Alexey Brodovitch: Harpers Bazaar

Harpers Bazaar Art Director, Alexey Brodovitch’s is known greatly as being “virtually the model for the modern magazine art director” inspiring great graphic designers and directors through his reign within this area of work. Working as the director of this company, Brodovitch not only “arrange photographs, illustrations and type on the page” he used his talent to ensure that he “took an active role in conceiving and commissioning all forms of graphic art”, a designer I truly admire. His work for Harpers Bazaar between 1934 to 1958 contained work described as including “pages that bled beautifully, cropped photographs, typography and designs that were bold and arresting” which led him to “revolutionize magazine design”. The layouts of the pages created by Brodovitch inspire me greatly as they contain elements equally contrasted against one another from photography to text and space. They layering technique of Brodovitch communicates with the audience undeniably due to the purpose of the work being magazines. I admire the simplicity of the work Brodovitch produced as well as the style that suited the era of creation. I prefer Brodovitches black and white styled work as the tones contrast deeply with one Imageanother and they produce a classic, sophisticated mood/style, perfect for the image of these pieces and this magazine. A signature of his work was the overuse of white space, an element I find most appealing. This feature of his work redesigned the style and face of Harpers Bazaar, the following statement spoken by the previous art director of the magazine expresses the admiration of Brodovitches work greatly. “I saw a fresh, new conception of layout technique that struck me like a revelation: pages that bled beautifully, cropped photographs, typography and design that were bold and arresting. Within ten minutes i had asked Brodovitch to have cocktails with me, and that evening i signed him to a provisional contract as art director” and from then on Axeley Brodovitch begin his reign at Harpers Bazaar. This designer “created a harmonious and meaningful whole using avant-garde photography, typography and illustration” ideally using a clever technique in blending all of the elements together in a perfected way to appeal to their audience. Communicating with his audience, he was able to appeal to them using a unique design style new to the era of Magazine Design, using colour schemes not often used by other designers and layouts which caused a revolution in this area of design. The first ever Art Director to blend image and text as one in his designs he integrated elements which were only ever used separately within magazine designs. I find his style of work inspiring and I saw his Imagedesigns in a magazine on the shelf I would most definitely want to purchase it. Alexey Brodovitch was able to manipulate his audience into wanting to purchase his magazine as he used unique designs to capture their attention. Creating illusions within his work by placing the images he uses at an off balance rather than a perfectly balanced photograph in a common placement, he moved away from the common design style and produced work unlike others had. Creating his own style of layouts throughout his work with this magazine, Brodovitch’s work inspired many who viewed it. Creating unique layouts and experimenting with text and image blending Brodovitch communicated with his audience in different ways compared to designers already around within this era. This designer believed that “many designers are afraid of blank spaces; they cram the page with image and text and hide it with shading colored backgrounds” therefore he moved away from this stereotype and created work in the complete opposite style to this. Every element of his work has been carefully depicted and chosen in every design he produced. Using three main elements of text, photography and white space, Brodovitch understood how his layouts appealed and communicated with his audience. As his designs were being seen by many in the form of magazines he communicated with his audience through this format and understood elements that needed to be included to do so. Overall I find Brodovitches work greatly appealing and I find this designer an inspiration to research into. 

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Sean Avery: CD Animal Sculptor Art

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Aiming to “re-purposing the discarded to make something beautiful” Sean Avery uses old, unwanted CD’s in order to create these magnificent animal sculptures. Using coloured shards in order to perfectly create a realistic colour masterpiece in reference to the realistic colours found within the animals to ensure that they communicate with the audience, this designer has a very hands on approach when creating each design sculptor. Using a wired frame to initially produce the shape of the animal then adding the shards of CD, Sean Avery uses these week long projects in order to communicate his conceptual message with his intended audience.

Clearly these sculptures are not intended for a young audience such as children or teenagers as the shards would prove dangerous for children and the concept of using something old to create something beautiful would not immediately appeal to a youthful audience as they would more likely enjoy the “shiny pieces” the work is made from than the reasoning or craft. Whereas an older audience would immediately appreciate how old CD’s have created these amazing, unique animal sculptures. 

Classified as “sustainable art”, these CD sculptures are each completely individual and unique as no sculpture can be completely the same due to the process. The simmering, vibrant colours used due to the media focused within allows the designer to produce a unique approach. I find the colour contrasts produced in each of the sculptures amazingly attention capturing! “It’s delightful, astounding work, and a not-too-subtle jab at the impermanence of media”. Avery’s animal sculptures take the stereotypical sculpt of animals and forces them to become a modernised perception of conceptual art. The shards produce a perfect depiction of the fur and appearance of the animals. The sharp, perhaps dangerous materials cleverly have been manipulated to create a soft outer appeal of the animals. When used for the animals it transforms the harshness of the materials and adds a strength to the animals they are transformed into. Fascinated within junk materials and ways to transform old materials into a modern design this designer perfects his concept into an original sculpted design.

