Dissertation Research Proposal
Name: Natasha Board
Subject: Graphic Communication
Blog address: tashaboardgraphics.wordpress.com
Guttenberg’s Legacy: How Does Guttenberg’s Press Continue to Influence Graphic Design Today?
My question is: Guttenberg’s Legacy: How Does Guttenberg’s Press Continue to Influence Graphic Design Today?
The form of my dissertation is going to take the approach of the history of the Guttenberg press and how this has influenced graphics today. I want to look at contemporary Graphic Design and look into how this has been used to influence design today. I want to investigate into my practice and to look into the history of this subject to get to see how it has changed overtime. I am interested in this topic because I always liked the idea of graphic design when I was in school without knowing it was graphic design. I wanted to make an easy link to my practice. I want to show that graphic has changed a lot overtime but wouldn’t be what it is today without the history influence it. I want to also link the fact that the technology had risen after the 1960s and if this is the reason there was a change in graphic design. This will add to the discussion on the modern graphic design and weather technology and social media had anything to do with this.
First part of my essay I want to focus on the history of the graphic communications and to look into the Guttenberg press and how it has influenced and changed graphics. I want to explain how McLuhan suggests the print has changed the future and made a memory. How this technology shapes the human and the human practice. What if the Gutenberg Press hadn’t been invented? Would graphic design be what it is today? I want to answer these questions within my dissertation. I will be using media theorists such as Marshall McLuhan (1964, 1980) to back up my argument. I will be using McLuhan’s book ‘Understanding Medias’ to back up my points. I will look at three chapters, mainly, to focus my essay, these will be The Written Word, The Print: How to dig it, The Printed Word: Architect of Nationalism’. I will chapter these to find most of my information that I will use to form and back up my argument. The Gutenberg Press has been said to have shaped the future of printing. I want to look at how the printing press did this and how it has shaped the graphic design practice.
Second part of my essay I will look into when the change in Graphic happened and when the advertising design happened and created the change for Graphic design. I want to show the change that has happened and keep relating it back to the Guttenberg press. I want to look at the 1960s where this changed happen and look at designer who caused this change Graphic design to the new modern Graphics. I want to look at designer that shaped graphic today but also got influence from the past with the Guttenberg press.
The potential values of this study are derived from the following:
- I am finding that through research that the Guttenberg press has been written about a lot I want to get a sense of all research and allow it to develop my understanding of the history of graphic to help apply when it comes to comparing it to modern graphic design.
- I will be looking into modern graphic design that has influenced my work and other to help broaden my research and help with comparing to history of graphic design. I want to gain knowledge of modern graphic and what has created the change if there is one.
- I will be looking at both graphic design history and it in modern day and seeing the changes over time, so I can compare and contrast the both of them. I want to see what has changed if there is any change and to see if anything is to do with the change in technology.
- My argument will be if graphic design has changed and I want to look into if the technology world has influenced graphics and made the process of it changed from the time of the Guttenberg press or if the Guttenberg press still influence people today. I want to see if the Guttenberg press has influenced modern graphic design and if so how? If not, why what changed?
- I want to show the process of the Guttenberg press and how it had an influence of Graphic design in the past to show the history of graphic design to see the change. I want to gather information on both the Guttenberg press and the way it shaped graphic design.
- I intend to use McLuhan written about the Guttenberg press to show how it shaped graphics but also how the technology changed the idea of graphics quickly.
- I want to show the process of modern graphic design and see if the Guttenberg press influenced or changed the way graphic design is in modern day. If this has happened how and when also which designer made this change within modern Graphic design.
- I want to link this directly to my practice and link it to people who have influenced my work and see if they are influenced by modern graphic design or the history of the Guttenberg press changed the influence.
- I want to discover what happen when advertising design took over the Graphic design world and the Guttenberg press became a thing of the past. This is where the 1960s became the modern graphic design and there became a history within Graphic design.
- I intend to collect data that shows Guttenberg press influenced the future for modern Graphic design. I will do this by looking at designer that created the modern design in the 1960s and see if I can find links to the Guttenberg press and its history with these modern designs.
Background reading / Review of key literature / Critical Context
My main topic is the Guttenberg press so people who have written about the Guttenberg press McLuhan – Understanding Media, – Printing Press, Printed Image this booked has really influenced me and given me a better understanding of the printed press and printed image and how it was used before modern technology. I also want to write about modern graphics. I want to look into the advertising design industry has changed the way people look at graphic design and how it has changed the style of design. I think that the Guttenberg press is machine of the past that made graphic design what it was in it day but the change in culture and technology has changed the process. I want to find studies of designers that have changed the graphic design industry with the change in style. Bringing this adverting design into the mix but also getting influence from the past.
