Interactive Design, Strategy, & Technology for Websites, Mobile, Apps, & Games

Dynamic Header


Loving "Graphic Design: Now in Production" at Governors Island

View All Blog Posts

Loving "Graphic Design: Now in Production" at Governors Island

– by Andy Pratt
Identity for the 17th Biennale of Sydney by Jonathan Barnbrook

I recently visited the Graphic Design: Now in Production exhibition on Governors Island. The exhibit takes a broad look at the many artifacts designers produce from posters, books, and typography to interactive installations, motion graphics, and apps. This fun collection was curated by Andrew Blauvelt of the Walker Art Center and Ellen Lupton of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. Most of the work felt more like experiments or art-objects rather than commissioned work for clients and therein lies the power of design. The tangible, digital, and experienial things we create reflect the designer but, like any commercial art, are intended to communicate and persuade.

The exhibition is packed with beautiful specimens from Jonathan Barnbrook, Aesthetic Apparatus, and Marian Bantjes to name a few. If you are looking for a bit of visual inspiration, make the trip. It is also the perfect size for a family to enjoy: large enough to sink your teeth into without testing the patience of your young entourage. There is even an activity intended to teach kids about pixels through a drawing activity with sticker dots.

Do you prefer the original logo or the redesign?
Do you prefer the original logo or the redesign?

One of the exhibition's highlights featured iconic corporate logos, including Nickelodeon, Starbucks, and YMCA, before and after redesign. Visitors vote for their favorite logo by dropping a plastic chip into a Plexiglas ballot box. This format illustrated how consumer audiences critique commercial design: who cares about the designer's intent, do people like it or not? The hard work that goes into designing a logo, book, website, etc. gets reduced to single moment when a consumer decides to place it on a pedestal or throw it in the trash. The work at this exhibition deserves to be placed on a pedestal.

The exhibition runs until September 3, 2012.