Frank Pick and the London Underground

For this week’s discussions, we discussed Frank Pick and the London Underground Design and promotion. Frank Pick, who was born on 23rd November 1978, was a British transport administrator and was responsible for the London Underground designs, where he hired Edward Johnston to create the actual design for the Underground, and Harry Beck to design the map. Becks maps where in fact used as inspiration around the world for many different maps such as planes, trains and road maps, mainly due to the fact it was so simple and easy to read and follow. After the first world war in 1919 the designs where all re-designed, to mark a change and a new beginning, but since then, they have stayed the same and are still used today. The underground started to advertise different events located in London city, this was mainly so that a lot more people would use the underground to get the events easier. Edward Johnston, when he came to designing the logo, decided to replace the solid red circle for a white circle making it much more modern. Frank Pick promoted the underground with lots of various posters so people would start to use the underground a lot more.

For the discussion this week, we discussed what it was about the design of the underground that made it so successful.

As a group we stated that the designs where so successful as they were bright, bold and eye catching, and also, the colours used in the stations making it easy to read and follow. We discussed how the logo used bright contrasting colours that would make it recognisable from a distance and make it clear where about the undergrounds where located, and making it easy to spot from a distance. We also talked about how the logo was very versatile and could be easily resized and placed in different places mainly due to the simple shapes and colours. In the logo we discussed the typeface and why the designer used this specific typeface, we discovered that the typeface in the underground design was actually created by Calligrapher, Edward Johnston and it was an exclusive typeface. The letter ‘O’ in the actual font is a perfect circle and we discussed that this could be down to geometric shapes of the designs.

As well as the logo, we discussed the map and why it was so influential to many other different countries and map designers. And we came to the conclusion that it was all down to the simplicity of it and the basic coloured lines that made it so easy to follow. we all felt that the map has possibly stayed the same for so many years as it is so simple and easy to read that it doesn’t need any improvement, and is thought as, as one of the best pieces of information graphics in the world. We started to discuss what influences the designers could have been influenced by, and we came to the conclusion that they were possibly influenced by Bauhaus and Swiss Typography, mainly due to the bold colours and basic shapes used.

We started talking about the underground posters and discussed why they were so successful. Mainly because the underground was affordable and easily accessible for people, but also the fact that the underground promoted other events that would encourage people to use the underground. We found out that Frank Pick had a variety of different artists to design the posters for him, which was very effective back then as it promoted the artist’s work as well as the underground. The designs of the posters where all very relevant to the designs of the maps, so that the underground designs where consistent and also recognisable.

As a group we shared at the end of the discussion what we had learnt and what we found helpful from the discussion. I stated that I was impressed with how the design of the underground where so simple and effective that throughout the years nothing has had to be altered or improved to make it better because it is good enough as it is.

this is a slide show i created, that contains posters from the time the London Underground was first created. These posters where enforced by Frank Pick where he got someone to design and create them. i feel that these designs are very creative as they are very similar to the posters that where around during WW2, but i feel this could have been because they where around the same era and the design back then could have been very similar to this. I feel in a way these designs had a hint of Propaganda to them as they where trying to convince people that taking the underground was the best way to get around london, and it would be harder to see things with out taking it. but i feel they were still very successful and creative and got the message across well.

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Overall i feel the London Underground has been one of the most successful designs in history, as it has had such a massive effect on other designers. I really like the way that the London Underground maps have were so well designers that other designers started to use this style to create other maps for different forms of traveling as it was so simple and easy to read. I also like how simple and effective the logo is as, despite it being very basic, it is a logo that is well recognizable and easily seen from a distance, which is a very important thing for the designer to bare in mind. I feel that the London Underground designs have been very successful over the years and have really changed the way people design information graphics nowadays.


Propaganda …

This week’s discussion was about Propaganda and how it influential it has been to modern day graphic design. The discussion was based around what propaganda is and how it is used to manipulate people.


