Online portfolio and print on demand catalogs for Graphic Design and Animation graduates from the Department of Design 2012. On this page you will find our conference presentations, and by hovering over the menu groups on the left you can read contextual documents. You are welcome to attend our Grad Show, opening on 29 November 2012 at 6pm, and daily from 30 November to 6 December 9.30am – 4pm.
F O O D A N D F O N D M E M O R I E S
Digitally Printed Wallpaper showcasing the childhood
concept of clichéd sunny days in the 70’s.
V I E W a n d / o r D O W N L O A D p o r t f o l i o here
// C O N T E X T
Throughout my studio practice, the context that has shaped my work has varied. For the majority of this studio project, New Zealand Food has been the main inspiration in my work. Through research, education and my experience of New Zealand food, it became apparent that my interests lay within the act of eating and environments in which New Zealander’s eat, rather than the type of food itself. I have found through my work as a designer, I am more interested in food related design centered around a happy cliché of good times and sunny summer days, and the culture of this more so than the food itself. This is something that I wanted to drive the overall style in my studio project.
The key contextual references in my work are based on the aesthetic of digital collaged wallpaper in relation to imagery and icons representing Fish and Chips. This is shown in my work through use of mixed photographic imagery and textures. My work aims to educate and inform a wider audience about New Zealand food and culture, and to evoke feelings of warmth and nostalgia around past times. My main objective for my studio project is to communicate ideas so that the viewer can understand, react and express emotions relating to the subject shown.
I used Fish and chips as the main voice in my wallpaper for my studio project. This is appropriate as Fish and Chips are a staple takeaway meal in the Kiwi diet, which have not changed in the way that they are served and consumed between the 70’s and today.
“ [in the 1970’s] New Zealander’s came to the beach to picnic … it was only young children, with their trousers rolled up, who paddled in the sea. Adults’ clothes were formal.”(1)
This quote was important to my practice as it highlights and reinforces re-occurring themes of halcyon days and memories of a 1970’s childhood concept in my work. With this in mind, I wanted to create something that celebrates this vernacular by emphasizing the days of youth, happiness and joy through graphic design.
// P R O C E S S
My design process started with researching around my chosen voice in relation to my context. I looked into other designers who had practiced in a similar field, work of a similar aestheistic, researched readings on New Zealand living and the consumption of food (mainly fish and chips) in New Zealand and relating it to my practice.
In the early stages of my research, I discovered the book “Keepsakes” by Frances Hansen. I was drawn to this book because of how unique and personal it was due to mixed media being used throughout. “Keepsakes” contains old recipes passed down through generations and is something that all readers can relate to. I found “Keepsakes” to be a typical Kiwi cookbook as it was filled with both handwritten and typed recipes, and a collaged scrapbook quality to it that added another personal element.
“…Everyone comes across a recipe they remember their mum making or used to make themselves and have forgotten about.” (2)
This quote made me think of how the use of collage and representational images can influence feeling the reader gets. I gained important knowledge when reading “Keepsakes”, not only as it was it filled with recipes that celebrate home-style cooking, but it also gave me an understanding of the personal life of Frances, and the kind of lifestyle she had growing up with her family. There was a strong sense of nostalgia, which is something that I have implemented in my work.
When looking into the purpose of wallpaper, one designer in specific stood out to me. Rosemary Milner is a bespoke surface pattern designer who implements her designs on medium such as wallpaper, books and fabrics. Rosemary’s work is diaristic and by viewing it you get an understanding of how she has built commentary in her work. To an untrained eye, Rosemary’s work comes across as being intense with no sense of structure. However the more you dissect the wallpaper you start to get a sense of a pattern through use of white space, and a varied tonal range of images. Through research and pulling apart Rosemary’s work I came to the conclusion that a strong grid imagery that has various tonal ranges that can draw your eye around the work, and this is vital when making a pattern filled with mixed media.
