In week 9 & 10 we had the privilege to listen & learn from our classmates Pecha Kucha’s which was very interesting.

When presenting my ‘Pecha Kucha’ on Richard Avedon I personally struggled with condensing my points into 20 second intervals because I just had too much to tell! Even though I had practised at home, and due to nerves on the day my points still went over time but I quickly finished that sentence and moved onto the next point.

The person that I thought had the same issues as me, was Lily. She simply had too much to tell! While her points about Twentieth Century Posters & Advertising were magnificent they were hard to understand as she was speaking so fast and fell behind her slides. I personally thought Lily’s presentation was very interesting and I now have a great insight on early advertising & how the ability to travel (with the invention of cars, boats etc.) changed that.

Below is an advertisement she talked about in her Pecha Kucha:


image ref:

The second person I’d like to review is Navia, she went first in presenting and I found her presentation on ‘Organic Designs’ very intriguing. She had timed her points almost to perfection and even added in a personal slide at the end about her organic HSC project design (an outdoor chair). She explained what organic design was very well & explored it’s many branches.


While this isn’t quite Navia’s HSC work, it is a good example of an organic design.
Image ref:

Overall I think the class did very well in presenting their Pecha Kucha’s, we all had a very broad array of subjects which was good. I found it very interesting that even though our subjects were so broad, they still inter-related, for example in my presentation I spoke briefly about Alexey Brodovitch as he worked with Richard Avedon for some time, and in another presentation they also spoke about Brodovitch but in a different era of his life.



The Greatest Fashion Photographer of the Twentieth Century – Richard Avedon

In week 9 we were asked to present a ‘Pecha Kucha’ (20 slides, each 20 seconds each) on any aspect of design in History. I chose the infamous fashion photographer/ photo journalist Richard Avedon.

Personally I struggled with this assignment, after extensive research into the life of this marvellous photographer there was just so much information & images that I wanted to share to the audience but condensing it into 20 second concise points with only 20 slides, I found this very difficult. But in the end I think I did well to eliminate some of the lessor points and focus on the main information I wanted to convey to the audience.

Despite practising my presentation at home, & due to nerves on the day some of my points did go over the 20 second mark, but I quickly finished that sentence and moved on to the next point with each change of slide. If I were to re-do the presentation, I would reduce my points even more, so I could talk slower and clearer and not feel pressured by the 20 second limit.

On the positive side, this assessment allowed us as students to select an area of design in which we favoured & to expand out knowledge on the subject. We also were able to learn about other areas of design by watching other students presentations which I found very interesting.

Below is my Pecha Kucha points with images of the slides:

  1. Richard Avedon was an inventive fashion photographer of the twentieth century. He is notorious for his untraditional style of portraiture which he brought to the fashion world by working for numerous fashion magazines including Vogue, Life Magazine & Harper’s Bazaar. He blurred the line between commercial and art photography by utilising movement & emotion.


  1. Avedon’s passion for photography began when he was just a child, his father taught Avedon about cameras in the late 1920s with his ‘Eastern Kodak Box Brownie’. Avedon would capture countless portraits of his sister with his father’s camera. “She was always dressed up and photographed”. As Avedon says in an interview to Charlie Rose in 1993 “I think I was a photographer before I knew I was a photographer.” 2
  2. It was early on that Avedon discovered the notion that photographs did not depict the truth. His mother would dress them in fancy attire for family portraits and make them hold dogs in which they didn’t own, thus depicting a false reality in which he took on-board for his whole career. This can be seen in his street portraits with models ‘acting’ emotions & scenarios. For example, this photograph taken by Avedon in 1947, where the male model is ‘acting’ to be flattered by what the female model is wearing.


  1. Avedon’s father owned a woman’s clothing boutique on 5th Avenue, in which fashion Magazines like Harper’s Bazaar & Vogue were always present. As an adolescent, he would pick his favourite photos, tear them out and stick them on the walls of his room. He grew up surrounded and influenced by the great photographers of the 1930’s, like Martin Munkacsi & Edward Steichen.


