The Voice | Post Modernism
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Post Modernism

 

Post Modernism

Post Modernism Edited by DeAndra 7/30/08 Version 1b The term Post Modern doesn’t apply to a codified style but the loose collection of looks and theories from designers. Visual communicators were moving away from the traditional Modernist movements, such as the International style, that had dominated design and architecture since Bauhaus. Philadelphia architect Robert Venturi summed up his feelings with his quip to Mies van der Rohe’s philosophy: less is a bore. Post Modern was around before the name, i.e.; Seymour Chwast & Milton Glaser at Push Pin studios had many Post-Modern elements in their designs in the late 50s and 60s. It moves away from traditional Modernist look for a Neo-classical motif. Includes a lot of Neo movements, including Neo-Dada, Neo-Expressionism, Punk and Pacific Modern. Like Art Deco, Post-Modern combines historical and contemporary elements to produce widely accepted looks. Supermannerism & Supergraphics Many people claim the term Post-Modern, that emerged in the 1970’s, is a misnomer. An alternate name is Mannerism. Mannerism has its roots in 1500’s fine art, when it was a disparaging term used for the style that broke from the accepted form of artists of the Renaissance. 450 years later, designers such as Venturi led a sub movement called Supermannerism. In a word, Supermannerism is oversized — oversized lettering, oversized graphics, bold colors on the clinical architectural landscape. By 1970, Supergraphics became the chic look for retail, industry and schools. Memphis Designer Ettore Sottsass was born in Austria and educated in Italy. He first hit the radar screen as an industrial designer at Olivetti in the 1950s. Sottsass helped create the Valentine portable typewriter and Olivetti’s first computer (ELEA). These products helped Olivetti gain worldwide recognition for industrial design. Still, Sottsass felt that he couldn’t have a profound global impact, so he turned inward — to the home. In 1981 he founded Memphis [needs elaboration]. Allegedly, just like the Dadaists had picked their name at random from a dictionary, the Memphis group got their name because the Bob Dylan song, Stuck Outside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again, was playing on the stereo at a critical moment. Memphis became known for outrageous, often cartoon-like furniture and textiles: loud colors, laminated surfaces, busy patterns. Many people claimed that the Memphis style ripped off the 1950s American homestyle design. Thousands of homeowners bought kitchen appliances in yellow, electric blue and avocado. What were they thinking? [is this sentence necessary] While the clash of high and low cultures offended many people, the work of the Memphis designers had a global influence. Basel In Basel, Switzerland, Wolfgang Weingart joined the faculty of the Allegemeine Gewerbeschule in 1968. He helped develop the Basel style of late 1960s, which rebelled against the Swiss grid and order format. Weingart mixed type weights within the same word, disregarded grids when he wanted, and used type to create images. This Basel style had a big-time influence on his students. For instance, designer Dan Friedman graduated Basel and taught the new style at Yale and SUNY Purchase. Friedman explored the relationship between type design and use, i.e., innovation vs. legibility. Designers in LA, San Fran and Bloomfield Hills, Michigan blended photography, California Pop/Funk, influences of the British album-cover design studio. Hipgnossis and Japanese poster artist Tadanori Yoko, abstract computer images; and multi-layered configurations with multiple meanings, such as Dutch firms Studio Dumbar and Total Design were created. [added] In Zurich Siegfried Odermatt played a major role in moving Swiss design out of the International style. His early work, while fresh and inviting, Odermatt was an anomaly: a self-taught designer in a country full of outstanding design schools. He and Rosmarie Tissi, a young designer he hired who eventually became his partner at the studio, became known for their solution with type collage. European New Wave The Grapus design collective from France. Layered photos, fancy play with type, mixing color and B&W. Studio Dunbar in Holland broke new ground in what was acceptable, lead by designers to America who had studied in Switzerland in the 1960s and 70s and pushed the envelope of legibility. This in turn created very eclectic designs of 20s blended with computer and high-tech looks with a lot of kinetic energy. [Grammatical edits] American Punk was a youth movement expressed through comics and collage. Punk (also called Neo-Expressionism and Neo-Dada) was the child of Psychedelia ten years earlier. Punk started in English music scene (Sex Pistols) and spread to major U.S. music cities like New York, LA and Seattle. The “kidnapper note” look and comic books were among its trademarks. Swiss Punk became New Wave, which was more commercialized than Punk. American Post-Modern reflected an architectural influence in graphic design.