Archive for March, 2009

Exciting covers

March 31, 2009

After looking at old, tatty and generally unexciting books in public library’s is it wonderful to go into big books shops. The claim ‘print is dead’ is mocked with beautiful books that you just want to hold. Unfortunatly these images won’t do the books justice, you have to touch and use them to get the effect but afterall this is the point.


Decoding design – Maggie Macnab 2008

The front cover uses a wheel to align die cut windows of different shapes. This is a really interesting interactive cover, the technique is often used on items for children as a learning device.


British design 2007/08

This cover is effective in its uses of contrasting textures, it has flock (which are many small fiber particles deposited onto a surface). This technique makes the product much more tactile and is often done for its visual apperance. Most commonly flocking is used to create an velour texture which contrasts with the smooth, shiney reflective background of this front cover.


Vintage t-shirts

Flock is used on the text on this book and cotton is used for the label.


50 years of the lego brick

The front cover has spot uv to form the circles on the front cover. The use of actaul lego bricks is similar to free gifts with magazines


The inside of the lego book has pocket pages with die cut holes which allows a peek into whats inside.


This plastic case contains a huge a3+ book on architecture. The size, colour and unusual shape really make it stand out.


Iron Fists: Branding the 20th-Century Totalitarian State – Steven Heller

This cover uses a printed assetate cover with an image containing a Nazi flag underneath it.


The disciples

This book uses gold ink over a tradional hardback textile. Inside it contains photographs of fans from each of the artists featured. The decorative gold is used to illustrate the worship that the fans (“disciples”) have for their idols as it resembles a religious book.

The New York Dolls: Photographs by Bob Gruen

This is much more informal and playful with brash bright pink material. They have been discribed as “over-the-top cross-dressing” and having a “shambling, sloppy, but energetic playing style”. I think this is reflected by the informal, wavey font and the luxurious colours and materials used.


Touch Me exhibition

March 31, 2009

V&A 2005 Touch Me exhibition

“We are bombarded daily by advertising, information and entertainment images. But are we passively looking, rather than really seeing? Touch actively engages us. It is immediate and involving; it creates a physical connection between ourselves, the world around us and each other.

By touching we back up impressions we receive through sight and hearing. In a moment, however, touch can also become overwhelmingly present – an insect bite or blister from a tight shoe can be difficult to ignore.

Part of the way we sense our place in the world is through proprioception, our ability to tell the position and movement of our body. Tests such as the Phantom Hand experiment, show that sending different visual and tactile signals to the body can easily confuse us – we begin to lose our sense of where our body is in space.

Similarly, we can sometimes ‘feel’ strong sensations felt by another person – for example if we see someone fall and scrape their knee.

When we see objects, we expect them to feel a certain way – from the softness of wool to the cool of steel or porcelain. Many designers in the show use familiar objects and materials with a twist.

From Jurgen Bey’s Kokon Double Chair to Gitta Gschwendtner and Fiona Davidson’s Fruit Cushion, the materials used create disconnections between look and feel. It is only by touching that the truth is revealed.”

The double chair is made ‘using the so-called spider’s web technique, desolate furniture is wrapped with synthetic fibres creating a smooth, elastic skin.’ Droog

Touch is immediate and intimate. Unlike vision, touching another person is a two-way process. You feel yourself touching, and that person feels your touch in turn.

Fashion designers often play with these pleasurable sensations, enjoying the smoothness of silk and satin on the skin, or tight lacing in corsetry or footwear.

We reinforce close bonds with hugs and hand holding. At the same time touch is culturally and socially proscribed. Physical contact exists within clearly defined boundaries – from meeting a stranger to using cutlery rather than your fingers.

Jenny Tillotson and Noriko Yasuda explore ideas about healing and comfort through touch in their work. Yoshi Saito’s Hug Chair encloses us in a soft ‘womb’, while Naomi Filmer’s Suck N Smile mouthpieces cover the mouth. Do these pleasures evoke the comfort and security we experienced as infants?

Of all the senses, touch is perhaps the least understood. What makes the touch of a close friend so pleasurable when exactly the same touch delivered by a stranger produces no positive response? Why do things feel different if we shut our eyes or block our ears? Why can’t we tickle ourselves?

