On Display – Final touches

The final things left to complete on the design of the visual identity for the exhibition on brutalist architecture were wayfinding/signage and the promotional installation/spacial communication.

For the wayfinding I wanted to follow a similar style to the printed and digital ephemera I had created. I used the colour scheme and shapes that I had used within the marque to inform my decisions on the layout, style, typography, shapes, and colour that I had used in the posters. I intend to allow my ephemera and most importantly my marque influence what my signage and wayfinding will look like.

I worked directly onto a photo of one the spaces at the Hayward Gallery from an exhibition on Ana Mendieta’s work.

Link to image used: 2-Ana-Mendieta-Untitled-Facial-Hair-Transplant-1972-and-Untitled-Glass-on-Body-Imprints-1972-at-‘Ana-Mendieta-Traces’-exhibition-Hayward-Gallery-2013.jpg

wayfinding

I used four colours from the colours scheme to create lines that would lead from various places that would guide visitors to the exhibition. I added the photo of the Hayward Gallery by India Roper-Evans that I found to use in the ephemera and animation, as referred to in a recent post. I used the marque with the title of the exhibition on the left wall in between the lines guiding towards the exhibition, and I used the marque without the name on the right hand wall so that I could further establish the marque.

The concept for the spatial communication of the exhibition was largely influenced by the app I had created layouts for. Although this is a simple floor plan, the chronology and features of the exhibition are important because of how visitors can move around the space and make the most of the exhibition. Starting in the bottom left centre, the arrows guide the visitors where to move around. The history and information on the construction of the Hayward Gallery was key to the exhibition since it was going to be held within the walls of the building. It would add a personal touch for the gallery to the exhibition. With the addition of the interactive section this would allow families and children to further engage with the exhibition and brutalist architecture.

Spatial communication


I am extremely pleased with how this project has turned out. The marque has successfully reflected and sympathised for the theme of the exhibition and has worked surprisingly well across all the deliverables.

Reflecting upon my aims of this project back on my first research post at the start of the project, I discussed how I may have found this project a challenge considering how unfeeling I am on the style of brutalist architecture. Midway through the project this feeling almost changed as I combined two styles together, also known as bricolage. I combined black and white photos of the Hayward Gallery with very bright and vibrant colour. The use of colour was influenced by posters I had looked at that were created in the 1960s, to which I was very fond of. This has transformed the identity of brutalist architecture into something refreshing and sympathetic of the style. From the styles I combined, I managed to take enjoyment out of this project instead of linger in hatred and lack of productivity over the topic of brutalist architecture. In which case I feel I have learnt something extremely valuable out of working on this project that I can now apply to possible hatred over topics in projects in the future that I know for sure I can manage to work with. Indeed, this will be a project to remember.

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On Display – Final ephemera

I chose a main layout for the design of the posters and paired colours together according to the colour scheme I put together for the identity of the exhibition. I added a few more details to the posters from my previous design ideas. I added the date of the marque of the Hayward Gallery that was designed by North. In my recent post I discovered that the Hayward Gallery is currently closed for essential repairs and refurbishment up until January 2018. Therefore I edited the date of the opening of the exhibition. What the Southbank Centre website also highlighted was that there is due to be a grand reopening of the gallery to mark its 50th Anniversary since being founded. I decided to include a small highlight of their 50th anniversary in the top right hand corner of each poster.

I wanted the posters to be displayed across London so I took two photos from online that showed mockups for the London Underground. The majority of posters are displayed and acknowledged by travellers when displayed in and around the transport stations.

It was important to see how the posters would sit in urban and public spaces. This is because I needed to judge the size of the posters and whether the colours would fit well within the space. It would also make for a convincing presentation to the client by establishing the visual identity of the exhibition across the city of London.

What I needed to explore next was how the marque would sit along digital ephemera. I chose to create examples of layouts for an app.

I took the design of the posters to influence the design of the app with the opening image and main menu. All the colours featured were taken from the colour scheme for the identity of the exhibition. It was important that I made both the marque of the exhibition and the Hayward Gallery visible on every page to establish the identity and the holder of the exhibition. Referring back to my recent post, the typeface for the marque of the Hayward Gallery and Southbank Centre reflected the visual identity of the building with the high contrast angular serifs.

