INDUSTRIAL DESIGN IN THE 1960s
A new exhibition in London called “Systems” invited top designers to pay tribute with a series of 34 posters to industrial designer Dieter Rams’s work with Braun – an epitome of the ever austere German Functionalism.
At Braun in the 1960s, Rams put into practice a comprehensive approach to ID and brand strategy where products weren’t designed in isolation, but rather as a part of a family of iconic products. Many critics today say Rams’s influence can be seen today in the Apple-dominated world of highly stylized product lines.
“In the 1960s, the entire Braun program was a single system that informed the design of everything from the products, the packaging, the guarantee slips, and they brochures,” says James Charles-Edwards of Walter Knoll, a prestigious European furniture company which is hosting the exhibition at its London showroom. “What remains impressive today is the way that this great range of objects interlocked to produce a single coherent program.”
“Systems” celebrates the cohesiveness of Rams’s design program by displaying examples of the company’s classic 1960s products coupled with the exhibition of commissioned posters, which are displayed in an interlocked mosaic on a giant wall of the Walter Knoll showroom.
The exhibition showcases many different approaches: Artica Design emphasized the Braun LE 1 speakers with their clean functionalism and grid-like grill, while Swedish design studio Lundgren+Lindqvist opted to abstract Braun’s design language through pixelation.
Bernd Grenther’s design explores the evolution of Braun’s color palette from 1955 to 1995. Designer Tom Higston, on the other hand, showcases how the design of one of Braun’s iconic products–the egg-beater– is still a beautiful object even when splattered with batter.
Although, today Braun’s products have moved away from their utilitarian intentions and become more like decorative objects, Braun’s systemic approach to rational industrial design, under Rams’ legacy, provides a great blueprint for achieving branding cohesiveness which contributes to brand success and can be seen practiced even today by companies such as Apple.
For those traveling to London anytime soon, Systems will be on exhibit until January 31, 2014.
Original article: FastCoDesign
Zaman’s Radar (Busier than DXB Airport !)
We have scratched beneath the surface and uncovered a wealth of the team’s creative influences. Here are some of recent treasures.
“Tableau” photographs have been created since the beginning of photography. However, we find Metz+Racine props cleverly staged and witty. The sets evoke the essence of craft and their constructed scenes remind us of the cubists painters. Their stylized use of colors and pure geometrical forms create elaborate architectural sets with wonderland aesthetics.
We love the assortment of balloons and the Winter Olympic flags that Andrew B Myers created. His top down view on objects staged against simple color backgrounds remind us of the pop colors of the 70s and 80s.
Christine Gustafsson and Nicolas Lydeen have embarked on a unique artistic journey. AGONISTParfums are presented in handcrafted glass created in collaboration with glass artist Asa Jungnelius. Every detail is exclusively developed with regard to nature and raw material. ISIS for instance is bottled in a glass sculpture that had tension inside which made it crack and break during the installation to express the bud bursting in spring. Wait until they discover the individuality of Oud.
As the season for festivals is about to start in Dubai, we were wondering if there is room for a holistic event like the DUMBO festival in New York. DUMBO is only for three days in September. However, its impact is felt for the whole year as the participants who win the hearts of the public get to stay and are offered free space. In its 2nd year of practice they received more than 200,000 visitors and got emerging artists to exhibit side by side with established professionals. This year they are aiming for more. The objective: “the best free contemporary art experience for all ages for years to come”. Now there’s a challenge.
Pascal Zoghbi is one of only a few designers working in the relatively new discipline of contemporary Arabic typography. Having studied extensively in Europe, Zoghbi returned to his hometown of Beirut in Lebanon to found 29letters. His work involves creating new Arabic typefaces, corporate identities and print publications. Understanding the structure of traditional calligraphic styles is important to contemporary Arabic typeface design, and Zoghbi’s objective is to create a balance between the old and the new.
Last but by no means least for this blog The Oh my God Exhibition takes a geometric look at character design. In ancient Greece they had something better than superheroes; they had gods, each with their own powers, weaknesses, backstory and followers. Each one a brand. Presenting them in this contemporary form could induce new interest amongst a young audience.
