Saturday, August 12, 2006

Get Schooled by the Intern: Good, Better, Best

By Fiona Clark

I just can't help but feel frustrated by artists who bail on projects because they are discouraged by “so & so being better.” In fact, I hate how the word “better” is being used in society these days… it always seems like people compare apples and oranges. There shouldn't be any “better,” just different! Wow, I sound like my Mum. ANYWAY-

I was flipping through Mark Wasserman's “Re:think, Re:design, Re:construct” in Barnes and Noble and found the projects to be very liberating. He displays an original poster/packaging item/whatever, then has other designers/firms redesign the same project (a design-remix you may say).

A favorite of mine is “Don't Go Solo AIGA Posters” originally designed by Nessim Higson. Higson wanted to express the necessity to not wander alone and the importance of being part of something larger. The intense vectors were free-formed in illustrator and I enjoy the subtle type combinations (i.e. “ go there now” on the left side of the vector form). He commented that the biggest challenge doing this project was “having no limitations.”

Dave Correia of Conduit Studios chose to participate because he had imagery in his head after seeing the original design. This image has two layers: One of a man blasting off into space and the other of a prisoner being executed. This delivered his message of “…it's never to late to save yourself.” He commented about the overall experience, “I had a predetermined idea and look that I just followed into execution. Simple concept, simple life.”

Rachell Sumpter took a more illustrative approach to her poster. The interaction between the dogs symbolizes communication/meeting someone new which is emphasized by the use of negative space. What she had to say about the concept: “One of the greatest benefits of AIGA membership is the chance to meet other designers, and I chose to show that newfound interaction rather than someone who longed for it.”

Linda Zacks of extra-oompH studios collaged in photoshop for her poster. She commented that there were certain feelings that one has after joining a group like the AIGA. The feelings of inspiration are what compelled her to take images and just keep overlaying them. "I usually don't strip anything out of pictures; I just keep adding and adding. Hmmm, is less more or more more?" I enjoy the rough nature of this poster-looks like someone has actually touched it so it doesn't seem as cold.

Area3 became involved in this project by abstracting the original posters vector forms. What came out of this was an island full of detail. “The fine detail in the drawings may not be perceived by all people, but they are there for the ones who look!” This poster was surprisingly done all by freehand drawing, yet the blocked in shapes still speak to the vectors of the original.

Jon Black of MagnetStudio found the original design to be complete, so what he wanted to achieve was simple reinterpretation. Part of the interest behind this poster is how each silhouette has a character due to the details in the clothing, pose, etc. The one not silhouetted is the person that represents those not involved. “…it's a visualization of being alone, but being surrounded at the same time, often how freelancers can feel, even when working in a busy city.”

Each one of these projects brought the same message through. Each person you ask will probably have a different favorite because it is simply a matter of opinion. Be happy to be different.


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