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Graphic design is quite like languages. It has characteristics which are aesthetically eye-catching and unique. Yet these designs contrast from culture to culture, which are influenced by a country’s way of life, surroundings and history. Similar to art and music, aesthetics in graphic design vary from each culture. There is that likelihood of common basic styles found in a countries cultural design, which is not established in another cultures approach. But how has cultural design impacted and influenced contemporary graphic design?
Firstly it is important to recognise that creativity is a cultural notion that evolves with time and across countries. The aim of this dissertation is to question why designers are so heavily influenced by simplistic design. Where it derived from and whether specific cultures i.e. Scandinavians, has played an important role or is there a psychological explanation. As well as critically evaluating the psychological importance of simplicity. This dissertation will explain how designers are influenced either from the past or current trends. I will do this by;
1: Importance of simplistic design
Apples influence on consumers
2: Introduce the influence of Scandinavian design
Chapter one will primarily discuss the significant meaning of simplistic design Understanding how designers give inspiration or an expression into a design can prove difficult. As with all perspectives of graphic design, a surrounding and its way to have their own textures, shapes, and colours. Covering an important style that is still current with designers will help give a clearer understanding of it role of influence. Explain to the reader how this influential design and style relates impacts on designers and society. It will explain why there is a need for exploring simplistic styles, which can inspire in order to grow as a designer.
Chapter two discusses in a similar approach to the previous chapter but it will be focussed on Scandinavian design. The chapter will look at the background of Scandinavian culture and its style of creative approach. Why have they had an impact on graphic design and on designers in general. and what makes this culture unique with its approach to create something diverse. To corroborate, both chapters will concentrate on why as a society we appeal to this style and how the Scandinavian culture have had a significant role in influencing the way we are creative.
Finally I will outline the key points made in previous chapters, in order to demonstrate the influences and psychological impact, cultures have had on designers. This will help conclude and evaluate my aims and reason to discuss an iconic culture and an ongoing style.
The interesting notion is that all cultures and surroundings which are foreign, can most likely bring forth some an appealing nature or attraction in people. So observing a different cultural environment, things become noticeable, and we discover beauty in specific items in ways many people who live there may not. Subsequently to continue everyday life, they begin to overlook their surroundings. Exploring a different surrounding helps others notice and observe the little things again. Therefore inspiration comes moderately naturally in this circumstance.
Understanding how designers give inspiration or an expression into a design can prove difficult. As with all perspectives of graphic design, a surrounding and its way to have their own textures, shapes, and colours. Covering an important style that is still current with designers will help give a clearer understanding of it role of influence.
The following key points will give a brief introduction on the importance of simplistic design, aesthetics and design traditions past and present. As well as focussing on the psychological impacts, and demonstrate its influence not only on pioneers, graphic designers, creative minds. This will help exchange a mutual link between creative vision as well as mentality towards design principles.
Simplicity is a situation or state that can sum up everything there is, to be more humble in addition to being momentous. Stating an object as merely ‘simple’ is not relatively accurate to refer to as. In reverse linked to something which is intricate, minimalism search for a simplified way to play down the information as solid and as precise as achievable so that the consumers’ can accept it in their minds promptly.
In the methods of creative inventions, simplicity can be said to achieve something even if it is not just the consumers who can absorb quick messages, but with the significance of simplicity they can take in the importance behind a style that in fact has an insightful meaning that is not diminutive as it can be perceived. A designer cannot be known for a lazy process with regards to their work or that they have a inadequate skills in by means of software especially with a planned, accurate intention of simplistic design.
The purpose of simplicity is needed for the development of designers, both in theory and practically. This does not suggest that designers must eliminate all design principles that are thought to be intricately difficult, but means to continue to grasp a determined outcome in the value of work produced. Like for instance the purpose of the theory of balance in a design does not simply relate to an intricate design. Simplicity doesn’t represent a design that merely looks minimalistic, clean and effortless; a more intricate design on the other hand can too be understood as important design simplicity.
Unique design i.e. minimal, pleasant and enjoyable has grown to be the trademark for Apple products. During a time that is not acknowledged for great developers or designers, Jobs’ joint venture with Hartmut Esslinger in the 1980’s and followed through with Jony Ive starting in 1997 created an industrial and planned visual that put Apple apart from other similar companies and in turn has turned out to be one of the most valuable companies on the planet. Its direct perception was simplicity, not just the minor simplicity that came from a structured appearance and sense and surface of a product, but the insightful simplicity that came from understanding the fundamental nature of each creation.