A CAUSE FOR JUDGING A BOOK BY ITS COVER
Chip Kidd, a man who has devoted 20 years of his life designing book jackets, offers a peek into the deep thought & art behind some of his most celebrated covers. A graphic designer for NY publishing house Alfred A. Knopf since 1986, Kidd has designed shelves full of books, including classics Jurassic Park, Naked by David Sedaris, No Country for Old Men, Conversations with Woody Allen, and many more.
“All stories need a face to give the reader a first impression of what you are about to get into” – C. Kidd
His full portfolio can be viewed here
Note: Be sure to head to our website to view past Zaman projects on book & corporate literature design we’ve undertaken for some of our clients.
CINEMAGRAPHS – WHAT ARE THEY & HOW TO MAKE THEM
By Zaman intern Maryam Ahmed
Cinemagraphy is one of the more recent photography techniques in the creative world that’s causing quite the stir. According to a Wikipedia entry, the word ’cinemagraph’ was coined by New York fashion photographer Jamie Beck & motion graphics designer Kevin Burg. A technique of blending the effects of images and videos, cinemagraphs are also commonly referred to as animated GIFs by virtue of the fact that this is the most common format in which they are published but the subtle difference is that in a cinemagraph only a portion is of the photograph is moving in an infinite loop in an otherwise frozen pane. So what I find particularly interesting about cinemagraphs is that they are essentially photographs that have been edited to create another dimension – a slight repetitive movement (see below).
I find cinemagraphs very intriguing visually, as they enhance the stillness of the image and the captivity of the moment. That is because of the subtle repeated movement which contrasts with the rest of the image which appears to be static. This is an interesting visual blend between the concept of video and image. In terms of visual communication, cinemagraphs are a great way to bring the viewers attention to a certain aspect of the image.
Whereas in still photographs, like below, the use of color, contrast, scale and depth of field are things one must consider when wanting to bring attention to something specific.
As a visual communication student I always look for the visual focus in the image or the message behind the visual content, so it is very interesting to see that photography has evolved a step further in terms of communication. However, this also brings out issues in terms of communication as the technique may seem overwhelming to some and the image might not be thought out so well. So as cinemagraphy is emerging in the photography realm other kinds of design considerations arise when composing a cinemagraph.
Interestingly, as cinemagraphy became apparent in the creative world an app called Cinemagram has been created based on the technique of cinemagraphy. This app allows iPhone users to transfer anything they capture into a moving photograph. Though I haven’t personally used it myself it seems that Cinemagram is an app that resembles the famous photo editing app Instagram; where the user gets to choose the effect, capture the image and then share it via Cinemagram. The bombardment of photography related apps seem to have an impact on how people perceive media and design. As said by a friend, the new photography apps seem to make people see everything around them more artistically.
Below are links to some websites that feature beautiful cinemagraphy & I’ve selected a few images that I think are really cool.
If you’re as inspired as I am and wondering how to create your own cinemagraph here’s a link to great tutorial I found online on the Tested.com website. A few other sites you could take a look at include detailed posts on Labnol.org, Net Magazine and LifeHacker.
All the best!
CONVEYING YOUR MESSAGE WITH INFOGRAPHICS
By Maryam Ahmed, Intern @ Zaman
Infographics, at their most basic, are visual presentations of data or information. Commonly used to present or explain complex data in simple, clear and direct ways. The popularity across various subject matters have increased as organizations & individuals find them useful for explaining statistics or facts in a way that captivates intended audiences while retaining relevance. This in turn influences the likelihood of audiences to then share this on within their respective networks.
I think that what makes infographics particularly popular is their use of simple and reductive graphics to communicate ideas. Infographics have evolved from static 2-D graphics into animated graphics using both 2-D and 3-D visuals. As animation and related software continue to improve, infographics have become more dynamic and visual, thus making the information more interesting and comprehensible. Also, the fact that infographics are presented with sound effects and sometimes a narrator makes information even easier to grasp.