Propaganda is a way to convince citizens by false information or twisting the truth, it was a very successful technique used mainly throughout World War 2, were the government used the media to try and convince the public to join the army and serve their country in the war, they made out that the people that didn’t join the army where selfish and bad for not wanting to join, they also made people look down on them. It made the public believe that everything the government was right and for the good, which was sort of brainwashing the public into believing anything the government said. A lot of the designs where very emotionally attached and normally got the public questioning whether what they were doing was wrong. Propaganda was also heavily linked to the designs of Russian Revolution and Russian Constructivism, mainly because of the colours used and the style of the designs. The way propaganda was used in WW2 has been very effective and has affected advertisements now, as they still use Propaganda but just notas heavily as it was possibly used back during the war. A lot of advertising now is still quite persuasive and still twist the truth to try and convince the public into buying something. A lot of charities tend to use this technique by making you feel guilty and make you donate money to the charities. It makes the public think all the money they donate goes to charities when in fact only a certain amount is donated to the charities and the organization keep the rest. The Barrack Obama poster about hope is possibly one most iconic images of recent propaganda around at the moment, as since the World War it wasn’t really been used that much to persuade peoples opinions. The poster is very effective as it does make the public believe there is hope, but the propaganda comes into it when because it is making the public believe that voting for Obama will bring hope to their country.


Propaganda isn’t necessarily bad, it is just perceived as bad due to the way it was used in bad ways in the past. Can be the truth in some occasions, but it is the way that the government and the media portray it to how the audience tend to see it. It is a very effective technique, as it does tend to help the government get a message across and get what they want, by sort of brain washing the audience into believing anything they want them to believe.

i have inserted in this slideshow below, images from World War 2, that where classed as propaganda. i decided to chose these images as they are one of the most famous examples of propaganda and i feel that they really express what propaganda is. These posters where displayed around the UK and giving the public false or in accurate information that would manipulate them into doing what the country wanted them to do. I feel the posters are very creative as they are very artistic which would help make the public want to see what the poster is advertising. I feel because of this style being involved in propaganda, it never really caught on, but instead just became art.

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Overall i feel that the Propaganda posters where, in a way, very creative and where very inspirational for other designers, as it sort of gave them all a guideline of how to engage the audiences attention and also how they people could manipulate people into thinking how the designer thinks. i feel the work is very interesting as well, as each of the posters where very detailed and have a lot of time put into them, where as now it would be more digitally based. Personally i feel the propaganda designs are very creative as it can grab the attention of the public and can help change their mind, through just the art of design.

Swiss Typography and Jan Tshichold

This week’s discussion was about Swiss Typography and Jan Tschichold. Swiss Typography was developed by Jan Tschichold in Switzerland in the early 1920’s. Tschichold was influenced mainly by the Soviet Constructivism, Russian Constructivism and the Bauhaus. You can tell Bauhaus was one of his influences as his style of was changed not long after a visit to an exhibition held at the Bauhaus. A lot of other famous designs were developed around this era that was seeing today such as Kellogg’s, Budweiser etc.

For this week’s Discussion we discussed what the influences of Jan Tschichold did to make him reject the traditional typography style at the time of his designs.

As a group we started to discuss how Tschichold’s style changed once he had attended the Bauhaus exhibition. We felt that Tschichold possibly took the Bauhaus style and tried to re-develop it into a style of his own creating something much more different. The principles of the Swiss Typography and Bauhaus were both very similar as they both wanted to create something well structured. As well as Bauhaus we also discussed how El Lizzitsky, a well-known Russian Constructivism Designer, was also a main influence for Tschichold, as when you compare the work of one another’s you can see how similar their work was, as they both used simple shapes and basic colours. Tschichold designed a variety of typeface that were legible for everyday use, he did this by cleaning up other existing typefaces that would be much more suitable for basic things such as signs and posters. All of the typefaces he created where mostly san serif bold and clear, and all these typefaces are referred to as Universal. We talked about the events that where happening at the time of Jan Tschichold’s designs. We discussed when he was arrested because his ideas were rejected for not being good enough and then later placed into a concentration camp, where he was shortly released from. We discussed that he then moved to Switzerland to get away from the war, and they weren’t involved in it therefore it being safer for him. During Tschichold’s time in Switzerland his typefaces he created became very popular and where even used by a few different companies. During this time Typography in designs also became very popular and a lot more companies started using typography in their designs, mainly due to the typefaces being so much more legible.