The categories I have included on the main menu page include:

  • Brutalism in London – would feature a map of London with highlighted buildings in the style of brutalism, and information on the buildings in London
  • History – the history of Brutalism and how it came to be so popular
  • Architects – famous Brutalist architects
  • Maps – a map of London with highlighted buildings in the style of brutalism, and a floorpan of the gallery itself
  • Kids – a Gallery Hunt, City Hunt and Rawcraft

The kids section would be an extremely important part of the app. Because children occasionally have a tendency to be less engaged in reading, listening and learning about things, I felt it would be best to put together a concept of interactive games into the design of the app. Both the Gallery Hunt and City Hunt would be about finding QR codes around the gallery/city that would lead to them winning a prize if they correctly solve the riddles that come with the QR codes at the end of the hunt. With the city hunt these QR codes would be temporarily attached to or around buildings on plastic display boards. At the same time as finding these QR codes both the children and the family would be able to experience the city all on the app, therefore making the exhibition and experience family friendly and fun for all. The gallery hunt would be similar, only on a smaller scale. The QR codes would again be temporarily attached to walls within the gallery or the Southbank Centre leading them to collect a prize at the end.

Rawcraft, named after the infamous computer game Minecraft, would allow children to build and design their very own brutalist style building in the app. This concept also holds the possibility of playing a role in the interactive section of the exhibition.

Referring back to my initial research into colour in 1960s design, I think it has successfully influenced how my printed and digital ephemera has turned out. I am pleased I did not bring forward the psychedelic style of the typography used in the two posters designed by Wes Wilson. I think it would have made it look illegible and entirely irrelevant to brutalist architecture.

On Display – Ephemera and gallery space research

For my ephemera I wanted to use black and white photos of brutalist architecture with the contrast of vibrant colour reflective of 1960s design so that it would be clear that I wanted to highlight how most buildings built in that style were built in that period. Although I was basing the exhibition on buildings in London in Great Britain, I did not want to use the colours of the Union Jack flag because this would make the identity too cliche. It also wouldn’t make a good establishment for the identity of the exhibition.

By getting feedback on my recent work, people had also mentioned that the lemon yellow colour I used for the marque didn’t contrast very well with the white background. It also made it illegible and too bright to look at. Instead of changing the animation immediately, I decided to look at starting to create ephemera to get a feeling for how it would sit against a black and white photo of a brutalist building for the background.

I chose a photo taken by India Roper-Evans of the Hayward Gallery in Southbank Centre, London. I had taken it from the official Southbank Centre website.

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https://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/files/hayward-gallery-architecture-credit-india-roper-evans

 

I took an element from this photo and chose to use it for a poster. I came up with several ideas for the design. By using the colour scheme I had created I also added two strips of colour in to add interest and make the poster more eye-catching. By adding these strips it would also make it easier for the perspectival marque to sit into the poster alongside 2D horizontal text. I changed the size of the text and the coloured strips, and experimented with the layout. Other posters I could create that would be similar to this would feature the strips in different colours according to the colour scheme I made for the identity and possibly changing the size of them as well. What I noticed as well was they represented the line pattern you see at the top of the cuboid in the marque. This is extremely important as it establishes the identity, further accounts for the texture of concrete in the background photo, and makes it flashy and eye-catching.

I also decided I wanted the exhibition to be held at the Hayward Gallery in Southbank Centre, London. Since the photo I was using as a background for the poster was of the gallery building I thought it was suitable. The Southbank Centre is directly opposite the National Theatre which is a building in the Brutalist style which would make it easy for visitors to explore Brutalist buildings in and around central London.

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https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Southbank+Centre/@51.5066543,-0.1151804,17.52z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x487604b7e7c78711:0xa1ed79798fdff99!8m2!3d51.5062003!4d-0.1163924

The Hayward gallery has been closed for essential repair and refurbishment since 2015 and will be opening in January 2018. With it also being the gallery’s 50th Anniversary of being founded in 1968, I made the opening date of the gallery for mid January to make for a special re-opening.

I conducted some research into the visual identity redesigned for the Southbank Centre. An article from It’s Nice That discusses and interviews the designers on their choices and why the redesign has been so successful as a visual identity. This was necessary research I had to make before adding the logo of the Hayward Gallery to the poster.

