Project 4 Time and Place: Exercise 1 – The Next Big Thing

This assignment asks us to choose an example of contemporary visual communication, so I’ve picked the below ‘The New Yorker’ cover by Olimpia Zagnoli.

• What characterises it as ‘new’? How does it fit within wider contemporary trends?

Some of the features that strike me as being ‘new’ are:

  • The bright, contrasting, colour– block effect
  • The ‘digital art’ style of the illustration
  • Simple, curved shapes
  • Fun and quirky

Olimpia’s designs are very illustrative of many contemporary illustration trends, infact, her work is featured as an example in many ‘2019 design trend’ articles online such as this one from Creative Bloq.

The New Yorker cover was meant to be on the theme of summer, so to contrast, below is another New Yorker cover featuring ice cream from a summer 50 years ago. In comparison, it’s hand-drawn, with more muted colours, but it also has a distinctive style of it’s own.

https://i2.wp.com/media.newyorker.com/photos/5d3b509ea4e28800087d0c4e/master/w_774,c_limit/1969_06_21_Saxon_Ice_Cream_web.png?w=525&ssl=1

• Are there any direct lines of influence from other contemporary artefacts – or historical ones?

Colour-blocking has been a trend in the fashion and interior design for a while, but is something that is commonly attributed to early 1900s Dutch artist Piet Mondrian. The simplicty and lack of detail are echoes of the cubism and minimalism art movements of the past.

• What factors may lead to your example becoming ‘last year’s thing’? What aspect of the design will age first? What do you think will replace it?

This piece could easily date due to the bright colours, lack of details, and curved, chunky shapes.

Compare it to this 1930s advertisement where everything is hand drawn, colours are muted, and faces are detailed.

https://i2.wp.com/www.americanartarchives.com/davis,f_oreo_pr38apr.jpg?w=525

This is instantly recognisable to me as being vintage. Compare to a current Oreo print ad below. There is very little text and very little detail about the biscuit, compared to the ad above from 70 years ago.

Image result for oreo magazine advert

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