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September 28, 2006


kristen Coogan

Perhaps a way to avoid the rut is to take the cue from Varoom magazine as a method to think about how to generate new form.

Varoom identifies some historical precedents referenced in contemporary illustrations. In acknowledging the methodology of looking to the past to reshape the present, can you / do you want to appropriate this approach?

I don't understand how you can use illustration as a method for research. Can you explain how you envision this working? Does the research itself (physically)become part of the finished design?

Silas Munro

"My plan is to produce a magazine that seeks to explain the power of the ‘made’ image in the modern world. Within visual culture, illustration has been neglected, eclipsed by its noisier siblings, advertising and graphic design."

This is a quote from the editor of Varoom, Adrian Shaughnessy, an art director, designer, and writer that I have tremendous respect for. I find a bit odd to think of another dicipline feeling slighted by graphic design, as we are always feeling like a slighted discipline. By other design fields (industrial design and architecture) specifically, and larger, more recongized fields like medicine, or law. Shaughnessy goes on to say:

"But that is changing. There’s an interest in illustration that goes beyond the professional sphere. Varoom will be an opinionated, writer-led publication. I want writers to use their critical and discursive abilities to raise the level of debate surrounding illustration."

Maybe this is a clue for how one could approach the act of illustration (and it's products) as a form of research. Lorraine keeps bringing up the idea of design as a verb, and design methodology. What is design or illustration methodoligy, how are they different, how can they inform each other?


Your illustration work seems to be where your skills and talents are best expressed, Flo. Since image-making is such a big part of graphic design, I'm not sure the angst is necessary. The issue as I see it, is that try as you might to create something "different" or "new" or "relevant" that's only going to come when an intimate connection with something you're dying to say happens. Some message for which you're seeking the form (through the verb, design) which will perfectly express it.
I wouldn't worry about the type, I'd worry about the words that work with the image/are part of the image/are needed by the image. Also remembering that type is an illustrated symbolic form.

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