  1. To his father’s opposition he dropped out of high school and joined the Merchant Marines making identification portraits, “mugshots” of the crewman. Two years later he left the armed forces to study with photographer & graphic designer Alexey Brodovitch at the New School of Social Research. Brodovitch saw great potential in Avedon & in 1944 he endorsed Avedon to work for him at Harper’s Bazaar. Here are a few of Brodovitch’s designs on the right.


  1. Brodovitch is known for his revolutionary modern graphic design techniques. He uses a combination of elegantphotographs, sharp serif typefaces, and striking white space arranged on a double page spread upon which all interact in some way. This slide is a combination of Brodovitch’s & Avedon’s work in Harper’s Bazaar Magazine.


  1. Avedon’s career took off in 1948, he travelled to Paris with intentions to photograph Couturier’s Second Show. Unlike most photographers of that time Avedon captured emotion, movement and scenes. He rebelled against the traditions of photography by taking to the streets, utilising it as his canvas; he photographed fashion models posing in high end bars, circus arenas & casinos.7
  2. As stated by British Fashion writer Colin Mcdowell “It was, in itself a new look and, although traditionalists in Paris tut-tutted, it was clear that Richard Avedon had, in one season, completed what Dior had started in 1947.” Dovima with Elephants is one of Avedon’s most famous fashion portraits & sold for a over one million dollars in 2010 at Christies Art Auction.
  3. 8
  4. This new way of photographing fashion contradicted the statue like portraits in which design was accustomed to. For example, Horst P Horst’s photography for Vogue in the early 1900s, the models were very much statue alike showing no emotion or movement demonstrating immense differences in design aesthetic.


  1. Avedon grew up in a female dominated household he was very aware of the fragility between women and their clothing, he portrayed this in his photographs. Women could now relate and envision themselves in such scenarios & clothing, like never before. In an interview to Charlie Rose in 1993 Avedon expresses how he would witness females mimicking the emotions & movements of his photographs as they walked 5th Avenue in style.


  1. Prior to Avedon, models were famous for their ‘remote’ emotionless look, they were perceived as mannequins, flawless showgirls, unskilled and had no prestige. Within this period the introduction of television allowed woman to mimic thrilling screen stars and fashion was no longer exclusive to the rich. Advertising photography like in Harper’s Bazaar reinforced this.


  1. Avedon whilst following his own style was always influenced by those before him. As shown here Avedon clearly mimics the components of Hungarian Photojournalist ‘Martin Munkasci’s “Puddle Jumper” on the left. Avedon has even named his photograph on the right there “Homage to Munkacsi”. So Avedon was constantly influenced by these photographers he had seen in his early life.


  1. According to American historian Anne Hollander, within Avedon’s works there is a cross-fertilisation between painting and photography. As stated in ‘The woman in the Mirror’ Avedon’s work of model Dovima is suggestive of a Zubarian’s ‘Saint Casilda’ painting of the 1640s. In both portraitures, the dresses have many folds, arms emerging from armlets and holding up their gowns each with an intense gaze of dignity and prestige.


  1. Avedon, most famous for his fashion portraiture also considered himself as a photojournalist. In the 1960s, Avedon commenced a new political project under the title ‘Hard Times’. He travelled afar, photographing a variety of subjects who were all effected by the civil rights movement, the war in Vietnam, and the Chicago Seven conspiracy trial.


  1. Avedon faced increasing criticism from critics accusing him of exploiting his subjects by decontextualizing them & “staging” photographs. He used a white background as he had done in fashion portraiture for decades. This shocked the world as a reader reading a magazine on one page would see the glamour & riches of the upper class American society & on the next page, the napalm victim’s face shocks the reader.17


  1. Avedon faced even more criticism when he published a series of photographs in the late 1970s called “In the American West”. He created these photographs in a period when a severe recession was occurring in the West, towns were being abandoned, as men were going from town to town looking for jobs after the mining business plummeted. Again he decontextualizes his subjects, erasing the background and allowing only a few props.18


