Forsman & Bodenfors, with Evelina Bratell (stylist) and Carl Kleiner (photographer). Homemade is Best, 2010. Courtesy Forsman & Bodenfors. © Forsman & Bodenfors.

Laurenz Brunner. Akkurat, 2005. Courtesy Lineto. © Lineto.

New Disciplines in Graphic Design in the 21st Century

Installation view, Graphic Design: Now in Production, September 30, 2012-January 6, 2013, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles.

Felix Burrichter and Dylan Fracareta. Pin-up, Issue 10, Spring/Summer 2011. Courtesyy the Publisher. © the Publisher.

Anthony Burrill. Oil & Water Do Not Mix, 2010. Conceived and produced in Collaboration with Happiness, Brussels. Courtesy the Artist. © the Artist.

Jop van Bennekom. The Gentlewoman, Issue 3, Spring/Summer 2011. Courtesy the Publisher. © the Publisher.

Christopher Clark. Web Typography for the Lonely: Cluster, 2011. Poster. Courtesy the Artist. © Christopher Clark.

 

Hammer Museum
10899 Wilshire Boulevard
at Westwood Boulevard
310-443-7000
Los Angeles
Graphic Design: Now in Production
September 30, 2012-January 6, 2013

Organized by Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York, Graphic Design: Now in Production explores some of the most vibrant graphic design work produced since 2000, including posters, books, magazines, identity and branding, information graphics, typography and typefaces, and film and television title graphics. The Hammer is the third stop in a national tour of the exhibition, which debuted at Walker Art Center in fall 2011 and was most recently presented by Cooper-Hewitt on Governors Island. The lead curators of Graphic Design: Now in Production are Andrew Blauvelt, curator of architecture and design at Walker Art Center, and Ellen Lupton, senior curator of contemporary design at Cooper-Hewitt. The Hammer’s presentation is organized by Brooke Hodge, director, exhibition management and publications.

“The Hammer is so pleased to be the only west coast venue for Graphic Design: Now in Production, the first survey exhibition of graphic design in the 21st century,” says Hammer director Annie Philbin. “With the advent of recent technology and increased accessibility to software and tools, design has undergone a revolutionary democratization. This exhibition highlights the creative process of design as it extends beyond the professional studio to include the design and production of blogs, print-on-demand publications, as well as the venerable realm of poster design.”

Graphic design is the art and practice of visual communication. Designers use color, typography, images, symbols and systems to make the surfaces around us come alive with meaning. Today the field is shifting and expanding in unprecedented ways, as new technologies and social movements are changing the way people make and consume media. Public awareness of graphic design has grown enormously during the past two decades through the revolutions in desktop computing and networked communication, which have also fueled tremendous growth in the profession.

The exhibition is organized around seven themes: Posters, Magazines, Books, Information Design, Branding, Typography, and Film and Television Titles.

Posters The poster is the most iconic form of graphic design, with its roots in the early advertising culture of the 19th century. Today, designers create posters to actively investigate the genre itself through self-initiated projects. Experimental approaches to the poster encourage user-generated messages and explore digital, mechanical, and handmade techniques. This section includes an interactive digital poster wall display by the Dutch design collective Lust; Albert Exergian’s posters based on American television classics; Jürg Lehni’s Empty Words project, a machine for making die-cut posters; and Anthony Burrill’s typographic woodblock and silkscreen posters proclaiming messages such as Oil and Water Do Not Mix, printed with ink made from spilled Gulf of Mexico oil.

Magazines With the rapid growth of digital formats, publishers are rethinking the traditional magazine by exploiting the explosion of niche audiences and new digital formats, print-on-demand, and online distribution networks. This section was curated by Jeremy Leslie, creative director of the blog magCulture, which explores issues and trends in publication design. Among the projects on view are Jop van Bennekom’s Fantastic Man and The Gentlewoman; Karen, an independent magazine-maker who applies a highly personal blog-like sensibility to content creation; Hannerie Visser’s Afro magazine from South Africa, which reimagines the form of the magazine itself; and Pedro Fernandes’ design of I, a Portuguese newspaper that incorporates the visual vocabulary of magazines.

