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Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp was inspired by some of the movements  of the time. He was inspired by the movements of Cubism, Dadaism and Surrealism. Marcel Duchamp’s first recognised work that received controversy was Nude descending a staircase. It shows a massive influence from Cubism , by the deconstruction of forms and shapes. He was trying to create movement using the medium of paint. It was rejected by Salon des independents because some members felt like Duchamp was making fun of Cubism. Many of his friends and family said the painting was objectionable and out of line. This is because the piece was two parts serious and one part mockery In 1915 Marcel Duchamp started to experiment with work associated with the movement of Dadaism. He created the Bicycle wheel in 1915 as a series of one of his readymades. He called them this because he made a use of already made objects. Dadaism was anti-art, this was because they were anti-war campaignists. Many Dadaists believed that the logic and thinking behind the bourgeois capitalist way of thinking, led to the war. They showed a rejection of this idea by embracing chaos and pandemonium. From this they expressed themselves through a variety of styles like poetry, graphic design, theatre and visual art. One of Duchamp’s most recognised work is The Fountain. The fountain was just an ordinary urinal and he wrote R.Mutt 1917 in pen on the side. He did this as a prank and submitted The Fountain as a piece of art in an art show. It was kept out of view because the organisers didn’t know if it was or wasn’t art. Shortly after The Fountain was misplaced and lost , presumably threw in the bin.


Aleksandr Rodchenko was one of the famous and successful artists to emerge after the Russian Revolution of the early 20th Century. Originally Rodchenko studied fine art and painting, but later gave that up for graphic design. The work that got him noticed was his graphic poster designs. His work shows great use of type, such as the scale he uses and the movement it seems to create. He worked with the poet Vladimir Mayakovsky creating a series of advertising posters. Mayakovsky wrote the text and slogans for the posters andbecame a close friend. Rodchenko also created magazine cover layouts and illustrations,  for this he liked using a photomontage method. Their work introduced modern art into Russian advertising.  In his poster designs Aleksandr Rodchenko uses strong contrasts, bold colours and arranges them so it gives a maximum impact which contrasts with the photomontage. He also used bold sans-serif type which was used throughout Russia. He also uses figure ground in his work, which is a technique which are still using today as doing this makes the image look more satisfying.His work inspired many people even today. Constructivism didn’t like art for the sake of art, they thought that art should have a deeper meaning and purpose. This is why nearly all of Constructivist art is political or social. Especially because of the war and the Russian Revolution. He also became friends with Vladimir Tatlin, who was another leading artist in the Constructivist movement. In fact it was Vladimir Tatlin was one of the people who started Constructivism .

Filippo Marinetti

Marinetti was a Italian poet and editor, he was also the founder of Futurism. Futurism is the supposed first movement in art. Dating from 1909-1916 it depicted contemporary ideas about future events. The concept of Futurism was they wanted nothing to do with the past, they only cared about the future. They admired things like the car, the plane, the industrial city and technology. Marinetti was educated in Egypt, France, Germany and Switzerland. He began his writing and poetic career in an Italian/French magazine. Most of his life he was based in France.  Marinetti wrote about futurism in the 1909 February 20th edition of Le Figaro, a french magazine. Giacomo Balla, Umberto Boccioni and Carlo Carra, among others who signed and joined the Manifesto of the Futurist Painters in 1910. Futurism was largely an Italian thing, but it had variations all over the world. After giving inspiration to so many countries he visited some of them to give lectures about Futurism. He visited St. Petersburg in 1910,  London in 1911 and Moscow in 1913. Futurism was inspired by the early works of Cubism. Futurist painters made a repetition of lines, brilliant colours and flowing brush strokes to simulate movement and rhythm. Futurism also inspired a lots of other movements, such as Art Deco, Constructivism and surrealism. I like Marinetti’s work especially his typography, at the time this was very unique and defined his work because of this. Now work similar to Marinetti’s can be seen almost everywhere, a good example of this has to be the work of David Carson. You can really tell that he has had some inspiration from Marinetti, although he claims to be original and claims what he has done hasn’t been done before is rubbish, because anyone can see the links. But that is really what Graphic designers do, they hodgepodge. (n.d) ‘ Neville Brody’. Available Online: [14/10/11]


Wozencroft,Jon ‘ The graphic language of Neville Brody’  [P.g 5-7]

Italy: Thames and Hudson. (2009) ‘ Jan Tschichold’ Charchar,Alex. Available Online: [14/10/11] (2008) ‘ Understanding Duchamp’

Stafford, Andrew. Available Online: [13/10/11]


Rudolf E. Kuernzli and Francis M. Naumann (eds) ‘Marcel Duchamp Artist of the Centaury’ 1996,  [Pg. 27] . Cambridge, London: The MIT Press,. (2011) ‘Aleksandr Mikhailovich Rodchenko’ Savvine, Ivan. Available Online:



Pantheon BooksAleksandr Rodchenko’ 1987, [Pg.2-3], New York. Pantheon Books.


Humphreys,Richard ‘Futurism’ 1999, [Pg. 19], Liverpool, Tate Gallery Publishing. (2005-2011) ‘Filippo Marinetti’. Available Online: [11/10/11] (2006) ‘Paul Schuitema: Visual Organizer’ Williams, Eliza.

Available Online: [14/10/11]

These are just some of the variations of Helvetica. Helvetica is easily known by its perfectly rounded shapes and structures for example the e and a. In the style of Helvetica it is joint and rounded making it symmetrical. On some of the variations, the main characters C,G,Q and R have drastically different styles for example on Helvetica Neue the R would be more rounded and the Q would be slightly different to another style of helvetica.

Helvetica Originated from Switzerland and was designed in 1957 by Max Miedinger and Eduard Hoffmann. Helvetica is one of the most basic and most used typeface known today. This type face was originally called Neue Hass Grotesk and was later changed in 1960 to Helvetica. It was originally going to be named Helvetia which is the Latin word for Switzerland. But Eduard Hoffmann decided that it wouldn’t be appropriate to name a type face after the country. Later it was decided that the type face would be called Helvetica, meaning swiss not Switzerland. The design for Helvetica was based upon Schelter-Grotesk and Normal Grotesk. The sans-serif type Helvetica can be seen almost everywhere today, as toilet signs, road signs and shop signs. Helvetica now comes in a variety of different texts. e.g. Helvetica neue, Helvetica rounded, Helvetica narrow. Some typographists say it is the box standard of type, like the white paint for a painter it is the most basic of basic. Some people say it is the simplicity of it and that it is so legible is the reason it is so perfect and so popular. In 2007 a movie was made to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Helvetica. It was shown in film festivals, museums and cinemas world wide. Directed by Gary Hustwit Helvetica the movie stars famous graphic designers such as Michael Bierut, Neville Brody and David Carson.