  1. As described by Poul Erik Tojner “Avedon not only observes these people, he is again the co-creator… In that sense he does a reverse Arnold Newman; they are all photographed with a neutral white background, and always in the shade to prevent shadows, highlighting something in particular and determining what the viewer is to focus on in the photograph.”19


  1. Much alike his fashion photography, he wants the audience to not be distracted by a background and to emphasise the facial features and expressions of his subjects. This especially famous photograph of a 13-year-old boy who works as a rattle-snake skinner. The boy is on the verge of adolescence whilst his face both masculine & feminine, there is an essence of innocence yet his apron blood stained & expression unforgiving.20


  1. Despite this sudden change from fashion photography Avedon continued photographing fashion mainly for Dior & Versace until his sudden death in 2004 while on assignment for The New Yorker. Pictured here is only one of a series of photographs that Avedon created in 1995 depicting a love affair of Mr. & Mrs. Comfort, some say the work is Avedon’s personal farewell to fashion photography.


  1. Even after Avedon’s death, his legacy lives on & as described by Andy Grundberg of the New York Times in an obligatory about Avedon; “His fashion and portrait photographs helped define America’s image of style, beauty and culture for the last half-century”.




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Introduction of the Desktop & the “Human Cultural Interface”

In this week’s lecture Simone explored graphic design in relation to technological advancements throughout the 20th Century.
I found it very intriguing that the ‘cut and paste’ tool on our desktop today came from early designers who would physically cut and paste graphics onto a page. These early designers would also configure layouts, columns and scale graphics by hand – how amazing! Rubyliths made mistakes & changes less terminal.


Designers using Rubylith ref:

Then emerged desktop publishing including the ‘Apple Laser Writer’ and programs such as the ‘Aldus Pagemaker’ and ‘Quark’, which catapulted graphic design into a new realm of possibilities.
Technology seemed inevitably advancing at a rapid pace. The Mac 2 (the first colour desktop) was introduced in 1986, and the Mac plus was the first computer to provide a network to its users.

Within this digital revolution early designers like April Grierman, David Carson and Stefan Sagemeister appeared. Grierman started a new style of design that depicted this revolution perfectly, she merged the boundary of art and design. Carson created the grunge typography look, he is notorious for breaking the rules and changing the face of graphic design. Sagemeister also much like Grierman blurs the boundary between art and design, this can be seen in his ‘happy show’ exhibition.

The internet was developed – an online world in which was universal. Early web design designers had to code everything from scratch. This is where another breakthrough prevailed and ‘Dream Weaver’ allowed for the preview of coding at the same time as its development. Design transformed from linear to non-linear, for example ‘adventure books’ such as ‘Griffin & Sabine’ which utilised a tree root structure.


Our class activity this week was to create a narrative utilising 3 paragraph written by other people with the same reference photo – each person continuing on with the first persons last line of the paragraph.
By doing this we created a non-linear narrative as each person has no idea what the first person wrote, their only reference was the last line of the first persons paragraph and the image. Our groups narrative sort of made sense, this is what we came up with: 21441404_1709870342358486_1437692764_o21459915_1709870299025157_1591240623_o

Authors images

In this weeks reading ‘The Language of New Media’ by Lev Manovich, Manovich states that “Media is being liberated from traditional storage media”. Firstly our group agreed with Manovich’s statement that media is being liberated from traditional storage media to digital. Digital offers an entirely new cultural interface and design domain, especially with the Adobe software which makes design easier then ever. We discussed that the ‘handmade aesthetic’ is somewhat lost, and it may seem that it is now more than ever easier to become a designer (not really though). With the assistance of computers and software design has become less time consuming & lacking in hands on skills.
But our group agrees that there has been more gained then lost in this liberation. It has introduced an abundance of convenience, accessibility, easier communication and increased media outlets (online books, news online, etc).

Overall the constant expansion of technology has assisted designers incredibly and allowed for more advanced aspects of design to be achieved.

“When everybody zigs, zag.”

‘The Brand Gap’ – Marty Neumier

A truly inspirational insight to the design impact of logos & packaging – a must read for all those about to start their own business! Marty Neumeier explores what it takes to stand out as a business and get those sales sky rocking.

