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In and Around: Cultures of Design and the Design of Cultures
Part II

By Andrew Blauvelt

This article was first published in 1995 in Emigre 33.



As a spectator to the saber rattling of recent articles arguing, in very different ways, for graphic design to understand its social consequences and function, I am led back to their usual foil: style. In this line of reasoning "style," particularly when seen as formal experimentation, is explicitly or implicitly contrasted with "substance," usually understood as the content or message.(1) Of course, these oppositions of style and substance, form and content, are as old as the art versus design debate. The newness of recent arguments, however, lies in the epiphany that graphic design is a product of larger social forces and contributes to this thing called "culture." This reasoning extends the analysis beyond the substance of any particular message to examine content in the bigger picture of cultural consequences and social functions; in short, its context.

As an articulate contributor to the debate, Andrew Howard in his essay, "There is such a thing as society," notes that the concern for understanding graphic design in a larger framework of society does not "preclude an exploration of the formal representation of language."(2) This statement is made to counter the extent to which discussions of social and cultural context seem to situate themselves against the kind of intense visual experimentation associated with recent graphic design. In this way issues of form are separated from issues of content while style is severed from meaning. I believe it is necessary to rejoin these artificially constructed oppositions in order to engage in a more meaningful discussion of graphic design. For graphic design to understand its relationship to culture, we need to consider how its visual language operates in society; its locations and dispersals and how these, in turn, effect meaning. We also need a better understanding of why graphic design exists in society, which requires a critical examination of the interests it serves and can serve.

With this in mind, I would like to consider a space that is opened through an understanding of the relationship between the concepts of design and culture. I wish to explore this design-culture relationship through two terms borrowed from recent work in historical studies: circulation and negotiation.(3) These two terms describe a relationship between design and culture in two related ways. I use the term "circulation" to speak of the traffic in visual languages, or styles, focusing on their location within particular groups and their dissemination among other social groups through forces like appropriation. Negotiation relates to the idea of the transference of visual languages or styles from one group to another, not as simply a wholesale acceptance, but as a consequence of some give and take. These forms of exchange should not be thought of as somehow even or balanced, because the social positions of who gives and who receives are different, thereby reflecting an unequal distribution of power. Additionally, the circulation of visual languages is not unidirectional, flowing one-way from the top down or from the bottom up, but rather, an exchange among various social strata, where they attain specific meanings and associations and generate new meanings through each transference.(4)


The Traffic in Signs

The traffic in signs is the big business of professional graphic design. The high contrast marks of corporate symbols and logotypes and the ubiquity of the international signs of the pictograph are the products of this business of graphic design, signaling the way through the contemporary public sphere. Graphic design literally packages the commodities of consumer culture as it shows us the way to the bathroom.

The corporation's identity is protected through its status as a registered trademark as it makes its way through the global marketplace asserting its uniqueness, its difference, in the face of utter homogenization - illustrating a basic premise of consumer promotion, the first principle of advertising: how to be a unique individual while being like everyone else. It is the particular nature of corporate culture which can speak of difference through the language of sameness.

This condition of sameness should be familiar to anyone who has lived with its environmental equivalent, suburbia. Now referred to as the "Wal-Marting of America," the feelings of sameness and placelessness can now be exported on a global scale under one of the many signs of late-capitalist corporate culture. Just as an economy based on old trade routes fostered the development of colonies and colonial imperialism, the new global economy continues this, shuttling products between countries and consolidating capital in certain places, namely the U.S., Japan and Western Europe. This vision of globalism with its transcendence of cultural differences is different than earlier, decidedly modernist visions of universal communication based on the hopes for a shared visual language.(5)

While English may be the international language of business, it is the language of capital that facilitates the exchange of goods, the accumulation of wealth and the ever increasing penetration of foreign markets by transnational corporations.

At a global scale, the circulation of graphic design is predicated on its instrumental use by and for dominant interests. However, reactions to the forces of corporate imperialism and cultural homogenization vary from wholehearted embrace to subversive resistance, including much in-between these opposing positions. It is some of these uses or reactions to the more dominant forms of visual language, and the interests they support, which I would like to journey through.


