Thursday, 27 March 2008
The partner DJ Stout has created a “Texas Designer’s Map of the World” as a part of a promotion for Sappi Fine Paper. Based on the concept of a Texas Brag Map, the poster elucidates the worldview that everything is bigger and better in the Lone Star State. “It’s part of our Texas heritage and our collective sense of humor,” explains Stout. “My apologies to the other smaller, less interesting states on the map.”' (pentagram, 2008, p.new).
He divides a map of the U.S. into six parts and assigns each section to a graphic designer who resides within the region. When all six posters are put together, they form a giant map of the United States, “of course I was given the Southwest,” says Stout (pentagram, 2008, p.new). Its composition is bolshy, beautifully layered (as you notice opening the pdf on a sluggish computer), with Piet Zwart/H. N. Werkman letters treatment surrounded by soft pastel triadic harmony of red, blue, yellow. Yet still its not too disparaging with the these surreal, fluctuating sized elements like The World's biggest Jack Rabbit, it has Swiss grounding in neat, clean, precise, even grids of text J.M.Brockmann would be proud of, creating a salient  contrast. It also treats word (type) as image that crow , and concrete poets of appollinaire to mallarme would adore.
The other participants include Art Chantry, Rick Valicenti, Paul Sahre, Clive Piercy and Tim Hussey. Brilliant.
Download the large version image here.
 Kress & Van leeuwen
 Left to Right: The Cultural Shift from Word to Image
Wednesday, 26 March 2008
• upright/oblique’ (Blackwell, 2001, p. unknown).
An excellent visual map that beautifies, enlivens, and has an excellent salient ability is ‘Liverpool the centre of the creative universe’ designed by Burn Everything.co.uk, fig. This was exhibited at the Tate Liverpool but this certainly grabs the user/readers attention and it categorises the content into Topographic landmarks of the city, such as The Docks, The Walker Art Gallery, Tate, Bluecoat Art Gallery, Liverpool College of art & also by The Beatles. The subtle harmony with tinges of Pink Framing (arrows/lines) the main Landmarks in the foreground and the background framing of the Blue linking particular people across these Landmarks are excellent. The framing (Kress & Van Leeuwen) also has many different styles from varied iconic and well known pointing hands, to hand drawn, dashed lines, rounded edge bubbles, rectangular, organic grey shapes, speech bubbles all used in distinction to there landmarks. The use of varying saturations of black with the monochrome bubbles and introduction of illustrations of birds & eyes, some iconic others mimetic (realistic photos) create a magnificent balance of word & image.
The layering and differing tones of grey create great depth and the information value is immense because it is so visually engaging and stimulating you to read/interpret and identify The Beatles as being something you know of. You follow the linked bubbles further and may discover Brian Epstein, ‘Who is this?’ is a reponse the name might elicit. This would then hopefully inspire the map reader/user to research this name, usually via Google (preferably Kartoo.com), or ‘Who is Peter Blake?’ That would certainly inspire and stimulate creativity upon discovery.
 Kress, Gunther & Theo van Leeuwen wrote three aspects of visual composition: Salience, Information Value & Framing in Reading Images: The Grammar of Visual Design. London: Routledge (1996), (Chandler, 2006, p. sem_04).
Blackwell, Lewis. (1998). Twentieth-Century Type, New and Revised Edition. Lawrence King, London
Tuesday, 25 March 2008
Held in Berlin from 31 August to 16 September 2007, Illustrative showcases more than 200 works of established European illustrators. The exhibition focuses on so called free, uncommissioned, daring and ambitious works of the new generation in the illustrative field.
This is an excellant multi-directional comic by Blu, more multidirectional comics featured in Pictures and Words: New Comic Art and Narrative Illustration. It has the same multidrectional, non-linear reading that maps entail. It creates multi-narratives that could be continued with other collaborators/designers with other point of views similiar to PAR, Participatory Action Research[i]. This involves ‘participants in collaborative research activity with researchers in constructing their own perspectives of their world with a view to social improvement’ (Dowmunt, Dunford & Hemert, 2007, p 181).
[i] [i] This is very similar to PD (Participatory Design) which is ‘an approach to systems design that emerged from Scandinavia in the early 1070’s […] active participation of workers in the design process’ to enhance skills/knowledge (Crabtree, 2005, p132).
Illustrative Berlin - blu - multi directional comic - Centaur Publication. (2008). Creative Review nov 07 p52
Dowmunt, Tony, Dunford, Mark & Hemert, Nicole van. Ed. (2007). Inclusion Through Media. London: Goldsmiths
Crabtree, Andy. (2005). Designing Collaborative Systems: A Practical Guide to Ethnography (Computer Supported Cooperative Work). Springer-Verlag, London Limited
Monday, 24 March 2008
The book Mapping: An Illustrated Guide to Graphic Navigational Systems has a high focus on the graphic element and has a chapter looking at examples of representations of time & space featuring work by NB: Studio - London Kerning
Paley, Bradford. (2008). Information Esthetics - calendar
This varying size affects the information value very effectively, but as it is a Concept map, clicking one of the planets readjusts the circular halo (planets) to a series of bands that are associated to them, such as with The Ravonettes. The subtle, seamless, beautiful real time repositioning of the constellation to the associated bands with them is excellent. The interconnection of these information sources is immense and is not half, not nearly as visually stimulating viewed via plain words/sentences. Music Plasma has an interactive highly creative visual composition, visual map. It has mapped the knowledge of a map designers mind and allowed the seamless fluid motion to map user’s interaction.