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"contrast" Tag


Elvis lives forever


Thursday, November 12, 2015

part 1.1 bm

Very intuitively I picked up this book. The bright, contrasting colours were screaming for my attention. The colours reminded me of those beautiful 80′s ski jackets.

 

ski-jacket_3

nice

Next came the tactility. The moment you take it in your hands it feels like a good, quality book. The cover is a tough silkscreened fabric sheet which looks and feels substantial. The silkscreening is neat and professional. However when opening the book you see that the cover isn’t even attached to the rest of the book properly. It’s just folded around the pages. The book also slides around quite a lot within the cover, making it very susceptible for damage around the corners.

On further examination I found that the design of this book is actually full of contradictions. The paper on which text is printed is not the same as the paper on which the images are printed. Very high quality images are placed right next to very low quality images. There are two different fonts used. The text is printed in seven different colours. And Part I and Part II are in the same book, except you have to flip the book around if you want to read them both. All of these little disagreements within the design of this book are what made this publication so exciting for me.

François Girard-Meunier is the designer of the book; Graceland to Graceland. Graduated from the Rietveld Academie just last summer 2015, so he is a fairly new player in the Amsterdam design world. Nonetheless, his design for Mie Frederikke Fischer Christensen’s (a fellow graduate student) book “Graceland to Graceland” is more than noteworthy.

There’s just something childishly interesting about bright colors, which draws one’s eye to this book. The use of these bright and very contrasting colours reminded me of those amateur-built websites from around 2000. Which would tie in very well with the content of the book, elvis being quite a cult-figure with a fairly large amount of fans. The colours emit a certain immaturity, as if someone very unaware of conventional graphic design really wanted to make this book look as ‘beautiful’ as possible. And by doing so, that individual crammed in as much visual stimuli as possible. However, when reading the appendix (written by the designer himself) it became clear that all of these elements are actually a ‘leftover’ of the text editing proces.  ”As multiple annotations came and disappeared within the editing proces, we [François Girard-Meunier and Mie Frederikke Fischer Christensen] somehow found [it] meaningful to keep a form that suggested this process.”

 

text         text         text

 

Moreover, not only the colours are striking about the text, the fact that François also used two different fonts to distinguish the interviewer from the interviewee is also very interesting. A certain distance is created between the two characters by letting the interviewer ‘speak’ in Arial and the interviewee in Times LT. When taking into account that the Arial typeface has mostly taken the position that the Times typeface had before, one could argue that this symbolizes the younger interviewer versus the older interviewees. In a sense that the interviewer is now more relevant than the Elvis fans. In this publication the focus lies more on  the reasons for these fans to be fans than on Elvis himself.

Furthermore, a plethora of images is showcased. Seemingly randomly stacked on top of each other and in different levels of quality. the pictures seem to be taken from all over the internet. Not only good resolution pictures are used but also quite bad quality stuff, watermarks included. The one thing they have in common though is their relation to, or, representation of; Elvis. This aesthetic is reminiscent of the ones found on fan-made websites, created to lift their idol to a higher level by posting as much images of him as possible. No matter the quality or the context, the only thing that matters is Elvis.
This is also what drew me to this book. These details supposedly try to reenact the feeling of a very DIY website. It takes a good eye to spot these kind of fan-made characteristics and even better eyes to imitate them. Then again, when reading, and hearing François talk about these things, these kind of decisions seem to have a more layered argumentation: ”the massive amount of material that, even though not ‘clean’ are great forms of representation that show how diverse and polysemic a character such as Elvis Presley can become after being transformed into a mythology.” 
He turns the tables. Instead of all these image just being an illustration of the interviews, they are actually a representation of what the ‘myth’, Elvis, can mean.

 

plethora         plethora         plethora

 

The inside of the book also features two types of paper. One a bit more glossy that the other. The images being printed on the glossier one. This division also suggests a certain budget, as if there wasn’t enough money to make the entire book out of glossy paper. Which again, ties in with the aesthetics of these amateur fan-pages. When listening to François however, this was exactly the point. All individual materials used in order to make the book are of quite high quality, there is just a lack  of coherence (literally and by figure of speech) between the materials.

