Archive for the 'Communication' Category

Real-time times two

Recently I have been hooked on two websites which are (un)related real-time updates of digital (mis)communication.

The first is a site created by Norse, an internet attack intelligence agancy (very Neuromancer but without the rastas in space). The site is a real-time visualisation of a small percentage (apparently <1%) of cyber attacks. It shows where the attacks originate, where is being targeted and the type of attack. It is pretty incredible. If you watch it for long enough you’ll see the map quieten down and then, boom, a massive coordinated attack will fire off. Usually against the USA.

The second site is a real-time visualisation of every emoji being used on twitter. I find it mesmerising. It follows on from an article I read in The Observer last weekend which was interested in the popularity of Emoji and how it has become a ubiquitous virtual language, with pictograms replacing words and combinations of these symbols replacing whole sentences but adding a multitude of increased interpretations. As the author of the article writes at the end of the article, “Barthes would have had a field day.”

Both of the sites are socially interesting and although at first glance I think it seems that the Norse one is the more ‘important’ of the two, I am fascinated by the Emoji one and by the questions it raises about how we communicate digitally, why are we always more drawn towards using pictures (pun intended), what does this mean for words and writing, is the majority of written language superfluous to communicative needs, can we call emoji a recognised language in its own right, and how would a shift towards a pictorial-based language system affect things like journalism, poetry, books etc, and physical interaction? Its a highly unlikely thing to happen but it is interesting to think about.

http://map.ipviking.com/

http://www.emojitracker.com/

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/aug/31/emoji-became-first-global-language

 

GSA illustrators in The Guardian

Great to see some GSA illustrators featured in The Guardian this weekend.

Guardian_1

 

Guardian_2

 

Guardian_3

 

It’s sunny in Dundee mostly

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Tentsmuir WW2 Coastal Defences

In the spirit of inter-institutional caring and sharing:

MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES

Preview: Thursday 27th March 7pm
Exhibition Open: Friday 28th March 12 – 4pm, Saturday 29th March 12 – 4pm

The White Room project space, Tin Roof Studios. 38-40 Bellfield Street
Dundee DD1 5JD

Presenting an exhibition of work created by 3rd year Illustration Students from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design.

Come along to our show! It consists of hand printed posters and set designs for a series of imagined theatrical adaptations of plays exploring climate change, sustainability, urban planning and related social and political issues.

Exploring subjects such as:
Hydro Fracking, Gentrification, Micro-topias, Climate Activism, Nuclear waste disposal, Nuclear War, Social Housing, The melting ice caps, Surveillance, Community Gardening.

For more information please visit:
https://www.facebook.com/manufacturedlandscapes

Radiant Discord

Emmet Byrne is writing some great stuff on The Gradient — Walker Art Center‘s blog. This latest post on Lance Wyman, Mexico ’68 and the Tlatelolco massacre is fascinating, and bears parallels with the book Kommando Otl Aicher (by A. Negrelli) and Argentina ’78 (by viscomdes person Kieran Mccann), both of which are currently on show at the Lighthouse, Glasgow, in ‘It’s Not Very Design That‘ – an exhibition about contemporary political graphic design by a young and up-and-coming design curator*.

*Aye.

Inspiration, Manipulation

“We’ll have Google Glass, but we’ll still have ‘business-casual'”

This video is currently doing the rounds. Bratton is perhaps saying what we all think and feel, but after initially faltering a little, does it in a very convincing and coherent way. A slight tangent, but wonder if it’s linked in some way to this article, many parts of which I disagree with: Why being nice in the online world is no bad thing.

Yr1 ComDes London Study Trip 18-21 November 2013

London Study Trip
18-21 November 2013
1st Year Department of Communication Design
Yr1 Design Domain

Tuesday 19th November
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SPIN <http://spin.co.uk/latest-work/>
VISIT 10.00am
Spin, Studio 2, 33 Stannary Street, London SE11 4AA
T 020 7793 9555
U Kennington
Contacts / Tony Brook, Sam Stevenson or Dan Flynn

bright sunny day – quiet area – no people – tidy brick houses with tiny manicured gardens – Sam introduced us to Dan who introduced us to Spin (large open plan office with publishing company attached) – lilting Dublin accent – introduced us to the team (one guy from Dundee – great sketchbook of ideas) – he showed us the working visuals for the new Spin website – described in detail how he got the job at Spin – it started with a placement – they enjoyed his work and attitude – he got offered the job – he has settled into living in London – tries to keep working life and home life separate – wants to travel next year

