Tuesday, October 19, 2010

BSBDES403A-BSBDES304A Written Report

1. Business Ethics Study (Ungraded)

In class we discussed business ethics as they relate to Graphic Design. Can you describe very briefly some of the issues surrounding this discussion?

Some of the business ethics that we discussed in class covered things such as: deadlines, time management, responsible work practices, reputations of workers and how they can affect the overall business. We talked about our legal responsibilities as graphic designers and about plagiarism, copyright and the need to respect others (this can include other people you work with, your clients and contractors). We also discussed the right of designers to choose to decline work on grounds of religious beliefs, ethics and morals and also discussed the fact that you may not like a particular job/or client but at all times you try and give 100% of your time and effort to produce the best possible work for the client.

2. Style Study (Graded)

In class we held a quite long session on developing a style and investigating what a style actually is?

1. How does having an open mind enable you to develop style?
Having an open mind can enable you to become a better designer because you are not locked into one set style and you can explore different styles from other designers and add your own spin on designs. Having an open mind also allows you to be able to change direction within your designs if necessary and it helps you relate better to your clients as a whole. Having an open mind when working in a team environment can lead to better design work and enhance the creative process.

2. Why is it important to have some unique skills and aesthetic elements in your creative process?
In my opinion I think it is important to have unique skills and aesthetic elements in your work because everyone is an individual and we as designers can all bring something different to our own designs. Everybody can have skills in using design software but some may choose to develop these skills in one area and become very proficient within this area and others may choose to go into a different area and specialise, when merged these skills can be very conducive to the overall design of a project. Everybody has different views on design and art and having their own unique skills and aesthetic elements is like a signature of your work (it is similar to the painting masters and how their work is recognised by the way they used paint and brush strokes).

3. Why should you research artists and hold small personal critiques on their work at regular intervals?
By researching artists and critiquing work it allows you to form your own perspective on what works and what doesn’t work within the graphic/arts area. It also allows you to understand how designers and artists have gone about creating their work and if there is room for improvement in your opinion. By researching artists it also allows you to stay current with what is happening within the industry but it also allows you to maybe utilise skills that some of these artists have used in your own work. By critiquing work it helps you then have your own work critiqued and then you can see what others may be looking for in your work.

4. Why should you be aware of your likes/dislikes and your strengths/weaknesses?
I think being aware of your likes/dislikes and your strengths/weaknesses helps you evolve as a better designer because it makes you think more about you work, your target audience/market and how to achieve designs that you can be proud to put your name to. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses will allow you to work on these areas of your designs. Having strengths can allow you to focus on these and continually improve them to be the best you possibly can whereas the weaknesses that you may have in your design work and acknowledging these weaknesses can lead you to further study to improve these areas.

5. Is style definitive or does it evolve for you?
I think that style evolves continually as you acquire new skills, new mediums to work on, new visions and life and the design trends that occur regularly. I think the strongest thing that can influence style is your opinions and what changes are occurring in your own life and also what life skills and where you are at in your life will also be contributing factors in the evolving style you choose to follow.

6. How does attitude affect your style and other professional’s perception of you?
I think if you have an open and positive attitude this will affect your style because you would be willing to be adaptable and open to suggestions, thus making working with you easier. If your attitude is positive other professionals’ perception of you will be positive towards you as someone who they can work with. In saying this having a positive attitude doesn’t mean that you can easily be manipulated throughout your design work, but it makes it far more easier to work with, with someone who is positive than someone who has a couldn’t care less attitude.

7. What are habits and why is it important to be aware of them as a designer?
Habits can be both good and bad and how you address these habits will either make you a good or bad designer. Some bad habits are continually not meeting deadlines, arriving late to work and leaving early, not working well in a team environment, leaving work to the last minute and then having to have other people try to work on them to get your work finished and expecting other people in a team to continually carry your workload. Some good habits are meeting deadlines, being punctual, working well within a team environment, being honest and the good use of time management. Being aware of these habits good and bad can make a big difference to how you are perceived as a person and your work ethics and responsibility as a designer, trying to do your best and give 100% effort each time, bad habits can be broken if you are made aware of them and try to fix them.

