Our brief asked us to come up with a poster that embodied what graphic design meant to us. I liked that task because we could be quite personal with it as opposed to designing something for someone else, which of course is the norm. I was looking forward to analysing what graphic design ACTUALLY did mean to me as I hadn't managed to identify it yet.
Our first meeting with Cath we were asked to bring in a quote to get us started about what graphic design means to us and the world. In group we then looked for links and themes in each others quotes, and created a whole mind map of what graphic design means and how it affects us. We ended up having such different views and being exposed to everyone's opinions was great as it was really eye-opening.
All of my research that I did after our first class led me to find loads of really interesting graphic posters. At first I really liked the idea of using wordplay and hidden images as there were lots that I thought were really clever. However I then made the decision to steer towards a more personal route instead of a satirical one. Also I read the chapter about posters in Bruno Munari's "Design As Art" that made a really interesting point about the fact that the posters that are most successful have a circle design in the centre that 'traps' the eye and keeps the viewer focused. That idea stuck with me and so I kept that in mind when designing my poster.
Our second class with Cath meant that we could demonstrate 3 ideas that we had come up with and then get feedback from the rest of the group which was great because it helped me decide which route to go down. I got a lot of positive feedback for the first two posters and then between the two of them most of my peers like the first one, which I was pleased with because that was the one that was most personal to me, as I have a background in textiles so the stitching is very me.
The stitched element of my poster led me back to my research and some work I had stumbled across by a student called Briar Mark who had created these stemming works by hand sewing a sentence that as she states, "would have taken 8 seconds to type". I really liked the work and thought it was a very clever statement towards the fast-paced graphic design industry, so I used this to inspire my own work.
It's been years since I had used the dissolvable fabric and not for the actual process of melting it, so I knew I needed to test it our before I got really to film my poster. I'm glad I did because I would never have thought of it sticking to the surface behind it, and so thankfully because I did a test run, I knew when it came to the hand-in day, I'd have to suspend my poster between two boards, instead of it on the wall so the fabric didn't just stick to the wall.
Gustav Metzger's "Auto Destructive Art" movement was also an inspiration that helped me along with this project. I liked the idea that he created artworks that "couldn't be collected". I wanted to replicate this in my poster so that it was more about the being there and experiencing it than it was about the making it last forever.
It took me a while to decide how to phrase the message that I wanted to get across. Once I was happy with the wording, I mapped it out on a large sheet of dissolvable fabric and began sewing the letters. I used my sewing machine and in total it took about 6.5 hours.
I am so thrilled with the way my poster and the filming turned out. I was worried that it wouldn't melt successfully or it wouldn't look very impressive, AND of course I only had one shot to do it, so I was so pleased when it worked and I think it looked great. I got lots of people to help melt the fabric which made the video really interesting. I then took all my footage and photos and edited together a short video to explain my concept and also to showcase the work, because obviously it's gone now so I have nothing to show for it! Hopefully I got my point across and despite not having a physical poster anymore, a few people who witnessed it being destroyed will remember the process and appreciate the work I put in.