lately i have been contemplating design as a means for communication + expression.
this is new for me, relatively—i've never really thought very much about graphic design. in fact, i've never quite been a fan of the term "graphic design" because it seems like such a dry, vague way to describe what graphic designers can do. but i've been realizing just how much they are capable of.

sooo i've been trying to learn more about the art of graphic design, via books and blogs and journals. at the bookshop, we get creative review, which i've come to love paging through. upon looking at the november 2010 issue, i discovered the marvel that is marian bantjes. i'm sure everyone in the design world has heard of her, but she was new to me...

her ability and success with making these swooping, typographically gorgeous, meticulous, color-driven designs arise from her wish and courage to do what she loved, not what made her the most money. often i feel that people have forgotten what it is like to do something because they love it.

marian bantjes started out as a typesetter and had her own small firm for a time. eventually, however, she left all of that behind to  
"begin an experiment in following love instead of money, by doing work that was highly personal, obsessive and sometimes just plain weird." source 
oh, i find her to be tremendously inspiring. both through her adventurous artwork and experimental outlook.


such variation, too. she just seems fearless. though nobody gets there without seeing a thorn or two.
so that's what i've been thinking about this morning. ooh, also, it's friday! so have a good one. cheers!


  1. So let's spar here a little bit... I'm curious why you perceive "graphic designer" as a vague and dry term? Does it conflict with your definition of "artist?" I would argue that the term "artist" denotes a myriad of connotations for which only a few pertain to the skill of imaginative, creative expression. Is it because graphic designers make no apologies for plying their skills commercially? Does that make them less imaginative or creative and more dry and vague? ...Thanks for the post--Bantjes recognition in Creative Review is well-deserved.

  2. why hello, dawn!

    i think maybe the thing about graphic art + design is the tools that artists/designers use. nowadays a lot of it is computer-based. and so, even though these designs are made for book covers + web sites + magazines + fabrics, i had categorized it as something similar yet different from "art." of course, as it goes with art, it all depends on the individual, & the eye of the beholder.

    what i meant to get across by saying that "graphic designer" was a dry and vague term was that i wish it did more justice to the spectrum of graphic design. i definitely don't think the craft/trade itself is vague and dry, or that it is less creative because it is used commercially or anything like that. as you say, some terms contain multitudes. they have to.

    really, though, i need to learn more about graphic design. so... maybe next time i see you, i should take better advantage of your knowledge + experience...! i'm glad you read this and saw something in it, even though i'm sure it just shows off my graphic design naivete.


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