8. What does time management offer a designer?
Time management offers a designer more flexibility to work on numerous designs at a time, and mange time wisely so as to be able to meet deadlines. It also offers the flexibility to have other ongoing things happen in your life so you are not constantly trying to meet deadlines and it allows you to enjoy your work more because you have the time to create without the stress.

9. How do you improve time management?
I think the best way to improvement in time management firstly comes about by having a good attitude towards your work and the commitments it entails. Second would have to come about by being able to work well within a team environment and have good communication skills and thirdly I think having a work diary, daily planner, jobs to do list are great ways of keeping track of what needs to be done on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, these things can be updated as needed but they give you a focus (or starting) point to begin each day. A five to ten minute meeting before the start of the work day to discuss what is required and what jobs need finishing also helps keep you on track with time management.

10. What is a conscience and how does it affect both your style and your professional practice?
A conscience is a sense of right or wrong as regards to one’s actions and motives. I think that having a strong conscience can affect your style because you are choosing to either do something correctly or incorrectly, it becomes a moral choice and it’s also about your beliefs and the right to have your choice/decisions respected by others. I also think that having a conscience would allow you to make the right decision regarding whether you would want to work on a controversial subject or go against what you believe in just to get the job done (you would have to factor a lot of things into this argument and you may not be given a choice but you would make the best of the situation if required). In my opinion I feel that your style is about you and how you want to be as a designer, this would definitely reflect on you as a professional because how you work and the designs that you create are showing you at your best or worst.

11. How do generally accepted morals and your own moral stance affect your design and your professional practice?
I think that it all comes back to treat people the way that you would want people to treat you and the same applies to design, be aware of different cultures, religions etc and treat your designs with the respect that you would have for others. I think generally accepted morals are very open to interpretation and with the changing culture and environment that we live in today, sometimes it shows the lack of morals that you would think would be accepted. I know in my own mind that my own moral stance affects my design and professional practice because some things are just ingrained to who I am and others have come with working with different people and cultures throughout my working life. There are definitely things in designing that I would not be happy about doing and I hope that I would have the choice in my work place to decline working on these designs because of my morals.

3. Study on Deadlines (Ungraded)

1. What is a deadline?
A deadline is a tangible date/time frame that a task is needed to be completed by. This deadline is important to be met because there could be consequences in delaying or not meeting a deadline for example if you are preparing a poster for an event and it is delayed in pre press, the event may have happened before the posters are completed, this would then affect the organizers of the event and any publicity that is needed to make the event successful.

2. What is involved in making a deadline?
Communication between all parties involved, punctuality of all the staff members involved, good time management practices. Be clear that everything is spelt out before promising that you can achieve this deadline. Work together as a team (if applicable) and know where each stage of the production is at and if anyone is away that other team members can take their place.

3. What are the consequences of breaking a deadline?
The consequences of breaking a deadline can be far reaching especially if you are in business for yourself and rely on word of mouth or testimonials from other clients for your business to be a success. It can mean loss of revenue, litigation, loss of employment if working for a company, company or business reputation becomes diminished and it would take time to renew this standing.

4. What can you do to better make deadlines?
To help improve your goals of making deadlines, you would need to look at your time management skills, your honesty and punctuality in getting to work on time and become more reliable so others know that you can be trusted. Don't over extend yourself in business, hoping that the more work you take on will means greater success, better to equate quality instead of quantity.

5. How do you prioritise deadlines?
Prioritising work to reach deadlines can be as simple as working within the limits of a contract where it is stated each step of the way and what dates each completed step must be finalised by, e.g. builders need to have certain things approved of before the next stage can be commenced, they would normally have penalty clauses in the contract if they don't reach certain deadlines. If working in a business you would have regular meetings (could be brief meetings first thing in the morning to ascertain the progress of numerous jobs and what stage they are at and if extra people need to be pulled from other jobs to help get urgent jobs completed on time).

