Tuesday, 9 April 2013

A Brief History Of ....

I originally began by searching through my lecture notes to see what topics i liked and I could potentially look into and I made some brief notes on what these where. 

I liked the Colors of Benetton advert in the lecture Graphic Design a Medium for the Masses

Oliviero Toscani, United Colors
of Benetton advert 1990
This 1991 ad is much more than meets the eye. Sure, there’s the typical message of unity: one figure from three historically conflicting continents all being warmed by a single blanket. Looking closer at the image, you see that the women on either end of the child have their hands clasped together (which would probably explain the colours used for the blanket) and suddenly the image becomes a family portrait. The power of this advert is its subtlety and refusal to submit to any homosexual stereotypes or restrictions in terms of interracial love or the issue of adopting.

“We did not create our advertisements in order to provoke, but to make people talk, to develop citizen consciousness,” Luciano Benetton assures us. Whether or not they began in this way, many Benetton advertisement campaigns have ended with controversy. Most recently, in the Autumn of 2011, with the launch of the unHate campaign, some of the photographs in the series wouldn’t see a full day on the billboards.
It is by this light — the light of controversy — that I consider each advert. It must be acknowledged that such campaigns do wonders for the company: a political alignment with consumers is much stronger than a strictly aesthetic one, after all. Nevertheless, given that such projects have enormous visibility, there is a logic in the highly politicised propaganda. I believe this is the classic win-win situation. We shouldn’t whine about that.http://top10buzz.com/top-ten-controversial-united-colors-of-benetton-ads/
‘It seems like a noble goal, yet Benetton’s political branding campaigns implicitly promise customers a happiness of another sort – not just beauty, status or style, the traditional claims fashion companies make, but virtue and engagement. And that’s where the problems arise, because this claim is simply not true.  Benetton’s clothing has nothing to do with AIDS or war or the lives of prisoners on death row, and by using these issues in sweater advertisements, Benetton is inserting a layer of distance and mediation – represented by the Benetton name itself – between consumers and these important issues’.

Naomi Klein, Truth in Advertising, 2000 (in Looking Closer 4, page 64)

‘While the publicity generated by such campaigns [Benetton] is immense – and their globalised distribution protects them from the effects of a ban in any one country – it is also surely shocking that the shock effect wears off so quickly.  Perhaps the overall driving motive of such campaigns is in fact nothing new – but simply an astute loyalty to one of the oldest adages in the business: there is no such thing as bad Publicity’
Cook, G. (1992), The Discourse of Advertising, London, Routledge, page 229


I then visited the Colors of Benetton website to see if they had any history available to look at ...
which lead me to ... 

1989 entry into east europe and former soveit union markets

creation of colours magazine 1991 

And so I began to look into the magazine further as I found it interesting and something I wanted to learn more about.


Created by photographer Oliviero Toscani and art director Tibor Kalman in 1991 to show the world to the world. The message has remained the same: diversity is good.

The magazine looks at social issues by following them around the world and treating everything with the same naivety to give a glimpse of what's going on through first-person interviews and photography. The magazine has been translated into over 15 languages including Korean, Russian and Greek.

COLORS was different from "normal" magazines in many ways, but its heart was the idea that photographs and images could convey as much information as pages of text. Graphic pictures, crisp design and clear language led some to call it the representative magazine for the "MTV generation" (whoever they were). Kalman described it as, " as mix of 'National Geographic' and 'Life", on acid".

Toscani's rule of thumb was that the magazine should use unforgettable images, Kalman wanted clearly designed pages printed on non-glossy, recycled paper and clear, fact-laden, inspiring text. Their vision created a magazine with the unique style that didn't fit into any traditional journalistic form. Each issue had a theme and was free of celebrities, news, columnists and by-lines, replacing the empty, engineered excitement of contemporary pop culture with ordinary heroes: people like the Gay Officers League in New York City, aspiring gymnasts in China or child rag pickers in India.

The magazine has always remained true to its founding idea; that there is much to discover and see, we just need to keep our eyes and minds wide open.

COLORS was a pioneer in explaining how globalization is changing our lives and one of the first media outlets that encouraged people to think globally and act locally. It has faithfully documented our changing world by highlighting the lives of the people who live in it, underlining the fact that cultural diversity is ever more important on an increasingly homogenized planet.