The design agency North worked with the Southbank Centre in-house design team to redesign the visual identity, logotype, design framework and typographic expression for the institution. The visual identity would be delivered upon signage, tickets, posters, and the website.

The Southbank Centre is Europe’s largest culture and arts centre. Similarly to the marque I have created for the exhibition, the rebrand has used yellow as the core colour to help it ‘stand out’ in the culture and art and design sectors. As you can see, the colour that I have decided to use is a much lighter and brighter yellow than the burnt yellow that the designers have used for the rebranding.

What I like about the rebranding of the Southbank Centre is how contemporary and reflective it is of the centre itself, where it holds music, culture, art and design events. I like how the marque sits across multiple deliverables including the website. The typeface used is visually references the design of the iconic brutalist style building through the serifs of the letters, the angles of them, and high contrast. The font used is a customised version of the Noe Display font by type foundry Schick Toikka. It successfully establishes the centre from other similar venues.

What I needed to do now was change the background of the animated logo so that there would be a higher contrast between the white and lemon yellow. I took the image I used for the background of the poster and added it to the animation.

This was a much lengthier process than I had expected. I needed to take out the white background of the illustrator files I had used for the animation. In order to keep the animation less complex I also took out over half of the building blocks made to build up the cuboid. I then needed to create new illustrator files to create 2D squares facing either direction. I also decided to change the ending slightly so that the cuboid would move to the side the reveal the name of the exhibition.

I was very pleased with how the animation turned out. Although I quite liked how the colours were used in the design of the last animation with the colour building blocks, I don’t think most of the colours I would use would stand out against the black and white background, especially with the greens, blue, red, and purple.

On Display – Animated logo

After digitising the marque I now needed to look at animating the logo since it would likely take the longest to create. My first rendition had the block rising from the ground. This was effective because of how things are built from the ground and upwards, and would therefore be ineffective if it were falling from the top of the screen.

Then I took a different approach to the rising of the block. Instead of having it rise from the ground, I took some inspiration from this Lego advert. I decided I could take on this idea to make the animation more effective and eye-catching.

Here was my take on how I incorporated the building blocks into the animated logo.

This simple stop motion idea made the animation much more effective. As you can see the blocks are being built onto each other to form into the block. By basing the construction of the block on a time lapse recording of a building being built, the animation hones in on the theme of construction focusing more on brutalist architecture and the wonders of construction at work.

After being given some feedback on my work, I decided I needed to incorporate a wider range of colours into the animation. Several people also pointed out that they thought it would look better if the text for the title of the exhibition was shown at the same perspective as the ‘L’ was pointing to. By using Adobe Illustrator I revisited the marque. By using the perspective tool I first set out a grid that was a similar angle to the block. It was extremely difficult to get the exact angle at both the bottom and top of the perspective grid. I then put the text for the exhibition in. I reduced the leading but kept the font the same as I felt it strongly represented the Brutalist architecture theme for the exhibition.

Finallogo2

Before starting on the colour building block animation I needed to create a colour scheme for the identity of the exhibition. To have a set colour theme for the identity would bring everything together by establishing the identity. I would need to ensure that the colours I chose would be suitable to print on a CMYK printer, which is the most commonly used. Although I had moved away from focusing on the 1960s style, I still wanted the vibrant element of 1960s design to remain as part of the identity. This was important because I wanted to engage all viewers into making them want to visit the exhibition.

colourscheme

After changing the logo I then set out to change the colour of the building blocks. Instead of having the block move to the side to reveal the name of the exhibition, I decided to let if fade in since I preferred not to overcomplicate the animation for the logo. I needed to keep it short and simple for it to remain effective and eye-catching to the viewer. I copied the keyframes from the original building block animation since I was complimented on the animation being so well paced.

I was extremely pleased with how the colour building block animation turned out. However I feel now that the animation looks like a video game for the 1980s instead of something from the 1960s. Although I don’t want it to entirely look like its from the 1960s I didn’t want it to look like it’s more influenced by a different period of design.

I will now continue onto ephemera and see how I can incorporate the colour scheme into the design of the posters and app or website I plan on designing. Wayfinding and signage is another extremely important thing I need to consider to decide on what typeface to use and what will be easy to follow for someone who does not know the space well.