Infographics started as charts, diagrams, tables, graphs, flowcharts and maps. They then developed as technology advanced and started being more interactive and enhancing the visual quality of infographics.
Software’s such as Adobe Flash, Adobe After Effects, Motion and Final Cut Pro are developing in terms of animatic production, and they are definitely the top programs to be used for the production of infographics, which is very much related to animation. The software’s have developed a flexible use of cameras making it possible to maintain cinematic effects. Below is an interesting video that I came across which conveys messages of a serious subject matter using very interesting visuals and a dynamic use of cameras.
This infographic video is one of the best I have come across in terms of production, narration and graphics. What I like the most is the use of the limited color palette in the video, where the colors work in favor of the video rather against it. In terms of graphics and illustrations; they appear to be very well done. The level of the graphic’s simplicity works well with the text and the overall theme, especially given that the background is a ‘wall’, the graphics appear to have graffiti like effect, which I quite like. Also, the dynamic camera movement and the type layout keep the audience interested in following the information presented. Most interesting is the conclusion of the video where all the information forms a whole image that communicates and concludes the message of the whole video. I think this is quite impactful.
Another ‘not so usual’ example of infographics that I found interesting is this tattooed infographics about tattoos.
Have you ever created an infographic to present to your clients or perhaps for another type of audience? Here’s one shared by Zaman in an earlier post on how to select music to play in the office on a Thursday afternoon:)
INTERN SPOTLIGHT – Say hi to our intern Maryam
Every summer Zaman runs an internship program where design and communications students from the colleges across the UAE have the opportunity to spend a couple of weeks working alongside our creative team to get a feel for the agency life.
I’d like to extend a warm welcome to our current intern Maryam, who’ll be working with us for a couple of weeks. To get to know Maryam a bit better, I asked her to answer a short Q&A and share an image that best represents her interests.
Full name: My name is Maryam Mohammed Ahmed
Name of current college/university and your chosen course of study: I’m studying at the American University of Sharjah’s College of Art, Architecture and Design. My chosen major is Visual Communication, which I find quite interesting.
Could you share 3 of your favourite blogs/websites?
1. I quite like Tumblr, which is a popular blogging platform for the creative and design fraternity.
2. ObeyGiant.com – This is the official website of the OBEY sticker campaign, which is described by its founder as an experiment in ‘phenomenology’, where the term phenomenology is the process of letting things manifest themselves or any attempts to enable people to see clearly something that is right before their eyes but obscured.”
3. MuchaFoundation.org – “Website of The Mucha Foundation which is an independent, non-profit making charity devoted to preserving and conserving the Mucha Trust Collection and promoting the work of Alphonse Mucha; a Czech art noveau painter and decorative artist known best for his distinct style in paintings, illustrations, ads, postcards and designs.”
Complete the following sentence: “Illustration is…a place where I get to explore.”
Complete the following sentence: “5 years from now I will be…an illustrator for children’s and history books.”
AntiSpec.com – revolution of the logo designers
“If you have been sent here, then I need your help” – This was the message seen at the bottom of the screen by our colleague Nenita as she was navigating her way around a website discovered from a forwarded link she’d received. Intrigued, naturally, she read on.
It seems there’s a revolution happening right under our creative noses and we were none the wiser. The concept behind website AntiSpec.com is so simple and so apt that it leaves us wondering “why hasn’t anyone thought of this before?” They already have. See NoSpec.com.
“AntiSpec”, a short form for Anti-Speculative, is a campaign or rather movement of communication designers across the world; freelancers, consultants, agencies that are fed up of pouring resources, time and effort to compete against invisible competitors for speculative work.
Speculative work, which is basically any job for which the client expects to see examples or a finished product before agreeing to pay a fee, has long been a practice of the creative communications space. Making this one of the few industries were clients get to ‘try before buying’ at a cost that is only credited to the individuals trying their hardest to win the client contract.