Trickle-Up Aesthetics: Artistic Appropriations

The world of logos, symbols and pictographs, as the invention of graphic design, becomes the material of artistic production through the work of numerous artists who came to typify artmaking in the 1980s, using the language, style, and the promotional strategies of mass media advertising. The roster of names should be familiar, from "image-scavenging" artists such as Barbara Kruger to "word smiths" of language such as Jenny Holzer, all of whom provide, in different ways, a critique of mass media. In these artistic strategies the traffic in signs moves from the spaces of popular culture to the spaces of elite culture - into the world of museums, galleries, alternative spaces, art journals and eventually art history. The work of three artists serves to illustrate the reuse of two types of signs; one type held within the public domain and the other circulated within the public domain but protected from infringement through copyright and trademark registrations.

The signs, symbols, and pictographs of the public sphere are the subject of artist Matt Mullican's work. These signs should be familiar to anyone who moves about in today's society; high-contrast, simplified, and silhouetted forms, some personified with names like "Mr. Yuck" but the vast majority living life in anonymity. These signs constitute what Ellen Lupton and J. Abbott Miller refer to as a form of contemporary "hieroglyphics," occupying a "space between pictures and writing," and combining "the generality of the typographic mark with the specificity of pictures."(6) These signs exist in society for the purpose of conditioning our behavior and controlling our actions, limiting choices by simplifying options. As Henri Lefebvre notes, "the signal commands, controls behavior and consists of contrasts chosen precisely for their contradiction (such as, for instance, red and green)"(7) thereby paring down options by setting up binary oppositions, organized into systems of codes. Mullican appropriates and originates these marks and recasts them, sometimes literally, into situations which point out their presence in the world and that presumably make us question their social function.

Critics have been quick to point to the subversive quality of Mullican's work, particularly his more public projects.(8) Walter Kalaidjian describes how Mullican's works "function to disorient and estrange the 'normal' traffic in social communication"(9) and then relates Mullican's reported reaction to a work that caused Belgian and Flemish nationalist tensions to run high when he placed a large flag over a museum in Brussels using yellow and black, unbeknownst to Mullican as the Flemish national colors: "When I put an image on a flag, I found it meant something very different than when I put it on a piece of paper."(10) 

Mullican's discovery that a change in format changes meaning is incomplete without the recognition that the concepts of cultural specificity and context - those colors, that site, those cultures - are necessary for a more complete understanding of the event. In an ironic turn of events, Mullican and his New York gallery, Mary Boone, are upset with a banner hanging in the clothing store next door, Max Studio.(11) Mullican is arguing that the store's logo is a work he first unveiled as a flag at the 1982 Documenta art fair. The store argues that a graphic designer created their image independently of Mullican and with symbols in the public domain. In this case of ownership and property rights, symbols circulated in the public sphere and considered generic are now argued as unique, protected works, whether by artist or designer. The sites of consumption, whether gallery or clothing store, attempt to control the system of codes and find, to their surprise, the truly subversive irony of their struggles.

The corporate domain consists of legally protected symbols, logotypes and other graphic marks circulate globally and have come to represent the corporation itself. Indeed it is argued that these marks come to represent the "personality" of the corporation, its (inter)face with the public.(12) It is presumably the concept of differentiation which enables each corporate body to have a unique, memorable face. Corporate uniqueness is played against corporate sameness in the need for an image that is able to transcend specific cultures and national boundaries, not only in the form of a global spokesperson or universal human themes, but also in a way that obscures the compulsion to consume and the realities of industrial production. The advent of zip code clusters and increasingly sophisticated tracking methods enables a narrower demographic profile of consumers and their consumptive patterns. This penetration of everyday life is supported by the massive saturation of corporate-sponsored images and messages that have effectively substituted the value of the image itself for a product's inherent usefulness or exchangeability.(13) 

The artist Ashley Bickerton gives us the quintessential late-capitalist consumer portrait in his construction "Tormented Self-Portrait," emblazoned with the corporate emblems that constitute the life of his subject, including Bickerton's signature - effectively objectifying the phrase: "You are what you eat."

Mullican and Bickerton appropriate the marks of public life knowing that their reception within the world of art galleries and museums will be received with a knowing irony, effectively negotiating their meanings from their circulation in popular culture to the institutional spaces of elite culture. This pattern of circulation and negotiation shifts meaning from the specific character of a generic existence (the logotype or pictograph in the world) to a generic character of specific existence (the logotype or pictograph in the art world).