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Despite finding these sculptures amazingly beautiful and clearly successful in their overall approach it proves an extremely time consuming process. This Australian artist creates his “striking” and amazingly “beautiful” animal structures by combining man made materials in order to create a natural depiction of a natural object. I find the contrast between the material and what is being illustrated an interesting approach as this designer is using materials created by humans, to highlight and appreciate animals that are not a man made product. “I blend many different man made materials together to make them appear strangely organic, with a distinct sense of movement.” a complimentary blend between man and animal.

Overall I believe that these sculptures are amazing designs and are produced using an interesting contrast on concept and material. The unique design and overall approach immediately attracts the audiences attention and draws them into the shattered appearance of the animals. I love how these animals have been pictured on a pure white background as this produces a blank canvas for the animals to be illustrated on. The white allows the foreground sculpture and colours to be the main elements that the audience understand and communicate with and I believe that using this style of background to refrain from overpowering the scene is a perfect feature to use. Also I do believe that this style of work could be used in a range of areas and media as the unique style with additional type could produce an extremely successful advertised style and approach. 

Louise McNaught: Animal Colour Mixed Media Illustrations

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Admiring the likes of Tracy Emin’s “honesty”, Barbara Kruger’s “truisms” and Mark Ryden for his “perfection”, illustrator Louise McNaught creates these illustrations in order to portray her own style to her intended audience. Using mixed media in order to create these “paintings” McNaught uses a variety of paint, pencil and ink to transform her backdrops from “very traditional canvasses” into unique works. “McNaught primarily uses a neon colour palette to depict the presence of nature in her work”. This design decision proves very interesting as bright colours such as neon pinks and greens are not usually used when illustrating nature however McNaught’s design style proves unusually successful. Illustrating the animals within her work in a “god-like” style, this designer as able to “draw the viewers attention to the animals presence and energy” and using bright, vibrant colour mimics their personalities physically onto the page. Through these designs the illustrator aims to show the animals in their natural stance wearing the bright, overpowering colours as “war paint” and she is aiming to highlight man’s interaction with the lifestyle and survival of these animals. Using the bright, vibrant colours in a way to highlight the energy “radiating from the animal” as she paints the areas of the animal that is known as the more intense areas, such as the clashing antlers and strengthened shoulders between the two animals in the image above. This designer find the eyes and the neck are the more intense areas of the animal and this can be seen clearly as a common theme throughout this designers work. Seeing the stereotypical view of stag’s as being “majestic and pure” McNaught uses them within a lot of her work. Promoting them as being “strong yet so peaceful” this designer illustrates the animals in an extremely exceptional presence, this appeals to a wide audience however not such a young, chid age range as they would not find the realism of the illustrations of the bold contrast of colour understandable or appealing. 

Louise McNaught captures these animals as if they are in a hidden, fantasy reality. I love how the realism of the drawings and the playfulness of the colours used work together in a way that would usual prove unsuccessful. McNaught is able to capture a unique design style and concept through her work which is an extremely appealing and attention seeking element. The unique and original style of the designers work would immediately capture the audiences attention as it is not a style of work that has been used before. The bright tones and neon colours immediately capture the audiences eye sight, well it certainly attracted mine. The colours are the first element of the work that the audience see as the contrast and stand out greatly against the grey tones of the medium used for the background. For instance in the stag image above, the neon pinks and reds stand out greatly between the grey toned background, as well as being immediately viewed as dripping blood which would often be seen through fighting, the action that the animals are captured in. I love how this designer uses these magnificently vibrant colours in a successful way where usually they would be hated for the very “chav” appeal. I usual despise colours like this however in this work, I love them, they are my favourite part!

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“It’s fund to see each drawing skilfully created by this artist as being part of a hidden world”. The illustrations within this set allows the audiences attention and interpretation to be easily accessed and McNaught refrains from including type of informative text telling the audience of what she is trying to show. She allows her audience to create a reality where these animals could be seen and giving them a personality that would appeal to them. I love how this designer allows her drawings to take control and simply be admired for their unique style, colours and concept rather than for a specific purpose for a small audience range. These illustrations are seen as being “a hidden world where colours are always bold and animals rule the neon landscape”. The huge contrast in colour work well in appreciating one another as each represent two parts of the “delicate relationship between animal and humanity”, they connect through their differences, like we work well with animals through out similarities. The delicacy used to blend these media, colours and moods together is also a physical reminder of the delicate relationship we have with animals, illustrating this message physically and metaphorically. 