I was intrigued with Neumier’s insistence to stand out as a business was to be different and surprised with how many companies are afraid to do so. “Creativity requires an unnatural act.” He mentions MAYA – the Most Advanced Yet Acceptable as stated by industrial designer Raymond Loewy. To achieve originally Neumier explains that companies need to leave their comfort zones but most do not due to the ‘fear of stupid’ – the zag. “The nail that sticks up gets hammered”.

Any person trying to name their business with a new quirky remember-able name can relate to Neumier’s statement “Most of the good names are taken.” An incorrect company name can transform a products appeal enormously and sacrifice immense profit. A name should be “distinctive, short, spell-able, pronounceable, likeable, portable, and protect-able.” ‘Smuckers’ for example is all of the above.

Earns Smucker
Smucker’s Strawberry Jam


Neumier describes business names as either low-imagery or high-imagery names. High-imagery being more memorable creating vivid pictures that aid recall. Low-imagery being names that are not memorable – they usually utilise Greek & Latin root words. Zeiss for example is a high-imagery name, it references glass, precision & technological superiority.

Zeiss Contact Lenses


Neumier’s boldest statement within this text is that “Logos are dead”. His reasoning is branding. He believes branding is not about stamping a trademark, its about managing relationships between the company and its constituents. He also states that logos are a product of the printing press ( an element of the past). I disagree with Neumier here, I believe that you can also identify logos online, through TV & live events. For example the ‘triple J’ logo is easily recognisable at music festivals.

Triple J Logo Stage Back Drop


Packaging is as important as the company’s trademark, in a supermarket environment it’s the determining factor for sales.  I believe that this still holds true for online sales, especially if the packaging is still presented to the buyer, for example protein supplements still display the packaging online and within many advertisements. I would define packaging for online audiences as not only the graphics on the product, but the company’s entire website. It is a packaging within itself, the buyer is going there to consider purchasing the product.

Google Shopping 'Protein' Search
Google Shopping ‘Protein’ Search

‘Ways of Seeing’ by John Berger

I found ‘Ways of Seeing’ by Jon Berger shockingly relevant to my current perception upon material objects and the way I personally perceive publicity daily. No other point in history has experienced such dense publicity. In this text Berger explores the relationship between the traditional publicity of oil painting and it’s similarities to contemporary digital publicity through a vast array of ideals and concepts.

Publicity belongs to moment, as in it needs to keep updated with the aesthetic of contemporary society. Berger states that publicity never speaks of the present, it refers to the past and speaks of the future. Publicity is a visual language within itself. “It proposes to each of us that we transform ourselves, or our lives, by buying something more.”

The aspect of publicity in which I found most intriguing and relevant was the idea of ‘glamour’. Berger states that “publicity is the process of manufacturing glamour”. The consumer envisions themselves becoming transformed by the product from an ordinary, bland person to an object of envy for others which then will justify the consumer loving themselves. I found this incredibly interesting, as I am often purchasing material items in order to feel envied which inevitably makes me feel glamorous. The publicity image steals the self-love and acceptance of the consumer and offers to replenish it for the price of the product. Hence why publicity is so effective, it implements an unhappy notion upon ourselves which we must mend.

Marilyn Monroe Advertisement
Marilyn Monroe Advertisement

Berger states that the oil painting and publicity speak in very much the same visual language. The oil painting in the Renaissance period was a celebration of material items, “you are what you have”. Publicity has to sell the past to the future therefore it makes all history mythical through a visual language with historical dimensions.
The technology of cheap colour photography transformed publicity enormously, as photographers could now reproduce an image of the ‘real thing’ cheaply and on a mass scale.

Dejeuner Sure L’Herbe, Manet 1832-1883, Dior Secret Garden Versailles Ad Campaign.

The oil painting portrayed the consumer enjoying their possessions, making the viewer dis-satisfied with their current possessions. The oil painting anxiety, it creates the notion that without the power to spend money, life is not worth living.
This is where sexuality comes into play, Berger explores the notion ‘sex sells’. Lynx is renowned for utilising sexuality to sell their products – and it works. Without this product you will not be sexually desirable, you won’t find love.