Two experiments were conducted one involving the oral size illusion. This is the fact that things in the mouth feel larger than they do when felt by hand.

Another area asks people to distinguish between various vibrational ‘textures’ that might be used to create more communicative products. how great a range of such vibrations might our touch sense be able to detect? And how easy will it be for us to learn what these different vibrations mean?

Touch electronics

March 19, 2009

How touch is used in technogly

Is there anything out there looking at replecating the feel of materials?

Apples Iphone and Ipod – Consentration on multi-touch technology, (being able to have mutiple objects on the screen being able to interact via touch at the same time.). Also movement, you can interact with the applications by tapping, tilting, shaking and turning the divice. The ‘accelerometer’ which detects movement especially shines in games.


Microsoft surface – table top which has multi touch and can interact with other objects eg cameras, mp3 players and inables files within them to be seen and swapped into other devices. Not avaible yet.


Meizu M8 (similiar to ipone but chinese)

Fri 13th – Mon 16th

March 16, 2009

Print techniques


Other techniques

Scratch card

Cut-out card / pop out




Scented varnish. This is a new take on an old technology. We are all familiar with scratch and sniff – but that was rather crude. This system has over 100 stock scents available, plus we offer a custom scent service if needed.

Other areas/ideas
Smell – the psychology. Scent of purfume, Air fresheners

Typographic food

Touch – psychology – please do not touch signs (we get into the habit of not interacting/feeling), precarious – “dont you might break it”

Different materials : Fabrics, Metal, Wood, Plastic (maybe look at childrens books to begin with)

Fine Art exhibition (Cildo Meireles)

Unease is also the keynote of Volatile, a sealed chamber with a floor covered by a foot-deep layer of plush talcum powder. A smell of gas permeates the space, which makes the tapering candle emitting a halo of pale light around the corner somewhat disconcerting. When is the entire installation going to blow?


Other Notes

Literature review – how useful is this source?

Websites – michael bierut


Sun 8th – Thurs 12th

March 12, 2009

Looking at Brand sense

Kelloggs wanted to patent their own crunch, designed sounds in labs

Singapore airlines – focusing on the emotional experience of air travel, 1973 introduced ‘Singapore girl’ the selection citeria for staff are inflexibly stringent (only dark hair, one size ect). Aroma in cabin is as constant as the colour scheme.

Singapore airline girl “Singapore Girl, Asia’s Barbie, to get a new look?”

Sight is the most seductive sense of all, and has the power to persuade us against all logic. Those who cannot see are blind. Those who cannot hear, deaf. Those who cannot speak, mute. But those who cannot smell or taste are left hanging: they suffer from an absence without a name.

Colgate patented their distinct toothpaste taste, this has not extended to their other products eg floss

Sound, sight and touch – Bang and Olufsen


Touch – Coke Bottle – ‘the bottle design should be so distinctive that if it were broken, the pieces would still be recognisable as part of the whole’.



We need the stimulus of touch to grow and survive. Dr. John Benjamin – two groups of rat, each given food, water and a safe living space. The rats that were stroked and caressed “learned and grew faster”. ‘touch is ultimately the true language of love’

Mon 2nd-Sat 7th

March 7, 2009

How to research

Questions – How and why did X come about? How does X work? What Influence does X have on Y?

What are the main concepts? Issues – What areas of debate are there? Context – genealogy of key thinkers/design examples

Refining research questions by – A) Viewpoint, B) Time period, C) Country/area

Possible examples for essay Brand sense

Gucci – someone obsessed with the brand, had a tattoe of them. Talked about it if it were a family member. Spoke about the colours, feel of fabrics, distict smell. Still not sight and sound

Brands need to creat a following similar to sports and religions. How religions use the senses – Sight -candles/beatiful buildings, Smell – incense, Sound -choir singing, Touch – elaborate costumes, regious books, action of pray ect, Taste – Christian wafers/wine? Christingles sweets.

Japan, India and Thailand – well known history of intergrating five senses

senses more attunded to danger then delight

Look at Child development, also children born with no sight are better then those who loose it.


