Creating a new Art Movement

We were set a project in groups of five called 'Movement' that would last until December. Each group had to create their own Art Movement with an ethos, attitude and values. Just like the movements Art Deco or Minimalism, we head to create our own movement for 2015.

It seemed like a colossal challenge at first, but simplified down, we had to create design and artwork, based on a set of values we all believed in. Our group had consensus that we all hate messy, confusing design and love clean, minimal and beautiful design - so our core value for out Movement was to restructure and redesign information to make it more accessible. It was not about filtering or removing information, it was about restructuring that same information to make it more accessible and beautiful.

The images below are from a keynote presentation we gave introducing our movement. Everything animated beautifully and little text was used as we were verbally talking about each inspiration. 

We were heavily influenced by 3 key art and design movements from the past. The first was Bauhaus, a movement that pretty much every design student is influenced by in some form or another. They used bursts of primary colors, lots of geometric shapes and unique design layouts, ones that were groundbreaking at the time, and ones that people had never seen before.

The second was Art Deco. After visiting Miami countless times I have fallen in love with the ship-like Art Deco architecture that lines the roads of South Beach. It led me to explore the graphic Art Deco style which contains lots of bold, striking graphics and interesting artwork that's often beautiful to look at.

The third one was the Type Movement from Switzerland. The posters all had a clean, colourful designs and used typography and glyphs in bold interesting ways. This visual style is still heavily used today, as a result, many of these designs looks fairly current, despite originating in the 50's.

We decided the work produced by our Art Movement would be clean and minimal, like the Swiss type Movement; bold and beautiful like Art Deco; and show interesting compositions and layout designs like the Bauhaus Posters.

We were also influenced by several designers and design projects. Designer Edward Tufte said "there is no such thing as information overload, there is only bad design". He has several books and talks about how if something looks cluttered, you shouldn't start removing information to clean it up, you should fix the design. We really liked this as our movement was about restructuring information to make it more accessible. 

Another design we were influenced by is one of my favourite pieces of graphic design ever. It's the (fairly) new Virgin America Boarding Pass. In an all digital world VX went back to basics and completely restructured, redesigned everything we know today about print boarding passes. The results were the most incredible and beautiful passes from any airline ever. They have the same information as before but with with beautiful, rich design. Its engaging and impressive and solves all of the design problems. It can be printed at home and is designed to fold perfectly to fit in your pocket.

I'm writing this posts several weeks after being set the project because on reflection I can now see how beneficial this project has been to me. It has forced me to design work that complies with my personal values and design language, instead of designing for a companies banding style and PR ethos. It has showed me how to apply my design style to a series of problems and you can see some of the outcomes below. 

With the timescale we had, there was not time to redesign all of the ugly material in the world, but we were/are able to create some key times that pave the way forward. Key items that present information in a beautiful way, key times that are beautiful and engaging. Now that we have these key items, it is easier to clean up other material as we know how out ethos can translate into a visual style. I am proud of the work I have created so far and am excited to see the next items we create.

UALAdam Marshual, movement, project, design, 1