Lynx Ad
Lynx Advertisement

Berger explores the idea that publicity is an alternate fantasy world within itself. The fantasy of a bored office worker, becomes an active consumer. There is a great contrast between the publicity’s interpretation of the world and the real world. This could be seen in news magazines such as ‘the Sunday Times Magazine’ where there was an article depicting poverty and hardship juxtaposed with a glamorous advertisement depicting wealth and luxury. Therefore publicity is event less – it’s effective as long as nothing else is happening within the ‘real world’.

“Publicity is the life of this culture – in so far as without publicity capitalism could not survive – and at the same time publicity is its dream.”


Camera Lucida; Reflections on Photography, Roland Barthes.

I thought this reading portrayed a very interesting perception of photography & journey of thought. Roland Barthes recounts his own perception upon photography. He states how the photograph reproduces to infinity what has occurred only once and therefore photographs as ‘the return of the dead’. He reflects on his amazement encountering a photograph of Napoleons youngest brother interpreting it in a way that nobody else shared. He acknowledged that by looking at this photograph he was looking into the eyes that have looked at the emperor. This aspect is what I enjoy about photography, as an audience you are seemingly experiencing an infinite moment in time and as the photographer you are capturing that moment.

Barthes explains that a photograph cannot be equally experienced just with words. He states that the photograph is never interpreted for what it represents, instead the audience initially only perceives what is physically within the image. For example ‘a pipe is always a pipe’. I personally disagree with this statement, especially within abstract photography where the subject is not identifiable the entire photograph is left for interpretation. Even portraits still embody a certain ‘mood’. For example Diane Arbus’s the ‘Jewish Giant’ portrays a non-belonging and sorrowful mood.

Barthes also states that a photograph is always invisible, it is not what we see. We see the scene that it portray whatever that be. He also goes onto question why has the photographer chosen this point in time, this occasion to capture out of the trillions of moments we live each day.

Barthes possesses a truly outside the box outlook upon photography which I think it’s truly riveting to explore his concepts.

Week 5 Lecture & Tutorial; ‘Painting is Dead.’

In this weeks lecture/tutorial we explored the history of the photograph & the connotations associated with it.
Before photography emerged, portraiture was a huge workforce, therefore when photography did emerge many were fearful about the loss of painting as an art. Photography was observed as a more faithful representation.
Instead photography freed up painting to explore other concepts and forms. For example surrealism which portrayed unrealistic concepts like ‘Boogie Woogie’ by Mondrian.
There was a cross fertilisation of play between painting and photography, a form of ‘pictorial-ism’ in which photos were set up in a Victorian Style, mimicking those of the Reconnaissance.
Photographers were classified as a lessor skilled person than painters, this created the photographers revolt against pictorial-ism. Photographers began manipulating images in the dark room which then lead to such confusion about what is the original image? Is it the original negative or the one that the artist has manipulated through development in the darkroom? With paintings there was always an original.
As stated within Sontag’s ‘On Photography’ photographers adopted a social commentary. They discovered that as ‘tourists’ they could raise awareness of social injustice. For example Lewis Hine’s images depicted child labour, immigrants and sweat shops. Hine was different compared to the other documentary photographers of the time, he reached out to the subjects instead of ‘othering’ them.

Lewis Hine Adolescent Girl, A Spinner in a Carolina Cotton Mill
Lewis Hine Adolescent Girl, A Spinner in a Carolina Cotton Mill 1908

Influential Modern Portraiture Photographers

Imogen Cunningham

Photographers like Imogen Cunningham challenged other social stigmas like gender. She was a female photographer in a male dominated industry. One of her most renowned photographs is ‘unmade bed’, proving that its not what the photographer includes within the image that is most powerful – its what they purposely leave out.

Imogen Cunningham 'Unmade Bed'.
Imogen Cunningham ‘Unmade Bed’.

Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry is renowned for his documentary photography, the world recognised photograph ‘Afghan Girl’ is his photograph. It demonstrates how an image can influence the entire world and the subject is unknowing.

Cindy Sherman & Tracey Moffat 

Cindy Sherman & Tracey Moffat are renowned for their visual storytelling. Sherman’s photographs are all self-portraits, she expresses that she is not portraying herself in these images but she is trying to teach the audience about themselves. Her billboard series challenged stereotypes of gender and race.
Moffat’s images also challenge stereotypes of race, identity, gender and sexuality. She portrays these ideals through ‘photo narratives’. Her series ‘some place better than this’ she created a set backdrop & shot a story on a stage.

In the tutorial we had to create a ‘faked’ photo in groups. With only 10 minutes my group quickly found a half egg at the UON Gallery and we faked a human hatching out of an egg, which if course is untrue.


We also discussed the meanings behind Barthes & Sontag’s underlying meanings within their texts ‘Camera Lucida’ & ‘On Photography’.

Our group discussed the quote from Sontag “Photographs are, of course, artefacts. But their appeal is that they also seem, in a world littered with
photographic relics, to have the status of found objects – unpremeditated slices of the world.  Thus, they trade simultaneously on the prestige of art and the magic of the real.”
We came to the conclusion that she is stating the importance of photographs. An artefact is a man made object therefore it is treasured and possesses immense value. They display a moment in time infinitely, it’s a message from the past. So the discovery of finding a piece from history is priceless and much like an architect finding a new tomb in the Egyptian Pyramids. The photos that Sontag mentions are the scenes of violence and hardship for example ‘Weegees Naked city’, therefore are not planned or staged. They depict the real world through an art form, thus “they trade simultaneously on the prestige of art and the magic of the real.”

Week 4 Recommended Reading; ‘On Photography’ Susan Sontag

“What renders a photograph surreal is its irrefutable pathos as a message from the past, and the concreteness of its intimations about social class” – Susan Sontag
“Press the button, we do the rest.” – Kodak

I personally found Susan Sontag’s interpretation regrading American photography extremely intriguing and eye opening.
Within the text she explores the context of Surrealism photography comparing the Surrealist artists. She mentions a few of my favourite photographers within this context including Man Ray, Moholy-Nagy & John Heartfield.

From left Whoever Reads Bourgeois Newspapers Becomes Blind and Deaf: Away with These Stultifying Bandages! Photomontage by Heartfield, 1930. Photogram No. 1 – The Mirror by László Moholy-Nagy. And a photo by Man Ray. 

“What could be more surreal than an object that virtually reproduces itself?” She states.
I am fascinated by her idea that photos don’t “seem to portray the intentions of an artist, they are a loose connection between photographer and subject.” This is what separates surrealist photography from other surrealist art, the photographers intentions are not always portrayed within the image.

Sontag explores the concept of how surrealism merged with social adventurism, capturing scenes of violence & social misery and therefore exposing a hidden reality. She describes the uprising of flaneurs & ‘tourists’ as they transform the city into a ‘landscape of voluptous extremes’ through ‘picturesque’ photographs.

For example the candid shots from Paul Martin & Arnold Genthe, Atgets twilight paris & Weegee’s Naked City as seen below:

From left: Candid shots from Paul Martin, Arnold Genthe, Atgets ‘Twilight Paris’ & Weegee’s ‘Naked City.’

Sontag describes the two types of photographers of this period as scientists & moralists. Scientists creating an inventory of the world & moralists portraying the harsh environment of society. For example August Sauder’s ‘archetype photos’ of Germany are scientific, they document a broad range of society within an environment. “It is not my intention to either criticise or describe these people” August stated. Compared to Diane Arbus’s ‘circus’ series which depicts the subjects as morally unaccepted into society. I agree with Sontag’s concept here, Diane’s photographs are more subjective then Sauder’s German portraits although they are still incredibly similar and fascinating.

August Sauder’s ‘archetype photos’ of Germany.

Diane Arbus’s ‘Cirus’ Photographs.

