Friday, March 22, 2013

The Divide Between Type and Art

As Graphic Designers, our eyes are honed to dissection type and design. While typography remains a field of it’s own within Graphic Design, the integration of type and design comes hand in hand in many cases. One field we can see its prevalence in is music.

Starting with the Beatle’s “dropped T” Logo in 1963, which like most great works was discovered by accident, music albums have incorporated typographic elements into their artwork, and vice versa. This can be said for many genres, but it seems no more prevalent anywhere than in black metal album covers, where the type ranges from unreadable to offending as designers.

Averse Sefire




This is only the tip of the iceberg that is the integration of art and typography in music, but shifting focus to a much more common field for us all is logo design. You can see more clearly than others the integration of artwork into the type. Thankfully for this portion of the blog, the focus of this field is readability. Integration is subtle, sometimes so much so it gets lost in the type.

Tour de France – The our in Tour becomes a man riding a bike

FedEx – Space between E and x makes an arrow

Goodwill- the Face makes the G

Covering this leaves me with one field I cannot ignore any further. While it isn’t a popular subject, Graffiti Art is the embodiment of outsider artwork and typography. For many people graffiti conjures images of curse words, gang signs, and badly drawn vulgar imagery, and while this is true in some cases, for the most part graffiti artists shape, distort, and create their own type in attempts of making a noticeable, readable, and aesthetically pleasing piece. This ranges from “hand styles” that look no more than a signature, to a 2-story mural that takes months to complete.

Bread & Bruiser – “Wicket” hand style

“Saber” – L.A. River piece

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