BCLA 2014: Marian Bantjes Keynote

Designer, typographer, writer, illustrator.

Libraries are great (you can get free books)!

Introduction to some design (commercial work), using typography and art together to promote something. e.g. Toulouse-Lautrec, Mondrian Very visual oriented design where it was more about the artwork (not necessarily even having to do with what it’s selling). Most revered, Paul Rand encapsulated modernism in logo design, and signs all his things (even the cover of an annual report).

Designers started as artists, and very old school designer where the basics is in illustration.

When technology came along, it democratized graphic design and it was more about someone tailoring their work to the client needs. What is considered good is clean, simple, clear, meeting a client’s needs.

Started as typesetter, to create books and magazines as designer envisioned it. However, it’s now an extinct profession. Worked as client driven graphic designer for a decade, but then decided to stop. Wanted to go back to drawing, wanted to enjoy it, very artistic, from the heart.

Wrote for a blog for 3 years called speak up, realized writing goes hand in hand with designing for her.

Began to think about ‘wonder’. Things that are designed to make you feel a specific way e.g. religious work (stain glass, books). Way of honouring the text, the text is really important, worth something. What is it that people are so drawn to it?

Ornaments in design has a purpose.

Aids in telling of a story, where the pictures and words are codependent.

Worse part is when someone is talking about a visual thing but has nothing visual to go with it. If writing about wonder, should include a feeling of wonder. (e.g. in her book, ‘I wonder’)

Used to be thought that ornaments meant you were hiding something (e.g. flowery language like a woman wearing make up). Found quotes that were negative about ornaments and drew responses as juxtaposition and dialogue.

Books can do some things that blogs can’t do. When wrote an article for a blog had to use reference (e.g. Figure A), but in the book form, integrated art into the words. e.g. rewrote paragraphs into using sign vernacular and same typeset

(Many other examples particularly from the book were shown and talked about.)

Mother left notebooks behind. Would write all sorts of things e.g. to do list, phone numbers, reminders, things listening to on the radio. Kept it for 30 years. Amazed at how much of her personality came out in these notebooks, along with notes from the children.

Second book is similar in that it’s visual, but very different because it was original and design was just for the book. It’s basically a compendium of all previous work. Fairly chronological in order to see development of work.

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