While Mullican and Bickerton offer us one critique of contemporary life by representing these signs in a different context, other artists such as Hans Haacke have deployed a social critique of corporate life that focuses on exposing its instrumentality by adopting its language. In a range of works Haacke subverts the propriety of corporate symbols and advertising codes not simply by appropriating them outright but by manipulating them to expose corporate interests that lie behind logos, ad campaigns and spokespersons. A particular example is Haacke's 1976 exhibition titled "The Chase Advantage." In this project, Haacke appropriates Chase Manhattan Bank's symbol, the octagon shape designed by Chermayeff & Geismar in 1960,(14) and inserts into its empty center an "advertisement" juxtaposing a statement made by Chase's chairman justifying the company's support of and investment in modern art and another statement by a public relations expert extolling the need for a company to "induce the people to believe in the sincerity and honesty of purpose of the management of the company which is asking for their confidence." This project was part of a series exposing the interconnectedness of corporate patronage of the arts thereby implicating the art world system in a larger framework of corporate interests and demystifying the seemingly neutral status of the museum or gallery. The controversy and censorship that greets much of Haacke's work stands in contrast to the subversive qualities attributed to Bickerton or Mullican.(15)


Stealing the Signs: Voices from Left Field

At another point on the cultural spectrum, in the space of subcultures, we witness another series of appropriations. Stealing the signs of commerce - appropriation is, after all, a term reserved for art - is the ultimate copyright infringement. The equity of the sign, its semiotic investment, is emptied and dominant meanings subverted. The high-jacked symbol or pictograph is pressed into service, delivering a new message and engaging in what Umberto Eco calls "semiotic guerrilla warfare."

British fashion stylist Judy Blame's T-shirt design brandishes the message against the intellectual pollution of neo-fascism by recycling the image of "tidy man" putting litter in its place. Blame substitutes the paper wad of the famous pictograph with the Nazi swastika, which was previously borrowed from its ancient associations with good luck and fortune, now recovered from history by Neo-Nazis. The obviousness of the political message of Blame's design points up the seemingly apolitical nature of the original pictograph. To say that Blame's design politicizes the pictograph is to miss the original encoding of tidy man - a sign that compels our allegiance to prevailing social standards of hygiene and ecology. Blame's message registers with its intended audience through the recontextualization process, an intellectual project made famous by the Surrealists, who knew the power of the unexpected.

Another symbol of Nazi Germany is the subject of recontextualization, this time by AIDS activists. The Silence = Death Project inverts the pink triangle used by Nazis to identify homosexuals in concentration camps and subverts its infamous meaning from a sign of stigmatized visibility to an outward gesture of the invisibility of the AIDS crisis. This symbol of AIDS activism does not borrow wholesale from history, but rather alters the original by rotating its orientation from downward to upward and incorporating the typographic message "SILENCE= DEATH." Douglas Crimp and Adam Rolston relate the linkage between a symbol associated with Nazi death camps and the contemporary AIDS crisis: "SILENCE=DEATH declares that silence about the oppression and annihilation of gay people, then and now, must be broken as a matter of our survival."(16)

Stuart Marshall, co-chair of Positively Healthy, an organization of people with AIDS, has pointed out the problematic nature of this historical appropriation. Marshall argues specifically against the use of the pink triangle as it fosters a notion of victimization, "which has tended to stress death, annihilation, and holocaust and genocide analogies in its attempts to stir the state into a caring response to the crisis."(17) Marshall's arguments are well taken, particularly as they relate to one form of AIDS discourse dominating the voices of those surviving with AIDS. However, although Marshall relies on a specific historical understanding of how the Nazi's dealt with homosexuals (understood as gay men, lesbians are not mentioned), he seems to inadequately address the recontextualization of that symbol or the circumstances of its contemporary reception. The mark itself is not simply the pink triangle - taken from the past and displaced into the present - but rather a signature mark combining an inverted symbol and typographic message, with its own history. The meaning of this transformed symbol registers with its audiences not only because of the familiarity of its previous existence - even if it is a suppressed history - but also because it is transformed in the act of possession. Capturing the language of oppressors, making it one's own, is seen as an important event on the way to ending that oppression and underscores the importance of controlling the codes of representation.(18) 


The Ecstasy of Communication

The appropriation of the symbols and images of popular culture is by now a well-documented tactic of youth culture in its subcultural manifestations, such as the punk movement of the 1970s and the rave culture of the 1990s. The graphic design produced for rave culture (promoting its raves as well as its diversified interests in things like clothing), illustrates an interesting recent phenomenon of the circulation and negotiation of visual styles as they move from design cultures to popular culture and back again to design culture.