IMG_7117 IMG_7190
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JOHNSON BANKS <http://johnsonbanks.co.uk/>
VISIT 12.30pm
Johnson Banks Design Ltd, Crescent Works, Crescent Lane, Clapham,
London SW4 9RW
T 020 7587 6400
U Clapham Common
Contact / Michael Johnson

pleasant stroll along the Common to quiet lane – all students there to meet us – Michael J opens the door and invites us in – taken upstairs to large open plan studio – double bass and guitar sitting on stands in corner – impressive metal display panels on wheels with presentation visuals pinned up – highly articulate presentation of favourite branding projects – Disasters Emergency Committee work pertinent – described the value of idea generation and how JBs hone them – “consider the obvious, then stop” – “constraints suggest where you go with a project” – “start with pictures, follow by words”

bfi_animation_555px1


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FIELD <http://www.field.io/>
VISIT 4.00pm
Field, The Print House, 18 Ashwin Street, London E8 3DL
T 07540 455 458
U Dalston Junction
Contacts / Vera-Maria Glahn and Marcus Wendt

beautiful old factory building – theatre, bar, cafés attached – lots of cool people and activity – Vera met us and gave us a tour of their new studio – minimal, tidy and impressive kit – great urban landscape out the window – Vera described current projects and the creative journey (how you structure what you show to a client) – Nike Hyperfeel project outstanding – open discussion with students – demystifying the technology – sharing knowledge and ideas – inspiring – comedy fall while on tour of rooftop garden – lets have a beer…


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Wednesday 20th November
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MADE THOUGHT <http://www.madethought.com/>
VISIT 10.30am
Made Thought, 9 Rathbone Place, Fitzrovia, London W1T 1HW
T 020 7636 1287
U Tottenham Court Road
Contacts / Paul Austin, Ben Parker or Grace Davies

too early, excuse for “a flat white” – students super chatty about visit – rain like Glasgow – Ben meets us at the top of stairs – small but perfectly formed studio – enthusiastic intro from Ben – surrounded by beautiful print work – faint smell of coffee – imperious typographic work – projects for Adidas and Stella McCartney described in detail (no, they have not met her) – typography for & Other Stories is about using default fonts “stripping out design” – testing lab aesthetic created by default metaphor – a sense of anti graphic design – massive thunder storm – off to the underground – pleased with my new telescopic brolly

MadeThought-Ten-Six

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EUROPA <http://www.europaeuropa.co.uk/>
VISIT 1.00pm
Europa, Unit 25, Sara Lane Studios, 60 Stanway Street, London N1 6RE
T 020 7033 0145
U Hoxton
Contacts / Mia Frostner and Robert Sollis

Ross and Henry super reliable with directions – unassuming walk through housing estate to get to studio – met at the end of long dimly-lit corridor by Robert – really friendly and welcoming – four macs, kitchen, meeting table, four chairs and a library – Europa’s working relationships have often come as a result of an agreed exchange of labour – they have taught and lectured at Camberwell College of Art – print samples laid out on meeting table for students to browse – Parallel Cards project described – elegant work with GSA students on recent visit to Glasgow (how are they going to compile them?) – playfulness and obsessive attention to detail with typography

Europa_1

 

Europa_4

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NB STUDIO <http://www.nbstudio.co.uk/>
VISIT 4.30pm
NB Studio, 4-8 Emerson Street, London SE1 9DU
T 020 7633 9046
U London Bridge
Contacts / Alan Dye, Nick Finney or Katie Hook

OMG look at The Shard – tourist guide tells French visitors, had this been built in France it would have been called “The Shardonnay” – Alan meets us at the entrance – huge loft style studio – phone calls, tapping, clicking, talking – D&AD gold pencil prominent – working visuals on the wall – Alan is super enthusiastic – his Pentagram pedigree apparent – idea generation often driven by words and copy lines – references good friend Michael Wolff (Wolff Olins) – familiar award winning projects described along with ones that ended up on the cutting room floor (D&AD suicide campaign was dark and funny) – NB continue to collaborate with illustrators, photographers and copywriters – they left the students with the teaser #NBStandsFor N_______? B_______? (Tweet us an image with your design – Winner gets a poster from our archive)

nae bother
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Open!

One of my favourite journals – Open! – which recently ceased in its print form due to funding cuts by the Dutch government, has only gone and reimagined itself in amazing website form.

