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Posts Tagged ‘Design Criticism’

DESIGN: Steve Mehallo Offers A Refreshing Spin On Design History

After recently reading this post on a design colleagues Ayana Baltrip blog, DESIGNSPEAKS, I decided this essay was definitely worthy to share, with my design friends too. Steve Mehallo, teaches at American River College and he decided to share his views on the best ways to teach and research Graphic Design History. I’m interested in hearing your thoughts about Mehallo’s essay, on how design history should be taught.

Read about Mehallo’s refreshing methods on, how he teaches Design History. His essay offers you a thorough review on many of the key design history books considered the best by lots of design educators. I’m not going to mention any of the design history books, since you’ll get to read all about them in Mehallo’s essay. Although Mehallo’s does give you his aesthetic reasons on which books are worthy, and which ones need to skipped. In addition, his essay offers a solid rationale why anyone who teaches design history should not solely depend upon one book, but develop their own research methodology to make this subject engaging. Otherwise once you start lecturing and showing slides, you might just get a lot of students sitting in your class with their heads bowed once you turn down the lights. Last fall, I started my second Master’s in the Design Criticism program at School of Visual Arts in NYC. As a design educator, who also loves teaching Design History, I must confess that teaching this topic is an arduous task. However, my design history instructor in the program, Russell Flinchum, taught our class with the rigor of a southern baptist minister on Sunday morning. All to say, none of my classmates dared to bow their heads once the lights were turned down. As for me I left Russell’s class with a more varied knowledge on the history of design, and a lot of new books to add to my already overloaded bookcases at home. (above photograph; by Steve Melhallo student Samantha Costanilla).

Read more about Mehallo on his blog: http://mehallo.com/blog/

So I’ve been teaching my version of ‘a history of graphic design’ for several years now. Just finished up my 9th session.

As a text, Philip B. Meggs’ landmark research book – History of Graphic Design, first released in 1984 – is the bible on the subject. Even the ‘making of’ has its own edition.

It’s the most thorough analysis, and one of the best graphic design reference books I own. But as Meggs points out in his introduction, it’s only the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more to discover, find, research and incorporate into one’s own view.

Finally, there is another book that just hit the market – The Story of Graphic Design by Patrick Cramsie. It tackles similar ground, but from another angle. A refreshing find. And from what I could tell so far, it syncs with my own classroom take on ‘The Story’ . . .

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DESIGN: Archie Boston says, “Goodbye!”

I have a knack for meeting incredible people and quickly adopting them as lifelong friends. Archie Boston, a Los Angeles-based designer, author and educator is one of those people. Recently, I was talking to one of my fellow design critters, Alan Rapp, when I noticed a book on his desk, Fly in the Buttermilk by Archie Boston. Alan told me he had just finished writing Archie’s profile for the upcoming “Design Journey” Exhibit that opens on May, 19th at the AIGA headquarters in NYC. Then he told me that another fellow design critter, Mike Neal, was one of Archie’s students at California State University Long Beach. I approached Mike at the end of the Crossing the Line: The 2010 D-Crit Conference this past Friday told him we share a close friend Archie Boston. His face lit up like a Christmas tree, as he ranted about his thrill at having had Archie as a design teacher, and that he viewed him as a mentor and father figure.

Watch this video on VideoSurf or see more Videos or Art (Law & Order: Cr Videos

 

 

A few weeks ago Archie sent me an email with a post announcing his retirement from teaching after 30 years, and included a video of his last lecture. (See this remarkable man at work). I’ve know him for almost twenty years, we met when former graphic designer Fo Wilson and I co-curated an exhibition “21: African American Designers Challenge Modern Stereotypes,” held at Parsons School of Design in NYC, in 1991. The show featured his work and since that time we have remained design friends. Here’s a few samples of Archie’s work from his self-published book. And check out Archie’s award-winning designs, plus his videos clips from his DVD, “20 Los Angeles Designer”.

Contact: Archie Boston to order his book and his DVD’s.

Email: bostona@earthlink.net

Proceeds from Archie’s booksigning will be donated to the VCDA Student Group at CSULB.
Proceeds from this FU lecture DVD will be donated to the Archie Boston Graphic Design Scholarship Fund at California State University, Long Beach.





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