Many professionals see the spec-work process as a threat to the design industry itself with many predicting the inevitable ‘commoditization’ of design brought on by globalization, more ‘cost effective’ design software and a bevy of designers, and would-be designers willing to work for free.
The AntiSpec community calls out corporate clients that use sites such as 99designs, Crowdspring and Mycroburst to crowdsource logo design work usually from a database of hundreds, if not thousands, of designers across the globe, offering zero compensation if you don’t bag the job. At the time of writing this post Forbes.com has just posted an article calling out Huffington Post which launched a crowdsourcing logo design contest for its ‘Political Coverage’ column a few months ago. If the opening paragraph of the Forbes article is anything to go by (see below) then it’s safe to say that Huffington Post has just riled up the creatives fraternity. You can read the full article here.
What are your thoughts?
via the logo factory
Qatar Airways ‘24hrs in a city’
If you’ve flown Qatar Airways recently and flipped through their in-flight magazine ‘Oryx’ you might have noticed that they’ve been running an interesting print ad campaign, the central theme being things you’d do if you had 24hrs in a city like Barcelona or say Paris.
Suggestions on things to do at a destination by companies in the travel and tourism sector is not really anything new but what we particularly like about this ad campaign is that instead of just listing down the activities or sights (albeit with creatively written descriptions) Qatar Airways has commissioned some interesting illustrations full of colour and shapes that to show what one can do within 24hrs in that particular city.
Apart from being great keeper’s item (great idea for framing as a poster, maybe), for the more seasoned visitor to the destination we’d like to think that it also creates a bit of fun as you try to name all the images you recognize in each illustration.
Below are samples of the ads. Have you come across these ads? What do you think – hit or miss?
Images via Creative Roots
open call to all design enthusiasts
As part of an ongoing investigation on how authenticity can be sustained in the Arab culture, Zaman is calling all Design Enthusiasts to be part of Zaman’s Signature Calendar.
“Common Expressions” is a collection of Arab proverbs which we hear everywhere. The challenge is to bring them to life through the eyes of emerging design enthusiasts that will add meaning to them through visual interpretations. Zaman’s Signature Calendar will feature the 12 best art works that will be selected and judged on artistic merit. See below images of the calendar from previous years.
This competition is a bridge for design enthusiasts and Zaman to make their design commercially viable. The aim of the calendar’s next collection is to introduce new talent to the broad public and business community. The selected designers will feature on Zaman’s Signature Calender which has now become a reference amongst Zaman’s business community. You will receive a copy of the Calender and your art work will reference your name and contact.
Below are the 12 proverbs, pick the one that inspires you the most and start designing, there are no restraints in terms of your art form, the proverb you will choose will be your starting point in terms of inspiration….so start designing away…and go where your inspiration takes you..!
See our Rules of Entry for details on how to send your work.
ردت حليمة على عادتها القديمة
إن كان حبيبك عسل لاتلحسوا كلو
كلمة ياريت مابتعمر بيت
على قد فراشك مد رجليك
من عاشر القوم أربعين يوم صار منهم
طب الجرة على ثمها تطلع البنت على أمها
إذا أنت أمير وأنا أمير مين بيسوق الحمير
إعطي الخبز لخبازة لو أكل نصفة
اللي ما يعرف الصقر يشويه
غاب القط إلعب يافأر
الباب اللي يجيك منه الريح سده واستريح
القرد بعين أمه غزال
Rules of Entry:
- All artwork should be original and individual
- Each artist may enter one entry
- Selected artwork will be produced in Zaman limited edition calendar and will be shown on display during November 2011.
- By entering the Competition, all parties agree that Zaman has the right to Display, copy, and distribute
- Submissions not selected will be returned to artists
- Entries will be evaluated by Zaman creative team and will be judged on artistic merit
Deadline for Submission: 5th of July
Send your work to firstname.lastname@example.org. Call for more info (+971) 04 326 1000
For more images of previous calenders calenders click here
- Arab World
- Brand Stationary
- Branded Environments
- Case Study
- Conversation corner
- Inspired By
- Social Media
- Zaman in the Media
- Zaman Jobs