Mandatory Assignment 05 – Illustration/Photo – Week 19

Day one

Here we are again with a new set of interesting projects. I will be posting the development of each project here 🙂

End of week 17

I have been researching and writing about the Swiss International Style, I feel that it is a subject that adds a lot to a design developing as it suggest ways of organizing the information and creating a harmony in a whole. I guess it is something I should keep dipping in and learning more from it.

For the Assignment 05 – Illustration/Photo I started to read the brief for the main assignment and the task for each week. Latter I created a mind map to see the information visually. With that I also have the possibility to add parts later on.

After that I began by roughly defining the amount of hours I was going to use through the whole task. That gives me a better control over the process I would be developing and making sure I am using time appropriately.

I review Idea development concept P84 from The Fundamentals of Graphic design, Idea generation P56  from Design Thinking , P24 -29 Creative workshop, P16 How to be a brilliant thinker for assuring my understanding of those concepts.

Then I took pictures from a product produce before the 1970’s

Object: A typewriter from the 1960’s

I found this Remington typewriter from the 1960’s and though it could be used as the product for the assignment. I felt an immediate challenge as I thought such a forgotten device deserved more than just dust and dirt. The machine was in a very bad shape but it still has a very important meaning in our societies and it has also been a tool for many writers, and offices. That technology was discarded not long ago after computers took over. To me this machine shows that technological advances are discarded and forgotten quickly nevertheless they have an impact on our ways of living

The machine was wrapped and store away so it was a bit difficult to take the picture and it clearly shows that time and use has heavily gone by

I cut the typewriter from its back ground so it could stand on its own and added a light shadow under it to make it look as a product picture. I also cleaned it a little bit in Photoshop but I tried to edit as little as possible.


I used several key words in google for getting inspiration.

1963 Advert, 1964 ad royal Remington portable typewriter fleetwing, 1965, 1965 art, 1965 magazines, 1965 fashion and design, art deco, art deco graphic design, design in 1965, popular mechanic, Remington fleetwing typewriter.

I choose 1960’s because that is my product commercial time

From reviewing several layouts I choose a variety of them that I could eventually work with. Here I show my research results and below examples of adverts from the 1960’s.

1 -Layouts format study fomr 1960's

The numbers in red represent the amount of columns for each layout.


This pictures from magazines and poster were my starting points for developing concepts and a way of researching advertising design and helped me to understand what was happening in design at the time before the 70’s


This is a very interesting part of the assignment. Years after WWII and the arrival of many European artists to North America inputted many different genres and opened the doors to modernism its concepts and there was room for innovation.  I initially thought on using the Swiss international style as it was an active movement at the time of my product. Then I realized that so it was the corporate style, the New York School, psychedelic, pop art, American heroic realism, and American poster style. However beside the rules and concepts from the Swiss International Style  the other styles where not clear on their concepts and how they differ from the previous style, how they uses grids, fonts, pictures, and layouts and what their ideals where.

So I needed to do a deeper research before starting my design. I still think much of it has a deep base on the Swiss typographic style beside the psychedelic movement of course.

*American heroic realism:

*American poster style:

*Pop Art :

*Swiss International Style: 1920 -1970 “Unity of design achieved by asymmetrical organization of the design elements on a mathematically constructed grid (grid considered to be the most harmonious means for structuring information) Use of photography and copy that present visual and verbal information in a clear and factual manner, free from exaggerated claims of propaganda and commercial advertising. Use of sans‐serif typography set in a flush‐left and ragged right margin configuration. The initiators of this movement believed that sans‐serif typography expressed the spirit of a more progressive age.” Graphic Design History @ Mahidol University International College

“Object photography, sans-serif typography, lack of ornamentation, and strict composition on the basis of the grid system are characteristic of this style” P196 –  Graphic Style from Victorian to New Century

Critics of the movement considered the style cold and impersonal and thought the focus on objective principles led to formulaic solutions that generally looked the same. Advocates suggested the pure legibility of the style led to a timeless perfection of form that delivered an understated message without the exaggerated claims typical of advertising.”   Steven Bradley &

“The style emerged from a desire to represent information without the influence of associated meaning; i.e.) objective information”


The solution to a design problem should emerge from its content.