The Guttenberg press has been written about by McLuhan and I think the creation of the printing press began around the late 1430’s, when a German man named Johann Gutenberg was quite desperate to find a way to make money. The Gutenberg Press inspiration came from the very basic form of printing in the 1300s-1400s. He wanted to make the process of blocks of cut wood being dipped in ink and then stamped onto paper a lot faster, he wanted to be able to reproduce text in greater numbers, therefore making the overall process of printing faster. The printing press became known as a “movable type machine,” as the metal block letters could be moved around to create new words and sentences. Gutenberg made the first ever printed book which was the reproduction of the Bible, and this is extremely valuable today. With the original printing press, a frame is used to set groups of type blocks. Together, these blocks make words and sentences; however, they are all in reverse. The blocks are all inked and then a sheet of paper is laid on the blocks. All of these passes through a roller to ensure that the ink is transferred to the paper. Finally, the paper is lifted, and the reader can see the inked letters that now appear normal, as a result of the reversed blocks. These printing presses were operated by hand. Later, towards the 19th century, other inventors created steam-powered printing presses that did not require a hand operator. The printing press became popular very quickly, it spread around Europe and became the standard printing process for the next 400 years. The availability of print rose dramatically and began to shape the course of the future, it resulted in more than ten million books being printed.
The Gutenberg moveable type wouldn’t have been what it is today without the printing press being created, it has introduced merchandising and type, and this has allowed it to become widely celebrated. Before the time of the printing press type would come from the ancient and medieval books, these where very popular before the printing press. The culture has moved on and has combined ancient and medieval into a fashion to create a third world which we are in now; where the new electric technology has changed type. The printed word has been summed up nicely, McLuhan said “typography was no more an addition to the scribal art than the motorcar was an addition to the horse” this shows that printed type has changed but is no different to any other change that has happened over time. Today the world has defiantly moved on from the world of medieval and ancient books and from printed type, but it is not a thing of the past; it has shaped the future. A new medium like the printing press – is never an addition to the old one. McLuhan states it has shaped a new future and left a memory (date 1911, p.189). This idea of it being a new memory means it will never oppress the older media and gives it a new shape. Memory is explained as the faculty by which the mind stores and remembers information it is the idea of remembering things in the past. ‘McLuhan’ has used the word memory to show that the new media has come about but the old media is still in everyone’s memory. A new medium is never an addition to the old one, nor does it leave the old one in peace. This shows that even when a new medium is created it is never added to the existing one, but it also does not leave the old one in silence because they work together meaning the old medium is never forgotten.
The history of graphic is visual image and the Egyptian hieroglyphics, and the evolution of the phonetic alphabet all lead to the invention of the Guttenberg press. The history of Graphic design has been lost with the changed in time. This is the fact that it is seen as a new thing a 20th century invention when this isn’t true. People tend to not link the subject to history and just see it in the modern day knowing that the Guttenberg invented printing from movable type before the painting last summer showing graphic design is in mainstream history. The start of graphic art came from around 300000 B.C with pictograph symbols that represented people, animal and objects. The 80s seen the communication of the technology revelation and produced faster and more efficient system for designing. We moved away from the pen and paper part of graphic and seen the future as we move in to more and more computer-based designing.
This research will help with my dissertation as it will make my argument have two sides and make it easier to compare the both part of graphic design. I want to show that the history of the Guttenberg press is a big part of the Graphic design past. I want to prove that it is still being used today but with modern modification given it the personal touch that Graphic designer are known for. I believe that the changed in graphic design was needed to give the personality with each design I feel this is easier to show when it comes to technology as you can play around with the typography and image with the design.
I want to compare this with modern graphic design and how this has changed overtime. Graphic design became a modern art in the 1950s this saw the advertising design this showed mass advertising towards corporate and institutional communication and evolved into practice from the same period. The change in graphic history has seen the advertising design showing the change in graphics. The change from illustration in graphic to the big step in advertising within graphic shows the change I want to focus on this more and show studies that show it has change from the history in graphic design. There are many examples before the 1960s have shaped graphic design but after this time the style in graphic started to change. A brave new world a chapter in A history of graphic design states that the relationship with the designer and the culture of technology today the technology change has taking place within typography bringing it to personal computers the ability of the new equipment allows the designer to have software where they can take control and take over the typographic arrangement given it that personal touch that wasn’t there before. Typography and Graphic design are linked to this historical with letterpress printing and moveable type, but the modern understanding of typography extends beyond typefaces. Guyatt and Darwin were anxious that, within the context of post-war reconstruction, their new activity should be understood as extending beyond the usual limits of commercial art and advertising design. At this point, during the late 1940s and early 1950s, typography and graphic design were entirely print-based. The changed in modern graphics happened in the 1960 as the economy and technology developed and grew, the penetration of graphic design grew deeper. Eventually this typography within graphic design changed because of the growth in technology.