Colors magazine is published quarterly in 6 bilingual editions: English + Korean, Spanish, Italian, French, Chinese and Portuguese.
It is available for sale in 40 countries.
Our readers are idealists. Colors gives them a unique opportunity understand our planet’s differences and to read about people who are inventing ways to change their societies. We tell the stories of ordinary people in an extraordinary way. Although the topic of each issue is serious, the pieces are presented in an accessible and humorous format; Colors has been used in schools for discussion topics and as an English teaching tool.


Idealists are abstract in speech and cooperative in pursuing their goals. Their greatest strength is diplomatic integration. Their best developed intelligence role is either mentoring (Counselors and Teachers) or advocacy (Healers and Champions).
As the identity-seeking temperament, Idealists long for meaningful communication and relationships. They search for profound truths hidden beneath the surface, often expressing themselves in metaphor. Focused on the future, they are enthusiastic about possibilities, and they continually strive for self-renewal.
Interests: Idealists tend to study the humanities. They seek careers facilitating the personal growth of others, whether through education, counseling, or other pursuits that promote the happiness and fulfillment of individuals and society.
Orientation: The lives of Idealists are guided by their devotion to their personal ethics. They are altruistic, taking satisfaction in the well-being of others. They believe in the basic goodness of the world and of the people in it. They take a holistic view toward suffering and misfortune, regarding them as part of a larger, unknowable truth, a mystical cause-and-effect. With an eye toward the future, they view life as a journey toward a deeper spiritual knowledge.
Self-image: The Idealists' self-esteem is rooted in empathetic action; their self-respect in their benevolence; and their self-confidence in their personal authenticity.
Values: The emotions of Idealists "are both easily aroused and quickly discharged." Their general demeanor is enthusiastic. They trust their intuition and yearn for romance. They seek deeper self-knowledge and want to be understood for who they are behind the social roles they are forced to play. They aspire to wisdom that transcends ego and the bounds of the material world.
Social roles: Idealists seek mutuality in their personal relationships. Romantically, they want a soulmate with whom they can share a deep spiritual connection. As parents, they encourage their children to form harmonious relationships and engage in imaginative play. In their professional and social lives, Idealists strive to be catalysts of positive change.
 Idealists are understood to represent the world as it might or should be, unlike pragmatists, who focus on the world as it presently is.

David West Keirsey; born August 31, 1921 in Oklahoma, is an internationally renowned psychologist, a professor emeritus at California State University, Fullerton, and theauthor of several books. In his most popular publications, Please Understand Me (1978, co-authored by Marilyn Bates) 

Based upon the notion that peoples' values differ fundamentally from one another, Keirsey drew upon the views of several psychologists or psychiatrists.

Colors magazine is a multilingual quarterly magazine developed in Italy by Fabrica, Benetton's research center. There are three editions published: French/English, Italian/English, and Spanish/English. Each issue has a theme and covers the topic from an international perspective. The magazine is known for its photoessays and features a sardonic point of view (similar to Benetton advertising).Tibor Kalman and Oliviero Toscani created the magazine in 1991, and it was produced at Kalman's design studio, M&Co, in New York City until 1993, when the magazine operations moved to Rome, Italy. For the first three years, the magazine was published in five editions: French/English, Spanish/English, Italian/English, German/English, and Japanese/English.Issue 4 , released in spring 1993, covered the topic of race, and created an international uproar by running full-page photos of the face of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain doctored to look like a black woman , filmmaker Spike Lee as a white man, Pope John Paul II as Asian, among others.Issue 7 , released in early 1994, covered AIDS in a bluntly straightforward manner, something no other form of media had been willing to do until that.

ho·mog·e·nize  (h-mj-nz, h-)
v. ho·mog·e·nizedho·mog·e·niz·ingho·mog·e·niz·esv.tr.1. To make homogeneous.2.a. To reduce to particles and disperse throughout a fluid.b. To make uniform in consistency, especially to render (milk) uniform in consistency by emulsifying the fat content

WITH LOVE is a special issue of COLORS (December 2011) telling the stories of imprisoned lives that do not have the freedom to choose on which side to stay. There are love stories, too, of those who hold out in order to defend life. Like the 50 journalists working for Shabelle Media Network, an independent radio station of Mogadishu, Somalia, which broadcasts to a catchment area of some 250 km and online. Far from their loved ones, these brave journalists live barricaded in their studio because they fear the vengeance of Al Shabab. They put their safety at risk in order to provide non-partisan information.