On Display – First ideas

After doing extensive research into the overall theme I wanted to explore for this project, by using design styles from the 1960s and combining with brutalist architecture, I looked more specifically at brutalism in London. More importantly I needed to come up with a name for the exhibition and where I wanted the exhibition to be held. Below is a mind map of what ideas I had in mind for names, ephemera, an animation for the marque, and buildings in London. I had discovered there were at least 40 buildings in London that were designed in the brutalist style. I new I wanted the logo to have a minimalistic quality to it, similar to those of mono-line illustrative logo designs I came up with in the 100 Ideas project.

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To create the logo I decided I wanted to focus my designs away from the 1960s psychedelic style I explored in my research. I felt this was necessary because I didn’t want to overcomplicate the design of the logo and it was paramount that the logo would represent and sympathise the theme of the exhibition. I needed the logo to be legible on a postage stamp in order for the exhibition and its identity to be well established. Another important factor I needed to focus on was how attractive and outstanding it would be to other exhibition logos you would see. Therefore I wanted the logo to look timeless, elegant, yet sophisticated. Below are some designs I came up with.

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I was struggling to come up with ideas at first, so I decided to make use of three-dimensional styles to make it seem related to architecture. Design 17 was what triggered a multitude of ideas, which led to using different textures in the different shapes as part of the design. I looked at filling in parts and using crosshatching and a speckled effect to replicate the texture of different styles of concrete that have been used to create brutalist style buildings and constructions. By exploring where I could place these textures I came up with a total of 32 variations for the one design. With so many variations in the design I could easily create a simple yet effective animation which would explore the many textures that were used for the types of concrete of brutalist architecture. From design 49 to 72 I experimented further into what textures and variations I could come up with for the three-dimensional letter L. Then I could use this in ephemera or apply it to the animation.

I was extremely fond of the design of logo I had chosen to take forward in my project. I now needed to come up with a name for the exhibition. I conducted further research into brutalist architecture and what the term meant. Based on the design of my logo and the letter ‘L’ that stood within it, I planned on including ‘London’ in the name. Below are several ideas which I had come up with; some which were very cheesy.

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In the end I decided to use ‘London in the Raw’. As well as relating to London the name didn’t give too much away regarding the theme of the exhibition. ‘Raw’ related to ‘raw concrete’ or ‘Beton Brut’, a term created by famous architect, painter and pioneer Le Corbusier. It was quite catchy as well.

I digitised the logo using Adobe Illustrator. I decided I wanted typeface for the name of the exhibition to be bold, eye-catching, and reflective of the constructive and brutalist elements. The texture I used at the top of the block represented the texture of concrete.

I will now have to see how the logo looks when I have it animated and when I develop the designs for the ephemera.

Finallogo

On display – Research

I decided to conduct research into two subjects I was most interested in; Beyond Borders and Brutalist Architecture.

Beyond Borders

What interested me with Beyond Borders was the aspect of displacement in countries. Large numbers of people have been made homeless by war and violence and have been forced to be moved elsewhere. Instances in which this has happened include World War II. Many millions of people were made homeless because of enemy planes having bombed their homes. Their livelihoods had been destroyed which forced them to move  into shelters across the country. More extreme instances of displacement include the events that occurred in the holocaust. Jewish communities were forced to move out of their beloved homes and were placed into concentration camps. Unfortunately many millions of jews didn’t survive through this period of time and had their lives ended through terrible suffering.

A more recent case of displacement is the string of events that have occurred in Syria. Syrians have fled their country to move to neighbouring countries, and even overseas. Shelters and temporary homes have been put up to house these refugees. The reason they had fled and been fleeing Syria is because of the war and violence many of them have had to put up with for years. This has been caused by anti government protests which has turned into a civil war, and Jihadist militants from the Islamic State. More information on this recent case can be found in an article on the BBC Website.

Brutalist Architecture

Brutalist architecture is a style of architecture that was popular between 1950 and the mid-1970’s. The word brutal originates from the French word ‘brut’ which translates to raw. The term ‘beton brut’ translates to raw concrete which was developed by the pioneering modern painter and architect Le Corbusier. Raw concrete was a very popular and common material to use in brutalist architecture because of it’s texture and its simple nature. It was a cheap material to make and it could be poured and moulded on building sites. To this day many famous brutalist buildings still stand because of the durability of concrete.