Feral Past, Present, Future

Feral Past, Present, Future – A Feral Studio

Feral Studio Updates: An excellent resource from Lizzie Malcolm (who ran the patterns and parameters workshop, AFS001) is available online here, with a timeline of the work produced, alongside research reference points and template scripts. (You can also see some images of the public event, courtesy of Kirstin Kerr). Meanwhile, workshop 002 with Nik Roy is underway, and later this evening there’ll be a public event at the Lighthouse. Next week we look forward to welcoming Europa for a workshop, followed by a talk with Robert and Mia from Europa and David Bellingham at South Block. Then it’s a long winter break until we’re back on Garnethill.

Image: Alice Rooney

Hex Appeal

Charlotte_poster

Hex Appeal, an exhibition by viscomdes people Alexandra Lunn, Charlotte Fountaine, Jasper Fitzgerald, Melanie Hyams, Nayan Patel and Sarah Bethan Jones, opens on Monday 21st Oct, 7pm at The Art School. Come one, come all.

Entropy! Entropy! They’ve all got it, Entropy!

Having enjoyed the last disjointed and dissociative blog-post so much, we thought we’d embark on another post rounding up links that might be of use in the current crop of graphics projects:

We start with this Beyond Entropy Publication. I’ve a copy, which I’ll bring in on Friday. The reason I have a copy is that it has ‘beyond’ in the title, and I buy any books that are about being beyond something. From there we move to entropy and communication, and the thought that the following films might be interesting:

Subsequently, we jump, via ambiguous symbols, to the typography topography project. The following film by Jonathan Meades asks many pertinent questions about the issues involved in this project – about money, class, ‘regeneration’, the languages of design – and it is all delivered in such a delicious style.

The clip above mentions the Islington Square development in Manchester, by FAT. From a ‘visual-language’ point of view, this is fascinating. In a style that is self-proclaimed as ‘radical post-modernism‘, questions of a dominant style, pluralistic narrative, the vernacular, the local and global are all mixed up*, with intriguing results.

Taste is indeed an interesting issue.

And to make one final leap, an interview with Morton Feldman:

*Clumsy description of post-modernism, radical or otherwise.

Facebook Analog Research Laboratory

Screen Shot 2013-08-27 at 23.40.31

Facebook Analog Research Laboratory is, well, odd. Wired magazine, the breathless pronouncers of all that is ‘new’, write about it here. At first glance it would appear that to enter this ‘research lab’ you need to be able to convincingly pretend to yourself that it is 1953, be comfortable with the idea of ‘self-help’, and have read all editions to date of The Little Book of Calm. From the image above, and those in the link, you’ll see that all boxes are ticked. Proofing press (with new lick of paint) – tick!, fixie – tick!, Miley Cyrus (hang on, is this some kind of topical bandwagon jumping? -ed), weird distinction between analog [sic] and digital – tick!…

I am on Facebook, but I really don’t get it, and all this makes me wonder what dynamics are at play here? If it’s a desire to seem human, handmade, authentic, then is that desperation or pure cynicism? Is the supposed reverence of ‘traditional’ tools and techniques an attempt to search for some inspiration, or filling a worrying void in someones life and experiences? I find facebook, from a user perspective, to be a strange combination of simultaneously compelling and boring experiences. This kind of cultish hipster fetishism pushes me one step closer to web suicide 2.0

Vis Com Des in Action

Reinforcing its self-appointed position as best department in the whole of GSA, Vis Com Des people continue to represent. Some events on the radar right now and in the near future include;

Becca Davies, and her Beau Belles Ice Cream Van, will be part of the Barbican Open East Festival.

Alec Farmer, and his company Trakke, have an exhibition exploring their processes and profiling their collaborators, currently running at the Lighthouse, Glasgow, until 25th August.

Sophie Dyer and Maeve Redmond, with artist Fiona Jardine, are presenting Barrie Girls (organised by Panel) at the Briggait during the Merchant City Festival (26-28 July)

Glasgow seen through Singaporean eyes

The following selection of Glasgow observations featured in the research journals produced by Singapore students. They were asked to document and reflect on the ideas they had been working with during the Overseas Immersion Programme.

Re-Brand hype

https://www.facebook.com/artschoolrebrand

http://www.scribd.com/bookings15/documents

POW if you don’t know about me

POW better ask someone quickly

’cause POW!

Speculative Everything

via

Speculative Everything – Anthony Dunne at Resonate 2013 .

Event³

In my new role as self-appointed events organiser I feel that I should take this opportunity to advertise some upcoming events.

Firstly, Myself and Lydia Brownlee are having a ‘partial book launch’ in Aye-Aye books at the CCA this friday, at 6pm.

Secondly, I’m doing something midway between Djing and holding a record sale at The Art School Union this Saturday, 8 – 12.

And finally, comrade Kieran Startup and myself are hosting a table tennis tournament, incorporating the first iteration of a live projection installation that we’ve been working on, at Good Press in Mono on Thursday the 2nd of May at 8pm.