6. How do deadlines alter perceptions of business and individuals?
Deadlines can alter perceptions of business and individuals in many ways, some being if the deadlines aren't being met that the company or individual can't be relied upon to do the work, it shows that there isn't enough respect, responsibility and reliability in the company/individual to warrant repeat business. However the opposite can be said if the company/individual shows that they can meet the deadlines that are required of them and word of mouth and repeat business will increase and they will get a good reputation in the business community.

7. How do general business deadlines differ from Graphic Design deadlines?
General business deadlines still need to be met, but they may have a small window of flexibility for an extension but the Graphic Design deadlines have a set timeframe for completion because it is only one step in the process of getting the finished product to the client. Because of the nature of design work there needs to be time for the client to see the work and make any changes necessary before the work goes to press whereas most business deadlines the work is usually complete.

4. Study on cultural relationships with design (Graded)

1. After reading about the Celts and their history, how has their culture filtered through to modern society both in Australia and the world in general?
Celtic history comes from a very strong background, from many different countries that have merged to form what we know as Celts. We relate this culture mainly with Ireland, Scotland and Wales although it can be seen throughout most of Europe. The Celtic arts have been virtually unbroken throughout all the Celtic countries.
Their art forms are commonly seen in metal work and jewellery, although in the past it was seen in weapons such as swords and shields. Their artwork was very tribal and distinct to certain areas for example the Irish Celts use a lot of crosses and knots for their designs.
The Celtic cross symbol is often used by the Irish and Scots to symbolise their country of origin. And in many cemeteries throughout the world you can see examples of these crosses. Modern jewellery is worn depicting the cross or Celtic designed rings, in other art forms such as quilts the intricate Celtic knots are often used to quilt with. The huge range of Celtic designs that are around today has seen a strong revival using various mediums to display them for example jewellery and designs used for tattoos.
The Celtic culture in itself has always been part of Australian culture due in part to the origin of the convicts and early settlers that came to Australia and in true Celtic fashion has been passed down through the generations.

2. Aboriginal art is definitely visual. It is also much more to its artists and people. Can you comment on what a cultures art might mean to its people and how it can socially affect itself and other cultural groups?
In the Aboriginal culture, their art reflects their vibrant ceremonial and religious life, which has generated a fantastic array of art forms, included in this is body painting and personal ornamentation, ground sculpture, bark painting, wood carving, rock painting and engraving. Artistic expressions were formed by religious beliefs and the designs and motifs symbolised many meanings relating to the ownership of the land and their relationship to many ancestral beings.
Aboriginal art has very strong links to the land, they have a deeper awareness of their dreaming ancestors and this is depicted through their art.
In white society not everyone is considered an artist however in the Aboriginal culture everyone is considered an artist, whether they paint, dance or sing.
Depending on the location of the Aboriginal tribe their art form took in the different aspects of their culture, for example in the central desert, ground drawing is a very important style of art.
I think that other cultures may not fully understand Aboriginal art but appreciate it for its style and design, and like other tribal cultures its art has meaning to the people but expresses it in many forms.

3. M. C. Escher’s work is highly detailed. Most designers and lay people are highly impressed by his work and dedication to his art. Why?
Escher's work has a hidden depth and perspective in all forms of his art from the lithographic prints to the wood engraving and carvings. His art transcends cultures and beliefs and looking at his work you can see many different cultures coming through his work from the Celts to the Islamic countries.
Escher's' work makes you want to look more deeply into it to see what you can discover for yourself. His use of light and dark and the intrinsic patterns that have been created and the way they have a strong 3D feel to them shows so much creative depth that I can understand why people want to try and emulate his work.
Escher's' work has a fantastic understanding of balance, contrast, light/dark. colour, harmony. All these factors make his work great.

4. What is so interesting about art and culture of the past?
You can learn so much about the people and their lives that came before us by looking at different cultures and the past. The time period and what was happening, it’s like travelling to different countries without the hassle of visas, and jet lag. Viewing art from different time periods allows us to see it as a social commentary or kaleidoscope of the times, the changing nature of art and the political statements that art sometimes contains.
The methods and traditions used in creating art, the cultural aspects and the pressures and economic times and how many artists lived whilst trying to create their art, and how many art forms have transcended time and all the modern living that we are doing now.
I think it is fascinating to discovery and look at history, but also see the possibilities that we can use in today's society and culture.