“It takes a lot of hard work to make something simple, to truly understand the underlying challenges and come up with elegant solutions.” Jobs
As the title of Apple’s earliest advertising brochure declared in 1977,
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
Jobs continually stressed that Apple’s motto would be simplicity.
“The way we’re running the company, the product design, the advertising, it all comes down to this: Let’s make it simple. Really simple.”
Understanding that a major factor of simplistic design was constructing products naturally straightforward to use was important to Jobs. Aims like these don’t always work well as a solution. Every so often a design can appear to consumers as polished and uncomplicated that they can somewhat find it daunting or standoffish to use it.
Jobs’ faith in the influence of simplicity as a design principle reached its peak through the three consumer gadget accomplishments he created establishing in 2001; the iPod, iPhone and iPad. He was deeply involved on a daily basis in the creations of the original iPod and the edge that they had. His focal instruction was to simplify.
“Modernity in Scandinavian design represented a radical shift from regional isolation to self-assertiveness in an international design setting. A century of powerful design movement had commenced about 1880 throughout Europe.” David Ryan
The Scandinavian countries have many differences; with it being cultural, geophysical and historical links. This does not mean that I will focus on all principles for every part of Scandinavian design; this chapter will demonstrate a rundown of the influential status of simplicity from these countries.
Scandinavia is a term for the combination of Northern Europe: Denmark, Norway and Sweden countries. Their style of work is depicted by numerous people as being somewhat simple, modest, with the use of effortless shaping. This way of style is successful devoid of the common need of intense elements as proposed by other cultures. Only what is needed to emphasise a point is used which in turn creates very well-designed work. Survival in the northern design has meant it is vital that their ideas should be decisive, and this has been the foundation of every notion from near the beginning.
Many design styles at present originate from Scandinavian style of graphic design which is at present identified as a form of contemporary design. The type of style is acknowledged for its distinctive and somewhat innovative awareness to styles of clean lines and minimalism. Unsurprisingly, Scandinavian cultural designs and creations have influenced many parts of the world. Certainly, this developed style goes further than simply graphic design it is part of other aspects of art and creation too.
The staircase in Aarhus Radhus (between 1937-1942)
Extended winters and not many hours of daylight stimulated the designers to construct clear, bright, convenient surroundings similar to The Staircase in Aarhus Radhus. They tried to make the household atmosphere as relaxing as possible with the resources at hand. This type of trend inspired nearby countries and ultimately it became international. The expert designs are still strong at present which are produced frequently in a variety of design areas, proving their unchanging technique.
Among the Scandinavian countries, the Swedish culture of design has offered for the most part, clean and fresh styles that have influenced designers. Minimalistic Swedish design has been heavily involved in creating fancy car advertisements. The inspiration that the Swedes have formed is to reduce the quantity of substance in a design project. Good design can be produced through simplicity in addition to making use of grid work. These grids assist the construction of an alignment that, when removed, construct well-designed and precise freedom. An additional technical characteristic of Swedish graphic design would be the application of white space. White space has been used ingeniously in Swedish car advertisements such as Saab. For example the commercial advert used first and foremost the word Saab with only red and black colours. The demonstration of white space is applied to mentally persuade one’s mind remember important parts of an advertisement. This approach is exceptionally successful with give the impression of being a minimalistic, free advertisement. The method of design created by Swedish designers is comparable to various parts of a Swedish way of life, for instance good organisation and simplicity. This is a further great case in point of how an upbringing influences means of creativity.
Marimekko’s Unikko pattern by Maija Isola (1964)
A company known as Marimekko created one of most iconic designs known to be the Unikko pattern. The splashy print pattern is bold, powerful and unreformed flowers of Unikko. The print came out in 1964 and made the company’s products a worldwide success. Unikko is easily the most familiar symbol of Marimekko and its reputation has not diminished over the years. At present, the brand manufactures a broad collection of items, but it is straight away identifiable through its graphical input of design. Marimekko’s bold fabrics and vivid, simple design powerfully influenced 20th-century taste.
From its beginning, Marimekko was solely controlled by only women. At present it is women who engage in every one of the top positions. But the design industry during the 1950’s and 1960’s was a male concerned situation. Gender, consequently, became part of about everything written about Marimekko. In the 1950s, an American magazine described her simply as an pretty blonde. But progressive Finland was diverse. It was primarily the initial European country which approved women to vote. Therefore this way of culture had a different impact for women designing graphical elements, patterns, prints. It seems that there was more flexibility eventually to bring forth your opinions and ideas.