The rave graphic represents the technological mutation and synthesis of pop culture imagery and the typographic manipulations available on the personal computer. The rave graphic entrepreneur, especially as an untrained professional, represents graphic design's technophobic nightmare. The demystified technical processes of graphic design are readily available to "kids" educated on Macintosh computers who have the ability to transform found images and to skew, outline, bend, and otherwise "mutilate" type.(19) 

As graphic designer Jeffrey Keedy suggests, the source material for much of this work is the stuff of professional graphic designers of yesterday: "The old and low cultures that rave designers borrow from are primarily American corporate and package design of the seventies and eighties (now there's some hacks)! Rave designers love logos, lots of color and outlined type, and hey who doesn't? The fact that the 'professional designer's' work is now being reworked like any other bit of ephemera might be some kind of poetic justice, but it fails to be an interesting design strategy. That's because their work (like their predecessors) is essentially a one-liner that has little resonance beyond the 'shock of the old.'"(20) 

This maybe true if you are judging this work with the values near and dear to graphic design, a notion of stylistic invention as innovation inherited from the avant-garde, where newness is next to Godliness. The work is interesting to me because it represents both a form of corporate cultural appropriation and subcultural invention, and it achieves this using the latest tool of graphic design, the personal computer. Unlike the photocopier aesthetic of the punk graphic, the rave graphic gains its legitimacy, its threatening posture to professional design, from the computer's ability to sample images and seamlessly integrate the results. Gone are the mystifying processes and technical skills that supported graphic design's professional autonomy and what remains intact are the designer's claims to originality and innovation. These claims seem to be the last defense against professional collapse.

The availability of the personal computer enables the maker of rave graphics to have access to the means of producing graphic design and carries with it the residue of its making. That is to say, the multitude of rave graphics carries the signature of the computer - its "information texture," to borrow a term from April Greiman. Suddenly the distancing of the designer of the rave graphic as somehow outside the profession becomes problematic when we are confronted with the highly celebrated designs of a professional graphic designer like P. Scott Makela, whose work carries much of the same technological residue. Makela as a self-described "hacker"(21) certainly toys with the distinctions and refuses the boundaries of a graphic designer with his work in other media.

The creation of the rave graphic produces another code, another style. The unfortunate consequence of subcultural resistance is pop cultural commodification; as Dick Hebdige notes: "Youth cultural styles may begin by issuing symbolic challenges, but they must inevitably end by establishing new sets of conventions; by creating new commodities, new industries or rejuvenating old ones..."(22)

The subcultural, as a code, becomes incorporated or assimilated into mainstream culture through commodities where any subversive power is lost. The circulation of rave graphics into the space of popular culture creates new effects on other designers. For the professional graphic designer, the rave graphic becomes a vernacular form, an oddity on the mundane visual landscape of cultural life. It comes to represent a challenge to mainstream society and visual culture, it has the currency of the "code." It becomes the representation of a prevailing style used to articulate a subculture's difference and the professional sees this as an available language with which to engage others. Thus, the language of the rave graphic is employed by the designers of ReVerb to promote a fund-raiser for the literary and art journal Now Time. For the designers of ReVerb, the rave graphic is but one more style available in the heterogeneous cultural milieu that they ascribe to Los Angeles.(23) For ReVerb the resulting mixture, the clash of styles, is to be prized for its inclusive approach, rejecting the exclusivity of modernism.

The hybridity that results from this clash of styles generates new forms and new meanings. As Lorraine Wild, a partner in ReVerb, states: "We use styles like maniacs but we never use them lock, stock and barrel...We would usually manipulate them to create some kind of tension. No style is good or bad, it’s just another style - whether you use it wholesale or not.”(24) 

Authentic culture is gone, if it ever existed, and what is left is the material of invention. Ripe for quotation and parody, the styles of multiple cultures are presumably available to all. The graphic designer, seeking to speak to different pockets of culture, draws upon a range of styles supposedly denied it under the guise of modernism or the rules of professional practice. If the multiple cultures of Los Angeles represent a vernacular language, then a case could be made for ReVerb's work responding to the unique conditions and particular circumstances that are endemic to L.A. - a condition Kenneth Frampton labels "critical regionalism."(25)

A much larger cultural space of appropriation is envisioned by the Designer's Republic, who would go as far as another planet for inspiration and certainly as far as Japan, without ever leaving Sheffield.

