27 January 2015

A Colour Diary

A little while ago a room in my home was repaired and repainted.  
In the course of the renovations some parts of the walls were rubbed back.  
What was revealed was a brief history of the colours that had been engaged over the 130 odd years of the house's life. 

The colours we select to surround us must reflect were we are simply can not.
Colours are a constant necessity in our lives just like air is. 

Next time you are changing the colour of your space, think about what you need in life and then find a colour that will help you find it.

20 January 2015

Street Type

Typography, or as most people would refer to this art form, lettering, is ubiquitous within our contemporary society
The words and numbers engaged everywhere that our eyes may settle are primarily intended for visual communication. 
These forms are vehicles for information whether from a practical sense or for a more abstract purpose.

Typography has become a vehicle for post modernist design over the past 30 years.  
Some may say that this style of typography it is not intelligible, not legible and therefore a pointless exercise. 
Others may just enjoy looking at the letterforms as a visual object that communicates a notion on a more expressive or emotive level rather than an analytical, immediate, objective level.

These pages show some examples of street type that have not started out as an exercise of postmodern thinking…
but haves found themself distorted into something other than their original intent.

Looking at the letterforms of most alphabets (dreadful script fonts do not count) one can find the perfect form and balance that has been inspired nature; 
the perfect balance between negative and positive spaces.  
All of these observations help one’s sensibilities in appreciating the world around us, in all its forms (2D, and 3D).

The following paragraph from '100 ideas that changed Graphic Design' written by Steve Heller and Veronique Vienne addresses Street type in the form of street slogans. 
What we read in a distracted state, while crossing the street, for example, is not necessarily less memorable.  
In fact, what we see with our peripheral vision might be more striking, because it is perceived by receptor cells in the eye that are more sensitive to black and white figures and to unexpected motion. 
Furtive slogans scrawled on walls, plastered on top of scaffolding, or stenciled on the sidewalk are just as likely to be seen as colourful advertisements prominently located at the center of our field of vision.”
Idea No.87 from '100 Ideas that changed Graphic Design'.

Because this area of the visual world is so important to us all, there exists many different opinions and theories and practitioners. 
All these thoughts are valid if they assist us in coming to some understanding of what we are looking at and how it affects us. 
Willi Kunz, an important German typographer, wrote a wonderful book entitled ‘Formation + Transformation’, and the following passage comes from said publication,
“Regardless of what style (of typography) is pursued, an important criterion in evaluating a design is clarity. 
Good typography is clear typography.  
The designer’s intent must be immediately clear and the design must speak with an unmistakable, clear voice that penetrates today’s clamorous visual environment”.

The video below is a wonderful example of what Kunz has stated. 
Type must communicate. 
Typography must adds value to our world and not be yet another piece of visual rhetoric that contributes to the confusion that surrounds us. Street typography from Tom Williams

15 January 2015

Look a little closer

Look at little closer at this image and you will find more than you initially thought was there. 
It is full of tiny details and textures and things that people have taken the time to say visually.

The ‘street’ and the passive walls that define this universal space offer themselves to artists or anyone else who feels the need to utilise them as a platform to make a statement.  

Wallism is truly a modern movement within art. It is ubiquitous and global.

This example is from Hackesche Höfe, Berlin.  (Got to love Berlin!)

11 January 2015

Great taste

Taking it all in, not just looking at what’s around you but truly absorbing the experiences, and the feelings these experiences trigger, is so essential. 

It is a good thing to allow the places, experiences, and objects that have been apart of your summer, to become apart of you because being conscious at all times is not tiring, it’s enlivening.  

These images are some of shiftazine’s summer moments at Roller Door Cafe in Islington, Newcastle Australia. 
A place where there is always delightful creative expression present both on the walls and in your coffee cup.

10 January 2015

Steps of Butter

THERE IS A HOUSE in the inner city area of Redfern that has stood for 132 years. 
It has a staircase that is made of wood. This wood is now old and worn and has been painted and stained and vanished many, many times. 
It would be impossible to estimate how many feet have trodden up and down these stairs but the evidence of these journeys is present in the wear of the tread. 

So this staircase needed a refresh. It needed some care and a new look.  
And then a smart, articulate artist called Yiorgos said...”Why don’t you paint them fluro yellow?” “Why not!” was the response.  

The paint was purchased but only after a long debate at the paint store about what was being done. (Everyone has an opinion.) 
The stairs were scrapped and sanded and filled and sanded and undercoated and sanded and THEN FINALLY painted. 
Not once, not twice but three times.  

AND NOW there is a stair case that looks like its made of butter.