COMD3504 - Section OL10 - Spring 2021

Author: Camila farias (Page 1 of 2)

Assignment 12


Armstrong,Helen.”Graphic Design Theory.” Readings From the Field, p.87. ProQuest Ebook Central,


Heller, Steven. “Street Theater.” vol. Vol. 50, no. Issue 3, 1995, p29. EBSCO Host,

Heller,Steven. “Writing and Research for Graphic Designers.”A Designer’s Manual to Strategic Communication and Presentation, p.152. ProQuest Ebook Central,

Linder, Christoph, and Andrew Hussey. “Concepts and Practices of the Underground.” Essays on Cultural Resistance, Subversion, and Diversion, p. 18. JSTOR,

Walker-Kuhne, Donna. “Invitation to the Party.”Building Bridges to the Arts, Culture and Community, p.69. ProQuest Ebook Central,

Assignment 11

The concept of mainstream vs. underground is relevant in contemporary design because in contemporary design there is a combination of underground ideals that also incorporates mainstream ideals. By this, the merging of both creates the ability to innovate something modern in the present day. It allows every technique. It does challenge traditional ideals but it does reflect on the current times. The designer that I would be discussing is Paula Scher and her Public Theater poster designs. Her style reflects Victorian and Constructivist ideals. Constructivism was underground to an extent. According to Underground vs. Mainstream Cultural Production-, “For instance, movements such as the Russian avant gardists and Dadaists were the result of direct opposite circumstances, specifically state revolution and world war.” (Arzenšek 39)

 By this, the style of Constructivism or any art movement were known to be underground based on their strong opposition towards mainstream ideals. Further, as stated “From the very beginning, we can argue that these movements didn’t stand a chance in retaining their “underground” status, since they were appealing to the dissatisfied masses.”(Arzenšek 39) In other words, the avant garde movements such as Constructivism that was once known to be “underground” became “mainstream”. Due to the fact that it attracted many people who already opposed the mainstream ideals that existed. As for Paula Scher and her Public Theater posters. They were meant to attract New Yorkers in a new way by shouting with type. It was meant in some way to attract not just “underground” people but “mainstream” as well. 

According to Street Theater, “I want to take populist culture and elevate it, and bring elitist culture to a populist level.” (Heller) In this case, bring all kinds of people to the Public Theater “an in-your-face-unity.”(Heller) Scher’s Public Theater posters are meant to bring unity and to design a language that brings everyone together but also create a new visual palette for the Public Theater. The underground ideals of Constructivism that lead to mainstream commonality is that it “focus on the underground as both a material and metaphorical space of movement, diversity, encounter, refuge, and political action”.(Linder, Hussey 18) Overall, the poster designs are meant to “present The Public as a dynamic but quite human institution with programs that are appealing to many different publics”(Heller), and the posters indeed reflect those themes.



Heller, Steven. “Street Theater.” vol. Vol. 50, no. Issue 3, 1995, p29. EBSCO Host,

Linder, Christoph, and Andrew Hussey. “Concepts and Practices of the Underground.” Essays on Cultural Resistance, Subversion, and Diversion, p. 18. JSTOR,

Assignment 9

The interpretation of “it is metonymy which furnishes the image with the greatest number of its connotators, and that among the parataxes (or syntagmatic figures), it is asyndeton which predominates”, can mean that an image has many implications as well as the text that follows that implication of the image. However, straightforward text  that is “asyndeton” it does not use conjunction words like “and” because it helps text to stand out more. 

Paradigmatic expresses metony because it is similar in the sense of describing a concept or the perception on how you look at things.

Was the overall message of the essay about how “A picture is worth a thousand words”?

Metonymy- is the use of a linked term to stand in for an object or concept. Sometimes metonymy is chosen because it’s a well-known characteristic of the concept. 

Connotations-an idea or feeling that a word invokes in addition to its literal or primary meaning.

Parataxes– the placing of clauses or phrases one after another, without words to indicate coordination or subordination.

