Designed Zine: What is a Zine?

Zines, originally called a Fanzines originated from small production publications made unprofessionally by hardcore fans. They were first produced by Sci-fi fans in the 1930s and have been been enjoyed by that scene ever since. However in the 1970s and 80s there was a huge jump in the popularity of Zines due to the punk scene; especially in the UK.

The rise in popularity was due to the Cheap photocopying, the DIY aesthetic enjoyed by punks and the ability to easily communicate your thoughts on what you’re a fan of to a wide range of people that also enjoy the things you do. It allowed people to create a network for fans across the country. The bar to entry wasn’t super high. Some of these zines gained huge popularity and circulated around the country; such as Kill Your Pet Puppy, Sniffin’ Glue and later on Riot grrrl.

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Peter Kennard – Unofficial War Artist. An Exhibition Review

I recently went to visit the Peter Kennard – Unofficial War Artist exhibition at the Imperial War Museum. If you are not familiar with Peter Kennard he is a major British political artist that confronts and creates art that comments on British and world politics, most know for his photomontage work. He has also inspired many other artists with his work such as Banksy. Throughout his carrier he has made art that makes commentary on many controversial events in history, notably his anti-Vietnam War work that he used to express his thoughts of the movement and also the work he created for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

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Above are some of my favourites of the artwork displayed at the exhibition. This series of artwork called STOP is some of Mr. Kennard’s earliest work dating from 1969–1971. At the exhibition it explains that these works were done while he was still a student and the Slade School of Art and are marked as his political awakening. They were created using photographs from magazines and newspapers that were then overlaid with acetate covered in abstract marks and then put through a photographic enlarger. The resulting images were then transferred to canvas using gelatine printing.

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As well as newer work there is also displays of his older work covering things like the Cold War and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in the Archive. There is also the Newspaper (1994) and Reading Room (1997) displays that address aspects of the global power balance.

The exhibition also displays very recent work like Boardroom which was created this year(2015). This artwork was created especially for the Unofficial War Artist exhibition. It features the artist’s personal reflection on the worlds conflict from the late 1960s to now. It incorporates some of Kennard’s most famous imagery and takes a look back at his carrier over the last 50 years. The artwork also shows statistics the inform the viewer of the current levels of arms sales, expenditure and the extent of poverty throughout the world of today. These figures can be quite disturbing to think about.

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Personally because of my age and distance from a lot of the events Kennard creates artwork about I don’t feel much emotional response or connection toward some of the messages artwork is trying to put across; however I do very much understand the sentiment behind it. In fact to me a lot of the statistics in the Boardroom display where more impacting that the imagery itself.

I would highly recommend seeing the exhibition and developing your own thoughts on it. Even if you can’t personally connect to the message of some of the work it is still an excellent display of skilled image making to evoke a response.

 

CTS Week 2

For CTS this week we talk about and explored the idea of underrepresentation in design and using social media to advertise yourself. We also talked about and shared our ideas of what is wrong in Graphic Design.

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Our group discussed how trends, overcrowding and lazy design are affecting the design industry.

We also discussed the underrepresented groups in the design world and how the majority of notable British designers are white men. Ruth shared her person experience of using social media in this way. As a group we talked about and created twitter hashtags the could be used of twitter when talking about these underrepresented groups.

Billboarding with your packaging design.

Billboarding is a great way to make your packaging design stand out on the shelf by making each individual package link to create a bigger design. Connecting the designs on your shelf packaging can really make a much bigger visual impact and get the costumer interested in the product you’re selling.

This is a great example of billboarding in shelf packaging. This design shows how this technique can be used in a horizontal space to bring the overall design to another level. When the consumer spots the design it will put a smile on their face and make them remember the the product.

This is another great example of connecting packaging and billboarding. This example not only uses the horizontal dimension but also the vertical dimension. Although this packaging doesn’t directly link in design it does use the concept of rooms in a doll house. This is very effective because not only it is a creative use of packaging design it also directly relates to the product in hand.

This example of billboarding shows how it can also work with colour, this packaging show not only linking of the type but how the billboarding as a whole can be used to create a colour gradient that is visually pleasing This design is quite versatile and would also work around corners. On the other hand this design also shows some of the downsides to billboarding, in my personal opinion this use of linked packaging design takes away from the design of the indiviual packaging due to the type wrapping around the corner of the packaging and lowering the readability of the type.

Sources:

Chex reddit post – http://redd.it/132rlr

Barbie packaging – http://bit.ly/JS0Ics

Juice packaging – http://bit.ly/hpk0LE