Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Jonathan Barnbrook (OUGD101)

Barnbrook is one of the big names in Graphic Design and I was introduced to his work early on when I began to study it. I particularly like the political aspect in his work - some of which is often seen as controversial. He heavily links his consumerist beliefs into his work which ties with the politics. I feel that this makes his work interesting and unique due to the viewers reaction to it. The following example are pieces of his work that I love and contribute to my view of Graphic Design at present:

"Corporate Fascist"

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"Rosama McLaden"

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I feel that Barnbrook cleverly communicates his view that general consumers who buy commercial things from large corporate companies such as McDonalds, are funding the world stock market which helps keep governments in power and funded for fighting the war on terror. Hence the Mcdonalds Osama Bin Laden. As Barnbrook puts it:

"People shouldn't pretend they are not responsible (for war), because they are. We all are" (From the book 'Contemporary Graphic Design' by Charlotte & Peter Fiell)

Although this work is very image based, I admire Barnbrook's typographical skills for which he is best known. Such as the following:

"'Mason' Typeface"

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"'Bastard Fat' Typeface"

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"'Doublethink' Typeface"

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I love Barnbrook's typography due to its shape and form which gives it unique character over other fonts distinguishing Barnbrook's style from other designers in my opinion. The controversial nature of his design work is only highlighted further by him naming a font 'Bastard'. Plus, I also like his reference to 1984 by George Orwell with the 'Doublethink' typeface as I see it as reflecting his views of how powerful our world leaders are.

Here are a couple more Barnbrook designs that contribute to my present day view of Graphic Design:

"David Bowie - Heathen Album Cover"

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I love the type in the above design. It really works well in communicating the notion of a heathen. Especially how it is upside down! Although being a corporate design and going against all his consumerist opinions, Barnbrook maintains that he has to earn a living and Graphic Design is how he does it so he therefore works corporately to hold respect for his profession. An opinion of which I have a lot of respect for.

"Violence Is A Cycle"

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This design highlights the Israel/Palestine conflict brilliantly through the circular notion in the design as the conflict between Jews and Muslims has been going on for around 100 years and therefore seems never ending. Like a circle. I really like this one.

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This image relates to the previous one due to the Israeli connection. Simple and effective, this rare non-typographically based piece of Barnbrook design hits the spot for me in communicating how America always have to butt in other peoples conflicts.

So in conclusion, with Jonathan Barnbrook being one of my favourite designers, he has had a huge effect on my current view of what Graphic Design is.

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely fantastic, just passing through this, and have found all images to be very striking :)