During our discussion we came to the point where we realised that Swiss Style Typography was the International Style, where we discussed that the Swiss style first started off in Switzerland were it was then quickly spread worldwide because of the popularity it was quirkily gaining. Swiss Typography slowly came to the UK when Tschichold moved to England and started working for Penguin Book, where he completely re-designed their books and set a layout that penguin then used for every single one of the their published books. Jan made a deal with the company once he had design the books and asked them to promise that they would keep the design, which has, to this day, stayed the same throughout the years of the re-design. in the late 50’s Swiss Typography was then Renamed as the International Style due to how big it became internationally. We went on to discuss what happened after the war and how design changed. We started talking about pop art that was soon introduced as a result of music and pop culture becoming massive influences to designers. We also talked about how we felt that the designs in this era where another development on what was already very popular at the time of the designs.

We then went on to think of what we had learnt in this discussion or what we felt was very useful to know. Where I said I felt that it was incredible how Jan Tschichold altered existing typefaces to something more illegible, and from this created a worldwide design cycle that many other designers and companies pick up on.

with the slideshow that i have inserted onto this page, it is image i found that where relatable to the Swiss Typography style, which i felt was very effective. i found 5 images that where relatable to the swiss typography style and from this it is clear that the style is very different to the others that i have looked at, as it is much more basic but interesting at the same time. again like Bauhaus and Russian Constructivism, they use a lot of red and white, this could be because they want to make it relatable to recent designs. I really like this Swiss Typography style and these pictures help express why it has become so inspirational.

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Overall i feel that Swiss Typography is very helpful and creative as it was something very different to what was happening back when it started. i really like the way that Jan Tschichold took the Bauhaus style but tried to re-develop it, as it helps make an old style much more modern and relatable to the target audience in today. I really like the style that Swiss typography use as, very much like Bauhaus and Russian Constructivism they use a strict colour pallet and keep a lot of their designs consistant. i feel that this style was very influential as it was an original design style, that had been re-developed.


Push Pin Studios

This week’s discussion was about Push Pin Studios. Push Pin studios started in 1954 and was based in the city of New York in America. It was a design agency that was created by 3 well known artists today Milton Glaser, Seymour Chwast and Edward Sorel. Milton Glaser is known for his iconic work of the ‘I ❤ New York’ logo he created and Seymour and Edward where also well-known artists from this era. Push Pins where well known for making successful things such as posters, magazines and record sleeves.

For this discussion we decided to talk about why Push Pin Studios Stick to the illustrative style and not the harsh style of the time.

We started off discussing about push pin and what they had done across the years to get to where they are at now. We talked about how push pins originally started off as just a magazine designed by four graduates who later on decided that they should start their own design agency. We noticed a lot of things in Push Pin designs that were relatable to the era they were around. and we started to talk about the musical ‘Grease’, as from some of the clips we were shown, some people felt it was quite relevant to the film. We also picked up on the influences this era had on the designs such as, music, cars, dance, fashion, diners etc. which, we felt, could have been one of the main reasons Push Pins started to create record sleeves. We also talked about how the music could have influenced the company with their designs. we felt that the design of push pins was very bold and they used a lot of bright colours and block shapes, which then also led us on to talk about the International Style., and how the designs where very similar to Bauhaus and Russian Constructivism with the use of shapes and colours. Other designs we felt could have influenced Push Pins was Paul rand, who was very famous for his IBM logo and using simple shapes and colours.

