lecture3: first thing first


                                   Uncle Sam Wants You, James Montgomery Flagg, 1917

The world war two, which is The largest global war, cause a big damaging effect on every joining countries’ economic and civilization, the government was busy on restore and rebuild their indusry and economic. In comparison, America has no much destory of war, but the the whole contury’s economic was very bad as same as others.

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Therefore, from 50-60s (after world war two), the commercial design in the United States rise again and germany’s modern industry spring up, making people’s life and the whole social environment change and better. The typical case is the avant-garde of the Bauhaus, they have an aim on building a highly modern, avant-garde and the future of the society by expressionism and constructivism, developing traditional craft training and utopian ideal, they embraced functionalism, geometric formalism, and machine aesthetics.

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However, the commercial design in the United States focused on fashion surface and beautiful package, emphasizing shape first, function second, in order to inprove the products sales, designers always use popular fashion to won the favour of consumers. The typical case is that the car body annual changing plan, which means that car body changed every year, however the bottom and engine have been no change for a long time.




Arts and Crafts Movement in 1880s, Morris and some  specialists thought that the style of design and processing craft technique are the only way to express value culture and quality. this kind of ideas have already appeared in the ancient stone age, human beings started to carve precise patterns and signs to make their life beautiful and express their environment, what’s more, chinese bronze totem, technology of the invention creation and four great inventions, which goal is to make culture better, as the emergence of science and technology, there is a new definition for design and beautiful: simple, convience, practical, beautiful.

“Art for us is an occasion for social criticism, and for a real understanding of the age we live in.” – Hugo Ball

The early of 20 century, under the improvement of pioneer artists and designers, they intensified the efforts on mass media propaganda and the visual power, what’s more, convincing consumers in the visual psychology and tempting them to appreciate and purchase, many different forms of expression, such as layout, font and font design, image stitching, text and graphic communication, including the use of color and so on. furthermore, utlizing the montage artistic make media more interesting and storytelling, especially poster below, the montage artistic style to combine bureaucracy and skull to express corruption of power and death, the combination of war and devil expressed the dread of blood and violence, which told people to stay away from political conflict behind the war.

So-called montage theory was originally proposed by sergei eisenstein (Russian director), who claimed using restructing method of series shot segmentations to create new meanings. For example, in the film “potemkin battleship”, there is a plot that linking a stone lions and mobb deep together with repeat cross clips to creating the implied meaning of the uprising of the proletariat. Soon the skill was used widely in printing technology as well.

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In the 21 century, our life make more and more commercial, whether design, art or music, in my opinion, it more like a tool of earning money, a work for surface, a playing thing of entertain public, a waste life and no deep meaning’s pakage on the art, more and more design that no quality and cultural connotation. The rise of the Internet and some new media have an impact on weeding out many  traditional design media, such as print newspapers and magazines, and a lot of artificial printing technology components turned into machine electronic age, thus, the composition of man-made art elements and feeling become less and less.


lecture3: first thing first


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