COMD3504 - Section OL10 - Spring 2021

Month: March 2021 (Page 2 of 7)

Assignment 6

According to Jan Tschichold, people should design with the purpose of clarity. He believes that old typography was outdated for his time. Its focus was geared more towards “beauty” when beauty wasn’t seen as the most important thing. He thought that designers should step away from the principle of arranging everything on a central axis. The reason for that is because makes legibility tougher. He also believes designers shouldn’t use so many typefaces at once.

Karl Gerstner believes that design should be approached with a programme that will generate a number of different solutions. The reason for this is because there will never be just one solution, but there will be one solution that works best over the others. He insists you don’t make creative decisions based on feelings, but by intellectual criteria. Gerstner designed a programme using a method by Fritz Zwicky that was intended for scientists and not designers. He called it “the morphological box of the typogram”.

Josef Muller-Brockmann was a designer that popularized the grid. He thinks that the grid is not only a good way of bringing order to disorder in designs but also a good way of showing a designer’s focused work ethic. Gerstner believes that a “designer’s work should have clearly intelligible, objective, functional, and aesthetic quality of mathematical thinking.” The visual creative work should be a representation of the character of the designer.

Assignment 6

Jan Tschichold wrote about the difference between old typography and New typography implying how old typography prioritized beauty or aesthetics over clarity which New typography is all about the most important thing in type today is clarity. He continues to discuss how hard it is to achieve the degree of logical work we need with a central- axis and I think this quote from him explains it the best “Axial arrangements are illogical because the distance of the stressed, central parts from the beginning and end of the word sequences is not usually equal but constantly varies from line to line.”.

Designing Programmes by Karl Gerstner speaks to what we have been learning since we started the school of design, which is basing our design on a process, this process may change from one designer to another, but it always retains its place as the most important part of the design. Karl Gerstner developed a method that we can use to create our design process based on the scientific method of Fritz Zwicky that was mad for scientists, and I believe that all of us use this process from what we learned at school with our variations to it without realizing we are using this method. I think this method should be taught in the Design principles 1 class, I believe it would offer a great amount of clarity about the design process.

Josef MĂĽller-Brockmann wrote about how important it is to use a mathematical grid while designing anything because it shows the professional and constructive mentality of the designer and I believe It offers a lot to the clarity of a design. He proceeds to speak about the importance of constructive design and how it can influence the taste of society. By the end, he mentions all the benefits of the grid including clarity, organizing attention, and efficiency.

Assignment #6

In Jan Tschihold’s word, typography has changed throughout generations. In the old days, typography was mainly about “beauty. Typographers would add adornment and additional decorations to make it beautiful. For example, center the type, using different typefaces and type sizes, other design elements like blocks of color…etc. However, today’s typography was different from what typography was in the old days. Typography today is about clarity and not beauty. This means typefaces and sizes are being limited, simple design elements with no additions ornament. And, of course, it’s being played off with readability and legibility. 

Clarity, readability and legibility in typography have been much more emphasized under what Karl Gerstner said. In Design Programs 1964, Karl Gerstner developed a program called the morphological box. The morphological box was a box that guides the sizes, columns and alignments with tiny little boxes that interact with each other. Under this box, designers could quickly know the proportion and keep the consistency with contrast. In Karl Gerstner’s word, typography was a board game. This means there are many ways of solving problems; in this case, the problem is to clarify the text. For example, reading direction, letter spacing, weights, and all these elements make the text more readable and legible. However, that doesn’t mean that it works every time. Typographers are here to experiment on making things work and pick the one that best fits the solution. 

On the other hand, Muller Brockmann pushed the idea of Karl Gerstner’s morphological box, and he simplified the grid. I would say Muller Brockmann pushed the concept of the grid by a mathematical approach. It’s because by looking at the grid, he was dividing a piece of paper by proportion in a precise way. He also explains that if we divide it like this, it can determine where the text should locate, what sizes of the text should be, where the color goes to, and what spaces are being left with. From what Muller Brockmann did and how he explains it, I think Muller Brockmann was making a mathematical theory toward posters or any kind of printed works. It’s because what he approached can be replicated in any type of work. For example, make proportional guidelines out of a book, a poster, magazines …etc. These rules can be applied everywhere, like a mathematical theory that would work every single time. And when it’s being applied, structure and orientation will be formed.

Assignment 6

Jan Tschichold, Karl Gerstner, and Josef MĂĽller-Brockmann all had similar ideology when it came to design, whether it’s alignment or grid systems. Tschichold believed that that typography should be legible first and foremost and form follows function, he also believed that layout should be asymmetrical.  The old typography that he talks about, was more for show than function, they didn’t communicate or give context to what was printed, and they weren’t legible enough to deliver the message.  In addition he mentioned that the design principles(size weight color) weren’t being used correctly in the old typography.  The asymmetrical layout of gives more expression, liveliness and variation of layouts than a centered design or symmetrical layout.  Even though a layout is asymmetrical, there has to the an order and cohesion between the content.

Similarly, Josef MĂĽller-Brockmann also believed that a designers work should be clear functional message, but using grids to achieve that.  Brockmann see grid as “an ordering system” that is capable of being analyzed and reproduced, meaning that grids can influence and enhance the taste of a society and the way it conceives forms and colors. Grid system provide designs that are objective, well composed, and refined constitutes the basis of.

Karl Gerstner was a bit more confusing for me to understand.  Gerstner used the systematic morphological box typogram, where has descriptive words that are associated with typography that are put in row of boxes, The words are then combine to create a design.  This seems like a very dynamic way of coming up with different variations.  He also uses a a grid, similarly to the others, but his version seems like a modified grid.