Modern Graphic design will be looking Graphic design history by Steven Heller and Georgette Balance to show the change from the history of graphic and modern graphic design. I will be looking at designers like Paul rand, Saul Badd, Bradbury Thompson and Gene Federico were the new designer of the modern graphic design. Another design is Rudolph de Harak who established himself in 1950s before the change in graphic design.
“An influential artist and environmental designer, Rudolph de Harak was known for making the complex seem simple and for adding a spark of life to Modernism. Born in Culver City, California, de Harak moved to New York with his family in the 1930s, where he attended trade school. After serving in World War II, de Harak took a job as an art director at Seventeen magazine. In 1952 he opened his own design office. Despite having created hundreds of posters, record covers and book jackets-including nearly 350 covers for McGraw-Hill, de Harak soon found himself teaching at the Cooper Union to make ends meet. During the ’60s de Harak reputation grew, earning him many prominent projects, many of which remain as effective and admired as when they were new, including the timeline and typographic displays for the Egyptian Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the three-story digital clock and futuristic entryway of 127 John Street in Manhattan.” (Forester, 2003)
Paul Rand is modern graphic designer that focuses on logo design. His idea of modern design is:
“I haven’t changed my mind about modernism from the first day I ever did it…. It means integrity; it means honesty; it means the absence of sentimentality and the absence of nostalgia; it means simplicity; it means clarity. That’s what modernism means to me…”
Saul Badd was another Graphic designer that made an impact within design history. His career starting in the film industry with the start of the advertising design within modern design. His main career was in film poster and I think this change Graphic design because it’s very modern work.
The 1940s and the 1960s was the start of the explosion of creativity within graphic design. It was an optimism and challenge as more and more designer like the ones I mentioned above were abandoning the traditional method of graphic design. (James craig and Bruce Barton, page 173). The new approach to graphic has shown the change in Modern Graphic design. The 1940s to the 1960 has seen the radical change in the direction of graphic design Saul bass established himself in these years and he created memorable graphic images and a influence on the entire film industry.
These two ideas will help me with my contextual research and inform my idea with comparing the two style of graphic design and seeing if the history of the Guttenberg press shaped graphic and created the modern day graphic design. The big change in graphic happened in the 1960 with the American advertising design. This was the year where Graphic design felt like they had discovered the history and it was the start of pre-modern design. This will form the last part of my essay which is to compare the two and see why there was a change if there is one and how the Guttenberg press has influence the change in graphic design.
I also want to look into when the rise of technology happens and how this influence designer to change their attitude toward graphic design and how the rise in social media has change the way graphic design is used. I am focusing on modern graphic design and how the rise in advertising design change the way graphic design is. I want to look at different designer that caused this change. I want to see how this change happen and if there is key feature in the design that link to the history of graphic design. I will focus also on how the modern graphic design has change graphics but using influence from the history of the Guttenberg. I want to see if the designer who have changed graphic design have used the Guttenberg press as influence at all and if so how. I want to bring into it how the rise in technology has maybe change the way we create design and if the rise in social media has change our design and the way we see them. Is social media the place where we spread are design now rather than print.
The key debate I have found when looking at my research so far is if the start of technology changed the way Graphic design is looked at. If this is why the advertising design shaped the modern graphic design in the 1960s. McLuhan touch on the technology influences the Graphic design industry and I want to see if design in the modern day feel it has or if the Guttenberg press still influence them today they just use the technology to give the design a more personal touch as you can do more with the typography on a computer. I want to include a debate about the modern technology because it is obviously something that has quickly changed, and some people don’t agree with it and think it is taken over the world. I think this will help my argument to see if the change in Graphic design is due to the change in the technology. I personally think that the modern technology has changed the way things are created and, in a way, made people lazy because everything is in the palm of their hand. I believe that the start of the technology has become the change in Graphic design I think that this is a key part of my research.
Research Plan – What you plan to do.
I will be looking Graphic design history by Steven Heller and Georgette Balance to show the change from the history of graphic and modern graphic design. I will be looking at designers like Paul rand, Saul Badd, Bradbury Thompson and Gene Federico were the new designer of the modern graphic design. Another design is Rudolph de Harak who established himself in 1950s before the change in graphic design.
I plan to use the research from the designer within my work to allow me to show the comparison between the history and the modern design. The design will help influence my writing and show the change in their work or they were the reason for the change.
I am looking at discussing the change in the history of graphics design compared to the modern say graphic design. The aim of my research is to explore the difference between modern and graphic in history. Firstly, I want to collect data that shows date and pieces of design that show the change in Graphic design. I want to analysis how the advertising design has changed the design from the times of Guttenberg and if this influences the modern-day design at all.
In my practice I will need to find a way to directly link it to my practice and how this has influenced my work. With the research from my look into Guttenberg’s history I want to get what made the press such a historical moment in graphics history. I want to see how this has made graphic design into what it is today. The history of the Guttenberg press is a key feature of this piece of work and I want to research into press and McLuhan written on this subject. I want to show that modern day graphic is what influenced me personally but if it wasn’t for the history of graphic modern design wouldn’t be what it is today.