In the late 60’s, there was a continuing post-war growth in the population, flowing into the early 70’s where the economy was fairly strong. With the extra money coming into homes, there was more money to spend on family excursions to places such as the beach during the summer season. I used these key events as references when I selecting photography and creating a colour palette in my work.
As I am using collage in my work, there is a need to build a strong library of images that represent my vernacular as well as tell a story. I used photographs taken in the 70’s of children at the beach, people running, eating food and overall having a great time (as if they were halcyon days). I have used other elements and textures in my work such as the oil stains, remains of chips, and tomato stains to represent fish and chips as the underlying theme in my work. In my work I have incorporated recipes from such as the Edmonds cookbook and combined images such as mug stains that are filled with picnic blanket patterns – the reason for this is that its something that all New Zealander’s are able to recognise from a distance. Incorporating imagery that people can relate to engages them more with the rest of the design.
Rather than having a colour palette, I have employed a tonal range which was eye dropped off 70’s photographs used in my wallpaper. This palette of pistachio, mustard, cactus green, marigold, taupe and brown is not clearly presented as whole colours on the wallpaper but you can get an overall sense of them when looking at the complete wallpaper.
When creating a repeat pattern for my wallpaper I used scale in order to emphasise certain imagery. This is to create attention to both the lead and focal images. Naturally as a designer the need to balance work is a must. When creating tiled wallpaper, balancing the imagery on the page caused my work look uptight and overbalanced. I overcame this was by implementing a grid system and playing around just like Rosemary Milner which made it easier to place imagery and create a obvious eyeflow without overcrowding it.
In my work I implemented asymmetrical balance to aid eye flow movement by scattering the imagery on my wallpaper. As the overall aesthetic of the wallpaper is rough collage, the use of balance was not strongly used as I have intended the collage to look organic. By doing this I was able to direct the eye flow in a downwards zigzag across just one run of wallpaper, engaging the reader and creating a visual rhythm as they follow the pattern.
The use of space when creating a pattern is a very important factor to my practice. I have employed white space in my work by using halftone fish related recipes within the gaps to give the eye a visual rest while following the pattern. White space also highlights key imagery on my wallpaper such as the stains, which represent tomato sauce and the beverage L&P (key condiments that go along side fish and chips, and that are similarly embedded in the perception of Kiwiana culture).
// O U T C O M E S
My outcome for this year’s work is a run of bespoke wallpaper. In the process of finding a surface for my wallpaper, my research suggested that the collaged aesthetic was too hectic to be background wallpaper for a domestic situation.
“Rather than being passive background decoration in the home, wallpaper becomes an oppourtunity for self-expression, creativity and fun.” (3)
With this quote in mind I have created this wallpaper sit in a gallery exhibition such as PAPERPIXEL, the 3rd year Unitec Graphic Design Grad Show, as well as being suited to cover the walls of a local takeaway shop. I chose to create wallpaper as a platform for my work, because it is a creative way to display information that will catch an individual’s eye and ultimately draw them in to come up close and look at it.
In conclusion, working with wallpaper as my output has been an amazing opportunity to showcase New Zealand’s lifestyle and food. Wallpaper was a great way to give an overview of the good old days of the 70’s summers. It can create conversation about memories of their summertimes at that age and/or show how the generation of today still relates summers to the same clichés of many decades ago. Whilst learning the fundamentals in creating technically correct wallpaper, I discovered the need to also look into how the pattern repeats as well as how it looks when being tiled on a wall. Although this was a constraint, it made me aware of where imagery was placed and how even adding the slightest details could change the whole look.
Creating my studio project around New Zealand food, and the lifestyle of New Zealanders is something that I thrive off as both a designer and individual. Although my practice is one that would is not be ongoing, it does not mean it doesn’t have the potential to continue on post Unitec. Following the PAPERPIXEL grad show I hope to market and push this project to my target audience’s of fish and chip shops throughout New Zealand beachside towns.
// B I B L I O G R A P H Y
// R E A D I N G L I S T