Sunday, 24 January 2010

comp brief update (warning.. quite long)

(i had some strange error appear when trying to post this, so if anything is missing or appears wrong... let me know)

After a couple of chats with my tutors and some advice given by others, I'm going to try keep things a little simpler here... although I'm just used to having to explain everything behind my ideas and research... saying why i've chosen it, whats good and bad about it and how it ties into where I'm going with my projects... but then again.. i think i can name about 4 people who actually do read some of the stuff I put here... and I bet they wish I'd shorten a few things.. ;)

I hate sitting on an idea, doing nothing with it and over thinking any thoughts I may have... so at the start of last week I decided to make myself a mountain... In a sort of BluePeter Tracy island style, I just covered some chicken wire in modroc in hopes of achieving something that looked like a snow covered mountain... the only problem is it jsut made me even more jealous of my mates who went to Austria again this year :(

The idea behind making a mountain was to link resistance with snowboarding and free-riding... basically you can have a whole mountain covered in snow and its up to you to choose where you go, the whole piste is open and you make your own decisions. This sense/feeling of freedom that comes from being out on fresh untouched snow (and often in beautiful surroundings) is one way in which I resist... however the link is a little tenuous... i think of snowboarding as my way of breaking out of the monotony of everyday life. I have a rough design for a screenprinted poster based on this theme in my head, but theres no real idea of resistance beneath the surface of it.

(right clicked and stolen from google or deviantart... these are not my own images and i take no credit for them whatsoever)

Although this seems a tad cliche too, no matter where you look... advertising, music, tv and fashion have jumped on the extreme sports/alternative culture band wagon... which makes it harder to create something genuine based on your love for it.

Going back to my mountain idea... rather than making something solid, like what i've done, I've always liked the idea of creating something that is a little more interactive and unique. After being introduced to the book Tactile I cant help but envisage some final 3D product in the majority of the briefs given and especially since papercraft has taken off. I started with the idea that I could design something that looked like a normal map with a route marked out on it but the poster would then be scrunched up to give it the impression of being 3D... since no two people are alike, each scrunching would be different and result in unique one off posters... the only trouble i had with this is that once you've done this you're left feeling kind of empty, as if there was hardly any reason to do so and like you've just ruined something that was nicer to look at before.

these kind of maps/landscapes inspired the idea of making something 3D with a hint of choosing your own pathway through it but when i came to mock up the ideas.. nothing really stood out/worked.. it did remind me of fingerprints though... maybe I could do something on how we are individual and each fingerprint is unique....... or not...

Val Thorens:


after scrunching up some piste maps, I decided to see what other routes i could play with... The idea of my motorbike being the main focus for my own resistance kept coming up so I've decided to finally do something more with it. I tried the scrunched up idea again which doesnt look all that interesting until photographed (with accidental flash)... I do like how the scrunched up paper and lighting creates the effect of a mountain side... but although nice looking, the main theme is lost again...

this book cover featuring just a drawn line to represent the route travelled is bold and striking in its simplicity and use of colour, which is why i tried doing something similar... however the execution is good, but the idea behind it is not... I began looking at routes i travel.. and there arent that many... mainly i travel from Bury to Stockport 4 out of 5 days a week, via Manchester but this is more out of necessity rather than freedom to explore the open roads on my bike :/ so there is no meaning nor reward for the audience in seeing a poster of my route to uni... not even if its scrunched up...

I continued looking for references on the idea of routing, travelling, exploration and motorbikes rather than snowboarding since motorbikes appear to have a better link to the theme of resistance rather than snowboarding. I still want to produce something on the theme of freedom rather than resistance, purely because of the main connotation the word resistance has, but I'm struggling to keep the ideas linked together... I'm finding they're spreading out a little too far from the main theme...

a few vintage posters mostly sourced from Grain Edit or FFFFound ( can be deadly.. it will suck you in... as soon as you find one interesting image, it recommends others you may like... enter at your own risk!) as a result.. i found many of these images below which I have used in someway to inform and develop my current stuff...

Dick Bruna (a dutch artist more famous for creating Miffy the popular childrens character).

