You will be reading and annotating a text written by Katherine McCoy and David Frej “Typography as Discourse” 1988 found in our main text Graphic Design Theory: Readings From the Field by Helen Armstrong.
- Find 2 examples of the work of postmodern graphic designers from the 1980s.
- Deconstruct the work. Explain which visual elements are associated with postmoderism of the 1980s and why.
- What does the author mean by “Typography as discourse”?
- What does the author mean when she states that “…no longer are there one-way statements from designers. The layering of content, as opposed to New Wave’s formal layering of collage elements, is the key to this exchange. Objective communication is enhanced by deferred meanings, hidden stories, and alternative interpretations”
When the author talks about “Typography as discourse” she means a congregation of all types of designers to come together and share their ideas. It’s about unity and communications the way I see it. The big hint for me was that the word discourse means “written or spoken communication or debate.” So that’s what I think the author means by saying “Typography as discourse”.
When she says “no longer are there one-way statements from designers. The layering of content, as opposed to New Wave’s formal layering of collage elements, is the key to this exchange. Objective communication is enhanced by deferred meanings, hidden stories, and alternative interpretations” I assume she is talking about designers thinking in more than one way. The more you talk about a topic, the more differing opinions you would get since many people think differently. So the more designers or just people, in general, come together the more ideas and ways of thinking could be added together in ways that other people wouldn’t have thought of. It’s just my interpretation but she could mean things when saying that line.
The first one I chose here is a poster by Barbara Kruger called “Your body is a battleground”. I chose this one because it also goes with Wolfgang Weingart’s ways when would use a new typography style over the old in a more literal sense. It has the positive side on the left and the negative side on the right showing two conflicting sides of a person. Going a more simple route with the font which seems to be Futura, I noticed this because it is the same as the Supreme font along with a similar red background. So this would be a good example of postmodernism in 1980 given the overall tone.
The next one here is a redesign of an album cover for the famous rapper “Biggie Smalls” I couldn’t seem to find the artist who did this version but a modified version is a post-modern design instead of the original face with red background cover. What’s different here is the color shift of white and red in the overall design with the words on the top left and what seems to be pages in the background. Along with it being merged into the music artist’s face, it shows how far postmodernism can go from an original taking what’s already there and just expanding upon it. These details, in my opinion, seem unnecessary but it has a why not attitude with all these types of designs.