Always roaming in and out of book stores and on book sites, a few years ago I saw the book The Art of Looking Sidewaysby Alan Fletcher. I thought – what a visual feast. In some ways it reminded me of Bruno Munari’s book Design as Art. (BUT – not in size). The Art of Looking Sideways has over 500 pages.
This book contemplated the differences between pictures as words – and vice versa. As Alan Fletcher states “the pleasing incongruities and serious science behind perception, process and the imagination that fills in the gaps”. A perfect book to review as we start exploring creative solutions to our bottle project.
Fletcher doesn’t set out to teach lessons. It is more of his experiences and insight that he gathered by – well – just being there and absorbing the world around him.
Here is a series of spreads from
The Art of Looking Sideways by Alan Fletcher:
The Art of Looking is wonderful inspiration to visual awareness, an interesting compilation that will entertain and inspire all of you as you start to SEE the interplay between word and image.
• Here is a link to an interesting interview with Alan Fletcher:
If you go see only one exhibition this year, it should be “Everything is Design: The Work of Paul Rand” at the Museum of the City of New York. Even if you had never heard his name before, you have seen his work. Paul Rand is a Brooklyn-born graphic designer who designed the logos for ABC, UPS, Westinghouse, among others. He is most famously known for his branding and identity work for IBM. Rand has been called “the Picasso of graphic design.”
The exhibition focuses on Rand’s life and work, divided into “Early Life and Career,” “Transforming Madison Avenue,” “Books and Publications,” “Creating Corporate America,” and “Writing and Teaching.”
One of my favorite parts of the exhibition is a small TV screen outside of the main exhibition room, which shows a four-minute video of Rand talking about his design philosophies interposed with images. The other thing I loved is how Rand’s quotes are integrated into the exhibition, displayed on the sides of the vitrines. Some of my favorite quotes are:
“Don’t try to be original, just try to be good.”
“Design is so simple, that’s why it’s so complicated.”
“Without play, there would be no Picasso.”
If you are in the world of graphic design, you cannot miss this exhibition. Paul Rand transformed the world of advertising and changed the graphic design culture of New York City. And as Rand would say:
After graduating from the University of Washington with a degree in Business Administration, Jennifer began working in corporate events. However, it was during her time as a ﬂight attendant for Alaska Airlines, that her interest in design became re-invigorated. She started working on some of her own design projects and realized she wanted to formalize her education. After some research, she found and was accepted to the Parsons AAS program and headed to New York. “I was riding by in a taxi”, she said, “and as we passed Parsons I said to myself, I’m going to go there”. And sure enough she did!
Shortly after graduating from Parsons in 2005, Jen started her own design company in New York and quickly gained a following of clients such as Colette Malouf and the Chelsea Art Museum. With her increased notoriety, she was contacted by Target, who offered her a job as senior art director at their headquarters in Minneapolis. It was there that Jennifer found her stride. Working at Target gave Jennifer the opportunity to have a hand in many aspects of design, including creating catalogs, directing of photo shoots, collaborating with designers and leading castings in New York and Los Angeles. She also headed up some of the larger campaigns such as Club Wed, and was a part of the “Big Idea” committee.
With all the expansive knowledge she gained while working at Target, and after a brief tenure as VP of operations at an online invitation company in Los Angeles, she became Creative Director for the Canadian clothing company Joe Fresh. It was her team that was tasked with launching the brand in the US, and she oversaw the re-branding of the website, gave extensive photo direction, and made Joe Fresh a staple in the US, all in less than six months!
In her next position as VP of Creative at West Elm, Jennifer led a team to develop monthly catalogs, digital design, packaging and signage.
Most recently Jennifer’s entrepreneurial spirit kicked in and she launched together with business partner Jen Worthington, bella j. , a lifestyle beauty / gift brand of over 25 beautifully packaged products that are sold online, at Nordstrom and various boutiques. The brand is playful and colorful and comes to life with Sujean Rim‘s illustrations (another Parsons alumni). Inside each product is a hidden charm with some of the candles even containing a $10,000 diamond necklace – its the Cracker Jack / Willy Wonka of beauty gifts! They even sell notebooks in some beautiful patterns which are great for sketching! Parsons students take note!
Here are bella-j. candles on the Today Show as Jill Martin’s featured choices for Mother’s Day perfect gifts!
For those people who are interested in taking a left turn in their career, Jennifer is a shining example of what can be done with a little bit of bravery and a lot of creativity. “I learned so much at Parsons AAS Graphic Design and was inspired by some so many of the professors”, she said. When asked if she had any regrets, she simply stated “No regrets!” !
Q: I wish I’d known before I started… A: That you didn’t need to know anything about graphic design before you start! The Parsons AAS GD program is so comprehensive.
Q: What is your favorite typeface? A: It’s a really hard decision, but right now I’ve been loving the clean lines of Brandon Grotesque Light.
Q: What advice do you have for students who are just starting out? A: Do as many internships as you can. You’ll learn so much in the classroom but it’s just as important to know how to apply your skills in real life.
Interview by Kiel Guba, AAS GD
Photography and edit: Katarzyna Gruda
Here is a great, humorous Ted talk by David Carson on Design and discovery where he walks through a gorgeous slide deck of his work and found images.
Perhaps his success in creating boundary breaking typography work is in the attention he pays to the emotion of design; the emotional response – “The message that’s sent before somebody begins to read, before they get the rest of the information; what is the emotional response they get to the product, to the story, to the painting”. One great example he gave of how typography affects a given message:
There are these two garage doors that are painted identical, situated next to each other, with the same message painted across:
Same color, same message, same word. Which one would you park in front of?
Design is the method of putting form and content together. Design, just as art, has multiple definitions; there is no single definition. Design can be art. Design can be aesthetics. Design is so simple, that’s why it is so complicated.
Paul Rand (1914 – 1996)
In doing research for class, I came across this website that is filled with work from tons of different artists. From Graphic Design to Fine Arts to Fashion to Architecture, this trend book offers inspiration from the work of brilliant minds.