The significance of a sense of stability was identified by the Scandinavian culture from the beginning and has been continued through design processes from then on. The simple, beautiful creations, enthused by scenery and vivid imaginations, have easily reached out to many, whilst remembering the importance of taking pleasure in ones household surroundings.
Internationally people are familiar with designers from the west, particularly in the US and UK. Having discussed and showcased design approaches and influences from an interesting and significant culture: the Scandinavian countries. It shows that design from these has always been slightly diverse, but at the same time remains to keep an exceptional aesthetic interest.
Good design can originate different styles and influences from all over the world. It is clear that countless methods can boast combinations from various countries all over the world which have progressed into methods and techniques that we see in the present day. Designers have managed to be different in addition to continue preserving the purpose of producing gratifying visual aesthetics. High-quality products can engage in the essence of the area where a graphic designer began as they are capable of unfolding their own cultural atmosphere.
Through my research I have appeared to understand that simplicity will always play a role in society whether it is through a poster, tv advert, packaging, furniture. Many will always have a demand for this way of life within their homes or their approach towards everyday life. As designers hold the key to aesthetically appealing to society many will continue to follow on trends.
The resources and background information that simplicity has influenced and heavily impact ed creative minds when constructing something unique with cultural history. Whether one is aspiring to be a graphic designer or purely an admirer, communicating the consequence of culture, vision and creative minds onto a design may give an innovative insight. These elements not only characterise the vision of a designer but they amplify the reason for a simple design.
Among the Scandinavian countries, the Swedish culture of design has offered for the most part, clean and fresh styles that have influenced contemporary graphic design. Minimalistic Swedish design has been heavily involved in creating fancy car advertisements. The inspiration that the Swedes have formed is to reduce the quantity of substance in a design project. Good graphic design can be produced through simplicity in addition to making use of grid work. These grids assist the construction of an alignment that, when removed, construct well-designed and precise freedom. An additional technical characteristic of Swedish graphic design would be the application of white space. White space has been used ingeniously in Swedish car advertisements such as Saab. For example the commercial advert used first and foremost the word Saab with only red and black colours. The demonstration of white space is applied to mentally persuade one’s mind remember important parts of an advertisement. This approach is exceptionally successful with give the impression of being a minimalistic, free advertisement. The method of graphic design created by Swedish designers is comparable to various parts of a Swedish way of life, for instance good organisation and simplicity. This is a further great case in point of how an upbringing influences means of creativity.
As a young designer I know that understanding my resources and involving with them expressively helps you to enhance theoretical ideas in your design and consecutively assist the audience so they can become familiar with a creation. Scandinavian simplicity is full of meaning, information as well as stimulation. Either for web based, furnishings, monumental sculptures or any of the various phase of existence that designers and artists come across on a daily basis.
Further research into textbooks shows that there are three key words which repetitively appear to occur in many books and articles: traditions, minimalistic and visual-aesthetics, whether the book has recently been published or not. Although the specific key words arise many times this does not define all Scandinavian design, it basically portrays the general notion one would obtain through researching into the Scandinavian design.
At present it would appear to be fairly complex to set apart Scandinavian design in the midst of other designs created. Although it is evident that the Scandinavian designers continue to retain the past traditions along with an innovative style. These days one is overloaded with information via commercial adverts, fundamentally persuading one to think and believe solely on a product. The world is ever changing and has moved on drastically since the 1950s so in numerous cases the foundations of contemporary graphic design is currently based on solving problems through research and development, rather than simply creating a striking piece of design, which is a good notion. It appears the Scandinavians still manage to continue forward and create their individual style, with fresh thoughts and innovative creations, just like back in 1950. Now through using cultural influences from other countries along with their individual style their clean new designs are combining daily life with a contemporary entwine.
Through the midst of observing critics, Scandinavian design has constantly been visually pleasing as well as having the capability to be successful in a purchasers and clients’ mind.
Observing Scandinavia designs’ in the present day one can see the continuation of effortless problem solving, practical thinking and the high-quality visual aesthetics inherited by previous designers. Some things never change.
Taking a moment in time to observe the diverse part s of good design from various parts of the world, one can become skilled at incorporating these ideas into an innovative combination of simplistic design that could fascinate an audience. With Scandinavians being broad and completely unique in their own right they have gained such a level of respect. Therefore undoubtedly this respect and fascination of a cultural influence and style have appealed to many designers at present.
Apple Brochure (1997)
The staircase in Aarhus Radhus by Arne Jacobsen & partners (between 1937-1942)
Marimekko’s Unikko pattern by Maija Isola (1964)
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