5. Why look backwards to our history when trying to engage in design solutions for modern society? Give examples…
Looking back into history allows us to move forward with design by using tried and true examples that worked previously. It seems that although we live in the modern world, art tends to move in a cyclic fashion with reoccurring themes such as fashion, music and art, and despite technology that is available when we are creating artwork, we still cannot create the depth that was around previously. We seem to rely heavily on technology, but more and more people are seeking to return to the simpler way of life and their artistic/creative skills are seeking skills from the past.
Think of modern art and unless you study art, could you name any famous artist of the current time period but on the other hand most people could name artists like Monet, Picasso, Goya, Da Vinci, Dali etc. and the reason why we can name them and associate with their art is because they gave the world something that could be appreciated and that has stood the test of time, whereas we have become such a throw-away society that nothing new seems to last.
If you look at some of the literature and books that where around say in the Renaissance and Baroque period you would be able to see the composition and layout of these pages are similar to what we try and create today. The principles of the rule of thirds, golden triangle etc are easily seen in many of these texts.

6. How has ancient art affected your life? Give examples…
Although growing up in a house where my father loved to talk and discuss ancient art and history, I suppose I didn't pay much attention as art really didn't interest me much at that time. In saying this I now appreciate and view art a lot differently and the skills and knowledge that any artist has to apply, the dedication in which they were consumed and the lifestyle many artisans had to endure to create their art.
Textile art has more interest to me than that of any other medium mainly due to the fact that I enjoy creating handmade quilts, cross stitches and embroidered pieces of art. I view art more of expressing ones personality and lifestyle than as a political or religious statement, and admittedly there is some art that I just don't understand or don't appreciate as much as others.

7. What cultural influence has occurred in your life? Give examples.
Definitely the strongest cultural influence in my life would be the English culture, with Celtic strains thrown in. The Australian culture in smaller doses had an influence upon me (more noticeable when I stayed out in the small country towns with my grandparents).
The different cultures that now influence me would be the Mediterranean countries (Greece, Italy and Morocco and French and the Irish Celts), these countries interest me for their food and their art especially the Celts.

6. Study on graphical representation of personal development (Graded)

Develop a graphical representation of your technical and conceptual Graphic Design goals both from today till Jan 1 2011 and beyond if necessary.

See attached file (blogged timeline)

7. Study on investigating the GD industry and jobs (Ungraded)

1. Find the names of 10 graphic design agencies on the internet for each, list their services offered.
2. For each, list their web address.

Limelight Design Studio
Founded in 1998, a leading Melbourne Design Studio based in Fitzroy.
• Photography
• Logo Design
• Innovative Graphic and Web Design
• Graphic and Print Design
• Business Cards

Astound Creative
Graphic Design Company based in Melbourne.
• Brochures, Flyers, Magazines
• Web Design
• Stationery, Advertising, Company Logos
• Book Jackets
• Branding

Sahitya Graphics/Helped by Design
Queensland based Design Studio.
• High quality design
• Illustration
• Web design
• Logo, brochure
• Magazine
• Presentation/Reports/Catalogues
• Business cards/letterheads
• Character design

Sydney based Graphic Design Studio - 22 yrs experience.
• Marketing
• Advertising
• Web Design

Studio based in Marrickville, Sydney.
• Web design
• Printing
• Pre Press
• Digital Photography
• Logos, Corporate Branding

Auroa Art & Design
Perth based Design Studio.
• Logo design
• Stationery design
• Web Design
• Brochures
• Advertisements
• 3D Impressions

Mountain Studios
Sydney and Melbourne based studios offering over 13 years experience.
• Websites
• Brochures
• Advertising
• Magazines
• Newspapers
• Billboards
• Packaging
• Point of Sale
• Interactive Media
• Online Web Banners
• Posters

