Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Poster & Reading Assignment

At the beginning of next Tuesday's class, your finished poster design is due. Also, I want you to write a series of short responses to some questions, in reaction to an online reading assignment. We'll also look at a handful of links in class:

Milton Glaser critiques Shepard Fairey.

Milton Glaser on referencing Marcel Duchamp and Islamic Painting motifs in his Dylan poster.

Here's the article on Shepard Fairey for you to read & respond to:

Obey Plagiarist Shepard Fairey, by Mark Vallen

Please answer the following questions, and print out your answers to hand in on Tuesday's class:

1. Vallen suggests Fairey has no demonstrable drawing ability, calling his art "machine art that any second-rate art student could produce." Is this an accurate appraisal of Fairey's style? Is it a relevant critique? Explain why or why not, in each case.

2. Vallen suggests that Lichtenstein's appropriation of comic strip imagery is valid, while Fairey's is not. What is the distinction he draws between the two artists? And do you think it's a valid distinction?

3. Vallen claims that the rationale behind Fairey's "Obey Giant" campaign -- to "stimulate curiosity and bring people to question both the campaign and their relationship with their surroundings - because people are not used to seeing advertisements or propaganda for which the motive is not obvious" -- is "pointless twaddle." Does he have a point, or is this in fact a decent rationale? Why?

4. Did Fairey have any sort of responsibility to recognize the skull image from the "defiant since 89" T-shirt as an SS Skull? Why?

5. Was the use of the Koloman Moser figure for the "Obey Propaganda" poster appropriate? Did Fairey make the image his own, or does it stand too much in the shadow of the original image?

6. Is Fairey's addition of an "Obey" logo to a Black Panther's beret an act of commentary, appropriation, or something else? What does the addition of the "Obey" logo do to transform the meaning of the original image?

7. What do you think Fairey's transformation of Rupert Garcia's "Down with the Whiteness" poster ultimately means?

8. Should Fairey have issued an apology to Rene Mederos, for the use of his poster image on a T-shirt?

9. Do you think that Fairey's use of Gary Grimshaw's winged panther image violates the spirit in which it was created for the "public domain?" Grimshaw says as much: "It is an icon that people can identify with and organize around, and thus must be free of copyright restrictions and onerous ownership. That is the spirit in which the image was created. The commercial exploitation of this image is not strictly criminal because of its public domain intent, but it reeks of the very mean spirit that the image was meant to oppose." Does Grimshaw have a point, or is Fairey completely in the clear in this case?

10. Towards his conclusion, Vallen states: "The expropriation and reuse of images in art has today reached soaring heights, but that relentless mining and distortion of history will turn out to be detrimental for art, leaving it hollowed-out and meaningless in the process. When I refer to "mining" in this case I mean the hasty examination and extraction of information from our collective past as performed by individuals who do not fully comprehend it. That is precisely what Fairey is guilty of, utilizing historic images simply because he "likes" them, and not because he has any grasp of their significance as objects of art or history." Is this a vlid critique of Fairey's art? What responsibility does the artist have to the history and social context of art the imagery he/she chooses to appropriate, if any?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Specs for poster

Poster size should be:

11in x 17in (add a 1/8" bleed)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Due Tuesday, 2/26

At the beginning of Tuesday's class, you need to have a sketch of your idea for the poster design. This can just be a pencil sketch. The final design can be illustrated, or it can be photography-driven, or it ca use collage - though the images should be in the public domain, or at least tweaked enough that they could be defended on a "fair use" basis. But come to class armed with an image/idea.

In preparation, please listen to the bands in the "BAND LINKS" column to the right. Street Joy and Tasty Treat will have more information regarding venues and dates - so if you want to set integrating the text into the design as a good "design problem," pick one of those. Otherwise, let the music guide you - pick the band whose sound you respond to the most, or which gives you the strongest mental images.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Poster Presentation

This assignment is due at the beginning of class on Tuesday, 2/19.

As a prelude to our poster project, everyone is going to do an in-class presentation on a poster artist or a poster movement, so that we get exposed to a variety of poster styles and approaches. Present images in powerpoint, or as an image slideshow. Everyone will have 10 minutes to present and take questions. In addition to the presentation, you'll need to print out and hand in a minimum three page paper (double-spaced), which will serve as an outline of your presentation. That's three written pages -- not one written page and two pages of pasted-in images. If you want to include images as supplements to the three page paper, feel free. Include a fourth page that lays out your bibliography. If you can get your hands on some actual books to bring to class to show around, please do. There are a few poster art books in Prim Library.

In your presentation and paper, give a description of the artist/movement, and what the social context for the work was. Who was the audience for the posters? What sorts of messages were they trying to convey? Who paid for the posters to be made (if relevant -- some posters, like the May '68 posters, were not commissioned)? What made the posters interesting or unique? What made them stand out? In addition to giving some biographical and social context, pick out several images that interest you, and critique them in some detail. What sorts of formal decisions make the posters "work" (or fail to work, if you think they're bad posters?)

