Media and technology extends human beings and humanity by being a means of communication. This has always been the case as the alphabet has been early means of technological advancements. However, the progression of technology does form some hazards for youth and society, this is because “youth instinctively understands the present environment- the electric drama.” What this means is that the youth is better equipped for technological advancements. This can be seen with any everyday thing such as a cell phone. For instance, when picture an elderly person using a cell phone they can’t work it properly without assistance meanwhile an individual in their youth can adapt to any phone much more easily. This type of scenario can create a division in society through ageism.
Today’s youth no longer rely on their family for teachings. This is because in this day and age anything can be found online. You can learn how to do anything online because there will most surely be a YouTube video on how to do it. Even now during this pandemic all teaching is done online. Human services and becoming more scarce. Technology’s evolution has overtaken the youth, education, and work from society. It is hard to tell if this is helpful or is damaging society making it lazy and too reliant or dependent on technology.
Even though the advancements have some steps backwards it does create some steps forwards. We are way more easily connected via email or text or video call. This alternative is way better than the past where sending a letter would have days gaps in between meanwhile now the connection is instant. However, this simultaneously also has it’s down side as it creates the feeling of needing instant communication or gratification. So in the end the evolution of technology is honestly a win lose situation.
According to Walter Gropius, the art of the past was missing the unity, universality and balance, creating a work without fundamental inner meaning. That is exactly why he founded Bauhaus, the art institution based on ideas of “creating a new unity through welding together of many “arts” and movements”.
Gropius believed that schooling without natural talent would never produce ingenious art. However, he saw theoretical training and manual dexterity as a necessary foundation for all creative efforts. Without the knowledge of the language of construction, design theory, structural laws, form, and color, the ideas would never emerge from chaos. This is a powerful thought that made me think more about imagination and the creative process.
I absolutely loved reading Moholy Nagy’s Typophoto essay about his enthusiasm for typography + photograph which according to him is the visually most “exact rendering of communication.” This still remains valid even today, especially in advertising! (which requires the most effective, exact rendering of communication). Daily we are exposed to ads containing a photograph, logo, and simple typography. Somehow, parts of the brain responsible for typographic and photographic visual processing go hand in hand together and in the end, this creates a fulfilling visual experience; this is certainly what Moholy Nagy was trying to convey in his teachings.
McLuhan characterizes media for us also. Directly toward the start of Understanding Media, he discloses to us that a medium is “any expansion of ourselves.” Classically, he recommends that a sledge expands our arm and that the wheel broadens our legs and feet. Each empowers us to accomplish beyond what our bodies could do all alone.”The restructuring of human work and association was shapedby the technique of fragmentation that is the essence of machine technology. The essence of automation technology is the opposite. It is integral and decentralist indepth, just as the machine was fragmentary, centralist, and superficial in its patterning of human relationships”. this statement entails technology relationship is helping us designers make work look prettier and have have more efficiently done.
hazards technological progress that can bring individuals humans do not study media meaning that there is not enough creativity done in technology. “The electric light escapes attention as a communication medium just because it
has no “content.” And this makes it an invaluable instance of how people fail to
study media at all”. there is no close analysis when humans look at media. it seems that in today media its only graphics and pictures and typography.
the role of an artist should be able to draw an audience or tell a story through words and pictures. artists should create messages by using their own expressions and how they feel. a designer subordantes info in the media distribute information by using conventional relationship between signifier and signified.
As technology keeps evolving over time so are mindsets and new ideas give birth to concepts and methods that simplify the function and design of things. In this reading Jan Tschichold expresses his idea of “The New Typography” enhancing the point that the essence of typography is communication and legibility compared to the old typography based in the ornamental type trend. His effort to make typography understandable focusing on clarity and asymmetry made the old typography that used symmetry and the central axis to arrange the composition be really unviable. The new typography allowed more flexibility remarking the functions of the text which were communication, emphasis, and logical sequence. Tschichold expresses that the old ideas must be discarded and new ones must be created to keep evolving and get rid of what is not really useful or functional.
Karl Gerstner’s ideas were logical instead of emotional leading to functional results that connect with Thschichold’s typographic innovation. He created programs for solutions to solve design-related problems instead of just looking for solutions. These worked best under certain conditions by describing the problem first. in fact, these solutions were found under intellectual critereas and not by feelings as some artists get incomprable with desginers for the lack of functionality on their pieces. This means that one depends on the other because using such parameters leads to successful and more creative results. In the logical sense, he called of one these programmes “The morphological box of the typogram” which is a sequence of parameters useful for design in relation to different elements such as color, words, shades, size, and between others. A variant of a programme was also As Grid. It consisted in a system and regulator for excellence of design that made the execution clearer. The contradiction of this was to find a balance between design and space which is why this served as a programme to accommodate items.