Completed with glorious neon hues, McNaught’s work presents a “balance between traditional technique and a new age” of modernised media. Initially inspired by nature, this designer uses “a mixture of painting with drawing overlay” creating a mixed media approach perfectly suited to her mixed mammal concept and her unique mixed hue toned colour palate. Finding the traditional, stereotypical symbolisms of animal extremely interesting such as the strength of stags, McNaught uses the high regard that these animals are held within to highlight the evolution of how these animals are understood. Aiming to highlight a parallel universe where “nature is god” this designer uses her own understandings as a muse for her work as she creates pieces based on her thoughts and views. 

Using her infamous neon hues repetitive within her designs, McNaught chooses to introduce these within her work as she believes they are the only tones which produce a “light” outcome in colour, tone, weight and surface on the page. I agree that neon colours often produce a light weighted approach to the audience through work and especially within thickness when being used. This is perfectly used within her work as she aims to highlight the ethereal quality and importance of her theme and message. Using simple dripping effects within her work, McNaught creates upward drips as they are “further hinting at their divinity as drips usually drop down because of gravity but by having them travel upwards towards the ‘heavens’ it shows that the animals are sacred, divine beings” another way that this designer can highlight the importance of them within her work and her message. 

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Personally I would not change anything at all about this artists work as I love the colours, elements, messages, concepts and overall image of the work. Usually I would despise this colour scheme and neon tone however in McNaughts work they proved amazingly successful.

The traditional skills of this artists illustrations have been stretched into a new contemporary reality. This mimics the new reality created within the message of the work and the understanding of the audience. “Straddling the line between haunting illustrations and paintings that entice our perception with their bright designs” McNaughts work perfectly pushes the boundaries of traditional work however successfully highlights the traditions of the animals beings used, a perfect balance of animals and humanity. This designer communicates the sacred appreciation of the animals whilst “taking the viewer’s mind to a magical world where animals are gods, magic exists, and things around us possess an ethereal, delicate yet simultaneously bold appearance”. I, as a viewer of this designers work find the overall approach amazing and perfectly suited to her concept. Her originality has proved extremely successful and overall creates a unique style of art. 

WWF Disintegrating Animal’s Campaign

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this photography design set created for famous animal rights campaign charity WWF includes strong, bold imagery to communicate an important world wide issue to their intended, older, more understanding audience. Created by Madrid based agency Contrapunto BBDO, who delves within editorial work, these “eye catching” images. Using a set of three including an elephant, parrot and leopard, this design set uses a range of animals in order to widen the appeal and communicate with a wider audience base. also I believe that using a range of three contrasting animals such as mammals and birds it is highlighting the importance of the issue and the realisation that it is affecting a wider range of animals and not just one family. Illustrating the animals “deteriorating into clouds of dust” reminisces and highlights the “reminiscent of the dried up floors in the eroded landscapes” which I believe is a very interesting and successful approach to understand and take. However when first viewing these images I did not immediately understand the issue being raised, I simply believed that the images where being used and created to communicate the endangerment of these animals, as if the are disappearing from out world. This is a way to prove that the audience is not successful as a younger, teenage range or that the message is not successfully shown.

I really like how the darkened background allows the audiences attention to be immediately drawn and connected with the foreground, the more crucial elements to the scene. This refrains their understanding from being misjudged or miscommunicated. Alongside the contrast in colours and simplicity used the colour elements all work well together in communicating the whole scene. Having a light source from the top righthand angle of all images is a way that these designers have been able to connect the images together as a scene. The shading and light sources add a sense of seriousness to the scene and capture importance features of the animal such as the face, expression, movement and transformation into dust. I believe that he talent used in capturing these images and editing them to suit the purpose and scene have been done extremely well and produce an overall successful image of the issue being raised. Enhanced colours have been used within these images/photographs. I believe that they attract the audiences attention greatly as well as being kept realistic to the animals. This design element is perfectly suited to the purpose of the piece as the colours are crucial to the audiences understanding of the issue and animals involved. The very realistic approach to the issue and image set is also perfectly situated as the issue is clearly communicated across to the audience, the seriousness of the theme is seen clearly within the media. Using photography to gain a realistic scene has been a very successful decision by these designers. 

