Every day we always come across something we love or hate. We eat what we like, we meet someone we love. Some people have Marmite on their toast every morning while some can’t stand the taste of it. As visual image-makers, we aim for aesthetic perfection. As a consumer we are drawn to desirable, well-designed products.
However, design can be used in many different ways. How do we define what is good and what is bad?

Is there a criterion out there that everyone can agree to? We (graphic designers, motion graphics designers and illustrators) believe that the best criteria within the creative industries are the discussions a design provokes around it; discussion that stimulates and contributes to our visual culture. We also believe that all forms of design make up this culture.

This is a part of introduction of <Design Marmite Manifesto>


Today, new opportunities and challenges of leadership confront the communication designers. It is needed that communication designers should take conscious steps to recognise the future direction of their profession. The creative leadership of communication designers can not only make a new value in this society but also facilitate the cultural understandings providing effective information enhancing communication among people.

A manifesto can be a vehicle of communication to promote an activism. Visual communication design cannot change the world but it may be able to lead the world in a becoming better society.  I would like to suggest three-part pledge to improve leadership of communication designers as global citizen.

  1. Keep concern about problem in the society.
  2. Learn to listen and ask questions.
  3. Do not create unnecessary design.

During the OFFSET2012 conference, there were a lot of side event near the venue. After discussing about happiness that relate to his ‘The Happy Film‘, Stefan Sagmeister talked about the notion of ‘function’ with Ciaran O’Gaora and mentioned about the difference between art and design. This transcript is a part of the conversation.

What is the function of your work? What is feature work is doing? 

C: How you approach them. Happiness you said was more like a life style guru. What do you usual work individually communicate that. So, What function you see that be involved in.

S: That is super interesting question and I’m very involved in it. Maybe just in the middle of changing my mind of it. I do believe that there is difference between art and design. Mostly I believe that from a doer’s perspective from a viewer’s perspective I really care about much less. I just look at piece ‘it is good or not good’, which means I don’t really come out of role of the design or come out of role of the fine art.

Obviously, in studio, which is bigger with three designers, myself and two interns, we do all sort of work and whole range from extreme functionality something like, printing an invitation for 60th birthday of my sister in law. […]

C: Very functional. (haha..)

S: This thing has, whatever it is, that all the things out of scale. It is probably, 70% function, then 30% function which is also function but it is a secondary function or tertiary function. […] There was strangely for that in the mean time quite good at there is clients for this, I talked museum into sponsoring the things. So this little section that I showed actually at least material for it was surprisingly expensive, in manage to blow 14,000 dollars over that weekends even though nobody got paid them all did it lent a camera […] and build things make this possible and buy all the that crap. […]

In that sense, there is clients with it. But the function itself, would literally just be a somebody(viewer) getting something out of it  […] because I really mean that basically it is meaningless but little inspirational function.

C: I see that it is a mental health ad.

S: There is a functionality and I have to say I think I get over. The function less role for me and I see the beauty of uselessness. I truly see it. In the talk yesterday, I little bit about that manufacturing beauty of a happy moment by driving the scooter around. I so noticed the difference between driving that scooter but I need to visit somewhere that need to have many utility and I drove just a scooter but there is no reason so ever. Definitely, that occurred afterward, a similar process might be happening difference between art and design. That this utility that has a chair that inside this chair actually it’s also hindering the gorgeousness that form or the other aspects of the chair might have, because I considered that it ruins everything out as the utility is be going to A to B, ruins my experience of being in the just moment on the bike or on the scooter. These are for me strangely and surprisingly, new thoughts. I am so much a designer. […]


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Richard Hollis
– Curated by Emily King
– 23 March – 28 April, 2012 at Gallery Libby Sellers

Richard Hollis is not only one of the most crucial graphic designers for the last several decades, he also contributed to the graphic design area as an author and educator. First book that I read his name was ‘Graphic Design: a Concise History'(Thames and Hudson book). Frankly speaking, until a few years ago, I didn’t know that Hollis is an important designer, even I read the book ‘Way of seeing’! Shame on me. Anyway, as my blog name suggests, the ‘Way of Seeing’ is one of the most important books of my life as a communication designer.
The exhibition shows almost all noticeable Hollis’s works including his drawing for layout of specific books. If you are a designer, who associate with text and images, it must be worth while to visit the gallery.

Way of seeing was initially broadcasted by the BBC as a television series(see the previous post) and after the programme had succeed Berger published this as with the producer Mike Dibb, and Richard Hollis designed that. One of significance of this book is revolutionary designed system which is integrated text and images based on the television format. It was quite unusual when the book first published but it efficiently convey information without losing original “way of seeing”.

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Few days ago well-know book designer, Chip Kidd presented his in-depth thought about book cover design. Obviously, he is an attractive presenter (I’ve seen his presentation at the Typo 2011) and I think it was one of the funniest talks from TED that I ever seen before. Here is one impressive quotation that I want to remember from the talk.

All of these solutions derive their origins from the text of the book. Once a book designer has read the text then he has to be an interpreter and a translator.

It was second time to attend this event. The Typographic Circle has hosted regular talks featuring design practitioners not only in typography but also in cross-sectional experts of graphic design area. The title of this month was ‘Five Big Names in Type’. As title suggests, there were five guests, Bruno Maag, Henrik Kubel, Freda Sack, Phil Baines and Simon Dixon, who presented their works and discussed about contemporary typography issues. I have been studying typography even after I graduated art school few years ago. Personally, I think the Circle is quite an interesting community as it has organised to embrace a wide range of typographic issues. I hope there should be more active typographic community in Korea, since we have our own language that has to be developed its own typographic methodology.

It was fantastic experience to join the Offset creative conference. Not only many graphic design stars but also a number of creative people that include artists, illustrators, and typographers, are gathered into Dublin, Ireland between the 9th and 11th of March in the Grand Canal Theatre, and select venues around town. I was just filled with inspiration.

Obviously, it was valuable experience to see a presentation from graphic design stars such as Stefan Sagmeister, Michael Bierut, Paula Scher, and Kyle Cooper. However, when it comes to contents of their presentation, it was already seen from Typo London 2011(see the older post) or a series of famous things through TED and other conferences. Personally, it was more interesting to see that some new graphic works and its background from Eike Konig(Hort), Von, and Erik Kessels. Some of choice cuts from the conference will be posted soon.