Books The role of the designer in the publishing process during the past 20 years has dramatically shifted to be more inclusive in terms of authoring, editing, and self-publishing. This section features work by David Pearson, whose Pocket Penguin book titles reinvigorated the publisher’s classic backlist; the print-on- demand experiments of James Goggin; Irma Boom’s innovative book designs, and McSweeney’s books and magazines, which employ typography, layout, and production to enhance the experience of reading.

Information Design Information designers serve as storytellers, journalists, and translators, seeking to organize data in understandable, engaging, and memorable ways. This section includes work by the Boston-based studio Sosolimited, whose real-time installation analyzes language from broadcast television to create dynamic typographic displays; information displays created by the New York Times’ Graphics Department that tell the news stories of today; Catalogtree’s interactive iPad app about the “flash crash” of the American financial markets; and David McCandless’ Mountain and Molehills, a statistical representation of media “scare” stories of the past decade — from Y2K to SARS.

Branding More than just a logo, a brand also consists of a larger visual and verbal identity as well as the perceived values that both define and set apart an organization, community or even an individual. Designers approach branding as a narrative-driven experience, evoking an emotional response and solidifying the relationship between a company and consumers. This section was curated by Armin Vit and Bryony Gomez-Palacio, operators of the blog Brand New, which tracks the ever-changing world of brand makeovers and corporate identity programs. Highlights include Ji Lee’s logo preservation project, which documents the use of the twin towers of the World Trade Center to brand numerous New York City area businesses; a new project commission from design researchers Metahaven about the use of social media as a powerful form of communication and control; and experimental identities for cultural institutions, created by Stefan Sagmeister, Mevis & Van Deursen, and Maureen Mooren, among others.

Typography Typography is the creation of letterforms and other characters that give visual form to the spoken and written word. The personal computer revolution of the 1980s introduced typography to the general public and the availability of font design software in the 1990s fueled a renaissance in typeface design.

Featured works on view in this section include Process Type’s Anchor, Peter Bilak’s History, and Lineto’s Akkurat, as well as posters and other artifacts created by M/M (Paris), Antoine + Manuel, Marian Bantjes, Oded Ezer and Farhad Fozouni.

Film and Television Titles Film and television titles are mini narratives that give viewers insight into what is to come and what has already happened. This section will feature television and film titles curated by Ian Albinson, co-founder of the website artofthetitle.com, created by some of the leading motion graphic designers practicing today.

Catalogue An extensively illustrated, 240-page catalogue produced by the Walker Art Center accompanies the exhibition. Conceived as a visual compendium, the catalogue features project details, artists’ statements, and excerpts from interviews and published manifestos. Original essays discuss the changing nature of design labor, work and value; the expanding roles that designers are assigning themselves in the production process; the varied definitions and theoretical framework that informs the notion of the designer as producer; the role graduate programs have played in development of systematic creativity; and the blurred nature of designing, writing and reading in the age of user-generated content; desktop production; and systems of self-publishing.

Experimental Jetset. Statement and Counter-Statement, 2011. Courtesy the Artists. © Experimental Jetset.

Installation view, Graphic Design: Now in Production, September 30, 2012-January 6, 2013, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles.

Installation view, Graphic Design: Now in Production, September 30, 2012-January 6, 2013, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles.

Justin Manor, John Rothenberg, and Eric Gunther. Set Top Box, 2010. Courtesy Soso Limited. © SosoLimited.

David Bennewith. Churchward International Typefaces, 2009. Photo by Franz Vos, Jan van Eyck Acadamie and Courtesy the Artist. © David Bennewith.

Stefan Sagmeister, Casa da Musica.

Tom Barham, Curious Pictures, Opening title sequence for Bored to Death, 2009

Christopher Doyle, Christopher Doyle Identity Guidelines 2008, 2008.

The State of the Art of Graphic Design, Five Minutes Ago

Peter Buchanan-Smith, Best Made American Felling Axes 2009.

Jop van Bennekom, Fantastic Man #1 2005.

Jop van Bennekom, Fantastic Man #2, 2005

Sarah Illenberger, information graphics for The Truth about Sex, published in Neon magazine, 2008.

