Archive for March, 2012

Post 5- Reg Mombassa- Christine

Posted: March 28, 2012 by christineslabb in Uncategorized

Well it all happens after immigrating from New Zealand to Australia in the 50’s.

In the 70’s Chris O’Doherty was studying at the National Art School in Sydney.

Yet in 1976 with four fellow art students, they decided to form a rock band.

“Mental as Anything”, released 11 albums and 27 singles, with 20 entering the top forty. They have toured in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, England, Europe, the United States and Asia and held three group art exhibitions in 1982, 1990 and 1998 in regional galleries in NSW and Melbourne.

Chris O’Doherty also known as Reg Mombassa left the Mental’s in April 2000.

Chris/Reg began freelancing, designing T-shirts and posters for organizations such as Greenpeace, the Rock Eisteddfod, Circus Oz, the Opera House Trust, the Surrealist Exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW, Redfern Legal Aid, the Wilderness Society, Westmead Children’s Hospital, The Powerhouse Museum, The Paralympic Arts Festival.

Reg has worked alongside with Mambo Graphics since 1986, designing t-shirts and posters.

In 1999 Mambo held an art exhibition of original artwork and posters in London, displaying his designs for record covers from Crowded House, Mental as Anything, Dog Trumpet, Mondo Rock, Paul Kelly and John Lydon’s band P.I.L.

He designed the ‘Hero’s ‘segment for the Sydney 2000 Olympics Closing Ceremony. The designs included 12 six-metre high inflatables, 2 twenty-metre helium filled dirigibles, 3 stages and 16 inflatable crowd balls.

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Reg’s work is almost cartoonish,

brightly illustrated with morphed characters,

turning ‘ego’ into modest sanity,

capturing an audience with provocative humour.     


“To some extent, I am hiding from people, I’m afraid of people. I always have been. I’m not really a people person. I’m happy to be in a room by myself with a pencil drawing.” Quoted Mombassa.


Post 3 (Helene) – Australian Logos

Posted: March 27, 2012 by Helene in Uncategorized

Logo designers refering to Australian companies seem likely to choose several limited criterias…

Making sure people know and recognize the map or the shape of Australia.

clever shape of Australia!

Add to it a terrible combination of colour: Green & Gold!

Refer to the flag of Australia, specifically the Southern Star…

Have an animalia character, usually a kangaroo.

Or  a combination of all…

However, the best logos remain the ones that use some creativity and break away from conventional colours…

Post 5 (Helene) – Posters by Paul Rand

Posted: March 27, 2012 by Helene in Uncategorized

Paul Rand’s contribution to the world of design and specifically posters and book covers remains unprecedented. As the pioneer of the new wave of creative designs which broke away from the busy over designed advertising and posters of the late 50s, his contribution makes him an artist in his own right amongst other contempory artists.

In one of his lectures at Yale University, he said “Form and content are asymetric. Formal values are very often independent of content. Time can, and does, erase meaning of once familiar artifacts, but time can never erase form. Spontaneity, fantasy, intuition, invention, and revelation also play an important part in the language of art.

Among the many aspects of form, problems pertaining to the principles of proportion, for example, are significant. The rules of proportion apply equally well to the Parthenon or to a can of Campbells soup. The same is true for all formal relationships: contrast, scale, balance, rhythm, rhyme, texture, repetition, etc.

In looking at the designs of his posters which were often to promote “serious”  if not potentially boring topics, he would use primary colours, simple designs, almost childish, where  white spaces between designs  was also a important protagonist in the design, giving more impact and a distinctive and modern look.  Although his methods were unconventional, for they relied on the intelligence of the viewer, it was never too extreme either.

Here, this poster made for the Ministry of Interior in the USA was a reference to a historical  heroic figure of the 19th century, and a picture of the statue representing this guard can be seen in the left corner. However, the rest of the poster is very modern.

In 1936 Rand was hired as a freelance-designer to produce layouts for “Apparel Arts”, a men’s fashion magazine. Even though, these could be considered not as real posters, they have a very modern edge – and are now used as posters.

In his advertising work Rand frequently used futura font instead of the more common calligraphic fonts. He wanted something simpler looking and in turn more eye-catching that the typical ads. Rand thought his designs should communicate, so the guy in the street knew what they were trying to sell. For every product he defined the problem and costumized a solution.  Every detail was meant to attract the eye. He often divided designs into two components; a large mass that drew the attention and a smaller mass that needed closer attention.

