The Death and Resurrection of 1990’s Experimental Graphic Design

Honestly, going into this lecture I was completely confused as I had not watched the lectures prior. After watching all the lectures and then returning to this video, I was able to gain an amazing grasp on the subject and the content that was described. The Death and Resurrection of 1990’s Experimental Graphic Design focus on various aspects of Graphic Design. The video by Studio Practice was more of a casual format and clearly created by one individual person. The creator states that the introduction of the formalist avant-garde wing was a positive outlook for Graphic Design, as everything was experimental and untested.

This video specifically demonstrates how music and art are collaborating, as the artist and graphic designer work together in order to create a unique music video. The video demonstrates how artists are able to collaborate and create videos with graphic design in order to appeal to different audiences. Similarly, the music artist asks for input from the creator in order to gain an understanding of how his work is influenced by the 1990’s Avant Garde.

The creator highlights how in the 1990’s the majority of art which was created was unique and untested, meaning that the majority of techniques used were new or innovative. This resulted in a new art form with unseen and unique pages being created. He mentions that this art form was able to question the relationship between producer and consumer, however eventually died out.

Eventually, the creator discusses the characteristics of this movement, which ultimately helped me understand the subject in a more detailed manner, making the information he was presented very interesting. He states that the most important characteristics or elements were as follows:

  1. The exploration of a plastic typographic form: during this art form, it was evident that typography was more focused on a plastic appearance, this was new and had previously not been seen by the public as the words during this time period.
  2. The deterioration of legibility: the photographyer was able to bring newfound freedom to the designer, which gave the designer the ability to create types of work which were previously unseen to the public eye. Legibility was then deteriorated due to this, and thus a new aesthetic.
  3. The poster as a primary canvas: during this time period the canvas became the primary conceptual device. The image included at the bottom is an example of this.
  4. Complex Form Language: “a spiral of increasing complexity, this developed into an arms race into a new art form. The creator mentions a metaphor which he states perfectly encapsulates the movement: The only winning move is not to play. This insists that the arms race during this time was a lose-lose situation
  5. Aphoristic linguistic constructions: the aphoristic language was a major component of the 1990s for this movement.

Example of poster.

By observing and understanding each of these points, I am able to better understand the content and importance of each of these characteristics. The video provides a large number of visuals for each characteristic so that I am able to visually see the contribution of each characteristic and why it is so important to the movement.


Please Note: I am aware this was submitted late, but got permission by Professor Littlejohn to do so!