In this session, we were looking at the concept of Authorship within the context of graphic design. It strikes me as an unfair challenge that the graphic designer will always have to face; if he/she must adhere to a particular brief/work under a larger studio, how may they claim total authorship over the work?  We did a discourse analysis exercise of a text by Michael Rock for Eye Magazine in 1996 called “The Designer as Author”, which highlighted some key figures in this area of research such as Roland Barthes and Michael Foucault. I have been thinking about this subject a lot and feel as though it would be an interesting subject to look into further.



LONDON DUST : Rut Blees Luxemburg


“Luxemburg examines the seduction of these images and their connections to the dusty decay of the urban scenes and building materials that are in fact their reality.”

(Idol Magazine, 2015)

London/Winterreise, 2013

This video piece was particularly interesting to me as it documented the juxtaposition of construction in the urban London landscape and the anti-capitalist ‘Occupy London’ movement, set to a section of Schubert’s ‘Winterreise’. The artist managed to capture the utter obscurity of these paradoxical processes happening at the same time through the use of a Wes Anderson-esque camera panning technique. As a way of documenting the exhibition and understanding the video better, I made a note of the different features of the video and how many times each object appeared.

LDN DUST TALLYOccupy_London_Tent

The following is a rendition of the song using in “London/Winterreise 2013”

The Space

I personally felt as though the curation of the space somewhat let down the quality of the work. Although I am aware that the museum probably invested a large amount of time and money into the exhibition, I do not feel as though this was reflected in the overall outcome. The space felt unimportant, almost like a means to get to other exhibits.


Over a half our interval, I made a quick sketch of the area and marked footfall with a simple “x”. As one can clearly see from this diagram, only six people entered  the area that should have attracted the most attention (where the work was located). This poses the question, is this an indication of poor design strategy, or was this intentional?

Had there been a clear differentiation from this exhibition and the rest of the museum, I feel like the overall impact of the work may have been much different. I propose that this could be achieved through a number of different methods:

1) A clear point of difference between this space and the surrounding exhibitions in the form of a specific walkway

2) A distinctive colour scheme or graphic element




Roland Barthes | Roland Gérard Barthes was a French literary theorist, philosopher, linguist, critic, and semiotician.

Marcel Broodthaers | Marcel Broodthaers was a Belgian poet, filmmaker and artist with a highly literate and often witty approach to creating art works

The Farm Animals 1974 Marcel Broodthaers 1924-1976 Purchased 1980

Margaret Calvert | a British typographer and graphic designer who, with colleague Jock Kinneir, designed many of the road signs used throughout the United Kingdom



Jacques Derrida | Jacques Derrida was a French philosopher, born in Algeria. Derrida is best known for developing a form of semiotic analysis known as deconstruction, which he discussed in numerous texts








Joseph Kosuth | Joseph Kosuth, is an American conceptual artist. He lives in New York and London, after residing in various cities in Europe, including Ghent, Rome and Berlin



Sarah Lucas | Sarah Lucas is an English artist. She is part of the generation of Young British Artists who emerged during the 1990s. Her works frequently employ visual puns and bawdy humour, and include photography, collage and found objects.


Ellen Lupton | Ellen Lupton is a graphic designer, writer, curator, and educator.


René Magritte | Belgian surrealist artist. He became well known for a number of witty and thought-provoking images that fall under the umbrella of surrealism.


Katherine McCoy | is an American graphic designer and educator, best known for her work as the co-chair of the graduate Design program for Cranbrook Academy of Art


J. Abbott Miller | American graphic designer and writer, and a partner at Pentagram, which he joined in 1999. Miller’s projects are often concerned with the cultural role of design and the public life of the written word




Charles Sanders Pierce | Charles Sanders Peirce was an American philosopher, logician, mathematician, and scientist who is sometimes known as “the father of pragmatism”.



Lucienne Roberts | Graphic Designer, established ‘GraphicDesign&”


Ferdinand de Saussure | Ferdinand de Saussure was a Swiss linguist and semiotician whose ideas laid a foundation for many significant developments both in linguistics and semiology in the 20th century.








Year Two : CTS 2 Graphic Design Theories

Analysing an event booklet

This year, we were given the opportunity to choose two optional units under the title of ‘Contextual and Theoretical Studies’. Out of all of the options that I could have chosen, for my first term I decided to take a unit called “Graphic Design Theories”. My choice was based on my ongoing interest (obsession) with typography and design. I hope that this module will improve on and expand my existing knowledge of the subject, and that this will in turn inform any future design work that I may undertake. Although last year topics such as semiotics and semantics were covered, I am glad that I will have an opportunity to deepen my understanding of these fairly complex design theories.

Our first class mainly consisted of the usual ‘housekeeping’ that comes at the start of a new unit – introductions were made and we became acquainted with the outline of the upcoming course content. We were then given the task of breaking down an event schedule down to its basic graphic design components (the result of which I have tried to represent in the image above). A number of key texts were also recommended to us, a couple of which I would definitely be interested in looking at. One work in particular stood out as a cool experiment was produced by ‘GraphicDesign&’, and it is a book formed of different graphic designer’s interpretations of page 1 of Dickens’ Great Expectations.

Page1_Barnbrook Page1_ExperimentalJetset Page1_NeilDonnelly Page1_PhilBaines

Intrigued by this experiment, I tried to make my own “Page 1” of this blog post by breaking it down into alphabetical chronological order.

PAGE 1 2

Key Words:

Folio |  Deconstruction  |  Isotypes  |  Grid  |  What  |  Why  |  Where  |  When  |  Who  |  How

Key People:

Teal Triggs  |  GraphicDesign&  |  Ellen Lupton  |  Alice Rawsthorn

Studio Experiment

I have always loved photography, but although I have a decent camera, I never really bothered with learning the ins and outs of taking a good photo. *Guilty admission* I normally just use the auto setting, point my camera at my subject and hope for the best. However, recently we were given the opportunity to learn more about photography in a couple of dedicated sessions. The technician began by explaining the different basic modes of a dSLR (Auto, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, Manual) and how one can utilise/manipulate these modes in order to take creative control over an image. He suggested that shutter speed is arguably the most important factor in ensuring a decent, sharp photograph.

Photography is essentially an equation:

Light + Light sensitive material = image

For normal shooting conditions, it is preferable to use a shutter speed of 1/125 of a second, as anything less could result in ‘camera shake’. Shutter speed is all about how much light you are letting in to the camera (exposure). When shooting in S mode, you input the shutter speed and ISO (200 is ideal, however in lower lit conditions, a higher ISO may be required),  and the camera will try and estimate the size of aperture needed.

Aperture is the size of the hole in the lens that lets light into the camera.


We then got an opportunity to use the big photography studio and experiment with lighting. I really enjoyed it.