Monday, April 25, 2011

Graphic pizzazz & ornamental beauty

The seismic cultural shifts covered in ABC of 20th-Century Graphics can be seen in these examples. The first two show lettering and vignettes on covers executed with Behrens-Kursiv typeface in 1907, while the second represents the many avant-garde movements that had arisen by 1924. This profusely illustrated book would get anyone's creative juices flowing.
 
Whereas modernist graphic design can often mean hard, stark edges and angles, the collages in The Theater of Insects are imbued with exquisiteness and nuance. Photographer Jo Whaley "animates the inanimate" with her colorful, phantasmagorical stagings. "The appearances of insects range from those of menacing aliens to those of creatures of ornamental beauty," she writes. "Their ingenious structures and designs are unique visual qualities that inspire awe." Whether a moth looking like it's costumed for a fairy ballet or a beetle that resembles an item of African decoration, these images beguile and surprise. 

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