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About Graphic Design

I decided to become a graphic designer in 1970 after seeing an exhibition of Polish theater posters. And although I found out very quickly that the job wasn't really about designing cultural posters and book jackets, that instead it was really all about the advertising industry, that was still perfectly acceptable: All those brilliant British commercials back then? And - yes, of course one put one's services to Capitalism, but Capitalism was not the monster that it has become today. There were countries (in Western Europe especially) where the system appeared to be working out OK. And then the profession itself was highly creative. The likes of Milton Glaser and Herb Lubalin all over the place... Not a single "template" to be found. Not even a notion of that. Every thing thought out, deliberated upon as a unique problem. Every solution distinctive.

So, I think about this a lot. Would I have decided to become a graphic designer today? No, probably not. Not in this neo-liberalist global disaster. But then, what would I have decided to become? An architect (which had been my original intention before graphic design)? How is that not about putting one's skills at the neo-liberal corporatist's disposal? Artist? I don't think you "become" that. So, why study it? What? Engineer? Lawyer? Doctor? Social Scientist? All professions as much implicated in propping up the system as advertisers, if you ask me.

Unless you work for a non profit place. But you can do that as a graphic designer too.

So, every year I give my students a "good bye" talk at the end of their time with me. And for the past several years that is what I tell them to do. You will have a shitty daytime job where you will be doing things that you do not believe in. That may in fact go against your very grain of being. So - get a second "night time" job. Go find a good non profit, civil society whose mission resonates with you, and put your profession at their disposal. The day time "soap bubble" stuff will melt away, but what you do for them will stay and make you happy.
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So, as predicted...

I have had a whale of a time making things for the imaginary alpha.tribe RL store. No idea what this store is supposed to be all about at this at point - they seem to be selling everything.

It is a bit like making things for a doll's house, playing around with these mockups inside photoshop. And I am not even done yet - more stuff out there that I can slap my "identity" on to. Pathetic for a 65 year old woman, you would say? You may not be too far off, I am saying it quietly to myself as I sit here glued to what, at the end of the day, is nothing but a totally useless exercise.

And no, it is not like making stuff in SL. There, there is a purpose. People come visit, play, buy things sometimes. There is a "life" there. This?
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alpha.tribe branding

And now for something completely different...
Why would I do a 'real life' branding for alpha.tribe - a virtual fashion store?

Answer: Tutorial for my students on how to assemble a behance project page, complete with an issuu flipbook whereby they show their branding manual. Which I ended up really enjoying. Obviously alpha.tribe does not need letterheads and what have you.

But, it was so much fun doing them that I think that I will go ahead and add some more while I sit here thinking about my 'minimalist' conundrum.
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From Azimuth to Cypher

Once upon a time there was a great free app called with which one could create boards. I assembled the material of a research project on just such a board. The full board looked like this:

And here are the detail screenshots:

No other place to really put this, so it goes on this blog. And also, it kind of plays into my 'minimalist and yet not minimalist' musings.

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Curio is playing into my 'minimalist and yet narrative' obsession in a way that the others aren't. Here, the 'tale' is in the steampunk textures with which I clothed the basic prims - mostly cubes actually. And the avatar, of course.

I am not sure I want to do it with lots of textures when it comes to this new thing rummaging around in my head. But still... Could something this elaborate be combined with dot arrays and nod and link abstractions? No idea. But then I usually get my ideas once I start to make things. So...

She has it nailed

I am listening to her right now and - yes! For anyone who has any sort of hope of salvation for the system we are all subject to, what she says will be very hard to take. She is hardcore. And, from where I am sitting here on my sofa, she has it dead to rights.