That is all.

information as illustration

I went along to the Vaughan Oliver (4AD, 23V) talk organised by LongLunch last week in Edinburgh and reacquainted myself with his back catalogue. I have followed and collected his work since 1984 when I was lucky enough to meet him while studying at GSA. I remember him saying that “typography is just another form of mark making”. That statement was all I needed to open up a new world of experimentation and personal expression. The process of researching forgotten fonts, photocopying them, cutting them out with a scalpel knife, positioning with spray mount and tidying up with typex, became addictive. Now I use the ubiquitous Adobe Illustrator for most of my typographic work, but in my mind I am still crafting the letterforms as before. When asked about his use of technology, Vaughan gave a frank reply lamenting the loss of the community that was interwoven into his process – the model makers, the photographers, the repro houses and that guy at the printers who would run an additional spot colour and a double hit of black (at 6.00am). Although it was a thrill to hear his laconic repartee, something inside of me wanted him to say that he was now a master of layers in Photoshop, could handle a digital DSLR or just give us an After Effects tip for the day. I wanted to know that my hero was having to keep up with the advances in CS6 like me – alas, no. Is he worried? Not a bit. He is a graphic designer (not an artist) who wants to communicate a feeling or an atmosphere by using his own visual language. It is a language where information works as illustration.

4AD/23 Envelope 1984 documentary HERE

Yr1 ComDes London Study Trip 28-31 January 2013

29.1.13
DAY 1


VISIT / 10.00am
NOBROW / Sam Arthur
http://www.nobrow.net/
– An informal insight into London’s leading independent book publisher for contemporary illustration. They started in 2008 and work with illustrators across Europe that inspire. Their publications use a striking palette of colours and are printed on carefully chosen paper stocks. We were all envious of their screen printing area tucked away in the basement underneath the shop. Sam was really enthusiastic and gave the students great advice on self promotion.


VISIT / 12noon
PURPOSE / Amie Herriott
http://www.purpose.co.uk/
– Award winning design agency with slick presentation giving us an insight into the nature of branding. They organised a large selection of printed work on their board room table for us to browse. Interesting thoughts on how branding has to work across many platforms, their work hinted at “simplifying the complex”.


VISIT / 4.30pm
GRAPHIC THOUGHT FACILITY / Andy Stevens
http://www.graphicthoughtfacility.com/
– Andy spent 90 minutes with us giving us a tour of his favourite projects. He studied in Leeds before going to the Royal College. It was there that he embraced collaboration across the design disciplines. The anti-aesthetic of GTF’s work still resonates. The importance of building relationships with clients opens up the idea generation, often delivering the process that drives the work. Andy remains a guru.

////////////////////////////////////////
30.1.13
DAY 2


VISIT / 10.00am
SEA DESIGN / Danny McNeil
http://www.seadesign.co.uk/
– Compact studio on street level with elegant meeting area upstairs. Masterful design work presented with style and a quiet confidence. We were all reassured when Danny said that they start working on projects “without an idea”. He then showed us where they look for inspiration. Danny emailed us after the visit “It was a pleasure. A very nice group of students to present to. Let me know next time you are in town and I will do the same when I’m in Glasgow.”


VISIT / 12noon
ITN WORKS / Alex Bec
http://www.intworks.com/
IT’S NICE THAT
http://www.itsnicethat.com/
– Alex inspired us with an introduction to his team (lots of beards) and a journey through his favourite work. ITN Works have a idiosyncratic business model based on a simple premise – great ideas and making them happen. Six years out of college, and they are working for Nike. They are facilitators who use a network of talented thinkers and doers.


VISIT / 4.30pm
KK OUTLET / Dave Bell
http://www.kkoutlet.com/
– Dave took us through the dynamics of a communications agency, gallery and bookshop. They host exhibitions and collaborations on a monthly basis. KK Outlet was set up by the Amsterdam based communications agency KesselsKramer. Well known work includes the famous low budget Hans Brinker Budget Hotel. Dave is originally from Edinburgh and followed a circuitous route to becoming a Managing Director. It is his writing skills and an ability to identify talent to collaborate with, that continues to motivated him.

James Bridle, The New Aesthetic, Etc.

Kimberley asked me to post this months ago, in relation to a project that has long since passed. I’ve only just got round to it. Awful.

(This project by James Bridle is also amusing: #rorschmap: Street View Edition )

Aaron Swartz

Cory Doctorow writes a thoughtful and insightful article in relation to the sad news about Aaron Swartz, and his important and inspiring work.