Symbolic imagery, simplified geometric forms, expressive edges and lettering, and vibrant contrasting colour with asymmetry

The grid is used to construct harmony and is an openly displayed and fundamental geometric exercise involving the cube and the line.

Use of geometric letterforms.

Bold use of black, white, and red.

Bright pure hues combined with photographs in intense, complex visual composition

Transparency of printing inks by layering shapes, typography, and images to create a complex web of graphic information

Photography and bold graphics

Use of Sans serif

Combining photography and type aligned on the left

Organic, kinetic, and soft photographic image contrasts against geometric, static, and hard‐edged shapes of typography

Graphic Design History @ Mahidol University International College

*Corporate style:

* The New York School: 1940s – 1970s “Was born from an excitement about European modernism and fuelled by economic and technological expansion; it became a dominant force in graphic design from the 1940s until the 1970s and beyond. Initially, Modern design in America was imported by talented European immigrants seeking to escape political totalitarianism. They provided Americans with a first-hand introduction to the European avant‐garde.  American modern design was less formal and more intuitive than the European modern design. New York City served as a cultural incubator in the middle of the 20th Century. It nurtured creativity, and its prevailing climate attracted individuals of great talent and enabled them to realize their potential. In this highly competitive society, novelty of technique and originality of concept were much prized. Designers sought to solve communication problems as well as express their own personal views & styles. Emphasis was on the expression of ideas and an open, direct presentation of information Graphic Design History @ Mahidol University International College


Provided Americans with a first-hand introduction to the European avant‐garde

Modern design was less formal and more intuitive than the European modern design

Originality of concept were much prized

Designers sought to solve communication problems

Express their own personal views & styles.

Expression of ideas and an open, direct presentation of information

The art is often playful, visually dynamic, with unexpected elements and symbolism.

Value ordinary universally understood signs and symbols as tool for translating ideas into visual communication

Visual contrast

Exploring unproven ideas

Integration of form and function for effective communication

The role of a designer was to upgrade rather than serve the public taste

Exuberance of shape and whimsical images

Incorporation  of subjective vision and private symbols into graphic design

Searching for simbols to capture the essence of the content and treating form and content as one

Painting was important

Old style typefaces could be incorporated

Unconventional imagery and innovative compositions

Figurative typography

Letterforms became objects

Figurative typography

*Psychedelic Style:  1960 – 1975  “The end of WWII in 1945 brought about a post-war economic boom in the U.S. It also brought about an enormous spike in the birth rate, known as “the baby boom.” Between 1945 and 1957 nearly 76 million babies were born in America. By the middle 1960s, most of these kids were young adults. As young people do, these “baby boomers” questioned America’s materialism and conservative cultural and political norms. During the 1960s a youth movement emerged, seeking to create an egalitarian society free from discrimination. The feminist movement and the Black movement are a direct result of this evolution. Americans in the 1960s and 70s addressed many controversial issues — from civil rights, the Vietnam War, nuclear proliferation, and the environment to drug use, sexual freedom, and nonconformity. Many youth sought spiritual experiences through Eastern Mysticism and psychedelic drugs. Music festivals and concerts were a prominent feature of the 60s landscape, and musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead, The Who, Janice Joplin were the super-stars of the day. It’s hard to say whether psychedelic music influenced the counterculture or vise versa. But a unique artform found expression in band posters.”  Renée C. Tafoya, Prof. Art/Graphic Design, Northwest College


My conclusion

I am still missing a bit of research to deep in the other styles but I feel quite confident about my choosing so long

Basically as mentioned earlier I thought that those layouts could fit without problem within the Swiss International Style but it was not quite right. After the reserach I understood that the New York School proceed from the Swiss international Style but the difference was its philosophy. One is objective and detached from its own meaning while the other is all about meaning and expression of ideas

OBS: I must mention that I found the following poster of great help.


Idea developing

After defining and understanding what was happening at that time I continued with the idea generation process using the SCAMPER method

Here are some rough concepts



Using photo collage and pictures under transparency paper with hatch lines creates depth and contrast. The plan is to crop, blend, overlap.



For this assignment I am planning to use vectors as little as possible trying to reproduce the essence of the Style from that era so i will be using transparencies instead off

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