Edible Media Graphic Design - Design and Photography Studio
Based in the Coffs Harbour, Bellingen area of New South Wales.
• Logos
• Signs
• Business Cards
• Brochures
• Commercial Photography
• Photo restoration, retouching, fine art photography

Limestar Print and Web Design Studio
Studio based at Patterson Lakes, Victoria and has been established since 2002.
• Create your branding
• Design your logo
• Layout your brochure
• Build your website
• PowerPoint presentations
• Advertising
Squeeze Creative - Branding, Print, Web Design
Sydney based Design Studio.
• Branding Packs - logos, corporate identity, branding and stationery
• Graphic Design - brochures, magazines, press advertisements, flyers, posters.
• Web Design - clean and elegant

3. Research Graphic Design jobs in Australia and write a small summary on what is out there and how much money is on offer for different responsibilities.
There are numerous jobs going in the graphics industry, be it designers, web designers, junior artists etc. Most of these positions are located more in the larger cities; however you can come across some jobs in the smaller town throughout Australia which mainly involve working in a printing firm.

1. Designer - Vogue Australia
Wage dependent on skills and experience
• InDesign
• Photoshop
• Mac
• Advertising, promotions, advertorials

2. Mid-Weight Graphic Designer
Min 4 years experience
• First rate use of the Adobe Creative Suite
• Sound communicat5ion and presentation skills

3. Worldwide Online Printing
Graphic Designer
Caboolture Qld

Full Time
Diploma/Advanced Diploma
Graduate/Entry Level
• Understanding of Adobe Creative Suite

4. Colemans Printing
Graphic Artist

Alice Springs
Full Time
Salary Package
• Work on large publications
• Experience with the Adobe Creative Suite

Award Rates (this is only a meridian of these positions)
Graphic Artist/Designer $40,000
Snr Graphic Designer $60,000
Jnr Graphic Designer $30,000
Graphic Designer Web $45,000
Graphic Design Manager 65,000
Art Director 55,000
Graphic Designer 38,000

Diploma Graphic Design $34,284-42,944
Bachelor of Arts Graphic Design $35,093-55,000

Obviously the more experience and qualifications that you have, the more your job prospects increase plus most seem to require a good understanding of the Adobe Creative Suite.

8. Study on the technical challenges of Graphic Design (Graded)

1. What are they?
The technical challenges of Graphic Design are the different software packages and computer systems that are available for us to use. Also the ability to use these different packages and platforms can be a challenge. Being current with new software applications when it becomes available and the different uses it can have within the industry. Some of the other technical challenges may be the use of cameras (analogue/digital) and the need to have some knowledge of how they work and what can be obtained from this medium.

2. How do we solve them?
We can solve these challenges by learning through TAFE or tutorials on the different aspects of computer software and the use of different platforms. Keeping an open mind and having a willingness to learn continually, updating skills when required. Learn from others in the industry and be willing to share skills with others (work to your strengths and in a team environment utilise people that have more skills than you in certain areas), be willing to share your skills with others that may not have them. The internet can offer many resources that you can use to gain knowledge, libraries and computer shops can also assist in learning.

3. What resources are out there?
There are unlimited resources available out there for us to tap into, be it educational institutes, libraries, the internet, other companies and individuals working in the graphics industry. Computer software companies (tutorials on the web to help learn the new software as it comes available).

4. What is your annual budget to pay for these resources?
At the present my annual budget for these technical skills and resources is limited due to not working, but I would say that it would be about $500 per year. However in saying this accessing the Internet to find out about tutorials and attending TAFE means that I am learning skills and new software as I go. Knowing that I would have to get new software if I chose to start using my skills commercially means that I would have to pay about $2,000+ just to update the software for it to be legal to use. Libraries are free; however classes may have a small fee attached if doing classes through the library.

5. How would an ABN benefit your financial approach to these resources?
Having an ABN would benefit greatly because the cost is reduced and then you could claim these kinds of expenses back on tax, so the cost of upgrading software/computers and skills would then become more accessible. As a company it would help a great deal because they have more incentive to update more regularly and the costs wouldn't affect the overall profits as they would be more likely to receive bigger discounts from retailers for the purchase of these products.