All of these clashes in the design and in my way of thinking about the book and the original intentions of the designer make me realize that this book is actually so much more than what I had anticipated it to be.

 

Rietveld library catalog no : graduation publication 2015

 

Personal Mass


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

I decided to visit a glass factory, I met Just who controls the machines that generates 200.000 beer bottles per 8 hours. I wanted to see the mass production of daily glass objects, wine glass, beer bottles etc. The contrast between the two images that glass has: The cheap, functional mass product and the crafted, expensive, complicated, cultural acknowledged glass, was clearly visible in the factory visiting the production part and the craftsman department. Both in the same factory, two completely different stories.
I decided to learn to make my own hand crafted beer bottle to combine the cheap image of a beer bottle with the expensive one of crafted glass. This process was longer, intenser, more impossible and way more difficult then I ever thought. In the end this process, of searching for  methods getting to know the material (a little bit) and working together with all the elements that need to be just right in order for the glass to do what you want it to do, took over the functionality of the bottle.
You work in service of the glass, if not it will master you. I had to adept towards what the glass needed, the time, the pressure, temperature. I could wish for all that I wanted but there was only one way to go. The focused and calm research of the glass. It feels silly or a bit like a cliche, but the glass forced me to work in a way which I often try but where I also often fail, it made me really be in the process.

 

-

 

Measuring the bottle  Blow a bubble Take glass two times

Blow

Shape it Glass to thin at the bottom Broke when putting in cool down oven Blow a bubble

                                     Take glass two times

Blow

Bubble a bit small

IMG_1144

Shape it

When putting in the oven    Broke

Blow a bubble     Take glass two times   Really hot Blow   Bubble a bit small     Shape it     Put in oven  Heavy

Blow a bubble        Shape it         Really thin glass      Broke when putting in the oven

 

Get a piece of colored glass    Blow a bubble     Take glass two times

 

 

IMG_1149

Shape

                             Blow

                                                   Shape
Bottom to thin
Broke when putting in the oven

Get two pieces of colored glass  Mix them Blow a bubble   Take glass two times

Shape

Blow

Shape

IMG_1143

Open cold wind

Glass cools down

Falls off

Broke

 

Make shape in sand  Make sand wet Poor glass into shape  Sand to wet starts to boil  Making a glass volcano

IMG_1145

Making a mold from plaster  Get glass  Blow a bubble More glass                 Blow  More glass  Blow  More glass

                                                                                                 Blow

Turn a lot

Shape a bit Wait for perfect temperature Open mold Let the mass sink perfect timing closing the mold

Press mold as tight as possible

IMG_1330

Blow

Blow

Blow

Blow

Blow

Press

Open mold Take out the glass

Cool a bit

Make a cutting line Glass to cool for cutting line Broke

Fall down Transfer to cool down oven asap

IMG_1337

Blow Turn a lot  Shape a bit Wait for perfect temperature

Open mold Let the mass sink Perfect timing closing the mold

Press mold as tight as possible

Blow

Blow

Blow

Blow

Blow

PPPPPPPFFFFFFFFF

Press Open mold                 To little glass and to cool                     Take out the glass

Cool a bit and Transfer to cool down oven asap

Get colored glass Making a mold form plaster Blow a bubble

Get more glass Blow   More glass Blow   More glass  Blow    More glass

                                                                  Wait

IMG_0024

turn a lot Shape a bit Wait for perfect temperature Open mold Guide mass of glass bubble into mold Let the mass sink Way to hot and to much glass Drops quickly to the bottom Try to safe glass by pulling the pipe all the up                Pressing the mold

Blowing

Pressing

Blowing

pressing

Glass goes trough the sides of the mold Open mold Glass still soft

11231705_10152962643988931_110610957932174378_n

Rest glass on floor get gloves Pick up glass  Bring to cool oven

 

a mundane contrast


Thursday, September 15, 2011

The stamps Wim Crouwel designed for the Dutch postal service PTT were used for 25 years. The first thing that came to my mind after hearing this was the amount of tongues that must have licked these stamps. 25 years is a long time. Millions of letters were decorated by this sophisticated square. Figuratively speaking, it was the key to another persons mailbox.