In the Age of Information, firsthand contact seems potentially corrupting for designer Ian Anderson: "In some ways [a trip to Japan] may mark the end of an era, as I would loose my isolationist naiveté about the Japanese culture."(26) In an interview with Rudy VanderLans, the Designer's Republic sets itself up as thoroughly postmodern, in tune with pop culture and reveling in the contradictory stances that are indicative of graphic design’s anonymous social status and the celebrity status that comes with an identifiable style. Anderson describes the appropriation tactics of their style as it relates to the bigger social framework of contemporary life, where everything is up for grabs: "If there's something which suits our purpose, we'll use it, but we don't discriminate when it comes to inspiration. There is no hierarchy in the age of plunder, there is equality; from the humble sweet wrapper, through the billboard on the side of a bus right up to sacred texts of Bradbury Thompson and Weingart himself."(27) 

In this way, the potential subjects of appropriation are equally available for reuse, while all other hierarchies are preserved, especially the role of the designer. In a particularly telling passage commenting on someone who appropriated a Designer's Republic design, Anderson states his conditional approval: "I don't really have a problem with it as long as it doesn't detract from what we do, as long as it is used to create something new, something more than it was before and providing there is a reason for it beyond lack of imagination."(28)

The values to which they subscribe are precisely those that are used to sustain professional graphic design: originality, innovation and rationality; and these are, ironically, the virtues we associate with modernism, not necessarily postmodernism.

Anderson, however, does not wish to change the social status of graphic design itself and does not believe that he is in a "position to improve [society's] condition," and will continue "to enjoy the game I find intriguing."(29) Part of that game is establishing a position within graphic design that simultaneously tries to defy it - extending beyond the confines of the profession and into the global flow of images.

In what might be an emblematic image for this position, the Designer's Republic has merged the icon of '70s pop culture, the smiley face, with one of the icons of "good design," Paul Rand's Westinghouse symbol of 1960. In a gesture indicative of cultural genetic engineering, the Designer's Republic has created a symbol of the hesitant space between a highly protected corporate image and a highly marketed cultural image, effectively fusing pop and corporate culture's underlying sameness: the ubiquity of the mantra "good design-is-good business" with the banality of "have a nice day."

Makela, ReVerb, the Designer's Republic and others distance themselves from graphic design proper in their respective ways: by transgressing professional boundaries, rejecting professional standards, or denying that you're a designer at all.
 

What Goes Around, Comes Around

The circulation of signs comes full circle, weaving its way from the corporate culture of the anonymous design found in the mini-mart to its subcultural manifestations in the rave graphic back into the public space of urban culture and to the institutions of high culture - filtered through the professional culture of graphic design proper where it can be dismissed today and copied tomorrow.

It is the public sphere where graphic design circulates and it is this space that is highly contested, regulated and protected. Dominant cultural interests favor the exchange and circulation of symbols and images to take place in the marginalized spaces of youth subcultures, artistic enclaves, and design avant-gardes. As the artist Keith Piper laments: "... in this mass media, mass broadcast age, it has become easy for the artist to siphon information and images off for our own use, it however remains almost as difficult as ever, to find a space to return and distribute the results of our activities within that mass media. Access to the existing channels of mass communication still remain firmly in the hands of the enfranchised and empowerment within those channels remains their closely guarded preserve."(30)

The invention of style, whether on the street or on the screen, will continue in spite of the forces of homogenization, because it is thought to reflect the heterogeneous quality of life. Style could be better understood as a manifestation of culturally specific communications rather than a byproduct of some nebulous cultural "fallout" or an exotic language of difference. The designer needs to consider his or her role in a society that is increasingly stratified and culturally differentiated. Perhaps this is what Lorraine Wild had in mind when she says: "We need more graphic design particular to the tribes, not less."(31)

Any attempt to understand design as somehow fixed in a hierarchy of cultural spaces (high or good design versus low or kitsch design) or in a historical linearity of precedent and influence (originators and impostors) seems futile. Design should know that its place is not fixed, that design resides in all spaces. The traffic in signs that design produces circulates among these spaces, negotiating the differences of multiple positions of social and cultural identities. The privileged space reserved for the professional designer, either real or imagined, has been perforated by the historical and theoretical demise of modernism as well as by the technological democratization of the means of producing graphic design. The resulting trauma of this violent perforation in the social fabric of design culture allows us the opportunity to discover our own precarious position, both in and around.