What attracted me to choosing to look at Brutalist Architecture for the ‘On display’ project was my love-hate relationship with the style of architecture. I love the geometric shapes that have been formed with the concrete, the patterns, and how expressive the shapes created for the style can be. What I’m not quite sure about with this style of architecture is how well it can’t sit within so many possibilities of landscapes and environments. Especially in the modern day, some buildings I find can be an eye-sore to the landscape. However, I am most interested in how and why this style was developed, which is why I want to work with this subject.

A video I found on YouTube was what gave me my first interest in Brutalism. The music video for ‘Month of Sundays’ by Metronomy, was directed by Callum Cooper. Cooper is an experimental director. What I liked about this video is the range of movements with the camera that create the feeling of motion sickness in the building. The location of the filming was at the Barbican in London. There are many structures like these in London.

I was inspired by Cooper after looking at the rest of his videos online. In a sense this music video is a time lapse. Either going forwards or backwards in time, or even to different locations. Within the last minute of the music video the environment starts to change, veering towards more natural and vegetated locations. At 1:25 of the song, the lyrics are:

I’ll take you away from this old horrible town
And just maybe one day we’ll want to come back
And walk these streets

This made me interested in whether the video that was made for the song, and the location used is depicted as the ‘old horrible town’. What I also found with this video was the order of occurrences might have tried to predict that the video was about a utopia turned to dystopia, or perhaps the other way round. In an interview with the director of the music video by Nowness, Cooper (the director) describes, “This architecture speaks of a shattered dream in a way. All of those buildings were once utopian, and forced an idea of the future.” Although it might just be a theory as to how the world’s buildings will end up, covered or overtaken by vegetation and what nature has to offer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrBRwfSWyaM

 

I made a mindmap exploring various ideas. Because brutalist buildings were predominantly constructed in the 1960’s I had the idea of creating ephemera in a 60’s style.

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I did some research into 60’s posters from music and gigs. Ephemera around this time was highly made highly collectible for their vibrant colours, unique designs, artistry, and psychedelic quality most music and gig posters had.

Brutalist architecture is a highly contrasting visual subject to that of colourful and vibrant posters, psychedelic culture and fashion from the 60s. However most people refer to the 60s as a vibrant and very colourful age of art & design, so I plan on trying to include these types of colours and visuals into my logo, animation and ephemera.

In an article by UKTV, it explores and investigates why the 1960s was such a defining decade, based on public opinion and surveys. The article gave evidence to prove that the culture and style of the 1960s has not just been ‘remembered’ or recognised by the older generation that have lived to see the 1960s, but also that the younger generation of this day have wished to live in the 1960s.

The writer gave the evidence:

‘Nearly two-thirds of people said there was a feeling of great optimism in the swinging sixties that doesn?t exist today. And a third said if there was any era they could go back and live in it would be the sixties, with 10 per cent choosing the fifties and 17 per cent opting for the seventies.’

The reason why the 1960s was remembered as the most defining decade, according to research in the article, it was ‘famed for its iconic fashion, ground-breaking music and significant moments in history was the most defining.’

I looked at posters produced in the 1960s that reflected fashion, music, style, and film and TV. This poster designed by Wes Wilson in April 1966 promotes a concert for Paul Butterfield Blues Band and Jefferson Airplane playing live. What I like about this poster is how the text has been morphed to fit into shapes to create a picture of a head. A popular style of design that was used across all mediums in the 1960s was the psychedelic style of patterns and morphing of text. The use of off-white, red and orange reflect the use of psychedelic genres used across posters of this kind. As you can see on Wes Wilson’s website, many of his posters contain the colours and similar colours and combinations of colours used in his posters. Often complimentary, bold and vibrant colours were used in his designs.