6. How do the major platforms (MAC/PC) affect technical approaches to projects?
I think it depends on what platforms that you become used to using; however in saying this it is good to learn different platforms so that you have the skills to work where ever required on whatever is available at the time. PC's have their uses (probably more for web design and digital media), Macs seem to have a good feel for graphics but it all depends on the software that is being used. Macs I have found to be good for programs such as Illustrator and Photoshop, where you can have better control of the mouse whereas PCs don't have the range. PCs are good for basic editing or creating word documents but once again this is software and not necessarily the actual platforms. Macs make it more enjoyable to work especially when doing design work.

9. Study on criticism and psychology of the critical process (Graded)

During you Children’s map of Australia project you were asked to take part in a class critique.

1. How did you perform in critiquing your assigned map?
I had the job of critiquing Nicole’s map of Australia, I found it hard to critique this map because everything on it was done so well and consistently. It is also very hard to critique someone’s work knowing how much time and effort that they put into creating the work, and creating that piece of work with a style that works for them and reflects their own personal style. I also found it hard because all the criteria of the brief was completed and I felt that it worked well for the target audience. It is hard to give constructive feedback when I felt that Nicole achieved a very strong piece of work and in saying this do we as artists pursue others view and change our style because somebody disagrees with our style thus creating it more in their style, this is what I find hard about the critique process because Nicole may have thought her work doesn’t need any changes and it was her interpretation of the brief given.
I think my performance in the critique wasn’t very strong, but once again this was because the work was a very strong piece. It was hard not to address questions to Nicole and wait for an answer and this made the critiquing harder to accomplish.

2. How did the student critiquing your work perform?
In my opinion Hayley was over critical of my work, in saying this I think she had some valid points, but in critiquing their needs to be a balance of positive and negative and I felt that her expectations of what I ought to have achieved is to high and to demanding and this possibly reflects on the fact that she has a better understanding of the software than others in the class and therefore possibly expects others to have the same level of ability. Hayley has some very strong views and opinions on my work and that of others but if we all designed like Hayley there would be no variation and do we take on board all the criticism of the critique therefore losing our own style in the process and take on someone else’s style because they have critiqued our work and found it lacking.

3. How has the critiquing process improved your map?
As the map is still a work in progress, the critiquing process has made me realise that my work will never be any good until I learn how to draw characters of my own. I need to be willing to back up my work and have the convictions to follow through on my design process. By taking out a lot of elements that I had in my map and trying to make all the items consistent in look and rescaling some of the characters it now feels that it isn’t my work anymore, if this is improving than I suppose it has worked.

4. Is there any criticism that you are going to ignore and if so, why?
Adding eyes to objects such as cars and trucks I am going to ignore, whilst removing the eyes from the plane, once again just to keep it consistent throughout and reinforce the fact that transport really doesn’t have eyes (even though this map is meant to be aimed at 3-6 year olds).
Changing the style of all the animal characters to match the Aboriginal art kangaroo, I feel that instead of actually having an Aboriginal I preferred to use art to symbolise their culture and as this art is more prevalent in the Northern Territory that is why I choose to have it only there.
I like the way my Tonka truck looks and I wanted to portray the larger size of this truck by giving it more depth (I tried taking the detail out of it and it really looked wrong, so if I take the detail out, I take the whole truck out).

5. What attitude should you take into a critique? Why?
The correct attitude to take into a critique would be to remember that they are not critiquing you they are critiquing you work. It is nothing personal towards you, but of your ability to create work that portrays the brief of the client. It’s necessary to go in open minded, having honest, reliable feedback that shows the positives and the negatives of the work.
If you go into a critique with open minds it will allow you to grow and develop further as a graphic designer, but just remember that not everyone will have the same tastes in art or design and therefore take on a board spectrum of critique from different people of different ages.