so many topics list from magazine covers

I then also took out another book from the library that looked at graphic design for a social purpose and below are some key notes I took from the book ...

just design 
socially conscious design for critical causes
Christopher Simmons

"Designers carry a heavy responsibility, but at the same time they can offer our future the greatest gift" - Gavin Newsom Lt. Governor of California

The world is at, or near, unprecedented tipping points involving climate change, peak oil, deforestation, species extinction and water scarcity. The tenuous relationship between humans and the natural world has become an unsustainable scenario. In addition, we have relentless religious conflict in the Middle East and expanding population and economies in China and India. More people competing for fewer resources is not a pretty picture. Thus maintaining the status quo is not an option.

If you choose to be optimistic, design is one of the only viable options we have. Design with a big D. Design that includes invention, innovation, human ingenuity and creative problem solving through design thinking and execution

Now is the time for designers to step up and use what they know how to do to help shape a positive future for people and the planet.- John Bielenberg, Founder, Project M Co-founder, C2 LLC, COMMON

Livestrong awarenes braclets pg 115- 2005

what the *#&! is social design pg 125 an exhibition

Design can educate, garner support and organise people. We aren't saving the world, but we are taking an active role in raising awareness and encouraging action. We have the power to make a difference, and that is what cause/affect celebrates- Alice Bybee , design director at iron creative and president of AIGA San Francisco, the professional association for design.

Anyone entering the Selfridges store in London for their new year sale in January may have wondered if the store wasn't doing its best to put off potential customers.

Bold red, black and white signs incorporating phrases extolling the distortion of desire that comes with commodity fetishism were everywhere. It was as if a bunch of Marxist subvertisers had crept in late at night and hijacked the space. Critiques of consumerism sourced from Malcolm X, Charles Baudelaire and Edgar Allen Poe, among others, were everywhere - as part of a collaboration between New York artist Barbara Kruger and the store’

Noel Douglas, The Overall Sales Experience, March 2006, at http://www.socialistreview.org.uk/article.php?articlenumber=9706

Barbara Kruger (born January 26, 1945) is an American conceptual artist. Much of her work consists of black-and-white photographs overlaid with declarative captions—in white-on-redFutura Bold Oblique or Helvetica Ultra Condensed. The phrases in her works often include pronouns such as "you", "your", "I", "we", and "they". Kruger lives and works in New York and Los Angeles.
Addressing issues of language and sign, Kruger has often been grouped with such feminist postmodern artists which she was interleaved by Jenny Holzer, Sherrie Levine, Martha Rosler, and Cindy Sherman.[8] Like Holzer and Sherman, in particular, she uses the techniques of mass communication and advertising to explore gender and identity.

I also looked at a book about the first issues of COLORS magazine...

A magazine about the rest of the world
the tibor kalman years
issues 1-13 
Thames and Hudson 

the message of this magazine is that your culture ( whoever you are ) is as important as our culture ( whoever we are )

pg 8 & 9 (grid layout)

(potential design direction also)

 Format Research








Berlin Products // Stephie Becker


 And so I filled in my project proposal- concept statement

A Brief History of ... COLORS Magazine 

I intend to explore the relationship between : 
  1. The company and the use of design to portray a social/political message
  2. The key principles of colors magazine and principles of socially aware design
  3. Different articles from different cultures and contexts
  4. Previous and Present articles/ imagery. 

I intend to (inform/instruct/persuade/direct/educate/promote) ... 
... to a group of (identify your specific audience or context)... 
readers of colours magazine, people who are or want to be more socially/ cultrally aware of the world. I would say a young adult to adult audience.
...that (message/idea/ concept)
designing for social awareness is a good thing and more designers should be doing it and people should be more cultrally aware.

In order to achieve this I will produce ... 
A magazine, with a variety of stocks, presented as a package.

Screen print - Black or White ? 

Further Research 

I found this in the book I had been looking at...

Janet Lai


Researching on the idea of luxury in both developed and developing countries, each handmade bag questions our current notions of luxury. The installation consisted 119 hand-made "Tiffany" bags. 

In each bag, there is a card to inform you that, for an example, $2 can buy you a cup of latte. And on the other side of the card, explains how the same $2 can buy a family a meal in Haiti.

More things I looked at and used on spreads...

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