Poster by Donald Brun for a car auto show... the poster is actually of car headlights and taillights along a stretches of road which is nowadays recreated a thousand times by people and their digital cameras...

An old travel guide, designed to tempt American tourists to visit europe and travel around it more.

The above image put me back onto the idea of maps and routes/routing... and thinking back to the actual theme of resistance...

I did initially just think that by having a motorbike i was resisting the idea that everybody needs a car in order to travel. In a couple of my sketches, the idea of a transport hierarchy was mentioned and i tried to place myself and motorbikes within it, but it just ended up with me wanting to say bikes are better than everything... even pushbikes. I still like the design I came up for this even if there is no massive depth to it, other than i think motorbikes are the best form of transport but it was also just another excuse for me to use screenprinting.

Looking at it from a bikers point of view... we prefer motorbikes mainly because we aren't tied to sitting in miles of rush hour traffic, we can skim down the side of it all, often going into the oncoming lane to do so and this is how we resist... not only in the idea of having to wait there patiently queuing as we brits do but also in the way that road markings don't necessarily mean the same to us. Having a motorbike means I don't have to catch 2 different buses to university, which roughly takes 2 hours there and back, but also allows me to save money on buying petrol rather than the ever increasingly priced bus/tram tickets....

Most designers, including myself, like to simplify complex ideas/subjects to a more basic and universal form... for example... maps. Any map, whether it is of a city centre, journey routes, public transport routes, visitors maps to attractions/events/buildings all try to express clear directions and signs for the user to follow, which often results in a sort of grid system/pathway using straight lines, solid blocks to represent buildings or wall, right angles and only a few curves....

this is Sony's own take on the subway system and how many people listen to music whilst riding. the actual plan is made up from a bunch of sony's own headphones.

its similar to a circulatory system diagram but again... with many paths and avenues to travel down... as well as trees etc

Annie Cattrell's glass lung

maps basically provide these grid systems in which to navigate, often google maps (or whichever equivalent you use) and sat navigation provide you with the most efficient route. they are almost like strict guidelines to which motorists must stick to in order to make it from 'A to B' in the fastest time possible, where as bikers seek out new roads all in search of good corners, fast straights and scenery to experience, we don't have to stick to these guides.

I began finding imagery that involved some sort of path or route too..

hence my latest idea.... which i will screen print, but i just need to design something a little more substantial than my mock up. The idea i'm going for is that... although roads appear as strict guides, the motorbike is my way of resisting this in having many more options of travel available...

Whilst looking for other reference images I started looking at a lot of posters, from promotional, inspirational, professional and personal... these are some of my favourites. You cant help but feel like the message here is a little cliched though. I actually considered adding text to my poster, first finding a motorbike related quote, and having it do a similar job to these below...

the motorcycle quote I found is actually advice given to me by my family (who are bikers) and by my instructor too. it relates to the way in which bikes are able to go around corners at high speeds, in finding balance between gravity and the centrifugal force of the bike, but i also thought I could blag some meaningful reasoning behind it and make it sound "deep".... i failed.. (then again.. the 3 posters above all appeal to me yet they dont have any deep hidden meaning/explanation... so why am i trying so hard?)

"don't look where you're going, look where you want to be..."
(actual wording may vary, as demonstrated below)

here i was thinking of the overprinting method in screen printing... in the first image I really like how there are many elements for the viewer to "tune" in to, as you consciously have to tell yourself to focus on the different numbers. then in the second I really like the idea of obscuring certain elements from the viewer and then using negative and positive space to create the shape of something else again....

1 comment:

  1. wish i could offer some advice but all i can do is agree with what your saying through out your many thousand word dissertation (just kidding its a great read)

    your ideas generation i have to say is absolutely out standing, though agt times very obscure and far away from the original point the destinations you reach (lol exscuse the pun) are brilliant.

    if i can say anything thats slightly helpful its that i got the idea of the scrunched up map thing, i think your on the right road with that one. manipulation of maps (maps being soemthing that is carved in stone as they represents the streets which are the lie blood of modern civilisation) has a good effect when dealing with resistance, id say theres still ideas to uncover in that area.

    (if theres spelling mistakes or it doesnt make sense its cus i cba spell checking it all...)