The Medium is the Message

The medium is the message
The medium is the mess-age
The medium is the massage
The medium is the mass age
McLuhan

The quote above interests me and is a clever play on the message. The main idea revolving around the medium and the many contexts it gives off in different eras or areas. The medium is the mass age and leaves us were we are today. Looking at the medium of art through out the ages of the futurists and the Bauhaus period leaves us where we are today even if it is a mess or not. The message of any medium or technology is the change of scale or pace that effects human affairs.

The railway did not introduce movement or transportation or wheel or road into human society, but it accelerated and enlarged the scale of previous human functions, creating totally new kinds of cities and new kinds of work and leisure.’

New media has a large influence on audiences and the message it perceives. Most modern day artists are always trying new ways and areas to represent themselves and the medium thy present. Leaving the message to be shown or deciphered by the audience. Herb Lubalin is a prime example of a typographer that uses his medium to give a message. His unique, original techniques and ideas are inspiring to a high degree. His use of type and image give the reader the excitement designers thrive to achieve. I have used Herb Lubalin as in influence for work I have done. When I need to create a typeface to represent a poem I used him as a basis of my work. I found that he represented the message he was trying to show through type and I gave myself the same challenge. With this I tried to create a typeface that represent my message without reading it. His work has such emotion and depth and involves you within his work without you realizing. He him self believes that what he does isn’t typography but more of putting a character on a page. I think what he means by this is that he isn’t trying to write a word but more turn the type into a message that you can see and understand and gives you an emotional involvement but also that you can read.

What I do is not really typography, which I think of as an essentially mechanical means of putting characters down on a page. It’s designing with letters. Aaron Burns called it, ‘typographics,’ and since you’ve got to put a name on things to make them memorable, ‘typographics’ is as good a name for what I do as any.” Herb Lubalin

Alexander Brodovitch is an outstanding modern day designer for magazines for his time. He seemed to have very little arrangement or grid system for his layout but seems to use all forms of graphic art to produce a unique style that the modern art world ate up. Famously known for his work on the American fashion magazine Bazaar. Born in Ogolitchi, Russia in 1898 in an aristocratic and wealthy family. He became painter on stage sets for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. Diaghilev’s approach to such freedom within in the design inspired him to become the designer he was with such lack of boundaries between different arts and the work he produced for magazines such as Bazaar. Brodovitch created a harmonious and meaningful whole using avant-garde photography, typography and illustration. Brodovitch was the first art director to combine image and text. Similar magazines of the time used image and text separately, using obvious grid systems and white boarders. I think that this is the main reason he was so popular because of his courageous avant-garde approach to do things no other designers had done. Creating his own perspective on design with a brave approach to message and medium. Brodovitch accentuates the fluidity and movement of the images by using repetition and diagonal and horizontal stress. He often cropped his photos off center bringing them to the edge which brought a new dynamism to fashion layouts. His most popular typeface was Bodoni but he mainly matched the typeface with the feeling of the message and his generous use of white space. Ledgeability was not his primary concern. I am at the moment creating an editorial piece for a younger audience and feel inspired to use Brodovitch in my design. His no boundary approach inspires me in the way he has created his own mark on his work. I inspire to do this and will inspire to create something original that is apart of me more than to recreate something similar to his work. I have never been a fan of grid systems and boundaries and believe that design is best when it is original and obvious of the designer of whom it came from, similar to Herb Lubalin.

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