Sontag explores the photographic project created from this sudden ‘adventism’ called the Farm Security Administration (FSA). The FSA’s purpose was to expose to the middle class what it was really like to be poor and that the poor were dignified. This organisation was hopeful and cast hardships & unethical situations into the public eye, such as child labour on cotton fields.

Induced by this rush of documentation the tourists began to unknowingly “alter” truth. Americans were impatient and desired photographs of the Native Indians, turning the past into a consumable object. Tourists like Adam Clark Vroman often intruded Indian privacy, forcing them to pose and re-enact ceremonies therefore portraying a false documentation of Indian culture. Sontag describes these photographs as a “cheap method of disseminating a loathing for history”, they are artefacts, found objects & an inventory for morality.

  Images from Adam Clark Vroman 

“Photographs turn the past into an object of tender regard, scrambling moral distinctions and disarming historical judgements..” Santog describes photographs as a reminder of death which is true. When you look at photographs from the past whether it be photographs of your ancestors or history documentations, we are reminded that death is inevitable. We reminisce.
Santog mentions Roman Vishniac’s photographs of the ghettos of Poland as a reminder that all these people were set to perish.

Images by Roman Vishniac Poland 1938

Overall Santog states that the conventional studio style photograph is more effective. I agree. Out of all these historic photographs the more intriguing images are those in which the subject has stood in an environment expressionless leaving the photograph entirely up to the audience to interpret. Sauder’s is renowned for these type of photographs.

The lure of photographs continues to astound myself & it seems Santog aswell. This text summarises the link between surrealist photography, the documentation of history and quotations, with a world of examples. I highly recommend this knowledgeable read, as it has opened my mind to the world of photography.

“No activity is better equipped to exercise the surrealist way of looking than photography, and eventually we look at all photographs surrealistically. ” – Susan Santog.





Week 3 Tutorial: Eggcellent Eggs

In this weeks tutorial following the isotype reading Simone asked us to draw and instructional drawing explaining how to draw an egg without using any words.

I chose to draw how to cook hard boiled eggs. It’s surprising how challenging this task actually was, especially the time element. How do you inform the audience of how long to cook the eggs for without using numbers?
Well my team member came up with an ‘eggcellent’ idea to draw an egg timer. Which none of us thought to draw.

Below is my drawing:

How to Boil An Egg Isotype.

The Simone requested we combine our ideas and create one as a group. Below is what our group illustrated.
Step 1: Boil the Kettle
Step 2: Pour water & wait until hot (steam)
Step 3: Place eggs into pot
Step 4: Wait for the egg timer
Step 5: Scoop eggs out
Step 6: You have hard boiled eggs!

Group Isotype: How to boil an egg

‘Words Divide, Pictures Unite”

Otto Neurath & the Isotype

The isotype is a visual language that displays facts pictorially. Explored by Otto Neurath & colleagues who believed the isotype would revive dull statistics and provide education on a universal level through a vast array of values it embodied.

One of the major values exhibited by the isotype was the power to educate. Neurath believed that people “need some comprehensive knowledge to help make their own decisions”. After testing in several schools the isotypes successfully taught high level content at a low level of the schools curriculum.

World’s Motor Car Industry Isotype 1929

The isotypes portrayed a ‘goal of neutrality’ in which facts were not depicted as bias allowing people to draw their own conclusions. Neurath also wanted to create isotypes so that they could be universally understood, he believed he was creating an ‘alternate language’. Although as he later discovered this was impossible with some isotypes but he had many successes. For example Marie Neruath was successful in adapting an isotype for the Nigerian people and many officials believe that by publicising this isotype the turnouts in elections increased.

This legacy of the isotype and the values embodied lives on prominently within today’s society.
Have you ever been on a plane for example? The emergency evacuation card must be universally understood hence why they are extremely pictorial and self-explanatory. Otherwise if they were limited to one language only people who spoke that language would know what to do within an emergency.

Jetstar Airlines A320 Emergency Isotype.

I believe that the isotype is a valuable language to society and without it we could not educate people on a universal level efficiently.