Rand’s ads often contained sketchy drawing with visual puns, which at that time was unique and alluring. The “El producto” , Coronet or Dubonnet ads were a typical example of his way of working. He developed a logo which could be seen as an icon, a touchstone for everything that followed. He wouldn’t just put the logo at the base of an advertisement, it became a potential illustrative feature, a character.!prettyPhoto,%20Paul&artists=926

Born in 1918 in Nuremberg Germany, during a troubled time of his country’s history, Hermann Zapf attends in 1935 an exhibition in Nuremberg in honor of the late typographer Rudolf Koch. This is the beginning of his interest in lettering. Zapf bought two books there, using them to teach himself calligraphy. He also studied examples of calligraphy in the Nuremberg city library. Soon, his master noticed his expertise in calligraphy, and Zapf’s work shifts to lettering retouching and improvement of his colleagues’ retouching work.

His first typeface is in 1938. Zapf comes into contact with the D. Stempel AG adn Linotype GmbH,  both type foundries of Frankfurt, and he designs his first printed typeface for them, a “fraktur” type called Gilgengart.

Typesetting in Fraktur was still very common in the early 20th century in all German-speaking countries, as well as Scandinavia, while other countries typeset in Antiqua in the early 20th century.

After the war, Zapf teaches calligraphy and starts designing types for various stages of printing technology.  His two most famous typefaces, Palatino and Optima, were designed in 1948 and 1952, respectively. Palatino was designed in conjunction with August Rosenberger, with careful attention to detail. Optima, a flared sans-serif, was released by Stempel in 1958. Zapf disliked its name, which was invented by the marketers at Stempel.



Zapf was not given many jobs in calligraphy. The largest one was writing out the Premable to the United Nations Charter in four languages, commissioned by the Pierpont Morgan Library in 1960 for $1000.

Asked about his philosophy in designing typefaces, his answer was: “The interpretation of a message should be direct, without delays caused by fancy typefaces, amputated letter-forms, and other ideas ignoring the necessity of legibility. We no longer live in the time of Renaissance palaces and Baroque costumes but in the computer age. For modern industrial products, letterforms of the 16th century or 18th century are an anachronism. We should also stop copying 19th century typography and graphic design. Design has an immense social responsibility, a cultural message to people in regards to taste, education, and communication.”

After Palatino and Optima, Zapf creates Aldus, Aurelia, Comenius, Edison, Kompakt, Marconi, Medici Script, Melior, Noris Script, Orion, Saphir, Sistina, Vario, Venture, Virtuosa Classic, Linotype Zapf Essentials, Zapfino (and related family), ITC Zapf Dingbats.

For his achievements as a world renowned calligrapher and typographer, Prof. Hermann Zapf has been awarded with the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany on  25th May 2010.  During the presentation of the medal at State Minister President’s villa, Hessian Secretary of State for the Ministry for Science and Art in Wiesbaden Gerd Krämer stated, “You have made exceptional contributions to the development of typefaces, and your trend-setting publications have been translated into 18 languages, in whole or in part.”

The Art of Hermann Zapf    –

Post 4 Typography April Greiman

Posted: March 27, 2012 by crystalspencer30 in Uncategorized

April Greiman was born in 1948, studied in Switzerland in the 1970s and worked as a contemporary American Designer. But Greiman was to break from the modernist approach to typography and embrace a new typographical methodology termed ‘The New Wave Movement’ As a young design student Greiman had been taught all design work on a strict grid system. This old modernist technique was now very dated. The ‘New Wave Typography’ promoted a more intuitive approach to layout, experimenting with image placement and typography that went way beyond the grid.

      In her work, she continued to explore typographic meaning and began experimenting with ways to alter the two-dimensional space, making it more three dimensional and even tried to depict aspects of space and time.

The ‘New Wave’ used inconsistent and and often wide letter spacing, varying type weights within single words and type set at unusual angles. It questioned our concepts of how type should appear on the page.

She began using video and analogue computers to hybridize, combining different elements through the new media. Greiman knew intuitively that the field of graphic design was rapidly changing and that emerging technologies would soon be integrated into everyday design practice. Before the publication of Greimans famous magazine designers usually considered bit-mapped type and imagery to be completely unacceptable. After its publication, designers started to embrace the new technology.

