October 2009

Speaking of the Icograda World Design Congress in Beijing

They all lived happily ever after. A poster by Studio Pip and Co.

They all lived happily ever after. A poster by Studio Pip and Co.

To celebrate Andrew’s presentation next week in Beijing at the Icograda World Design Congress, the studio has produced a poster with AGDA investigating Optimism. Titled : And they all live happily ever after… is a poster that depicts nature striking back against the human domination. The poster will only be available at the conference from the AGDA stand at the conference and after Andrew’s presentation.

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Vale Les Mason

Image by David Pidgeon

Image by David Pidgeon, from left Peter Till, Juliet Till, Christine Fisher, Les Mason, Jeff Fisher and Gail Devine, in Istanbul.

Perth Trans ticket by Les Mason

Perth Trans ticket by Les Mason

1966 and 1970 stamp issues by Les Mason

1966 and 1970 stamp issues by Les Mason

American born graphic designer and an influential figure in the Melbourne graphic design community from the 1960s to 1980s died in Istanbul on Friday morning, Istanbul time, attending the 2009 AGI conference.

The internet has few traces of Les’s work, yet his influence and mentorship upon prominent Australian designers including Garry Emery, Brian Sadgrove, Lyndon Whaite, and Max Robinson is prolific and legendary.

I was lucky enough to spend a week with Les in Berlin during the Autumn of 2005, also attending my first AGI congress. Les had a hell raising reputation, even in retirement. Our week had our wits fine tuned and ears pricked for stories and insights of a recent past when design had typesetters, bromide cameras, and a lack of fax machines, marketing speak, i-phones, and software filters.

If you happen to be at the Rising Sun Hotel in South Melbourne, one of Les’s favourite haunts, dream up a great story, raise a little hell and a glass to Les.

Our thoughts go to Gail, and Les’s family. Vale Les.

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How to transform the notion of design grants…

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The reality of spending time doing and working through a process, to then find this process is fast becoming superceded by a new process is a situation as old as time itself.

Established print designers moaning about developing work for the web is common, and all one can say, as politely as possible, is to get over the old days of print, embrace digital and invent new spaces for print.

As designers who love to work with ink on paper it is challenging to think that several weeks of effort could be spent on a product that is bits and bytes, yet this brief is appropriate for a time requiring work that has low environmental impact.

We approached the project in the normal way – research, concepts, image making, information planning and presentation, design development, sign offs and artwork. The only difference being is that the project was a digital document with a small print component – a series of four postcards.

This project required us to demystify and promote government grants developed for the creative sector. Government grants present businesses the opportunity to bring about a range of positive changes to work and practice, and we wanted to depict this idea with a range of evocative images. The images are a response to the old notion of people using some form of external device, or machine, to bring about a radical transformation. Within a tight budget we investigated the inventions and dreams of people looking to transform – time machines, jet packs, and person transporters and we took it upon ourselves to invent our own twist of the fabled dream machines – as a mash of people, wings, tin helmets, propellers, and curious body suits.

The design exercise aside, this PDF has been devised to help the creative sector to seek grants and execute the process in the best way possible. Details can be found at Design Victoria here. Thanks again to DV for this communication opportunity.

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