Graphic Design PresentationApril Greiman Louis Scully Michael Corcoran Paul McGrath
Introduction She was born in 1948 Contemporary American Designer. Studied in Switzerland in the 1970’s Greiman was to break from the Modernist approach to typography and embrace a new typographical methodology termed the ‘New Wave Movement’.
As a young design student Greiman had been taught to base all design work on a strict grid system. This old modernist technique was now very dated. The ‘New Wave Typography ’ promoted a more intuitive approach to layout, experimenting with image placement and typography that went way beyond the grid.
She experimented with ways of altering the two-dimensional space of the page. Making it more three dimensional and even tried to depict aspects of space and time.
Her design work always defies convention as in this poster for Warner Brother records ( 1982 ) Greimanasks the viewer also to reassess their preconceptions of what graphic design is.
The ‘New Wave’ used inconsistent and often wide letter spacing, varying type-weights within single words and type set at unusual angels. It questioned our concepts of how text should appear on a page. Greiman often used no paragraph indentations and engaged in what she termed ‘typographical adventures’.
In this 1984 poster for ‘designer furniture’ , titled ‘Iris Light’ Greimanshows innovative use of imagery captured from the video camera combined with classical typography. Greimans’ output during the eighties is often viewed as a bridge between the modern and the post-modern.
April Greiman is recognised as one of the first designers to embrace computer technology as a design tool. Her innovative ideas and ‘trans-media’ approach have placed her at the cutting edge of design technology. In 1984 she bought her first Apple Mac computer. With that she designed the seminal poster for the ‘Design Quarterly magazine 133# issue’. This was a ground breaking project. The magazine folded out into a six foot life-size poster of the Artist. This was an entirely digitalized image made with ‘Mac Draw’. Floating around the figure were random images ranging from a Dinosaurs to weather symbols. A time-line also ran the length of the poster. These marked dates like the invention of electricity & the first man on the moon. The poster referenced the collage work of ‘ pop artist’ Robert Rouchenberg .However it was no mere collage. Many of the technological advances that followed in the graphic design world can be traced back to this issue of Design Quarterly.
Before the publication of Greimans’ famous magazine’ designers mostly considered bit-mapped type & imagery to be completely unacceptable. After it’s publication, designers started to embrace the new technology.
Greiman liked the limitations of this new technology and even exploited ‘pixelation’. She understood the aesthetic value of the technological accident.
As noted in the title of her 1987 piece ‘snow white plus the seven pixels’. In this way Greiman forced the design world to sit up and take notice of the contribution computers could provide.
This poster for the Californian Institute of Architecture (1990) features heavy pixilation of the eye at the top left corner. The hand is rendered in computer generated dots. Note the inverted and dynamic typography.
Greiman once said ‘You don’t have to give up your pencil when you switch to a computer, the Mac is just another pencil.
In another poster for the California Institute of Architecture, Greiman used the motif of the pixelated eye This time with a hand and pencil as the central image. Note the departure of the typography from the stark neutral objectivity of Modernist Design.
In this 1996 poster Greiman frames video stills and dynamic typography at almost ‘cubist’ angles. One is reminded of the collage work of an earlier graphic pioneer, Picasso. Greiman thus deconstructs the picture plane.
Clients have included the US Postal service who commissioned this commemorative stamp for the 19th Amendment in 1995.
Greiman was amongst the first to spot the visual potential on the new ‘web-site technology’. Web design occupies a large part of her practice
April Greiman has tested the boundaries of legibility and accessibility in the pursuit of personally expressive ways of working.
April Greiman now operates along a number of ‘border zones’. Between the discipline labelled ‘graphic design’ and the new ‘digital video art’. Between gallery based ‘installation art’ and ‘web design’ and between architecture and environmental art.
The concluding video piece by Greiman is titled ‘Drive-by shooting’ (2006).Over a fifteen year period the Artist captured glimpse of the world from her moving car. Her intention in this piece is to utilize the inherent qualities of digital photography . Revealing new kinds of form, composition, space and time. april greiman.mp4 http://vimeo.com/7633265
Bibliography www.aprilgreiman.com www.wikipedia.org/aprilgreiman www.vimeo.com April Greiman “Floating Ideas into Time and Space” (Watson-Guptill Publications (September 1998)) “Something from Nothing” (Rotovision; illustrated edition edition (February 2002))