When we look at the stamps we see a clear design, a distinct communication speaks from it. Stripped of any adornment it is a severe design to me. Extremely functional. Exactly what Crouwel was aiming for. Everything that cited emotion was left out. Functionality above all. It seems very contradictory to me that a design so rational was used for such an emotional communication process. I find this contrast very interesting. On the one hand there is Crouwel, driven by a concise aesthetic, succeeding in his job. On the other hand there are the sober Dutch people, whose eyes have looked at these stamps more than a billion times, yet most of them have not seen the aesthetic essence of it.

Red Glass And Orange Text.


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Deformed Text Graphic element Kikkoman's universe

Transparent
 Deformed letters and symbols when you look through the glass
Reflections

brother and sister

Another object that fascinates me is a lamp.
Today I came to realize that they actually are brother and sister.
Two elements:  Shiny transparent fragile glass - vs - Strong non transparent cap/top
Symmetry    -    yrtemmyS
As less as possible. Form follows function. No extra’s.

Exit

A Sketch

Sketches

Product Follows Form

sketch of how it will look

No extra's: Lamp and switch are now one
Reflections are now replaced by light

The Model

Balance

technical drwing
Logical symmetrical system

(Eventually) two elements: Plastic and Glass

Or four? Lamp and Switch included

Contrasts


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

As I let my fingers caress the spines for a second time, I cannot simply let my personal preferences surface. Instead I let my fingers stop at big books, interesting letters, big old tomes and backs with interesting colors. With the latter in mind I pull out a thin yet big book out of the shelf. A smooth, new spine, with bright yellow letters on a background of bright red, turning to pink. How could it not attract my attention? ‘China now’ is the title and the front immediately makes my decision easy; naked Asians running through a hallway accompanied by red airplanes. How can one resist opening such a book?

The art of a people, suppressed and unable to produce art freely until recently, is fascinating. Different mentality, history and culture make their art unlike any western art in my opinion. And it is refreshing to see modern art from such a different angle. It is nice that not only the cover has beautiful contrasts, but also our cultures and countries. (me being Dutch)

Satisfied I carry the book to the check out desk, to take it home and immerse myself in another world and go back to the busy and colorful markets of Beijing and Chengdu.

CHINA NOW 707.9

The similarity in contrast


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Not one, but two books this time. I know that the assignment was to take one, but these two belong to each other. One is called “De geschiedenis van de schoonheid” (The history of beauty) the other one is called “ De geschiedenis van de lelijkheid” (The history of ugliness.) I took them because the contrast between those two seemed to be interesting to me. They also look really nice because they are really intended to be together. The really look like a couple. They are both the same size, same thickness, made of the same material, have the same typography and layout. Absolute contrast but still the same in some way. I also looked inside and it is funny that each book on itself is less interesting if you cannot compare it to the other one. They really need each other. And of course there is the old question “what is beauty and what is ugliness?”

700.6-eco-1 and 700.6-eco-2

The Discovery


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Browsing books is my  favorite thing in the world. But I am not looking for an interesting read, not this time. I try to let my sub consciousness guide me. Walking past a row of books at the end I stop, touch the spine of a big tome, glaringly yellow, black border, interesting typography. My touch reveals a strange texture of the yellow paper. Or fabric maybe? The sticker on the back annoys me, how dare it break the yellow/black/angular balance of the back?

I slide the book out of it’s resting place and take a peek at the front. The same typography as the front, the same thin black letters on yellow. This time I can feel that the letters were pressed on the yellow. Hard. They appear to lie just below the surface. Intrigued I slide the book out altogether and wake up out of my book trance only to realize I am holding my choice in my hands.

725.9


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