Archive for January, 2018

Introduction to Art versus Design

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Are art and design interchangeable? Where is the overlap?

It’s fun to generalise.

Effective design is about communicating a message. To do that, we need three things. Firstly, to define the audience, their culture and their tone. We need to define and simplify the message, where does the client fit in to the wider cultural landscape, what value does the client add? We need to identify the client’s needs and set clear goals; from increased web traffic, higher sales or a heightened brand awareness.

A well designed piece of creative doesn’t have to be aesthetically pleasing to be effective. It probably shouldn’t follow trends. It should be aware of its audience and their needs, and it probably shouldn’t pose more questions than it answers.

Art doesn’t need to be aesthetically pleasing either. It doesn’t really need to be anything. It doesn’t have to evoke feeling or meaning because it can lean on it’s audience to answer questions based on their own personal experience. It can open the artist up to an audience because it’s allowed to be vulnerable. Art is allowed to be difficult to understand and it’s allowed to rely on the work, cultural touchstones and questions asked by previous artists.

2017 marked 100 years since Duchamp posed the question “what is art?”, and for 100 years artists have been trying to answer his question in their own way. In contrast, Typeface muse Paul Rand embraced simplicity, utilitarianism and symbolism to make the statement “this is design”.

Art asks questions, while Design answers questions, but where is the overlap? What do you get when you take the brutal simplicity of a urinal and compare what came after it with the constrained Godfather of modern graphic design?

You get Andy Warhol. Warhol is where things start to get complicated and that’s why he’s exciting. Over the next few months, Typeface will try to explore this intertwined world of art and design; touching on some of the influencers who have sculpted the thought and ethos behind the creative process and method behind Typeface as both a commercial product and as a creative agency.


Hello Typeface

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Launching a service or company is all about positioning. Understanding where you fit in the value chain is half the battle.

Where does Typeface sit?

Typeface is a quality, creative service for busy studios, creative companies and creative people. Typeface isn’t about competing with agencies for their clients, it’s about supporting those agencies with quality work, to boost their current offering and to pick up the slack when the studio is overwhelmed.

There are three key values that lie at the heart of Typeface’s creative offering.

  • Branding is a journey, not a destination.
  • Simplicity is confidence.
  • Creativity thrives under a solid framework.

The Typeface Creative Process

A creative process is not a one size-fits-all set of checkboxes or a list of rules to follow, it’s a framework. A set of tried and tested rituals that vary from person to person.

A creative framework should help narrow the scope of a project and take away second guesses, so the designer can focus on answering the question at hand. Starting with the client brief, the initial conversations, the mood boards, wireframes and sketches. To the grid, the palette, the font choices. All are self imposed constraints that build an organic framework where creativity can thrive. There’s no time for artist’s block when clients are paying by the hour, so a solid creative process means that at no point does the designer ever have to look at a blank document before work begins.

It’s this solid foundation that leaves room for thought, and that’s were creativity thrives.

Should your designer be able to code?

Typeface thinks so. A car designer should know how a car works, how materials interact. An architect needs to know what’s possible in the real world of bricks and mortar. It stands to reason that a web designer should really know how to develop a website. Here at Typeface, all website development is done in house.

Want to know more? Contact Typeface to arrange a meeting, or pop along to the office at Colony in Jactin House, Ancoats for a chat and a brew.