Joseph Muller-Brockmann enhances the gid system with his design philosophy. He remarks that grid design must be clear, objective, functional, and aesthetic quality based on mathematical thinking. It’s easy to be misguided by the idea that design doesn’t have to be mathematical, but in fact, many parameters or even software that we use for design are mathematical and complements the logistic side of design. Without it, it would be complete chaos and points that Gerstner, Thchihold, and Brockmann state couldn’t even be valid. Brockmann also expresses that design must be constructivist and objective which is a quality performed under the grid inventing the artist to be submitted to laws of universal validity. In other words, once you start using the grid there’s a set of values and rules that must be attained in order to create a successful design.
Our next reading will be from the media theorist Marshall McLuhan. For this reading, you have two options. Please read one of the following:
The Introduction, Chapter 1 and Chapter 7 from McLuhan’s influential 1964 book Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. This is a fairly straightforward text. Here is a PDF: McLuhan_UnderstandingMedia_exc
Selected paged from The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effect, co-created by McLuhan and Quentin Fiore in 1967. This is an experimental text that relies heavily on image-text interactions. Here is a PDF: McLuhan_Fiore_MediumIsTheMassage_1967
Please take a look at both, to get a sense of the material, then choose one or the other to really focus on.
Here are some questions to consider:
McLuhan describes technology and media as “extensions of man.” How do media extend human beings, or humanity in general? What hazards might technological progress bring for individuals and society? If “the medium is the message,” what role can artists and designers play in creating new messages? How is the work of a designer subordinate to the media they use to create or distribute information?
You also have two options for this response. You can write 3-4 paragraphs. Or you can respond in a “typophotographic” manner, combining images and text.
Similar to our previous readings, the idea of designing with a purpose, with functionality at the forefront is what stood out to me. Josef Müller-BrockMann and Karl Gerstner both approached design in a systematic way – based on the use of grids. I think it is safe to say that they looked at grids as a way to create a design that is successful in being functional and direct. Gerstner said it best, “…not to make creative decisions as prompted by feeling but by intellectual criteria,” (58). When we are able to design with a purpose and without including our personal feelings, the creative process is that much greater.
Compared to Müller-BrockMann, Gerstner has a direct system when it comes to grids, in which he created the “the morphological box of the typogram.” A concept that allows one to follow a system within a design, to convey consistency. Müller-BrockMann’s approach is more general, he details the benefits of grids in his article and gives insight into how the grid system “implies the will to systematize” (63). He states, “Working with the grid system means submitting to laws of universal validity,” (63). The grid systems gives one the ability to incorporate the qualities of a good design – a design that is essential, objective and has a sense of form.
Jan Tschichold believed a great design is functional and sharp, consisting of elements that elevate the design. Typography should be the main focus of a design that includes a lot of text. The use of ornaments, as Tschichold often refers to in his piece, can be seen as a distraction or overpowering detail within a design. He directly makes this claim when he stated, “it is obvious that functional design means the abolition of the “ornamentation” that has reigned for centuries. . . .”. When we design with a purpose and incorporate details that improve the functionality, we are able to develop a great design. Tschichold emphasized the importance of clarity through his article, a concept that plays a key role in design. A good design is clean and uncluttered, consisting of clear type and few font sizes. A design should present a sense of harmony, as all aspects in it tend relate to bounce off each other.
Jan Tschichold, Karl Gerstner, and Josef Müller-Brockmann are all different individuals with similar goals. They have different methods on design but a similar goal to make design more clearer. Tschichold was a designer that changed the graphic world. He got rid of the old Ornament way of designing. His layouts consisted to be more readable and clear. He didn’t use serif type but instead san serif. His layout also did not show symmetry but asymmetry. As stated in the reading, “Asymmetry is the rhythmic expression of functional design”. In this case, asymmetry is more optically effective. Tschichold ’s way of designing is that it has variations and that it is modern.
Karl Gerstner is also another designer that created a systematic way to improve a layout. Claiming that there is a solution to a problem. He uses a systematic grid in a mathematic way. He creates a layout that shows various flexible and complex ways of creating a systematic symmetry in a layout. It is also a complex grid that is consistent and creative. According to the reading, “creative process is to be reduced to an act of selection. Designing means: to pick out determining elements and combine them”. By this, Gerstner believed that the more the work was exact the more creative it will be.
Josef Müller-Brockmann made a grid system to make a “universal system of communication”. The purpose of his grid is to make work that is more based oriented and constructive. According to the reading, “clearly intelligible, objective, functional, and aesthetic quality of mathematical thinking”. By this, Müller-Brockmann is describing the grid system and its clarity and directness. He created this grid system to show a universal validity. Therefore, how should one design?. Well as presented, there is various ways of designing using different methods from these designers but at the end the goal is to create work that is showcasing clear communication of the message, and that is creative and readable.