We began to discuss the typography used in the push pin designs, and we talked about how the typeface was very bold and block like and that the font fit well within the International Style. We also looked at a famous Push Pin poster called ‘End Bad Breath’ which was a poster of Big Sam that was publicized around during World War 2. Which then led us all on to believe that Push Pin where in fact about the war. This poster was about the social comment that became a theme throughout most of the designs the Push Pins later produced. This then brought us on to talking about other relevant things that were happening at the time of Push Pin, and we mentioned racism that was a massive talking point back then, which then also led us onto believing that a lot of push pins designs could have been influenced by this. Push Pin then became an agency instead of just a magazine. We also talked about the style of push pin and how they were massively influenced by pop art and comic books, which is quite clear when you look through the designs that push pins have produced throughout the years, from the use of colours and shapes and the style of their designs.

We then all discussed what we had learnt or what we found interesting about the discussion. I said that I found it interesting how push pins was created by 3 designers that originally just made magazines, but due to their unique style and originality furthered into becoming and agency.

I decided to insert a slideshow containing some of Push Pins designs, that i felt where the most successful and interesting. I chose these images as i felt that they where the most important images that show the sort of style push pin normally take, as they tend to use a lot more colours in their designs unlike Bauhaus and Russian Constructivism. From this slideshow a lot of their work is hand created, as a lot of the images in them look very hand drawn, which i think is why they where very successful as their work was very different to the style of design in the past.

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Overall i feel that Push Pins was very inspirational and creative. I feel that because the creators of Push Pin have become successful designers now, it helps give the company the popularity it deserves. i really like the Push Pin Studios style as i feel it was very different and was really unique to what the style was back in the time of when it started. i really like how all of their work looks as if it was hand created which i think gives it that much more personal feel and also helps make the design look much more appealing towards all sets of audience. i think that Push Pins was successful as it was different and was very unique to what design looked like back then and also it was created by 3 top designers.

Russian Constructivism


This Weeks Discussion was on Russian Constructivism. Russian Constructivism was a movement that was mainly active from 1913 to the late 1940’s. It was a movement that was created by the Russian Avant-grant, but was quickly spread to the rest of the continent. Russian Constructivism is mainly uses the use of basic colours and bold shapes that normally make their average designs. in the 20th century, Russian Constructivism had a massive effect on modern art and movements, which led on to influence trends such as Bauhaus. They mainly wanted to get a message across in the majority of their designs. There were a few famous designers in the region such as Vladimir Tatlin, Kasimir Malevich and El Lissitzky.

We decided to choose a question that would start us of on a discussion on this topic. So we decided to ask the question why Russian Constructivism is so structured.

We started to talk about the time Russian Constructivism started, when we discovered the movement first started in 1913, which was around the time of World War 1 and the Russian Revolution. This sort of explained why a lot of the designs were designed the way they were, due to era they were produced. The designs often included a lot of straight lines and geometric shapes with block colours, which we felt was very effective and very recognisable. Due to the Russian Revolution being around the time of this movement we started to think of ways in which Constructivism was designed the way it was. We noticed that Russian Constructivism was mainly done to get women votes and equal right, and also opportunities for the rich and poor, which helped us into believing that this movement in fact helped change in the rights. But the work, due to the era, was also propaganda as the work was very open and demanding, but also very different to the designs in World War as it was aimed towards the public and trying to get them to change. Russian Constructivism’s aim was to mainly give art a meaning instead of just having it for art’s sake, where the quote ‘Not Have Art, For Arts Sake’ came from.’ They all wanted people to see the message intended in the designs and not just see the designs for an attractive picture. This was all done by the way they designed their work, which was by using bold striking colours and geometric shapes that would engage the audience. We then felt that from this movement, design in general was completely revolutionized, as people started to design pieces of art with more meaning behind them. Therefore people starting to take art a lot more seriously. From this it led us onto talking about how it didn’t just have an influence on art, but also music, as you can see from the Franz Ferdinand Video I attached which shows the use of Russian Constructivism elements in it. the colours the movement use, Red, Black and White, we later found out where in fact colours from the government party that were running for the revolution at the time.