Notes
1. I subscribe to the notion that style carries meaning and is neither simply a meaningless ornament attached to nor separable from some truer, deeper, or purer structure. This dichotomy is argued by J. Abbott Miller, who makes a case for such an opposition between style and structure, in his essay "The idea is the machine," in Eye, Vol.3, No.10, 1993, pp.58-65.
2. Andrew Howard, "There is such a thing as society*," in Eye, Vol.4, No.13, 1994, pp.72-77.
3. These terms are borrowed from Steven Greenblatt as exemplified in his book Shakespearean Negotiations: The Circulation of Social Energy in Renaissance England, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988.
4. The trickle-down theory of stylistic diffusion, a sort-of supply-side aestheticism, is typically attributable to certain modernist sensibilities borne out of elitism, while the trickle-up theory of stylistic diffusion is of a more recent vogue, as exemplified by the MoMA exhibition, High and Low: Modern Art and Popular Culture. Corrective variants exist for this model including Ellen Lupton's critical examination of the graphic designer's love affair with the "vernacular." See Lupton's "High and Low: A Strange Case of Us and Them?" in Eye, Vol.2, No.7, 1992, pp.72-77.
5. The modern drive to collapsing the boundaries between nations occurs both verbally and visually through utopian projects like developing an Esperanto, or common verbal language, or in the development of pictographic systems such as ISOTYPE. Modernist qualities of objectivity and rationality reign in Otto Neurath's ISOTYPE system, which adopts the abstract, reductive forms we now associate with signage programs meant to facilitate our movement through places like airports or the Olympic Games.
6. Ellen Lupton and J. Abbott Miller, "Critical Way Finding," in The Edge of the Millennium, Susan Yelavich, ed., New York: Whitney Library of Design, 1993, p.223.
7. Henri Lefevbre, Everyday Life in the Modern World, New York: Harper & Row, 1971, p.56.
8. Nancy Princenthal in an introduction to an exhibition catalog for Matt Mullican, Untitled, 1986/7, states: "[Mullican] likes to place his work in public places, but its status there is subversive. He does not endorse standard stick-figure/plane geometry signage, but instead returns it to aesthetic consideration." (p.5)
9. Walter Kalaidjian, American Culture Between the Wars, New York: Columbia University Press, 1993, p. 224.
10. The original statement was published in "Sign Language," Peter Clothier, ArtNews, Summer 1989, p.146.
11. "Theft, Coincidence, or Art," in AIGA Journal of Graphic Design, Vol.12, No.2, 1994, p. 48.
12. The foundational text promoting this idea is Wally Ollins's The Corporate Personality, London: Design Council, 1978. For an excellent critical analysis of Ollins’s text, see: Steve Baker, "Re-reading the Corporate Personality," in Journal of Design History, Vol.2, No.4, 1989, pp. 275-292.
13. Jean Baudrillard, For a Critique of the Political Economy of the Sign, St. Louis: Telos Press, 1981.
14. The abstract, reductive forms of modern art that were favored by David Rockefeller, CEO of Chase Manhattan and an officer of the Museum of Modern Art, go hand in hand with the design of the Chase Manhattan Bank symbol, which Philip Meggs describes as "an abstract form unto itself, free from alphabetical, pictographic, or figurative connotations" that "could successfully function as a visual identifier for a large organization." In this way the "free" symbol can stand in for the corporation. Haacke trades on this substitution, "grounding" the symbol in the history of Chase Manhattan policies and corporate ideologies with its use of seemingly neutral art.
15. Most, if not all of Haacke's projects meet with controversy and a few with censorship, including his Hans Haacke: Systems exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in 1971 and his Manet-PROJEKT '74 in Germany.
16. Douglas Crimp with Adam Rolston, AIDS DEMOGRAPHICS, Seattle: Bay Press, 1990, p.14.
17. Stuart Marshall, "The Contemporary Political Use of Gay History: The Third Reich," in How Do I Look? Queer Film and Video, Seattle: Bay Press, 1991, p.89.
18. This phenomenon is by now widespread including the appropriation of terms like "queer" and "fag." Historian Stephen Greenblatt describes the first act of appropriation on the part of colonizers is the abduction of natives to serve as translators. See "Kidnapping Language" in Marvelous Possessions, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991, pp.86-118.
19. See Michael Dooley's essay, "Frequent Flyers," in Print, XLVII:II, March/April 1993, pp.42-53+.
20. Jeffrey Keedy, "I Like the Vernacular...NOT!" in Lift and Separate: Graphic Design and the Quote/Unquote Vernacular, New York: Herb Lubalin Study Center of the Cooper Union, p.9.
21. Michael Bierut, "Sampling the Candy: P. Scott Makela," in I.D., Vol 41, No.1, January/February 1994, p.55.
22. Dick Hebdige, Subculture: The Meaning of Style, London: Methuen, 1979, p.96.
23. Anne Burdick, "A sense of rupture," in Eye, Vol.4, No.14, 1994, pp.48-57.
24. Ibid, p.53.
25. Kenneth Frampton, "Towards a Critical Regionalism: Six Points for an Architecture of Resistance," in The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture, Hal Foster, ed., Seattle: Bay Press, 1983, pp.16-30. "The fundamental strategy of Critical Regionalism is to mediate the impact of universal civilization with elements derived indirectly from the peculiarities of a particular place....But it is necessary...to distinguish between Critical Regionalism and simple-minded attempts to revive the hypothetical forms of a lost vernacular." (p.21)
26. Interview with Rudy VanderLans, Emigre #29, 1994, p.16.
27. Ibid, p.18.
28. Ibid, p.11.
29. Ibid, p.19.
30. Keith Piper, "Forty Acres and a Microprocessor," in Place, Position, Presentation, Public, Ine Gevers, ed., Maastricht, the Netherlands: Jan van Eyck Akademie, p.263 & 266.
31. Laurie Haycock Makela and Ellen Lupton, "Underground matriarchy," in Eye, Vol.4, No.14, 1994, p.46.


