Friday, October 31, 2008

Wizard of Oz Image

Here is another image I found that didnt get uploaded

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

So I decided to write about The Wizard of Oz. This was the design of the Wizard of Oz poster from 1939. Although there was a lot of "new" ideas going on in Germany at this time, they really did not grasp the idea yet in the United States. There are different type faces and the poster fells a bit cluttered, compared to the German images we saw that were going on at the Bauhaus.
The Wizard of Oz is a 193
9 American musical-fantasy film mainly directed by Victor Fleming and based on the 1900 children’s novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. The film features Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale, Ray Bolger as the Scarecrow, Jack Haley as the Tin Man, Bert Lahr as the Cowardly Lion, Billie Burke as Glinda the Good Witch of the North, Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch of the West, and Frank Morgan as the Wizard.
The film follows schoolgirl Dorothy Gale who lives on a Kansas farm with her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry, but dreams of a better place "somewhere over the rainbow." After being
struck unconscious during a tornado by a window which has come loose from its frame, Dorothy dreams that she, her dog Toto, and the farmhouse are transported to the magical Land of Oz. There, the Good Witch of the North Glinda advises Dorothy to follow the yellow brick road to Emerald City and meet the Wizard of Oz, who can return her to Kansas. During her journey, she meets a Scarecrow, Tin Man and a Cowardly Lion, who join her, hoping to receive what they lack themselves (a brain, a heart, and courage, respectively), all of this is done while also trying to avoid the many plots of the Wicked Witch of the West, in her attempt to get the ruby slippers that Dorothy received from the squashed Wicked Witch of the East.When it was released during Hollywood's golden year of 1939, The Wizard of OzOz's TV broadcasts are now controlled by media mogul Ted Turner (who owns the rights), the advent of home video has made this lively musical a mainstay in the staple diet of great American films. Young Dorothy Gale (Judy Garland), her dog, Toto, and her three companions on the Yellow Brick Road to Oz--the Tin Man (Jack Haley), the Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr), and the Scarecrow (Ray Bolger)--have become pop-culture icons and central figures in the legacy of fantasy for children. As the Wicked Witch who covets Dorothy's enchanted ruby slippers, Margaret Hamilton has had the singular honor of scaring the wits out of children for more than six decades. The film's still as fresh, frightening, and funny as it was when first released. It may take some liberal detours from the original story by L. Frank Baum, but it's loyal to the Baum legacy while charting its own course as a spectacular film. Shot in glorious Technicolor, befitting its dynamic production design (Munchkinland alone is a psychedelic explosion of color and d├ęcor), The Wizard of Oz may not appeal to every taste as the years go by, but it's required viewing for kids of all ages. didn't start out as the perennial classic it has since become. The film did respectable business, but it wasn't until its debut on television that this family favorite saw its popularity soar.



When I went looking for posters from the two different time periods, I found it much easier to find posters from right after the Bolshevik Revolution.  The picture I found (on the left) is from the 1920's, and I'm not exactly sure the specific topic of the poster, but my guess is about politics.  It's very easy to see that a grid was used with a small color palette.  To me, the poster is almost intimidating with seriousness and the eyes looking slightly off to the left.  

Now when I went to look for more contemporary work, I felt as if I were coming up short.  I did find a couple pieces on AIGA's website.  The one I am showing (in the red) is actually a book cover done in 2006, but looks like it could pass as being done as the same era as the other poster.  The book is a classic novel that tells about times under Stalin.  I was surprised to see how similar the designing was.  It still follows a grid and uses similar typefaces for some of the information on the front cover.  To me, it seems as if the Russians found a design style that really worked for them and stuck to it, making only minor adjustments.  It makes it very easy to pick out Russian work, discuss and compare it stylistically as to what was going on during that time period.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Contemporary Russian Design

I searched for a long time to find contemporary posters or advertisements from Russia. I found many connections between artwork from after the Bolshevik Revolution and contemporary works of today.

The images from El Lissitzky and Rodchenko are from just after the revolution (images to the right). Stylistically, these posters have a defined grid and layout. They are asymmetrical and primarily utilize neutral colors with bright accents. The two designs also instruct the viewer to feel something or do something.

