History of Design: To Bauhaus and Beyond Reflection – Prouns

What I found most interesting during this lecture were Prouns, created by El Lissitzky, one of the most prominent artists from the Suprematism period. Prouns are a series of abstract paintings which utilise lines and geometry. Suprematism works of that period were mostly flat and 2D, but El Lissitzky’s Prouns went beyond this characteristic over time. They started out as paintings and lithographs but later developed into full-fledged 3D installations. He also explores spatial possibilities by adding negative and positive depth to the canvas using additional materials. His compositions are highly unique which is what draws me to them. Pictured below is one of the Prouns that he created.

A Proun, c.1925

History of Design: Industrial Revolution & Graphic Reactions Reflection – William Morris

The Arts and Crafts movement was mainly influenced by William Morris, a British textile artist (among many other things). An ethos of craftsmanship and artisan skills dominated this movement, as well as the belief that good art and design can improve lives. Textile pieces produced during this movement usually used good quality raw material, natural dye and plant and animal forms in the design.

A famous example of this would be the Pimpernel wallpaper, which has a naturalistic design that captures realistic forms, and the type of flowers used have meaning to them. For example, the usage of windswept flowers refers to fragility.

Image Source: https://www.stylelibrary.com/shop/wallpaper/archive-wallpapers/pimpernel/


History of Design: Writing to Typography Reflection – Bodoni typeface

Bodoni is an Italian serif typeface belonging to the modern typeface family along with Didot. It was designed by and named after Giambattista Bodoni, an expert printer, typographer and publisher who lived in Parma. He drew inspiration from John Baskerville, who invented the Baskerville typeface, and made exaggerated changes to the typeface to create his own.

The Bodoni typeface has a few distinct characteristics. The first one is that it has an extremely high contrast between thick and thin strokes, which has become a defining trait of modern typefaces. The second one is that due to this high contrast, the typeface produces an effect called ‘dazzle’, which causes the text to be rather difficult to read. This effect is even more prominent when the font is reduced to smaller sizes, causing the hairline strokes of the typeface to recede. Hence, it is recommended for this font to be used mainly for titles.

Here are some examples of Bodoni in use, such as:

a book cover,

Image source: https://www.kehrerverlag.com/en/cj-clarke-magic-party-place-978-3-86828-689-2

a magazine ad,

Image Source: https://fontsinuse.com/uses/6962/gilbey-s-vodka-ad-in-playboy-magazine

and a factory signboard.

Image Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/joeclark/11404324804/

Display image source: https://www.fonts.com/font/linotype/bodoni