Metahaven, Uncorporate Identity, 2010.

James Goggin, Dear Lulu, 2009.

 

 

Walker Art Center
1750 Hennepin Ave.
612-375-7600
Minneapolis

Graphic Design: Now in Production
October 22, 2011-January 22, 2012

Graphic design has broadened its reach dramatically over the past decade, expanding from a specialized profession to a widely deployed tool, Today graphic design is the largest of the design professions in the U.S. with more than 250,000 practitioners. The field is shifting and expanding in unexpected ways as social media and other technologies have changed the way people consume information As design tools have become more widely accessible, designers' roles have expanded: more designers are becoming producers — authors, publishers, instigators, and entrepreneurs.

One of the most ambitions graphic design exhibitions in the U.S. in more than a decade, Graphic Design: Now in Production occupies some 10,000 squaare feet of gallery space, the extensive exhibition explores some of the most vibrant sectors and genres of praphic design, including posters, books, magazines, identity and branding, information graphics, typography and typefaces, and film and television title graphics.

In addition to engaging and interactive gallery installations, the exhibition features an innovative education program, "Night School," which provides a platform for sharing in-depth information and knowledge about graphic design with a dedicated group of local design students; and an exclusive retail store within the gallery featuring designer-created goods for sale to visitors.

"In the 1980s we had the introduction of the personal computer, in the 1990s the internet, and in this decade the advent of social media. These successive wages of social and technological change have empowered designers, and non-designers, to reconceive their proctices, rithink their roles in the design process, and reimagine how their work is both produced and distributed." said Andrew Blauvelt, curator of architecture and design at the Walker.

Graphic Design: Now in Production is organized into eight thematic sections:

Posters The poster is the most iconic of graphic design formats and persists today despite the advent of mass media advertising and anti-posting ordinances. Today, some of the most vital poster designs eschew conventional client messages in favor of more idiosyncratic approaches, Experimental approaches to the poster encourage user-generated messages and explore digital, mechanical, and handmade technologies and techniques. This section includes an interactive digital poster wall display by Dutch design collective Lust; the work of Albert Evergian, whose self-initiated iconic posters draw from American television; Jurg Lehni who creates new tools from hardware and software such as Viktor, a robotic chalk-drawing machine, and Anthony Burrill, whose typographic woodblock and silkscreen posters proclaim messages such as "Oil and Water Do Not Mix," which used spiled Gulf of Mexico oil as silkscreen ink.

Magazines The publishing industry has changed dramatically with the rise of digital formats such as websites, blogs, mobile apps, and tabloid computing. Today's open digital culture has challenged traditional definitions of authorship, production, and distribution, blurring the lines between design, writing, editing, and publishing. This section looks at the fate and future of design-driving publications, including agazines, journals, books, newspapers, and newly minted formats for e-book readers and the iPad. London-based publications consultant and founder of magculture.com, Jeremy Leslie curates a selection of today's most inventive magazines that reinvent publishing genres, rethink the very idea of what a magazine can be, both materially and technologically, and those in which design itself becomes the content. Work in this section includes Jop van Bennekom's Fantastic Man and The Gentlewoman, reinventions of the fashion publishing genre; Hannerie Visser's •Afro• magazine from South Africa that reimagines the form of the magazine itself; and Pedro Fernandes' design of I, a Portuguese newspaper that incorporates the visual vocabulary of maganines.

Books The last two decades have seen the growth of design-conscious book publishers who have either catered subject matter to designers or chosen design-driven formats for their books. Designers' roles within the book production process have expanded to include authoring editorial and self-publishing as access to the means of producing and distributing books has expanded. This section features work by David Person, whose Pocket Penguin book titles reinvigorated the publisher's classic backlist; the print-on-demand experiments of James Goggin; and the book designs of Irma Boom, whose explorations of the form, structure, and materiality of the book have transfromed the genre.

