Spring 2021 ︎ SUNY Purchase ︎ (DES3240) Design Issues
BackgroundI saw Kelly Walters talk around Halloween 2019 as part of Hakan’s masters program. It was super great, and the talk below is an extention that research and work.
I think all of her work is interesting, but I find the idea of not hiding or forgetting problematic history (in her case minstrel show posters) and figuring out ways to make that work prescient through her own process super generative.
This is also a way, to my mind, of interacting with the canon of graphic design and why it might uphold what it upholds and why it might not revere other work.
Required Readings/Viewings(content warning, there’s some mentioning of word-salad-y Trump quotes in here. This was also recorded before Biden was elected president if that helps contextually. There’s also some photos/illustrations of blackface in this. ).
- Tropico Vernacular by Lobregaut Balaguer︎ Balaguer talks about the notion of Filipino graphic design history and how it doesn’t really exist and how it can be constructed or examined through its current practioners and vernacular. Balaguer worked on the really beautiful Filipino Folk Foundry
- Why Not Futura? How Futura is Actually a Conversation with the Past︎ Interview with the author of Never Use Futura on how we examine and choose to communicate with the past through type choices.
- A Failed Soviet Experiment Offers A Warning To Today’s Burnout Generation︎ Not necessarily inherently “problematic” but an interesting historical case study via graphic design.
Questions to think about
- Should problematic history be forgotten/not recorded? Why or why not?
- What ways, besides making, can we re-examine and recontextualize work that is problematic?
- There’s a timelessness to how Kelly Walters re-examines work of the past and the present. How can the work of the past “speak to” the future? In what ways does it predict it?
Stuff we talked about in class (04/07/2021)
- It took hard work, and yelling to get the contemporary typefaces we have on computers in there︎ This is a scene from the 2013 Ashton Kutcher vehicle Jobs. I believe I was talking about type a bunch because you have to “absorb” some version of history as a designer of graphics.
- Grilli Type wants to restrict usage of their fonts on Ethical grounds︎
I believe I mentioned this because we were talking about the notion of agency as a maker and how you can have control over that.
- Eric Gill/Gill Sans︎Brought this up again related to ethics and design.
- SNL Papyrus︎ Forgot why this came up to be honest. Probably something to do with the discourse of design and what non-designers “talk about”
- Vocal Type Co.︎Gwen mentioned this foundry and their use of historic references for their type.
Toei Tokusatsu YouTube Channel︎I think I was talking about language and history here? And community possibly?
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