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I also looked at film posters. One particular designer called Saul Bass created posters for films produced in late 1950s until the mid-1990s. One poster I particularly liked which was produced in 1958 was the poster made for Vertigo, directed by the infamous Alfred Hitchcock. I saw a pattern in the posters that both designers created. Red was a very popular colour to use in design around the 1960s. The colour was extremely eye-catching and simple patterns were very popular. Another element of the Vertigo poster that caught my eye was the striking white pattern in the centre of the poster that held the imagery and text together. The hand printed/painted text made the poster visually interesting and extremely intriguing which is what has made the poster successful. Although this poster was made before 1960, Bass was a huge influence on art and design at the time which ultimately set the style for design in 1960.

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Another poster I looked at by Wes Wilson featured different colours to the other poster I analysed. Produced in July 1966, this is a much different poster in terms of its structure and the placement and use of typography and image. The poster is advertising two bands playing; Them and Sons of Chaplin. What caught my eye with this poster was the word ‘THEM’. The text has been morphed so it looks three-dimensional, as if it is popping out of the page. This effect is accentuated by the use of the orange gradient going into the poster for the sides of the letters. The orange is further enhanced by the use of the same colour on the text below giving the supporting band, date and location that they’re playing at. Also in orange is the interesting pattern of the pillars in the background. The complimentary turquoise colour used in the background compliments the orange and allows the black text to stand out. This poster features significantly less psychedelic motifs than the poster I analysed before. Although the two posters were made in the same year, the designer has explored many other ways of morphing text in his other commissions for Bill Graham.

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A modern take on 1960s style design I chose to look at was revisiting my analysis of the NowTV brand identity. What I like about the branding for NowTV is how it reflects the colours used in the 1960s in most art and design. As you can notice, the rounded text used in the identity for NowTV is very similar to the typography in the first poster I analysed, designed by Wilson. The style that has been used ultimately reflects the nostalgia and themes presented to us in psychedelic design in the 1960s. It has made for a very effective identity, enticing customers to opt for NowTV as their film and TV streaming service.dims

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I made the connection between the NowTV campaign and posters designed in the 1960 because I have the same idea with my project. I had asked people whether they liked brutalist architecture and found that most didn’t think the buildings were attractive. Instead of designing an identity which is similar to the style of brutalism (minimalistic, blocky, and dull in some cases), I want to use the sense of nostalgia people get from the 1960s and use the style, colours and typography of 1960 psychedelic design to rejuvenate brutalist architecture. Referring back to the article I read on why the 1960s was the most defining decade, this is why I want to add this vibrant and celebratory feeling of the 1960s towards brutalism.

Whether I will appreciate brutalist architecture more by the end of this project is doubtful. I chose this subject for the reason I am not so fond of the style of brutalism myself. By working with something I don’t particularly appreciate, I feel I will learn something very valuable from working with this which I can apply to future projects I may not be particularly fond of. This will be a project to remember.

On display – Introduction

Last week we were briefed with a new project that would last over five weeks, named ‘On display’. After two weeks of exploring branding and identity we will now have to develop an identity with an understanding of a political/cultural/social subject. Our task is to develop a ‘cohesive exhibition experience’. We will need to ensure that the identity will work visually across a number of deliverables which would be printed, digital and spacial. A firm understanding of our chosen subject is key to developing a successful and cohesive identity. The themes we are allowed to choose from include:

  • Beyond Borders
  • Brutalist Architecture
  • Defuturing
  • Etymology
  • Psychogeography

We will need to create a unique name for the identity of the exhibition. Use of a graphic system will be vital to a successful identity across the outcomes. Things we will carefully need to consider include typographic systems/families, colour, grids, imagery, dimensions and materials. The design will need to be sympathetic to our chosen subject matter and will need to be appropriate for the target audience. We will need to choose a space that would be suitable for the context of the subject and its identity.

At the end of the project we will present the outcomes in a 10 minute PDF presentation which will need to include:

  • The visual identity/marque
  • How the identity’s brand system works across a number of contexts including:
  • Animated moving identity
  • Promotional installation / spacial communication
  • Ephemera (including both printed and digital outcomes i.e. posters, brochures, app, web, product)
  • Visuals of how a signage & wayfinding systerms works within a space

What I hope to learn from this project is how to apply all my skills to this branding project to create exceptional final outcomes, how to solve problems professionally for the client and the audience, and how to assess and produce work more critically and efficiently. I intend to pick a topic which I will find challenging so that I can produce my very best work by challenging myself to the limit.