6. How can you prepare to give criticism?
View the subject of the critique for a period before giving the critique. Understand what is being asked of the design and whether it meets the needs of the design brief, have an understanding of what works and what doesn’t work, and try not to focus on just one thing, try not to make the way you critique feel personal or aggressive towards the person who designed it. Look at other works of a similar style and check for things such as colour, typography, style, composition, focal points, harmony and balance and don’t be afraid to say that hey! I just don’t think it works for me, be honest about your thoughts and opinions and don’t just say No, I don’t like it. Be prepared to back up why you don’t or do like something.

7. Are there some general guidelines in Graphic Design that can help you provide criticism? What are they?
There are always guidelines that you can follow, but as designers these guidelines can be very flexible depending on the job, the client, the vision of the designer and sometimes the need to test these guidelines in different ways to get newer and cleaner or different results.
Learn from people who have been in the industry for a while, and ask what they see and needs to be addressed when critiquing work of others, your peers and colleagues can offer criticism on work that you have develop and by listening to some of the comments then you yourself can then start using these methods to critique other designers.
You can always start with the guidelines of addressing the hierarchy (the most important element in a composition), then move on to say the balance of the overall piece, the use of type, theme and variation. Proportion (rule of thirds, the golden triangle, grids), then move on to harmony, composition, colour, space, symmetry and perspective, all these elements can be used to provide criticism. If unsure there are also things like style manuals that can also help aid in criticising projects.
Arrange a target audience to have a look at the work and ask them what they think of it, do a poll on the project, make changes or offer more than one option to a project to allow positive criticism and feedback.

What is “critical theory” and how do you think some aspects of it relates generally to Graphic Design?” Make sure you give examples of well-documented critical theory and relate it to modern design.

Critical theory can be the examination and critique of society and culture, drawing from knowledge across the social sciences and humanities. The term critical theory has two different meanings with different origins and histories: one originating in sociology and the other in literary criticism (Wikipedia).

In a narrow sense critical theory designates several generations of German philosophers and social theorists in the western European Marxist tradition known as the Frankfurt school (Bohman, 2005).

We can get bogged down by trying to understand this theory and as I haven’t studied philosophy, humanities or social sciences, just trying to understand what I have read on the subject, I feel that what these studies are trying to explore are things such as human emancipation, democracy as a form of free and open communication whereas idealogy on the other hand restricts or limits this communication, civil and human rights including the participation of free expression. It also explores realism in what we see compared to what we understand as fact and in some instances they philosophise the pros and cons about nature versus nurture (Freud) and its effects on humanity. It also explores the higher order of thinking and looking for answers to questions and tasks that we normally would leave unexplored because they may be too difficult to comprehend.

As with democracy and idealogy, philosophy has two distinct roles: first, as the act of reason, the ultimate court of appeal before which disciplines stand and must justify themselves and secondly, as the domain for normative questions left out of naturalistic inquiry.

Several of these theories that the Frankfurt school ascribed to where thoughts and social ideals from the Ancient Greeks: such as Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Aristotle made several efforts to explain how moral conduct contributes to the good life for humans, but the most complete surviving statement of his views on morality occurs in the Nicomachean Ethics in which he considered the natural desire to achieve happiness, described the operation of human volition and moral deliberation, developed a theory of each virtue as the mean between vicious extremes, discussed the value of three kinds of friendship, and defended his conception of an ideal life of intellectual pursuit.
The ancients can be credited with delineating the two major types of criticism: theoretical, which attempts to state general principles about the value of art (Plato, Aristotle), and practical, which examines particular works, genres, or artists in light of theoretical criteria (Horace: Ars Poetica, Longinus: The Sublime).

A lot of these theories that the Frankfurt school ascribed to were broken down into a lot of other categories the most relevant ones I think that relate to Graphic Design are Literary Theory and the other being Literary Criticism, although in saying this along with the humanities and social sciences most of these theories are still relevant today in some modified form.

Literary theory has been applied to non-fiction, popular fiction, film, historical documents, law, advertising etc. in the related field of cultural studies. But in general this theory can be thought of as the theory of interpretation. With this theory we can use interpretation of its meaning, analysis of its structure and style, judgement of its worth by comparison with other works when critiquing these works.
All criticism, no matter what form, type or provenance, emphasizes one of four relationships: the mimetic, the work’s connection to reality; the pragmatic, its effect on the audience; the expressive, its connection to the creator; and the objective, the work as an independent, self sufficient creation (Bohman, 2005).

