Graphic design
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An approach to design – surely everybody draws?


We were all taught art in some form or other at school. In England this often led to an interest in our formative younger years but saw a dramatic decline with the influence of qualified and unqualified teachers when it came to testing the results of the teaching in more formal examinations. To some extent this was a reflection of a perceived need to judge students competitively, but it was also a consequence of the general climate in which the arts are understood and diminished within the overall educational system.

Although there has been some change over time, it still does not produce adults with an understanding of art in either its general of specific senses. In fact, most seem quite confused as art has moved away from its skilled manual basis to a more esoteric event-based form more easily manufactured by less skilled hands. In particular there is less teaching of traditional drafting skills which has dimished observational understandings. In fact, many are now unable to communicate through a traditionally drawn medium but have come to rely on computer, film and audio based operations.

But we are essentially looking at a Western view of design, its interpretation, its confirmation of being ‘good’ or ‘bad’, and its practice. It takes little or no reference from history outside the West, nor does it deal with the social, political and other issues which now overwhelm us.

In its wider development, this has seen a lack of understanding of design in all its forms; a repression which demonstrates itself in a restricted understanding of many forms of design, particularly British architecture which has been compromised additionally, by a combination of the lack of skills of the planners who regulate much of what is built, and the confused though usually financially driven objectives of clients.

Nor does everybody draw nowadays with the overwhelming influence of computers and their design programmes. Nowadays nearly everybody who has a computer will own some form of design programme – and are not afraid to use them. Consequently, the web is awash with design work, not much of it good, and here is my contribution to that visual sludge. It consists, in the main, of work carried out on original greetings cards, drawn design studies, and experimental work.

Some of the work on the next few pages is taken from freehand design projects using traditional materials but, in the main, the work was carried out using graphics programmes on a Mac.

The illustration at the top of the page is, incidentally, a part of my name written in Arabic in the style of a tughra, a traditional Turkish seal.

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Graphic design
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