The images below are contemporary examples. These designs have been influenced by the work from after the Bolshelvik Revolution. The first design is a movie poster from the early 80's. It utilizes asymmetry and the characters have strong facial expressions that evoke emotion. The second image is a design by Avanov from 1989. The single bright color draws attention to the center of the poster. This is very similar to the poster by Rodchenko that is above. The neutral colors balance out the bright color and the geometric shapes. The composition is asymmetrical and has an underlying grid. The final image is an event poster from 2008. This design utilizes grid, layout, and instruction. The simple color palette puts focus on shape and negative space. This design has obviously been influenced by the work of the Russian Constructivists.

Contemporary Russian design resembles that of Russian Constructivism, but that is not the only period that can be seen. I look forward to learning more about the other periods that have directly influenced art of today. There has been such a connection between each and every period, each piece from today has hundreds of influences and connections to art from previous periods. Every design choice comes from somewhere, something we've seen, whether we consciously think about it or not. I wonder who and how our work will influence graphic designers in 50 or 100 years.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Communist Propaganda

It took me a really long time to find something to talk about. I came across this contemporary ad of m&m's. This poster is designed by Clemenger BBDO as design agency in Australia. As you can see there is a lot of communist issues with this ad. One is the fact that the whole poster is red. Its talking about voting for the favorite m&m color. Which in this one of course they are telling you to vote for red. I thought this was a very good contemporary example to show the link from then to now. There are also the solider implication in this ad also. I also think it was funny how on the top it say "The Redolution".

Friday, October 17, 2008

Events Surrounding the Turn of the Century

While artists of the late 1800's and early 1900's were keeping busy with new movements and happenings, the political and economical side of the United States was keeping busy as well.

In the 1880's, the US passed an anti-Chinese policy, which banned all immigrants and the naturalization of Chinese citizens.  The immigration dropped from 40,000 to under 50 in ten years.  The US also passes an act to dissolve the Mormon Church and rids Mormon's of their land and other properties.  While Indians were being pushed off their land and onto reservations, there was an act passed, the Dawes Severalty Act, which allowed Native Americans up to 160 acres of land in hopes to civilize them faster.

In the 1890's, the government "cracks down" on the Native American religious movement known as the Ghost Dance.  Federal troops killed the Lakota Indian tribe's leader and 350 of its followers in effort to stop the Ghost Dance. The last gold rush happens in Alaska near Dawson City.  Wyoming and Utah enter the union and Hawaii is annexed by the United States by the end of the decade.

And from 1900 up until around the first world war, President Roosevelt enables the Preservation of American Antiquities Act in effort to help protect historic sites (like the Grand Canyon) for posterity.  Arizona, Kansas and Oregon give women the right to vote.  Industrial works go on strike and demand better wages and working conditions.  The Panama Canal is completed, and the United States finally enters in the first world war.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Inventions for Artists

I have composed a list of inventions during the late 1800s to early 1900s. I tried to find items that influenced the daily lives of graphic designers and artists. However, I also found some interesting inventions that influenced photography, construction, and art.

Web Offset Printing was invented by William Bullock in 1865. It is a process of printing that would feed paper onto a continuous roll into a press. The press printed on both sides of the paper.

Crayons were invented by Edwin Binney and Harold Smith in 1903. They were a mixture of paraffin wax and pigment. These little wax colored sticks are one of the first tools used by artists and individuals to express themselves.

The WirePhoto was first done by Western Union in 1921 but the idea was proposed by Alexander Bain. The WirePhoto was an electronically transmitted photograph. (see image to the right)

Masking tape was first made by Richard Drew in 1923. He worked for the well-known company 3M. The tape was first made to accommodate the needs of painters. It only had adhesive material on the edges of the tape, not in the middle.

Scotch tape was then made in 1930 by Richard Drew as well. The tape was clear with an all purpose adhesive on one side. The dispenser was first made in 1932 by John A. Borden, who also worked for 3M.

The Photocopier was invented by Chester Floyd Carlson in 1937. The process is known as xerography. The process includes making copies without the use of ink.

All of these inventions changed the way art and graphic design is produced and executed. It is interesting to think what we would have done without crayons as children, or without masking and scotch tape to ease our mounting and presentation.