We then, as a group, came up with something we found interesting or learnt in today’s discussion. I said that I found it interesting how influential the movement was and how much it has changed design throughout the years, and how inspirational it has been for designers and even musicians, such as Franz Ferdinand.

i decided to insert a slideshow of my favorite Russian Constructivism images that i felt where the most successful and what helped show the style and theme of Russian Constructivism. As well as designs from the era of when this was all popular i have also inserted some recent design that have been used form bands (Franz Ferdinand and Rage Against), I decided to insert these as i liked how still to today Russian Constructivism is a big part of design and a lot of people are still influenced by it. These images, i feel, really express what Russian Constructivism was all about and really showed the main style of their designs.

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Overall i feel that Russian Constructivism has been very inspirational and still, from the images in the slideshow, is used today for modern day art. I feel the designs where very modern and relatable, which helps make it still to this day, very effective and creative. I also like how the colours are very strict, Red, Black and White which is very similar to the Bauhaus, but Russian Constructivism is much more modern, and a lot more relatable as a lot of it was displayed for public awareness, where as now it is just art. The colours are very bold and striking, but this could have possibly been down to the fact that the designs where for public awareness, so the aim was to grab people attention.

Influences on the work of Neville Brody …


Neville Brody is one of the top names in the graphic design industry due to his style of work and the impact he has on the design industry. Brody is known mostly for his typography approach, a lot of Brody’s designs consist of very creative and different pieces of typography. Brody continues to break the visual boundaries and try to break new creative grounds, by doing this also making a name for himself as one of the leading Graphic Designers in the world. Brody, who studied at the London College of Printing, was always criticized during his time in education due to his creative mind and thinking outside the box, and mainly due to the college generally teaching basic and traditional printing methods. From an early age Brody showed talent and desire. In the 1980s Brody went on to work at ‘The Face Magazine’, which was a very popular magazine in the 1980s and was known as ‘The Fashion Bible’ where it “married music, popular culture, politics and street style with radical art direction and new fonts  …” where he worked as an art director from 1980 to 1993, where he gained a fair amount of attention on his work. When he left in the year 1993 he went on to creating his own studio ‘Neville Brody Studio’, which is now more commonly known as the ‘Research Studio’, which has blown up to becoming a global success, where there are now studios located in London, Paris, Berlin and Barcelona. Throughout Brody’s career he has also brought into the design industry, over 20 different typefaces, which has helped changed the change the design industry to this day.

Neville Brody, who was born in 1957, grew up in an era where punk was at its peak. A lot of this would have helped influence Brody onto some of the work he has created today. With the beginning of punk rock and the style of Punk really taking off in this era, Brody was able to take this era as a guiding stone and take ideas from this era helping him become one of the greatest designers in the Industry today. This style had a massive influence on a lot of Neville Brody’s work as it was very modern in that time and very different as a lot of the designs in that era stuck to the certain rules of design, whereas Neville Brody seemed to bend the rules slightly and create things that were much more appealing towards his target audience. I feel that a lot of Neville Brody’s work reflects on the style of punk and is very different. His work all seems to be very bold and different, and usually much more type heavy, which compared to a lot of the work back then that he designing with, was much different and eye catching. This is mainly one of the main reasons I feel that Neville Brody has gained the reputation he has today, mainly due to the way he breaks the rules isn’t afraid to be the trend setter.

As well as being influenced by Punk rock, Brody was also believed to be influenced by Dadaism, which is very similar to a lot of the work he has produced today. Brody like the style and technique used in Dadaism which is possibly one of the reasons why he designs a lot of his work the way he does today. Just like Neville Brody’s work Dadaism is very typographic and very different, they tend to use type heavy designs with abstract images, and a lot like some of the work Neville Brody has designs in his career. I feel that this design technique was very effective and useful in the upcoming of Brody as it is clear that it was an influence to his work, mainly due to the similarities in their work, the only difference is their work each have their own touches of personality to them . As well as being abstract and Typographic his work is very political this may be down to the style of pop art that was also a very popular style of design in the era of Brody’s upbringing. Pop art was one of Brody’s biggest influences due to it being quite political and very abstract. When looking as some of Neville Brody’s work it is clear that pop art was a key influence in his life, as a lot of his work does consist of the bright colours and unusual style that is often seen when looking at pop art. Pop art has definitely helped Brody in experimenting with different colours and making some of his work much more appealing and eye catching to a wider range of audience. I feel that his influences have really helped Brody in becoming what he has today.