             April Greiman is recognized as one of the first designers to embrace computer technology as a design tool. Her innovative ideas and ‘transmedia ‘ approach put her at the cutting edge of design technology. In 1984 she bought her first Apple Mac Computer and with it she designed the seminal poster for the ’Design Quarterly Magazine’. This was a ground breaking project. The magazine folded out to a six foot life size poster of the artist. This was an entirely digitalizes image made with ’Mac-Draw’.


Many of the technological advances in the Graphic Design World can be traced back to this issue of Design Quartely.



Rick Griffin was an influential graphic designer for his era. His influence was profound in both the surf culture and the counter culture of the 1960’s and ‘70’s, and continues to this day.

Born in 1944, the son of an engineer and amateur archaeologist he spent a number of his formative years around Native American artefacts and ghost towns in California. This would have a lasting influence on his designs in later years.

Rick’s connection and immersion in surf culture during high school led to work advertising posters for surfboard shaper Greg Noll. After leaving school he became staff artist at Surfer magazine, for which he developed the comic character of Murphy, the eternal “gremlin” (ie: young surfer).

In 1964, Rick parted ways with Surfer, briefly attended art school and met the artist/ music collective Jook Savages, with whom he would later collaborate. He also suffered major car accident that left one eye dislocated and left him scarred. After this he changed his appearance (beard, long hair and eye patch) and also perfected his art, introducing his characteristic lettering and clean psychedelic style.

In 1966 he moved to San Francisco where he became one of the “Big Five” of psychedelic art. During this time he became famous for his work for the Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix and the Charlatans, as well as concerts such as “The Human Be-In” and “The Family Dog”.

In 1970, Rick converted to Christianity, where he did work for Christian recordings, such as the Gospel of John. Rick Griffin died in 1991, when his Harley-Davidson was hit by a van.

Rick’s style and images are often cited as archetypal of San Francisco of the ‘60’s and also psychedelia as a movement.



Post 5 – Poster Design – Kahra

Posted: March 27, 2012 by kahraokeefe in Uncategorized

Shepard Fairey

Original Andre the giant Graphic

His fame snowballed after he created the ‘André the giant’ image, with the attached slogan

commenting on the consumerist era of today and the effects of media, advertising and other methods of persuasion we are bombarded with. Statements like ‘OBEY’ accompanied the image.

He slathered walls, billboards, and advertisements in an incognito Banksyesque fashion, although he was not as lucky as Banksy, in that he was arrest in excess of 13 or so times. His social comment ‘Obey’ gave him the fame and reputation among the fringes of society, developing a cult following.

Pop culture, irony and Propaganda are the words I would use to describe his aesthetic. Sheppard uses appropriates images from media and photographs and converts them to an illustrated, painterly’ feel reminiscent of the style of the likes of Barbara Kruger and Andy Warhol. It’s simplistic and often only containing up to 3 or 4 colours, these images are easily reproducible, which is really good for his methods of dispersion, and also is a comment on consumerist mass-production.

Since his ‘André ‘ image, he has produced many iconic pieces. He prints on walls, murals, t-shirts, stickers, posters, and pretty much anywhere there is a blank surface. The ‘Obama’ poster is one of his most famous, predominantly because of the controversy that surround the release of the image, which led him to court after being sued by the photographer from whom he appropriated the image from without consent. But aside from that the whole idea of a Black American president, as a contrast to the bush administration and the shadow of years of war and lies, what better symbol of hope than this image. It is also interesting to note that initially this image was accompanied by the slogan ’Progress’ instead of ‘Hope’, but Shepard felt that Hope was a more positive message than Progress which could be mistaken for A socialist outlook. For theses reasons and the fact that he did in the end become president, the image was embraced in that time and remains an iconic picture of its time.

There have been many discussions in recent years surrounding the hot topics of copyright and Intellectual Property. In this Post-Modern era, where appropriation and artistic licence are generally accepted and encouraged, where do we draw the line? I agree with Shepard when he said “It’s about making a work that is inspired by something pre-existing but changes it to have a new value and meaning that doesn’t in any way take away from the original—and, in fact, might provide the original with a second life or a new audience”. Without open minds, and broader opportunities for artists with this aesthetic and message style, we would not have visual access to these confronting and thought-provoking imagery. Or like anything made illegal in this ever –tightening rules of our time, things go underground, have penalties and become more dangerous…… I guess it’s not all bad.