps eventually by us. Steam cleaners offer an equally potent germ neutralising effect without the necessity for any harsh chemicals. Although I could not find a specific company making a fully eco-friendly model (recycled materials, specifically long lasting product, energy saving etc) the simple deduction of bleaches from a household and therefore the environment is a major improvement.

 

Grocery Delivery Services

Across the UK and many other countries, many supermarkets are rolling out shopping delivery services. Tescos, Sainsburys, Asda and many more allow people to shop online and have their produce delivered at a specified time. This is ingenious in my opinion as it is in every manner, sustainable. It reduces car use, with one van delivery dozens of shopping orders. It reduces waste, as most companies provide plastic boxes to house the produce which are returned on the next delivery thus negating the need for plastic bags. And it reduces the necessary size of a given supermarket store, which is a huge energy consumer. With lighting, heating, frozen food sections and huge quantities of perishable food items which inevitably leads to a proportion of food remaining unsold and being disposed of. The advantages to the company also include a greater market share as customers are drawn to a company that provides for their needs with minimal effort on their part. Tesco is my prime example of best practice in this area as they have made efforts to run their vehicles on biofuel since 2006. link

 

Reusing Materials

This last example is less a product but not one officially created by a company. I remember a while back watching an episode of Top Gear in which they traveled to Uganda. In one town they come across sitting among a pile of old worn out car tires. This man made a living by re-purposing these tires and cutting them into sandals by hand. Rubber is an extremely energy consuming material to recycle properly and resurfacing old and worn tires is not a worth while endeavor so this method of reuse is an excellent practice as it is zero emission using only waste products.

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