New car smell (fictional – in a can)

Shops pumping out smells – cocnuts to get people to buy summer clothes, bread to buy bakery items

Popcorn – wouldn’t be the cinema without it

Celebrities bring out purfume – the Beckam brand


Team of Chrysler engineers only roll to create perfect sound of opening and closing a door


Often overrules other senses. Impressionists – studied light changing on objects. Pantone as sight is ‘in the eye of the beholder’. Drink tests : Dr H. A Roth and C. N. Dubose.

Could look at artist installations

Earlier thoughts (Between 23th-26th)

March 7, 2009

Whats the definition of tactile work?

How does an image appeal to all the sensesA) could look at sensation book with iron/tongue cover, B) image of a drip or a drummer in action do you hear the sounds in your head? C) Does a word capture sound more then image? – how can that be measured? D) How images make food so appealing – Do images on a menu make you want to eat the food more? Is this something only cheep restaurants/eateries do? E) Does seeing sick/someone being sick make you feel ill?

Smell – why is scratch and sniff only a kids thing?

Type – A) How competitive is book design becoming? How has it changed? B) Are people really reading less? Are they reading more online? What effects are computer screens having on our (designers AND viewers) eyes? C) How many words do we read a day? How many of them are designed badly? – can they be harmful to our eyes or just difficult to read?

Information graphics – A) Manuals – how many people really read them? Are pictures/diagrams more helpful then the text? B) What subtext/bias do information posters/leaflets have? eg airline cards and the people featured

Charity/government campaigns – A) How much money do charities spend on advertising? Is it all funded by donations? Are people aware where there money goes? Is it really ethical for designers to be paid? How much more donations do they get after/during a new campaign? B) Government anti-smoking – how much money has been spent on the most recent campaign? How much money has this saved the NHS? Propaganda – impact of advertising on public health, example to get us to eat more healthy

Now – Our want of change and immediacy in everything, especially less complicated more trivial things unlike politics.

Anti-Advertising – “You can try to ignore the messages, or let their conflicting claims cancel each other out, but the information will stick to the skin of your memory” Adbusters

Graphics that investigates the social consequences of ecomic and industrial decline – contrast between the Thatcher years and today

Movements Modernism “critics despised it as superficial and dishonest” To what extent is all graphic design ‘Superficial and dishonest’? Superficial (work today more concerned with style ect + advertising ect never an honest version of events)

Thursday 26th – Monday 2nd

March 2, 2009

Decided to choose the senses as a topic to research.

How design has evoled using the senses? visual first (same with film), then audio, touch (interaction), what design uses taste or smell?

Visual – everything! brighter, using more colours

Sound – Tv and web graphics, annoying greeting cards

Touch – tactile graphics, paper quailties, books, packaging,

Interaction different types = Product design – interacting with an object, Exhibition design – how you interact with a space, Tricks/gimmicks incourage you to interact with design. Games – intellectual puzzels, computer games (especially the wii and dance mat ect)

Smell – scratch and sniff, supermarket pupping bakery smell

Taste – marks and spencers food ads

Book to look at: Brand sense 658.827L

Introductionary information about the senses

Five senses attribed to Aristotle (185ARI), other senses eg balance, sense of time…

Depictions of five senses – Gerard de lairesses allegory of the five senses 1668. Three wise monkeys (see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil) Japanise/Chinise folklaw

Sensation, Perception

What inhibits our senses? complete/particual loss, older people – high pitches are lost first, trouble with eye sight. How we read most effectively – light, colour of text/font/size/paper ect.

Smell – considered primal, lack of language for smells, important cunger of memories, often described as ‘neglected sense’ – James Auger SMELL+

Need to find out – how much you use each sense, eg preportion of sight to taste. Sight and sound most as we are classified as civalised, taste the least.

Books = The mat who mistook his wife for a hat and A natural history of the senses

Sight – Hubel and wisels – cat brain – single neutrons only respond to a line at a certain angle

Touch – lips and thumbs most touch sensitive

Millward Brown – brands

Researched into Aristotles thoughts on senses and perception (could look deeper into that)

Looked into the psychology of senses and perception

Need to look in the science of the senses and perception

Illusions – fooling the senses, eg opticial glass/face.

Smell (words most assicated with) – dogs, bad, coffee, baby, flowers, something fishy, books

Irma Boom

Mei Kei Lai

Currently looking into – how to research