Motion Graphics

From 2D paint programs to 3D modeling softwares, computer technology changed lots of things in graphic design. The improvements made on software programs turned every computer into a single studio for bot graphic design and motion graphics. Before computers were widely available, it was a costly business and consumed lots of time. As the costs of producing motion graphics on computer droped, it became a discipline that we see in very different mediums. Most important programs for the widespread use of motion graphics were After Effects, Discreet Combustion and Apple Motion.

Apart from it’s history, motion graphics became even more limitles with newer technology. These newer versions of desktop applications like After Effects collected together special effects, compositing and color correction tools and also 3D applications. Motion graphics evolved as an art form with 3D elements. Other than After Effects, Autodesk’s Maya and 3D Studio are used for animation and design. It also become popular for commercial uses.

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Ray Gun magazine by David Carson

Ray Gun was an American alternative rock and roll magazine, first published in 1992 led by founding art director David Carson. David Carson is best known for his innovative magazine designs and deconstructive typography which are still used today. What David Carson did in Ray Gun magazine was to experiment different typographic designs in the magazine. The result was usually a chaotic, abstract style and not always very legible style, but it was definitely distinctive in appearance, which is very important for a magazine. When Carson left the magazine after three years, his follower art directors Robert Hales, Chris Ashworth, Scott Denton-Cardew and Jerome Curchod, continued the tradition for compelling visuals.  

Ray Gun produced over 70 issues from 1992 to 2000. The content of the Ray Gun magazine was also innovative. The subject matter in Ray Gun was cutting-edge advertising, musical artists and pop culture icons. Ray Gun was in front of its competitors by putting artists like Bjork, Radiohead, Eminem, PJ Harvey on its cover page. Even though since 2000 we can’t see the magazine on the shelves, David Carson’s influential graphic design work and so-called “grunge typography” are widely-imitated aesthetics today.

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Saul Bass

Saul Bass is an important figure for Graphic designers as he was the first person to create title sequences for movies. In his career he created more than 50 title sequences for many important directors like notably Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick and Martin Scorsese. Before creating title sequences for movies he was only designing posters for the movies. Unlike the movie posters that were used before him, he took the logic of movie posters to a further level. Rather than using realistic pictures or actors photographs, he used symbolic, bold, simple, but at the same time inspiring elements. Even before he made his cinematic works, Bass was a well known graphic designer.  Bass studied at the Art Students League in New York and Brooklyn College under a Hungarian graphic designer Gyorgy Kepes and he introduced him with Bauhaus style and to Russian Constructivism and when you look at his work we can easily see how he got inspired by these two styles and created something new for use in different mediums in graphic design. What Saul Bass did was reinventing the movie title as an art form that we almost see in every movie today. Even at the late stage of his career and when he got old he was an idol for many young directors and some of them got the chance to work with him.

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Constructivism and Architecture

Emerging as an artistic movement in Russia at the beginning of 20th century, constructivism influenced many different people. Especially for graphic design, it had great influence for new techniques. Another area that constructivism influenced was achitecture. Eventually what Constructivist art had attempted to apply was a three-dimensional vision to abstract materials with a different element. The 1919 proposal for the headquarters of the Comintern in St Petersbur by Vladimi Tatlin was the first Constructivist architectural project symbolised revolution in both architecture and Russia. The new forms that Constructivists created started to symbolise a project for the Soviet Union in the mixed economy. Also in Europe many architects influenced by El Lissitzky in Germany and Switzerland designed buildings, considering them to be constructivist. They used Constructivism’s geometry and technologic aesthetic and created Western Constructivism. The fall of constructivist movement in Russia was because of the widespread criticism of Modernism. By the end of 1920’s, many buildings were build by Constructivist style and many buildings of this period survive.

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There are many different aspects of the Renaissance. Also many different artists, architects, writers and technicians influenced the transition from medieval to modern times. Encyclopedia’s always took my attention. Many families in Turkey have the encyclopedias that newspapers give out, but none of them had the influence on society like Denis Diderot and Jean le Rond d’Alembert’s Encyclopédie. The writers of the Encyclopédie successfully spread their belief in the potential of reasoning. Even though they had no interest in radically reforming the French society, Encyclopédie lead to the French Revolution. I think it’s obvious that the contributors of the Encyclopédie saw it as a vehicle for providing all man kind with knowledge. In the Encyclopédie there are three main branches of knowledge. Memory/History, Reason/Philosophy, and Imagination/Poetry and most significant fact is that theologhy is listed under Philosophy section. This automatically makes religion as a subject to human reason and also by putting “Knowledge of God” only few nodes away from “Divination” and “Black Magic” shows us their point of view significantly.

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Chinese Moveable Type

The world’s first known movable-type system for printing purposes was invented in China in 11th century, later than the Chinese invention, metal movable-type system was developed in Korea during 13th century. So why do we still remember Gutenberg’s movable type as the first one, or why did Gutenberg’s invention rapidly spread across Europe and lead up to the Renaissance and Chinese movable type didn’t. In Eastern parts of the world, movable-type system was not widely used because of the amount of labour involved in manipulating the ceramic and metal tablets.

In ancient China, printing had been practiced for very long time as block printing, the carved woodblocks were used to print a page with text. As the Chinese culture uses thousands of ideograms rather than total letters of 20 to 30, this method is thought to be more appropriate. Some archaelogists also argue that a Chinese inventor Bi Sheng improved this method by creating a specific typeface and this was the beginning of typography in China, but it failed to become widely used in China. Even after the death of this inventor, movable type and his fonts could not spread to China. Who knows if it had spread all over Asia, we could talk about an Eastern Renaissance, 200 years before the European one.

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Illuminated Manuscripts and Ottoman Calligraphy

When I saw the Illuminated manuscripts on the web page of the va312 class, they reminded me of the Arabic and Ottoman calligraphy that I studied in the major works of Ottoman art class. Illuminated manuscripts are texts that are supplemented by the addition of illustrations like miniatures. Of course the styles of these two are completely opposite, but the main goal in both of these writings is to create something that looks good. As the majority of the manuscripts and calligraphic work are of a religious nature, they were also done by the patronage of wealthy individuals and emperors.

Islam is a religion which focuses its followers to learn the natural text of the Qur’an which is Arabic. Since the beginning Qur’an and Islamic culture also tends to be against figurative art. Calligraphy, which is only formed by beautifully written text, is one of the most known arts of the Islamic culture. Also in Turkey, as the heritage of the Ottoman culture, it’s one of the last survivors of Ottoman arts that still live.

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