Syntagmatic- relation is a type of sematic relations between words that co‐occur in the same sentence or text.

 Paradigmatic-relation is a different type of sematic relations between words that can be substituted with another word in the same categories.

Asyndeton -is a writing style where conjunctions are omitted in a series of words, phrases or clauses.

Polysemy -the coexistence of many possible meanings for a word or phrase.

Linguistic sign– are bilateral, i.e. every linguistic sign has two aspects which are inseparably connected: the sound sequence (signifier) on the level of expression, and the concept (signified) on the level of meaning.

Denoted– be a sign of; indicate. Signify .

Barbarisms-nonstandard word, expression or pronunciation in a language.

Idiolects-is an individual’s distinctive and unique use of language, including speech. This unique usage encompasses vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation. An idiolect is the variety of language unique to an individual.

Lexicons-the complete set of meaningful units in a language.

Suprasegmental -also called prosodic feature, in phonetics, a speech feature such as stress, tone, or word juncture that accompanies or is added over consonants and vowels; these features are not limited to single sounds but often extend over syllables, words, or phrases.

Agglutinations-a grammatical process in which words are composed of a sequence of morphemes (meaningful word elements), each of which represents not more than a single grammatical category. This term is traditionally employed in the typological classification of languages.

Assignment 7

Media extends humanity in general by creating constant change within the individual as well as their environment. According to McLuhan the medium plays a role that affects society based on its characteristics rather than the content which is why he claims that the medium is the message. The hazards that technological progress might bring for individuals and society is the “reshaping and restructuring patterns of social interdependence and every aspect of our personal life”. 

By this, McLuhan believes that the technological progress not only affects society but individuals and in this sense creating a “global village”. Not only does it change on how we think and do things but also how we interact with each other. McLuhan believes that electric technology is detribalizing civilization,making it more influential. Additionally, the role that artists and designers can play in creating new messages is altering the medium itself to create different content. 

The work of a designer is subordinate to the media they use to create or distribute information because as one message is being expressed there is another issue that comes up that also needs to be spread, suggesting that we focus on one thing at a time. Designers use social media, campaign advertisement, print and digital to communicate a message. Each is a medium and according to McLuhan it is the message. In these mediums any content expressed can alter people’s behavior. These contents can be either good or bad and to McLuhan electric technology can be a “threat to civilization”. These mediums can create for instance fake news but it is a designer’s duty to create designs that is communicating the public’s demands.

Assignment 6

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. 

Assignment 4

To these authors in the reading, what is missing from art of the past is craftsmanship. The manual skills have been replaced with mechanical techniques. Craftsmanship plays an important role and it should, because making things by hand serves a more purposeful and aesthetics use and artists pay more attention to detail. 

The role that typography, photography, and other media play in shaping a new kind of art, is that it designs a visual communication that is clearer and  apprehensive. These medias help to optically form a better perception of what is being communicated. According to Moholy Nagy, “photography is highly effective when used as typographical material”. As Moholy Nagy later states he believes that typophoto is the “new visual literature”.

The role that language should play in art and design is that it should be a universal understanding. Since language poses as the communication aspect to art and design. It is a issue to express language in a more visual pleasing way, without having to get tired of reading. A change in perception can help improve what is being communicated.

New strategies or ideas that will be necessary for future art forms is the concept of problem-solving and the collective work of individuals. Design thinking can also create a fundamental aspect to design. Especially, problem-solving because it is a designer’s duty to communicate to the public about any needs that need to be fulfilled. 

The education or “the academy” teach artists about their field by teaching them the principle of color theory, composition, and craftsmanship. Also ,teaching artists about  design thinking and using problem-solving skills to design and communicate broader issues. Bauhaus ideas can be updated to remain relevant in the 21st century art and design by not just focusing on problem-solving in creating material and objects for human interaction and needs. But to also, design and communicate broader issues that are occurring currently whether it is political, social, or cultural needs.

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