Single out at least two posters, and write about the following elements in each poster:

Describe the qualities of the fonts, and how they are used
Describe the use of color
Describe the use of imagery
Write about the balance between text and image, and the overall composition
Describe the communicative impact of the poster

You could break down the paper in this way:
1 page of personal/cultural background to the artist/movement
1 page dedicated to a specific poster
1 page dedicated to another specific poster
1 bibliography page

Below is a list of poster artists or poster movements to choose from. Plug the name or prase into Google images and pick something that appeals to you visually. Once you've chosen, write your choice in a "comment" to this blog post -- don't pick artists/movements that have already been "claimed" in the comments section (this is first-come, first-serve). You're not restricted to this list -- if you'd like to do a presentation on some other poster artist, just name them in the comments section.

This should go without saying, but don't plagiarize. You'll get caught, and that'll suck.

The Beautiful Angle Poster Project
Art Chantry
Brian Chippendale
Shepard Fairey
Rupert Garcia (chicano movement posters)
Eugène Grasset
Gary Grimshaw (psychedelic 60s posters)
Miss Amy Jo
Judge (
Frank Kozik
Strawberry Luna
May 1968 Posters (1968 Paris Uprising, 1968 Street Posters)
Rene Mederos (and Cuban poster artists of the 1960s)
Victor Moscoco
Alphonse Mucha (and Art Nouveau)
Polish movie posters (esp. Jan Lenica)
Print Mafia
Soviet Movie Posters (esp. The Stenberg Brothers)
Soviet propaganda Posters
Théophile Steinlen
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
US WW2 propaganda posters
Leonetto Cappiello
Tyler Stout

(The top image is by Bay Area Chicana artist Ester Hernandez)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Dimensions for Sierra Nevada Review cover

If you're only doing a front cover:

8.5" Tall X 5.5" Wide (add a 1/8" bleed - set the bleed in File > Document Setup as .125")

Wrap-around cover:

8.5" Tall X 11.25" wide (this includes a 1/4" spine) - also add a 1/8" bleed.

The only text that needs to appear on the cover is:

Sierra Nevada Review

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Poetry Magazine References

Past covers of the Sierra Nevada Review:

Covers of POETRY Magazine:

For my Superbowl 2013 commercial I chose the Doritos princess commercial. I'm hung up between if it's method 11 or 12.
Audi: instills Bravery
For superbowl 2013 audi produced a commercial ad that fit into the category of an exemplory story.  the writers of this ad chose to market the sylish luxury side of the audi product by creating a story of confidence and bravery.  the story starts off with a young man showing low self esteem due to the fact he must show up to prom alone. when it is revealed he can drive his father's audi there, his attitude quickly changes giving him a completely different outlook on the night due to the car's "cool" or "bad-ass" qualities as one may choose put it.gun says this category of commercial instills a story that makes the consumer happy they had the product in that situation.  in this case, having the audi, made the young man's night turn from embaressing to fantastically memorable.
-katelyn jensen

In this super bowl commercial they are using the 9th format which is using ongoing characters and/or celebrities. They decided to create a dispute between two famous actors, that have appeared in plenty of films together. So they fit well together already in the commercial. But then a problem is created, they are there for the same reason, even taking the others job. But in the end, they get brushed under the table by the appearance of another celebrity, Lebron James.

E-Trade Baby

The E-Trade commercial from this years super bowl featured Gunn's ninth format of advertising.  This commercial used the "symbol, analogy , or exaggerated graphic" to portray the many ways you could lose your money instead of investing with E-Trade.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

"Space Babies" 2014 Kia Sorento Big Game Ad

This ad seems to run along the lines of the associated user imagery type. Sure there's quite the fictitious story going on, but it plays off as these are the kind of people that drive this car. It's a luxurious family car. The actors are dressed nice and are clean cut. The ad takes place (more or less) inside the cabin of the car, so there are lots of shots of the nice leather seats and the fancy touch screen panel built into the car. I'd say it's an effective ad, as the wild story taking place grabs your attention and keeps you interested enough to watch the entire commercial, allowing them to show off its features and just how fancy their touch screen computer is (you know, since it is voice activated as well).

Oreo Commercial

I think this advertisement falls into the unique personality property commercial category. Oreos are a unique cookie compared to the cookies a person bakes at home. The cookie its self is essentially two cookies with creme in the middle of them. Oreo used their unique cookie to drive an argument between two people about what the best part of the Oreo is. This commercial also falls under the category of parody. It makes fun of the fact that if you are going to argue in a library you must whisper. I feel like the commercial would not have been as funny or successful if it were in a different location without the whispering.

M&Ms Commercial

This M&Ms commercial is an example of an advertisement using the "ongoing characters and celebrities" format. Not only has M&Ms consistently used their candies as characters in many of their advertisements, in this commercial they added a celebrity as well, Naya Rivera. I feel that using ongoing characters in advertisements appeals to the consumer because it is recognizable and consistent. "A recurring character or celebrity association helps cement the brand's identity into the viewers memory." When I watched this commercial I did not find it to be extraordinarily funny or original although immediately after seeing the M&M character "Red" I recognized the brand and associated it with some of their commercials I had seen previously.

