Brockmann in Motion

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Vít Zemčík put the work of Josef Muller Brockmann in motion for an educational project made during the International Typography Workshop in Czieszyn. The task of the project was to put a print design masterpiece into motion.

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Josef Muller Brockmann

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If you have not familiarized yourself with the lifetime works of luminary graphic designer Josef Müller Brockmann, Alki1 has assembled a nice Flickr set featuring some of his more well known pieces. I was totally consumed by Brockmann in my senior year of college while studying graphic design and was particularly obsessed with his Musica Viva posters. His work has continued to be a big source of inspiration and while working for Nasir Kasamali, I was surprised that even he carried a Brockmann book in the small library at his Luminaire furniture store in Miami. After discovering the book then 4 years out of college, I was once again obsessed all over again with Brockmann’s work. You can definitely see his influence on the current trends in design.

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We Make Design

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Dublin-based branding/design agency, We Make Design has some crispy clean work in their Behance-folio. By far my favorite work is the exhibition catalog created for the ‘Forty-eight Posters’ exhibition of Josef Muller-Brockmann’s work at the Image Now Gallery. I was absolutely obsessed with Brockmann while I was in college and I would seriously kill someone to get my hands on the poster or print above. I can’t tell from the Image Now website but it might be a part of the exhibition catalog which is sold out at their website.

I am serious, if someone knows where I can get my hands on the above (pictured above) poster or catalog please let me know. It’s beautiful.

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Blanka Flickr

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Blanka has opened a Flickr account featuring all of the amazing vintage posters and prints they have sold or have for sale by the likes Wim Crouwel, Josef Müller-Brockmann, Otl Aicher, Build and many more. It reads like a who’s who list of some of the greatest designers in recent history and is a truly inspiring click-through for any aspiring or already accomplished designer. I don’t know what it was about the 70’s but I just can’t get enough of the design from that era or the music. We need to bring that back.

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Blanka has some absolutely fantastic design products for sale including some of my favorite posters of all time, but sweet Lord, you will be paying by the British Pound and it won’t come cheap. Damn the U.S. economy. It is totally harshing on my design mellow man.

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The Return of Minimalism

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This is something I have wanted to talk about for some time now. I have realized that the blogs people like are the ones where people speak their minds, so here I go. No holds barred.

I had a brief conversation with one of the proprietors of the local sneaker shop/design firm The 400 tonight about this very subject. I have predicted for a while now that the inevitable backlash to the sketchy, crazy, pattern-heavy, super-colorful, graf-inspired, skateboarding, out of LA, monsters, skulls, over-the-top, out of my sketchbook, I just learned how to use illustrator, photoshop-collage, watch me use the glow filter trend, would be a return to minimalism. Black and white, primary colors, simple diagonals, circles and clean typography.

I have been waiting in the wings now to see an interest resurface in people like Herbert Bayer. I fell in love with him and his work in college. Of course Alexander Rodchenko has already been a strong influence on people like Shepard Fairey, but you can’t really call Rodchenko’s work minimalism. However you can definitely draw a line from Rodchenko’s work to De Stijl and eventually the almighty Bauhaus (and I am not talking about the band). Although the Bauhaus and people like Jan Tschichold, Herbert Matter, Piet Zwart and Bradbury Thompson are all still profound influences on modern design, regardless of whether or not young designers have been educated as to their prior existence, the real heavy hitter I am of course referring to is the International Typographic Style also known as The Swiss Style.

It is at that particular point in design history that you see a pretty distinct shift that has overwhelmingly influenced what you could call modern graphic design and typography. If minimalism does return in the sense that young designers would understand, it would most likely be influenced by the International Typographic Style. When I first saw the work of Josef Muller Brockmann, my life as a Graphic Designer and Typographer was forever changed. There was a simplicity in form combined with typography that conveyed a level of purity to which I had not yet encountered at the time. It was there that I really became hooked on Graphic Design and Typography.

So why do you ask, is there not more of that influence visible in my work? Well that is a complicated question, and the short answer is that trendy design sells. So call me a sell out. However, I really do think minimalism will begin making a strong comeback and you can already see the undercurrent if you look closely. Already clothing and shoe designers are toning down their colors and materials. I think when things are reduced to their essence a certain clarity comes about that people are craving right now. We need something more cerebral. We need to cut out the clutter and find zen. So don’t be surprised to see more and more of less and less starting to surface. The great thing is, when you cut things down to purity of form it isolates the people who like to hide behind style posing as substance. You really have to know what you are doing to work with pure elements and still produce something attractive that communicates.

So I am digging out my books because I think a new trend will soon emerge and it is one that I am a lot more comfortable with and will be more than happy to participate in.

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