I want to include a debate to show what is thought about modern technology and it relationship with the change in graphic design. I want to know if this is the reason graphic design changed or if it had to change to move with the time. I think Graphic design is always seen as something of the modern time but I want to show that it did have a history and show that it is a big influence with modern graphic design, but the technology might have changed the way we look at things.
Whilst conducing my research I decided that it was split into three main parts Guttenberg and its history of the Guttenberg press, the nature of contemporary Guttenberg press and modern graphic design and How Does Guttenberg’s Press Continue to Influence Graphic Design Today. My dissertation I plan to split in a similar way beginning with an introduction, providing my theories to back up my points, including case studies and then ending with my conclusion to tie everything I have gathered together.
Introduction – Here I will introduce my topic and my argument and what I propose to find out within this dissertation. I am going to investigate into my known topics and my critical position on these topics. I will briefly mention the key feature I want to future investigate in my dissertation. I will talk about the three main sections Guttenberg and its history of the Guttenberg press, the nature of contemporary Guttenberg press and modern graphic design and How Does Guttenberg’s Press Continue to Influence Graphic Design Today. I plan to discuss in the introduction where the main influence for this question came from e.g social media, books and articles.
Section one – My first section will focus on the history of graphic design focusing on the Guttenberg press. I will also talk about how the Guttenberg is such a big part of graphic design history. I will provide a lot of research into the history of the Guttenberg and how it has influence graphic design.
Case study Cultural change in the creative industries- a case study of BBC graphic design from 1990–2011 This case study is using his own experience as a witness and participant in the convulsion that the BBC, and specifically the BBC Graphic Design Department underwent, the author aims to illuminate the cultural change to the creative industries in many advanced industrialised countries that has occurred over the last 20 years. Many industries in the past have undergone similar ruptures and transformations and they will again in the future. The author hopes to draw lessons from an analysis of television graphic design using examples of work that can point out the attributes and skills that a new designer across the globe will need to have and obtain in order to withstand future industrial and cultural changes.
Section two – My second section is focusing on how the Guttenberg press has been an influence on graphic design. I will look into the history I want to find out who what made the press and how it become such a historical moment in graphics history. I want to see how this has made graphic design into what it is today. The history of the Guttenberg press is a key feature of this piece of work and I want to research into press and McLuhan written on this subject. I want to show that modern day graphic is what influenced me personally but if it wasn’t for the history of graphic modern design wouldn’t be what it is today.
Case study Technology and Social media- I plan to look into when the rise of technology happen and how this influence designer to change their attitude toward graphic design and how the rise in social media has change the way graphic design is used.
Section Three – My third section is focusing on modern graphic design and how the rise in advertising design change the way graphic design is. I want to look at different designer that caused this change. I want to see how this change happen and if there is key feature in the design that link to the history of graphic design.
Section four – My forth section I will focus on how the modern graphic design has change graphics but using influence from the history of the Guttenberg. I want to see if the designer who have changed graphic design have used the Guttenberg press as influence at all and if so how.
Section five – My fifth section I will focus on how the rise in technology has maybe change the way we create design and if the rise in social media has change our design and the way we see them. Is social media the place where we spread are design now rather than print.
Section six – My sixth section I will bring the two main idea of the history and modern graphic design to see if the Guttenberg press that created graphic design history influence the change in graphic design or if the rise in technology had something to do with it.
Conclusion – Here I will bring all of the ideas together and conclude with answering the overall question if the Guttenberg press influenced graphic design. I will bring the two main idea of the history and modern graphic design to see if the Guttenberg press that created graphic design history influence the change in graphic design or if the rise in technology had something to do with it. This will sum up the whole dissertation.
Bibliography – Relevant studies to your research proposal
Graphic Design and Architecture, A 20th Century History: A Guide to Type, Image, Symbol, and Visual Storytelling in the Modern World by Richard Poulin 2012
Modern Typography in Britain: Graphic Design, Politics and Society by Paul Stiff 16 Apr 2018
Modern Graphic Design newspaper article Richard E. Oldenburg Director
The Thames and Hudson encyclopaedia of graphic design + designers by Alan and Isabella Livingston 1992
Cultural change in the creative industries: a case study of BBC graphic design from 1990–2011 – Iain Macdonald – 2013
Understanding Media – Marshall McLuhan (1964)
Johannes Gutenberg: Inventor of the Printing Press- By Fran Rees (2006)
Buchanan / Personality and Individual Differences 105 (2017) 19–23
Typography and the Screen: A Technical Chronology of Digital Typography- Loretta Staples 1984-1997
History as an Art of Memory Patrick H. Hutton – 1993