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Image by Ruvim Noga

Graphic Design Journal

Week 2: Reflections on material

I found this week's reading, Drip-Dry Shirts, really interesting -- it provided some learning about how graphic design became a discipline, and how it evolved, especially in the context of societal, political and cultural changes, both globally and locally.

My favourite quote in Drip-Dry Shirts was the following:

The term 'graphic design' was relatively recent in the history of visual art, although the activity it denotes is as old as the earliest scratchings on cave walls.

In reading Drip-Dry Shirts, I came to understand how design is influenced not only by art movements (modernism, cubism, etc) but by the more mundane aspects of human life: wars, geo-political and economic upturns and downturns, etc. It was really interesting to read about how the art of promotion (marketing, advertising) really boomed during the so-called Mad Men era of the mid 20th century, alongside design movements such as Bauhaus, and how fonts like sans serif evolved as a result of these changes.

A note on my illustration above

I wanted to play around with creating a typographic illustration to add something visual to this blog post. The above picture is only just a draft, it needs a fair bit of work until I'll be happy with it. But I enjoyed sitting down and working on it, playing with different fonts and typefaces, to visualise how graphic design has evolved through the years.

Additional reading

I also started to pick up some additional books from the library this week. I took out a brief introduction to the life and work of Andy Warhol called "iMinds: Andy Warhol". My favourite part was this excerpt:

"Love or loath his work most agree that he broke down the divide between high art and mass culture. Crucial to Warhol is this paradox: As an artist who approached art from its commercial perspective, he pointed out how art is debased by money. That for all the theorising and romance, art is a commodity in our consumer society."

The short book also described Warhol's studio, The Factory. It was a dynamic, open and fringe space that had no rules or restrictions. I'd like to learn more about what went on in The Factory and what artworks were produced from there.

I also happened upon a great book in a charity shop, Graphic Design School, which I'm slowly working my way through.

Finally, I started a video-based course by Logos by Nick called Adobe Illustrator Explainer Series, to help me with some of the Illlustrator functions that I'm still learning.


Roberts, L. (2005) Drip-dry shirts: the evolution of the graphic designer. London:AVA

[2009]. The Arts. Andy Warhol. by iMinds Pty Ltd.

Dabner, David. [2004]. Graphic Design School. London: Thames & Hudson

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