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04 OCTOBER 2013

California Department of Public Health: The Marlboro Man Recoded

"Brands are about meaning. In this case, Leo Burnett was able to transform a mild woman's cigarette into a rugged masculine product virtually overnight by using iconic imagery. The brand was literally re–imagined and thrust into the number 1 position as a result. The state of California realized that they needed to disempower this same iconic imagery and bluntly point out that even rugged cowboys can suffer serious diseases like lung cancer, emphysema, and heart disease caused by smoking."

(Kurian M. Tharakan)

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19241954advertising campaign • Asher and Partners • California Department of Public Health • cancer • cigarette addiction • consumer brandscowboycritical commentaryculture jamming • David McLean • Dick Hammer • disarmamentdiseaseemotive manipulation • emphysema • gendered brandsharmful effects • heart disease • iconic imagery • impotence • Leo Burnett • lung cancer • Marlboro (cigarette) • Marlboro Country • Marlboro Cowboy • masculinityPhilip Morrispublic health campaignre-inscriptionre-purposerecoding • renarrativize • ruggedsmoking causes impotencesmoking cigarettes • smoking related diseases • tobacco industry • Wayne McLaren

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
30 JUNE 2013

The AIGA Design Archives

"AIGA Design Archives is one of the richest online resources available to those who practice, study and appreciate great design. It represents the quality of work being created, as well as shifting aesthetics and sensibilities of the designers of the day. Included in this resource are more than 20,000 selections from AIGA's annual juried design competitions dating from 1924 through the present. In addition, it features special collections of major American design firms and practitioners whose design accomplishments might otherwise not be preserved online or made available to the public. These now include the work of Chermayeff & Geismar (1960–2006), Vignelli Associates (1962–2008), and Push Pin Graphic (1960–2005).

The collection is expected to grow by approximately 300 selections a year. A number of the physical artifacts in the collections are available for research and study at the AIGA Archives at the Denver Art Museum in Colorado and the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia University's Butler Library in New York."

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1924AIGA • AIGA Design Archives • American design • American Institute of Graphic Arts • Butler Library • Columbia University • Denver Art Museum • design archive • design collectiondesign firmsgraphic artsgraphic design collection • Ivan Chermayeff • juried design competitionmodern graphic design collectionphysical artefacts • Push Pin Graphic • Rare Book and Manuscript Library • Sagi Haviv • shifting aesthetics • shifting sensibilities • special collections • Tom Geismar • twentieth-century design • Vignelli Associates • visual communication

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
16 JANUARY 2013

Call to Order: the subordination of the matter to the light of the form

"The French poet and filmmaker, Jean Cocteau, is usually given the credit for the title by which the neoclassical revival of the 1920′s and early 1930′s is known. Le Rappel a l'ordre or the Call to Order summoned the civilized world to its senses. These were the very organs, you will recall, that had been ripped away by a shell fragment in Dix's Skin Graft.

This 'call to order' actually had its roots in French wartime propaganda. The virtues of France's Latin–based civilization were ranged against the Teutonic brutalism of the Germans. Before the war, néoclassicisme had languished like a discarded stage prop. In 1918, with the 'Huns' surging for a second time toward the gates of Paris, Cocteau and others summoned the cultural icons of Greece and Rome to join the Allied ranks. That year, Cocteau published a book, Le Coq et l'Arlequin, which he revised and renamed in 1924 as Le Rappel a l'ordre. The message was the same, without the 'us versus them' jingoism of the war: civilization must look to its ancient past to regain its bearings and enhance its vitality.

Cocteau's thesis found an appreciative audience in many circles, including the United States. According to French writer Jacques Maritain, 'what makes the purity of the true classic is … a subordination of the matter to the light of the form.' The discipline and dedication of the artist would admit only the essential elements of art into the work being created, excluding anything that would 'debauch' the senses of the viewer."