A Selection of Essays from Emigre Magazine

Essays on Type and Typography

Essays on Emigre

Interviews with Rudy Vanderlans

Interviews with Zuzana Licko

Other Essays


 

A Selection of Essays from Emigre Magazine
 


Ambition/Fear
By Zuzana Licko and Rudy VanderLans. Published in Emigre 11.


Neomania
By Anne Burdick. Published in Emigre 24.


Fallout
By Rudy VanderLans. Published in Emigre 30.


An Interview with Steven Heller
By Michael Dooley. Published in Emigre 30.


An Interview with David Shields
By Michael Dooley. Published in Emigre 30.


An Interview with Edward Fella
By Michael Dooley. Published in Emigre 30.


An Interview with Mr. Keedy
By Michael Dooley. Published in Emigre 30.


In and Around: Cultures of Design and the Design of Cultures
Part I

By Andrew Blauvelt. Published in Emigre 32.


Discovery by Design
By Zuzana Licko. Published in Emigre 32.


In and Around: Cultures of Design and the Design of Cultures
Part II

By Andrew Blauvelt. Published in Emigre 33.


An Interview with Rick Poynor
By Mr. Keedy. Published in Emigre 33.


Radical Commodities
By Rudy VanderLans. Published in Emigre 34.


Copping an Attitude
By Rudy VanderLans. Published in Emigre 38.


Graphic Design and the Next Big Thing
By Rudy VanderLans. Published in Emigre 39.


That was then, and this is now: but what is next?
By Lorraine Wild. Published in Emigre 39.


Graphic Design in the Postmodern Era
By Mr. Keedy. Published in Emigre 47.


Skilling Saws and Absorbent Catalogues
By Kenneth FitzGerald. Published in Emigre 48.


First Things First Revisited
By Rick Poynor. Published in Emigre 51.


First Things First Manifesto 2000
Various authors. Published in Emigre 51.


Saving Advertising
By Jelly Helm. Published in Emigre 53.


The Emigre Legacy
By Rudy VanderLans. Published in Emigre 56.


Sustainable Consumerism
By Chris Riley. Published in Emigre 59.