Volkswagen Commercial

The Volkswagen commercial is an example of a benefit cause story type of commercial. The ad begins with a man at work speaking with a Jamaican accent and is being super positive. His coworkers and boss are not happy so he takes them for a ride in his car and they all return happy and speaking in Jamaican accents. It is then revealed that is is because he was driving a Volkswagen. "You Conceive the ad back - to - front, by imagining a trail of events that might be caused by the product's benefit" which is one of the characteristics of the benefit cause story types of ad. I think that this is an effective ad because it is funny and gets the viewers attention, the commercial made me happy so I feel that the product will also make me happy.

Go Daddy "Perfect Match" Commercial

The always edgy Go Daddy released the commercial to portray its "sexy" layout and "intelligent" interface. Claiming it has both sides of these sides to it, and together it makes Go Daddy unique. I think that this ad shows "symbol, analogy, or exaggerated graphic and" "unique personality property." It makes the analogy of "sexy" and "nerdy" saying the company has both of these qualities about them. I also could see it fall under the "unique personality propert," because it says that these qualities make them unique.

Will Ferrell's Old Milwaukee Super Bowl XLVII Commercial

Old Milwaukee's Superbowl commercial featuring Will Farrell is an ongoing celebrity appearance ad and a parody. This commercial is not your run of the mill Super Bowl ad. First it was only aired in 3 small mid west cities: Sherman, Texas, Ardmore, Oklahoma and Glendive, Montana. Also, Kate Upton was paid an estimated 1 million dollar for the Mercedes- Benz Super Bowl commercial. Will Farrell did this, and all of his Old Milwaukee, commercials for free. "[These commercials have] given creative freedom to revive a brand and shoot crazy fun commercials," Farrell told Eater San Diego in December. as for the striking similarities with the Go Daddy commercial,coincidence or hilarious parody brought on by leaked information?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Carl’s Jr. “Sun Tan” Super Bowl Ad

This is the Carl’s Jr. “Sun Tan” Super Bowl Ad Director’s Cut featuring Nina Agdal.

The fast food chain’s “Sun Tan” ad uses "benefit causes story" by imagining a trail of events that might be caused by the product's benefit. In this example, we see an attractive Nina Agdal enjoying Carl’s Jr.’s new Charbroiled Cod Fish sandwich. "The product's benefit—beguiling women to the point of dementia—creates the story."

#Go Pro's - #Dub-step - #Babies = WIN

GoPro has done it again, after a huge promotional weekend of the X-games and a hilarious Kitty Gopro Commercial, GoPro and the Super-Bowl brought us Babies and Dub-step. In this Ad, GoPro uses Gunn's first format which is "demo." but also incorporates a self aware "parody" of itself as well. I wasn't incredibly stunned by the Super-Bowl commercials, but I thought this was a cute, humorous, and witty piece of advertisement. What do you think?   

Union Binding Company

The Union “U” logo embodies all qualities of a sound logo. Their bindings have usually have intriguing designs and colors on them, but the bindings are made a strong, light, and simple. no bells and whistles.

The U itself always has a line with a small triangle protrusion on the bottom of it.  This gives it a silhouette of a bolt, which is synonymous with strongly holding two objects together. That is exactly what they do; strongly hold you to your board.

There signature color is a very bright orange, the color commonly associated with construction. It immediately conveys a tough and rugged feel. The logo is exactly as the founders of union described the company, “ No bullshit, Premium Materials.”      


Here are the parameters of your logo assignment. It would probably be good to have a sheet of sketches for several logo ideas. I will want to see 15 prospective variations of your logo design, broken down as follows:

a) Five logos that are purely font-based (you can, and probably should, tweak with the font letterforms, but the logo itself should be formed only out of text)

b) Five logos that also incorporate some sort of abstract shape that somehow supports the "tone" of the business (for example, the Nike "swoosh," which is an abstract shape, but which connotes speed, energy, etc)

c) Five logos that incorporate some sort of pictographic "icon" -- a simplified version of something representational (for example, the way the NBA logo has a silhouette of a basketball player)

We'll continue with the logo design through next class period -- that will be the last in-class period to work on the logo designs. The 15 versions of the logo will be due at the beginning of class next Tuesday (a week from today). From there. we'll review the logos, pick out the most promising design(s), and work on refining those designs.


For next class, I'd like you to read/view a couple of articles about "the 12 Types of Advertisement" – as classified by creative director Donald Gunn, way back in 1978.

Here's a six-minute video about the 12 types:

And here's a transcript of that video, just for easier textual reference - it has some example ads embedded, although unfortunately a good chunk of the embed are no longer working (the ads are excerpted in the above video, anyway):

I want you to pick out one of this weekend's superbowl ads (you can google "superbowl ads"), embed it on this blog, and write which of the 12 ad types you think it is, giving supporting examples for your classification. Also, write whether you think it's an effective ad or not – and give your reasons. Please check in on this blog to see if the ad you're picking has already been taken.


Deadline Feb 15