(Ed Voves, 4 October 2010)

TAGS

1920s19241930s • ancient past • brutalismcall to orderchaos and classicism • civilized world • classical formcreative fundamentalism • cultural icons • debauch • enhance vitality • essential elements of artessentialismGermanGreek • Jacques Maritain • Jean Cocteaujingoism • light of the form • neoclassical • neoclassical revivalneoclassicism • neoclassicisme • nostalgiapurity • regain bearings • return to order • revival • Romanromanticism • senses of the viewer • Teutonic • Teutons • true classic • us versus them • wartime • wartime propaganda • World War I

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
02 AUGUST 2011

Ballet Mecanique: a symbolic cinematic collage

"This film, the first declared 'sans scenario' in its text introduction, is a collage. The swinging chrome balls, the gears of machines, the dancing bottles, the rotating disks juxtaposed with femine lips and eyes are all awaiting the female form trudging endlessly up and down the stairs with her burden. The symbols seem obvious to us in an age of technology and sexual advertisement/liberation."

(Ben Howell Davis, 1988)

Ben Howell Davis (1988). "Ballet Mécanique", from Man Ray multimedia application as referenced in Multimedia Computing, Case Studies from Project Athena, Mathew Hodges and Russell Sassnet, eds, Chapter 9, pg 117.

Fig. 1–2 Fernand Léger "La Ballet Mécanique".

Fig.3 Fernand Léger, production still from "La Ballet Mécanique 1923–24, / 35mm, black and white and colour, mono, 14 minutes, France, French Intertitles (English Subtitles) / Directors: Fernand Léger, Dudley Murphy / Image courtesy: Institut Français

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1924 • age of technology • Alice Prin • avant-gardeavant-garde cinemaBallet Mecaniquechoreographycollage • Dudley Murphy • experimental cinemaFernand LegerfilmFuturism (art movement) • George Antheil • juxtaposition • Kiki de Montparnasse • machinesMan Raymotion designpatternrepetition • sans scenario • sequence designsexual innuendosymbolismvisual communicationvisual design

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
06 NOVEMBER 2009

Gestalt theory in visual screen design: a new look at an old subject

"Gestalt theory is a family of psychological theories, that have influenced many research areas since 1924, including visual design issues. Gestalt Theory is one of the foundations for instructional screen design. It is generally accepted that Gestalt theory may be used to improve educational screen design and thereby improve learning (Preece, Rogers, Sharp, Benyon, Holland and Carey1994). Gestalt Theories are usually expressed as laws, and there are many variants of Gestalt theory laws devised by different psychologists, for example Boring (1942) stated 'in 1933 Helson extracted 114 law of Gestalten. All but half a dozen of these laws are applicable to visual form.' Many of the laws are very closely related or overlap, and it is often very hard to distinguish between them. The Gestalt laws explain how the individual elements from the environment may be visually organised into fields or structures (Koffa 1935). Traditionally the Gestalt laws are used to suggest how static visual elements should be presented in order to achieve effective visual results.

We noticed that only very few Gestalt laws are commonly applied to instructional visual screen design (Fisher and Smith–Gratto 1998–99, Preece et al. 1994). Being curious people, we wondered if some important laws were generally overlooked, so we examined the Gestalt literature and selected the laws that appeared to be the most important for visual screen design, and combined similar ones together. Thus, we identified eleven distinct laws that represent the major aspects of Gestalt theory knowledge about visual form. These laws seemed to contain the most relevant aspects of Gestalt Theory for computer screen design.

To test the value of these principles we applied the eleven laws of Gestalt to the visual redesign of an educational multimedia program, WoundCare, and then evaluated the redesigned application and examined the educational value of using the Gestalt laws in the screen design process. This paper is an account of how useful these laws were in a particular multimedia screen design and, by extrapolation, what benefit other designers may gain from using these design principles. Therefore the value and specific desirable approaches for the design of new multimedia technology based on an expanded Gestalt theory base is the key point of this paper."

(Dempsey Chang, Laurence Dooley and Juhani E. Tuovinen)

Chang, D., Dooley, L. and Tuovinen, J.E. (2002). Gestalt Theory in Visual Screen Design – A New Look at an Old Subject. In Proc. WCCE2001 Australian Topics: Selected Papers from the Seventh World Conference on Computers in Education, Copenhagen, Denmark. CRPIT, 8. McDougall, A., Murnane, J. and Chambers, D., Eds., ACS. 5–12.

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1924aestheticsAustraliacommunication • CRPIT • Dempsey Chang • design • design balance • design formalismgestalt • gestalt laws • gestalt principlesgraphic designJenny Preece • Juhani E. Tuovinen • Laurence Dooley • psychologyvisual communicationvisual designvisual languagevisual perceptionvisual screen designvisualisation

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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