Neville Brody is a well-rounded graphic designer that has not just focused on one area in the design world but has managed to test his limits by trying all different styles of design which would defiantly help him in the long run and which have defiantly helped him becoming one of the leading Graphic Designers in the world today. I feel from Neville Brody’s influences, whether it be Punk Rock, Pop Art or Dadaism, Brody has managed to take these techniques as guidelines and create his own work that will inspire and influence other young graphic designers. – Neville Brody’s Start – Neville Brody’s main influences – Quote on Face Magazine -Research on Neville Brody – Dadaism – Pop Art




This week’s discussion was about Bauhaus. Bauhaus was an arts and crafts school located in Germany, where its objectives were to combine architecture, sculpture and painting together and produce a creative, unique final outcome. The school was founded by a man called Walter Gropius in 1919 just after the First World War had ended. A teacher at the school was artist Wasily Kandinsky, where he taught architecture and was he also creates some fantastic abstract pieces. The school had a lot of influences, but its main one was modern industry. The school opened just after the First World War ended.

We then decided on a question to have, that would help us with the discussion. We decided to use the question why do the Bauhaus consist of simple shapes and primary colours? We decided to use this question to start us off.

We started off talking about when the school was first opened, we knew it was originally opened in 1919 just after the first world war, but we then went on to talk about how it was later shut down in world war two by the Nazi’s. The schools main objective was create something new and unique but at the same time keeping things simple and minimalistic. We went on to talk about the companies ‘Manifesto’ and how they tried to combine various medias to create objects for everyday use, which was very similar to a project that they had once done which was to create a house and create everything that would go into it, but with the designs of the objects being simple and very contemporary. Wasily Kandinsky, a teacher at the school, created very abstract work, where we then learnt that in fact the shapes that Kandinsky drew were actually a reaction to the sound that he heard and the colours were linked to the shapes. He did this to show the public how he thought shapes and sounds related to colour. Bauhaus has changed a lot in the world today, as originally art schools used to consist of basic drawing and paintings of portraits etc. but since Bauhaus a lot of the schooling has changed massively, where schools now consist of Fine Art, Fashion Textiles, Graphic Design, Photography etc. Bauhaus made materials a lot more relatable to art, and made materials like clay, metal, cloth etc. a lot more suitable in the art industry.

We then went on to talk about something we learnt or found interesting about the discussion we had. I said that I found it incredible how, despite how short the school was running for in retrospective to other schools, how inspirational it was to the modern day of art. And how to this day Bauhaus is still one of the most inspirational styles of design, even though the building wasn’t around for that long it managed to revolutionize design to the present day.

Below are a collection of images i collected, that are Bauhaus themed. I decided to pick these images as i felt that they showed the Bauhaus theme the best, and really expressed the style of what Bauhaus is all about. From these images it is clear that Bauhaus consists of shapes and mainly the same colour pallet, which is normally Red, Black and White. I feel that these Bauhaus images are very effective as they are the traditional Bauhaus style, and they are very effective and creative. i really like the Bauhaus style as i feel it is very effective how they have contained shapes with text and colour to create effective and memorable designs.

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Overall i feel that Bauhaus has been very inspirational throughout the years and has really helped change the world of design due to its very unique and different at its time. I feel that the way Bauhaus used a lot of shapes and minimal colour really made the whole era of design change, as people saw it as something different and more creative, and started to catch onto it, where i then feel it became global. As well as graphic design Bauhaus created furniture, which again i feel is something interesting to bare in mind as they possibly didn’t intend to have as much of an impact in design as they have, which i feel could have been one of the main reasons for them being so successful, as it was unintended.