Very ‘cool’ looking but the orange type looks ‘off’ to me; generally I expect better from @hyphenpress.
“Critical Design Council – Content Aware Square is a new initiative of students at Royal College of Art (UK), Werkplaats Typografie (NL), ECAL (CH), Gerrit Rietveld Academie (NL), UdK Berlin (DE), Manystuff (FR), Central St. Martins (UK), ENSAD (FR), and Yale University School of Art (US) to approach the question of criticality within graphic design as a practice and industry. The project will include both talks and discussion panels, as well as an itinerant reading room featuring bespoke publications produced by students and invited practitioners.
The inaugural public meeting of Critical Design Council – Content Aware Square will take place in London at Café Oto on Sunday 24 February at 15h00. Invited speakers include Robin Kinross (Hyphen Press), Zak Kyes (AA Print Studio), Deterritorial Support Group, Charlotte Cheetham (Manystuff) and Maki Suzuki (Åbäke). Admission is free.”
If more of the graphic design community were like this I wouldn’t be invited. My aesthetic is too commercial. This is all style driven, stop hiding under the mask of “content is most important” when it’s all esoteric bullshit. I like to refer to this as the Trust Fund Aesthetic. You went to an (abhorrently expensive art school) USA or an overtly international art school still trying to define relevance and don’t have to worry about debt or paying any form of bills. Graphic Design is meant to be a medium for the masses not for a bespoke audience of the very few. Andy Warhol and anyone of his generation were more original and bold and still are. (aka) Zak Kyes and Erma Boom can suck it.
Even my criticism is subjective to what graphic design is. I know there is no boundaries in this medium. For me if it doesn’t resonate with mass amounts of people did it really ever get created? I like my own share of small market zines and Bloomberg Businessweek all those combined say more about the graphic times we live in. This is why I personally strive for relevance in an everyday persons life. The Tide logo is a work of art.
I was one of the organisers of Critical Design Council – Content Aware Square. Considering this event happened back in February I was in two minds about actually responding to this, but I think on balance it’s best to face up to this kind of ignorance.
It’s more than a little ironic that your critique has its ultimate horizon the primacy of ‘function’ over ‘form’, when if you had actually been to the event in question you would have noticed that large part of the Q&A session following Robin Kinross’ conversation with Maki Suzuki concerned precisely this issue; and I only invite you to look at Hyphen Press’ website before telling me that this work is ‘style-driven’.
As someone who helped organise this event in the capacity of designing, I take umbrage at your accusation that my practice is ‘style driven’ in any way. To encapsulate it within the limiting discourse of ‘client-designer’ ‘problem-solution’ to which you appear to subscribe, the ‘client’ – i.e. students and researchers from various institutions including my own, the Royal College of Art – required an aesthetic that would at once recognise extant institutions of graphic design, whilst playfully detourning its symbols in order to indicate its position both ‘inside’ and ‘outside’: a content-aware square.
You may think that your work is ‘commercial’ and this work is ‘non-commercial’, but I think you will find that the open-ended visual research carried out by those at the forefront of graphic design frequently ends up informing the mainstream and opening up new possibilities in the economic field. For example, Zak Kyes’ recent work for the Taipei Biennial, the recent critically-oriented redesign of Transworld Surf magazine, or the success of Jop van Bennekom’s critical magazine work, shows that regardless of your own small-minded opinion on searching, exploratory design, there is always a market for new ideas in graphic design and publishing. New ideas which events like CDC foster.
Lastly, I think critiquing CDC on the basis of the supposed financial means of those involved is, to say the least, childish in the extreme. Let us assume for a moment that you’re right, and critical practice is exclusively a ‘game’ for ‘trust fund rich kids’ working with the support of academic institutions. Would you transpose this critique to the rest of academia? Simply because someone is creating work outside of the market does not invalidate it – think of how many breakthroughs come from those researching within academia. I would say that your argument fails on its own terms.
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A Vision for England
Nigel Falange riding to Westminster in a sedan chair carried by the sweating, gurning, clueless shower of BBC journalists for whom he exerts such a fascination. He daintily extends a boot – British leather, of course – for Nick Robinson to lick. Across the country, moustachioed & spittle-flecked colonels (retd.) blimp their way through shabby primary school halls to cast their vote for a man (and, really, politics should be left to the men, none of this trendy degenerate feminonsense) who’ll sort out the ravening hordes of ‘asylum’ seekers who probably hide round corners so we never quite see them. Each of them ambles home to a long-suffering wife, who briefly contemplates how much rat poison she could get away with putting in the mashed potato, before settling down to another choleric divagation on the evils of hijabi marxism. At the end of the evening, each sleeps the sleep of the damned, which is restful, and dreams of a silvered wall, three miles high, keeping this forever England.