Information Space New software provides tools to visualize the increasingly prevalent amount of data available to people worldwide. Information design helps shape our understanding of data by organizing it visually in easily understandable, engaging, and memorable ways. Information design touches all aspects of our lives, from roadway maps and instruction manuals to the navigations and interaction design for computers and software. This section includes work by boston-based studio Sasolimited, whose real-time installation analyzed language used on broadcast television to create dynamic information displays; and projects from the realm of visual journalism which uses data gathered from research to help tell the news stories of today with work by New Times Graphics Department, Catalogtree's interactive iPad app about the "flash crash" of the american financial markets, and David McCandless's •Mountain and Molehills•, a statistical representation of media "scare" stories of the past decade — from Y2K to SARS.

Branding and Identity The 20th century witnessed the rise of comprehensive design programs that sought to unify, personify, and identify the public face of organizations. The post-world War II "golden age" of logo design has given way to the democratization of identity programs and the rise of branding — a more comprehensive reprenentation of the relationship between companies and consumers. This section includes armin Vit and Bryony Gomez-Palacio's Brand New, featuring "before" and "after" versions of logos for organizations and companies, drawn from their popular web project of the same name; Ji Lee's logo preservation projext documenting the use of the twin towers of the World Trade Center in numerous New York City area businesses; and a new project commission from design researchers Metahaven about the use of the internet and social media in recent political events. Also on view are experimental identities for cultural institutions, created by such influential designers as Stefan Sagmeister, Graphic Thought Facility, Mevis & Van Deursen, and Maureen Mooren.

Typography and Typefaces Typography is the creation of letterforms and other characters that five visual form to the written word. Today's renaissance in the design of typefaces is fueled by the relative ease of use and ubiquity of font design software and renewed attention to importance and impact of a centuries-old craft. No longer an obscure specialty, typography today involves the creation of custom lettering for products and publications, the design of multilingual typefaces for a global public, and the revival of historic typefaces for contemporary use. This section includes Process Type's anchor, Peter Bilak's •History•, and Leneto's 11 Brown, as well as posters and other facts created by M/M (Paris), Antoine + Manuel, Marian Bantjes, Oded Ezer, Farhad Fazouni, and other designers working worldwide.

Storefront Today's designers are increasing entrepreneurial, designing merchandise and conceiving goods for sale themselves. This section presents a retail shop within the context of the gallery, featuring designer-created and designer-curated products, as well as repackaged products like t-shirts, tote bags, posters, books, and magazines, Works include James Victore's •Dirty Dishes• series of message-emblazoned ceramic plates and the artfully-designed, bespoke axes by Peter Buchanan Smith from Best Made Co.

Screening Room A special screening room within the exhibition space will focus on the field of motion graphics, which span the gamus — from pormotional videos and broadcast graphics to television bumpers and interstitials in addition to longer form film and television title treatments. Today, title graphs are mini narratives that give viewers insight into what is to come and what has happened. This space features television and film titles curated by Ian Albinson and Alex Uloa of the website artofthe title.com, created by some of the leading motion graphic designers practicing today.

Exhibition Catalog An extensively illustrated 240-page catalogue ($40; $36 members) accompanies Graphic Design: Now in Production. Original scholarly essays by leading desingers and writers explore the exhibition's themes of the production and distribution of graphic design. The catalogue is produced by Walker Art Center's award-winning in-house publications studio.

Exhibition Curators Lead curators of Graphic Design: Now in Production are Andrew Blauvelt and Ellen Lupton. Blauvelt is curator of architecture and design at Walker Art Center. Lupton is curator of contemporary design at Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York. Blauvelt and Lupton are not only celebrated graphic designers but also internationally recognized for their writings on and exhibitons about graphic design.

Addditonal contributing curators include:

Ian Albinson and Alexander Ulloa, co-directors of the website artofthetitle.com, a leading compendium of film and television title designs from around the world;

Jeremy Leslie, creative director of the blog magCulture, shich features the most innovative magizines and newspaper designs in the world and comments on issues and trends in publication design; and

Armin Vit and Bryony Gomez-Palacio, operators of the blog Brand New, which tracks the ever-changing world of brand makeovers and corporate identity programs.

Christopher Clark, Web Typography for the Lonely, 2011.

Christopher Clark, Web Typography for the Lonely, 2011.

Tom Barham, Curious Pictures, Opening title sequence for Bored to Death, 2009

Daniel Eatock, Felt-Tip Print, 2006.