Sources: Wikipedia, Encyclopedia Brittanica

Music of the Futurists

Futurism surfaced in all aspects of society in the 1900's. Marinetti and Russolo gave the first futurist concert in 1914. The concert was composed of four networks titled:
  1. Awakening of Capital.
  2. Meeting of Cars and Aeroplanes
  3. Dining on the terrace of the Casino
  4. Skirmish in the Oasis.

Luigi Russolo, a painter and composer, wrote literature dealing with the music of futurism. His manifesto, The Art of Noises written in 1913, disected the timbre of sound of the futurist orchestra into six different parts:

  1. Roar, Thunder, Explosion, Bang, Boom, Hissing Roar
  2. Whistling, Puffing, Hissing
  3. Whispers, Murmurs, Mumbles, Mutters, Gurgles
  4. Screeches, Creaks, Rustling, Humming, Crackling, Rubbing
  5. Noises that are made by beating on materials (metals, woods, skins, stones, pottery)
  6. Sounds that are made by people of animals (Shouts, Screams, Shrieks, Wails, Hoots, Howls, Death rattles, Sobbing)
Russolo called these new instruments the intonarumori (see image above). The intonarumori were devices that made sounds like a machine does. The sounds are not able to be reproduced. This makes the sounds very unique which was something that the futurists enjoyed. The aesthetic that the futurists strived for in music was freedom, motion, and originality.


Sources: Britanica Encyclopedia, Wikipedia Images

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Influenza Epidemic of 1918

The influenza epidemic that swept the world in 1918 killed an estimated 50 million people. One fifth of the world's population was attacked by this deadly virus. Within months, it had killed more people than any other illness in recorded history. The plague emerged in two phases. In late spring of 1918, the first phase, known as the "three-day fever," appeared without warning. Few deaths were reported. Victims recovered after a few days. When the disease surfaced again that fall, it was far more severe. Scientists, doctors, and health officials could not identify this disease which was striking so fast and so viciously, eluding treatment and defying control. Some victims died within hours of their first symptoms. Others succumbed after a few days; their lungs filled with fluid and they suffocated to death. The plague did not discriminate. It was rampant in urban and rural areas, from the densely populated East coast to the remotest parts of Alaska. Young adults, usually unaffected by these types of infectious diseases, were among the hardest hit groups along with the elderly and young children. The flu afflicted over 25 percent of the U.S. population. In one year, the average life expectancy in the United States dropped by 12 years.

Monday, October 6, 2008

World War I

I found a whole bunch of images of the posters from World War I. This propaganda is both interesting to look at and informational about the time period. The first two images are from Australian propaganda and the second two images are from British propaganda. These posters were designed and distributed in order to evoke high emotion from the country's people that they served. They were highly responsive. This is why multiple countries used the same visual quality because they were already proven to work.

I found a lot of information about Australia and their experience during and after the war. Several books say that Australia gained its identity after their soldiers returned from the war. The war did change the network and structure of several countries, including Australia. Australia's history includes many diverse events, but the landing of Australian troops at Gallipoli is still considered one of Australia's defining moments in history. The country was called to help defend Britain and they did so. They used war posters in order to gain interest from their people and were able to help accordingly.


Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Roaring 20's

The Roaring Twenties was known for a decade full of liveliness, music, prosperity, and flapper girls.  This decade was an important part of women's life; whether it be from the more revealing clothing (shorter hems and sleeves), the introduction of eyeshadow (maybelline), or finally being able to vote.
In the entertainment world, jazz was the choice of music, and a couple popular musicians include Paul Whiteman and Duke Ellington. The first portable radio was introduced in 1923 and Time Magazine was launched.  Silent movies and Broadway shows were also very popular.
As for transportation, the Model T by Ford made up over half of the vehicles on the road by the mid-1920's.  Chrysler was introduced by Maxwell Motor Company.  Chevrolet, Cadillac and BMW start producing vehicles at this time as well.
However, there were some down parts when it came to the Roaring Twenties.  Prohibition (the ban of alcohol) lasted the entire decade and caused "Speakeasies" (similar to a underground saloon kept on the DL) to pop up.  Crimes associated with the mob were numerous as well.  The sugar industry plummeted in the early 20's, causing Hershey's to go bankrupt.  The Roaring Twenties came to a screaming holt when the stock market crashed in 1929.