Jasmine Domena- Assignment 6

    This week’s reading focused a lot on following a grid. All the readings shared the same ideology that typography’s main goal should be to communicate a message and not just look pretty. Jan Tschichold writes in The New Typography, “when in earlier periods ornament was used, often in an extravagant degree, it only showed how little the essence of typography, which is communication, was understood.” What this shows is that designers went back into old designs and analyzed what worked and what didn’t and realized that the extra flare the ornaments gave was not needed. It did not support the design’s purpose of communicating a message so they removed what didn’t work or fulfill their needs.

    Josef Muller-Brockmann writes in Grid and Design Philosophy about how “working within the grid system means submitting to the law of universal validity.” He seems to have believed that, “the designer’s work should have clearly intelligible, objective, functional, and aesthetic quality of mathematical thinking.” What it seems like to me is that design is becoming more of a mathematical thing rather than a form of expression.

    Everything about design and typography in this reading seems to focus a lot on grids and maths when it comes to composition and hierarchy. Every placement and size has a purpose to communicate a message. However, Brockmann does manage to hint that some expression does remain even when following these mathematical rules by stating, “every visual creative work is a manifestation of the character of the  designer. It is a reflection of his knowledge, his ability, and his mentality.” This hinting at and showing that some artistic expression does remain in a new way for this new era of design.

Assignment 6 for March 22

Jan Tschichold, Karl Gerstner, and Josef MĂĽller-Brockmann all have a similar goal to change the ways of typography but they differ by methods, these approaches can go from being experimental, accurate or in naturalistic form. As for Karl Gerstner, his goal to change typography is for type to be accurate in terms of sizes, value, space, etc. Jan Tschichold’s goal is to alter the old typography in a giving sense of beauty by using asymmetric formats instead of symmetric. Josef MĂĽller-Brockmann uses a similar method from Karl by using grids but he goes for an experimental approach by using the negative space, manipulating the positions of its form and color. I will be discussing each one of the three designers mentioned, by its function and inspirations. 

Starting with Karl Gerstner, he developed a diagram called ‘the morphological box of the typo-gram’ that follows with the terminology of Fritz Zwicky and uses it to determine the accuracy of the type and contains criteria such as color, value, space, weight, etc. It’s more of a scientific method rather than for design. According to the article, ‘Designing Programmes’, Karl stated, “It contains the criteria—the parameters on the left, the relative components on the right—following which marks and signs are to be designed from letters.” While this method was partially capable of aiding its assigned placement and analyzing the programme, Karl would pick some elements in the diagram and combine it to create the characteristics of the type because the importance of typography is for text to be readable. 

Looking at Josef MĂĽller-Brockmann work, he uses a similar method from Karl by using grids but as I stated in my introduction, he was very experimental in using types and elements that were irrational and chaotic. Bring it under his control by manipulating positive and negative space. He also featured his philosophy about grid and design in his article, he stated, “The designer’s work should have the clearly intelligible, objective, functional, and aesthetic quality of mathematical thinking.” To understand how type is represented, Josef uses logical resources and uses it towards his advantage to create not only a sense of characteristics but an essential form of communication.

Lastly, Jan Tschichold differs from the old methods of typography because his approach was for his type to have a nature or best to describe, ‘beauty’. He uses an asymmetrical method for type to be produced at its purest form. According to his article, ‘The New Typography,’ stated, “Asymmetry is the rhythmic expression of functional design. In addition to being more logical, asymmetry has the advantage that its complete appearance is far more optically effective than symmetry.” Apart from symmetrical typography, Jan describes the asymmetric typography to be more effective to create his own ‘beauty’ type because it gives him a more natural order and it’s more flexible for his design. 

Assignment 6 – Salome Mindiashvili

For Jan Tschichold, the ultimate qualities of a design were clarity and objectivity. He advocated the New Typographic style which embodied sans-serif, flush-left ragged right and asymmetrical typography. He thought of ornamental, centered typography as something arcane and impure in the field of design and communications. Jan Tschichold regarded Baroque and Renaissance style designs as impractical and illogical for the visual senses. The central placement of decorated text was especially problematic in his observations as most Westerners read from left to right and the centered layout created real issues of readability and disrupted the natural flow of the visual communication. The function of a good design was communication and the logical sequence of the contents according to Jan Tschichold. In asymmetry, he saw the nature of modern times, the unlimited scope for variations and the design principle based on real-world application.

Josef MĂĽller-Brockmann who came little after Jan Tschichold took the ideas of New Typography and placed them under the grid-based method of communications which according to Brockmann, resulted in the purest expression and universality. This type of design thinking was the expression of visual order, objectivity and mathematical thinking. I found this especially fascinating because I have always found mathematical (technical) thinking more familiar to design thinking than art and abstract expression. It is also fascinating to think that when processing visually based information, the processes in our brain are also very methodological and orderly and that is perhaps why, according to Brockmann, the grid was the answer to the question of design quality, clarity and objectivity. As a designer, in the past, I used to find the grid systems a little too constraining but as I have gained more experience, I have realized that the order within any design radiates attention to detail, coherence and simplicity.

Karl Gerstner who was one of the later pioneers of Typographic Style developed a far more methodological approach in the design field which suggested a model for design in the early days of the computer era. Gerstner created a “morphological box of the typogram” which breaks down certain expressive characteristics of typography by rows. By randomly combining these characteristics, one can generate a systematic yet creative output which is the result of his design programme. This algorithmic and systematic approach developed by Karl Gerstner is taking the design thinking to that level of practicality where the design process, the outcome and the application are all equal of importance.

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