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Refraining from including a large amount of type within these designs, I believe that these designers creating this campaign have been able to produce a strong, overpowering image to communicate their message across. The use of type would simply overpower the entire scene and I personally prefer this as an image. The included simple logo and slight type simply informing the audience of the campaign involved works perfectly for the purpose and creation of the images. Using pristine white also allows the audience to understand this element clearly and successfully as the tone contrasts with the background without any confusion to the audience. However, many (especially younger audiences) would argue that this piece does not communicate the issue clearly and that type would be more successfully used, however overpowering the scene with type would take the importance away from the animals and cause the audiences attention to “wander” in the scene. 

Using a central location for the animal, the designers have been able to ensure that the main element is in line with the audiences eye sight. Immediately drawing their attention into the centre of the scene and the centre of the issue this layout works well physically and metaphorical within the piece. Additional to this, the movement of the animals are kept similar throughout allowing all of the images to work as a set as well as individually with the contrasting animals.

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The movement and figure of the animals also work excessively well in showing the height and power of them prior to turning into dust, I find this an exceptionally successful element to use and believe that the flow of the dust, linings used work to a very professional standard. The overall simplicity of the scene and the message being communicated across to the audience has an empowering approach, all of the elements work together in order to inform the audience without being too overpowering of confusing. I find this design set very successful and well cerated/thought out. 

Marc Vila: Animal Slang

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A personal project for this talented Graphic Designer blends animals, geometric shapes and a simple, traditional dictionary. Initially created in relation to this designer learning the other uses for the names of the animals he was illustrating, Vila has created a set of work which blends modernised graphic design with a traditional purpose, a dictionary. Coming across this design set I firstly found the concept behind the piece very interesting, the original style automatically humours the audience due to the interesting and slightly funny approach it has.

The simplistic style that this designer uses allows all elements of the work to suit one another and work as a team rather than forcing all of the attention on one element. I find the simplistic, understated colour tones extremely useful. Vila has stayed true to the stereotypical colours found within these animals in order to ensure that the audience communicate the animal correctly as it is a crucial element for the concept of the piece. The additional geometric design style gains the audiences attention automatically as blending the modernised shapes with a natural creature is like creating a new reality to the audience. The realistic colours, tones and shades/depth are created within the animal so that the illustrative drawing does not create an excessive cartoon approach. This style of design clearly is not intended for a young audience as the purpose, a dictionary would not be a type of product that would immediately appeal to them. However it would appeal to an older, adult audience as they would find this appealing, humorous and useful. As a viewer of this work I find it appealing through the different approach and purpose it has however as a product I doubt I would want to purchase it.

The colour tones are kept realistic to the animal they are illustrating for instance the pig is cerated using only pink tones, this is a successful element in order to communicate with the audience because it keeps the imagery true to it’s form, coinciding with the purpose of the piece and the success of the concept. I find the contrast between neutral foreground and background tones very successful despite being a blend that would often fade together as neither have an overpowering brightness. The dull grey used behind the illustration produces a very sophisticated and professional tone, this is perfect for the purpose of the piece as the designer is keeping this a key element in aiming to produce a spin off of an actual dictionary. I believe that the decision to use this tone has been an exceptionally successful one. Despite using very graphic, geometric shapes for the main animal foreground, the designer has refrained from doing so with the outline of the background. This is a way for Vila to ensure that the background does not overpower the imagery, he has successfully prevented the background becoming a border, he has allowed it to simply become a canvas which would immediately appeal to the audience as this would not be a style used in an actual dictionary, gaining their attention.

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Despite enjoying this piece, I find that the effect of fading the type out from the central bottom location it has been given very unsuccessful as it stops the piece from being used as a style of dictionary, it prevents the audience from understand what is being communicated, without this it might as well be a geometric image of an animal. A main reason that the audience would mainly view and appreciate this work is being of the interesting, original concept and purpose, being a dictionary to inform them of other used of these animals names, fading the type out stops this from being projected onto the audience and I find this a huge drawback for the success of this design set. Also the placement of the type at the bottom proves off balance. central would usually be a successful style for any type to be included within a piece however here a contract of bold, large, oversized type and tony more sophisticated text proves too much. I agree that the name of the animal should be larger as it would be in an actual dictionary and believe that this does prove successful however the contrast in size is too overpowering and takes away the audiences attention from understanding the piece as a whole. However, I do find the interesting placement and layout of the type intriguing. I really like he simplicity used and the separation of a simple line proves very appealing.

The grey colour tone also links in with the style of colours used throughout the whole image as well as being bold enough to be easily read and processed by the audience. On the other hand, the smaller type is very hard to understand and read, this would not be relevant if the piece were displayed at a large scale however as it is, it does not communicate successfully.

Overall i believe that his design set has a vary of successful and less successful elements, I believe that the designer has created a good piece with an interesting concept however as an audience viewer I would not purchase this if it were a product.