To apply Literary Theory and Literary Criticism to the graphics industry I feel that we do this often in marketing and advertising because we try to sell a product with visual concepts that may not always be true but a form of escapism or a different take on reality. In saying this, the use of Critical Theory has also been used in poster designs and promotional works as evidenced in human rights, Red Cross (aid agencies), United Nations and even the RSPCA and the way they communicate messages against oppression, aggression and views against governments.

(Pictures cannot be blogged at this time)

Above are some samples of what I believe Critical Theory can represent and the way the graphics industry can use knowledge and understanding of culture and humanities and social sciences to be able to portray messages through advertising and marketing. We can critique these works with that of others of a similar nature and we can either accept them as real or we can question their worth and that of the message that they endeavour to convey to us, but are we judging them by our own standards or that of others, are we putting these pictures in what is call freedom of information or an idealogy of others, I am uncertain how to relate to critical theory and it would take years upon years of study to fully understand how we can relate critical theory in essence to the graphics industry.

There are numerous people in history that we can study to ascertain their thoughts on critical theory or theories pertaining to life and existence, but in my opinion we may not fully understand these theories but can apply some of these principles to our graphic work by questioning continually its worth, how to do something and what we stand for and the evolution of the processes involved in creating works. It is not necessary to question our beliefs or morals but to think more intellectually and strive to learn more each day in order to reach our full potential.

Bohman, J. (2005, March Tue). Critical Theory (Stanford Encylcopedia of Philosophy). Retrieved October 11, 2010, from Google: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/critical-theory/
Prof. A. R. Somroo M.A. English, M. E. (n.d.). Longinus-On the Sublime. Retrieved October 11, 2010, from Google: www.scribd.com/doc/19851348/LonginusOn-The-Sublime
Critical Theory. Retrieved October 11, 2010, from Google: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_theory

Critical Theory. Retrieved October 11, 2010, from Google: http://www.chiuni.ac.uk/english/criticaltheory.cfm

Longinus (Greek literary critic), Retrieved October 11, 2010, from Google: www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/347517/Longinus

Aristotle, Retrieved October 11, 2010, from Google: www.philosophypages.com/ph/aris.htm

Criticism, Retrieved October 11, 2010, from Google: http://www.answers.com/topic/criticism

Horace, Retrieved October 11, 2010, from Google: www.theatredatabase.com/ancient/horace_001.html

Socrates, Retrieved October 11, 2010, from Google: www.philosophypages.com/hy/2d.htm

Monday, October 11, 2010

CUVDSP05B - Typeface, Game Graphics

This is the typeface that I developed, it is the second one that I did because the first one that I created I couldn't get the stroke balance and sizing right even though I drew it up on graph paper. I wanted to make the capital letters more decorative than the lower case letters, there is still room for improvement, maybe change the thickness of the lines and yes there are no numbers or symbols as I just had so much trouble trying to draw what is above.

This is my CD cover, I tried to keep it simple, and chose songs that I thought would suit the theme of the games below.

There are so many different logos to recreate just to put on the back of a game case, let alone all the warning labels that are required.

With the playstation game cover, I initially had trouble with this because the size that I started creating was the old size cover not the new one. Then the new games had different panels on the back, so I had to search every where for these new logos (hence hiring a game just for the cover logos). The playstation 3 logo was hard to create, but I could have used the easy option of just downloading the font (Spiderman font) but I perservered doing all by hand.

Logos that I recreated for games

These are some of the logos that I recreated for the assessment CUVDSP05B. I didn't realise that there were so many that needed to be recreated.

Rough draft for typeface

These are some rough samples of typefaces that I have tried to create for use with my game covers.

Rough drafts for game cover

This is one rough layout of a wii game case.

This is my second version of the wii game case, I am aiming to go for a fantasy game cover.