Learning Activity – Focusing on Pioneering Designers.

Learning Activities

Within the broader milieu of Neo-modernism, we focus on Marian Bantjes, who set design trends with her unique application of typography, loose illustration and well balanced compositions.



This poster is in the permanent collection of the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum (Smithsonian) in New York.© 2017 Copyright Marian Bantjes.




What is your opinion on  the use of the computer combined with different media? :

Using computers and technology in combination with more traditional media is in my opinion crucial.Ensuring that you have both the skills in the use of new tech as well as the use of traditional means to convey a message speaks volumes about how good you really are as an artist, be it an illustrator, designer or photographer.

Artists that only use computers and have no real skill in drawing and sketching on traditional paper have a tendency to create lifeless imagery in most cases. There are only a select few artists that can pull this off. This may be because they have a very specialized style or way of working, however, you usually find that to some extent, they can do both traditional and  digital work.

The cool thing about being an artist is that you can specialize in what you like working with the most. As time passes you get ideas and try to experiment with different medias and technologies, Some find the one thing they love and specialize in it. Other artists work in allot of different medias because they simply need the variety.

How you end up working as an artist and what you create, be it through your process, style or even what media you use to convey your message, this is highly individual.

The aesthetic of what you create, then becomes your voice. Small things like raster vs vector, pre-sketched on paper and scanned vs digital sketching, all these small differences have an effect on the finished result, that is in the end usually defined as “style”.

Even using Adobe Illustrator on an Ipad is different than using Illustrator it on a PC workstation, even this tiny difference makes an impression on the way you work and changes the end result in some way. Even if you are not aware of it.

The tools you use can be varied and using technology in creating is something i think most artists would benefit from. However in the end what software and tech or materials you use does not matter, unless you develop you general skills and especially your eye for the arts. Software and tools can only be used well if you spend time developing your eye while you create.




The relationship between image and text : 

In this section of the post i will explain the connection between image and text in neo-modernism and how it relates back to the Swiss design style.

The use of grids with typography is ever present in design, especially when it comes to poster design and front pages, even on flyers. A good poster design is well composed, this often is up to the eye of the designers but the best designs are created while using a grid to align everything in some way.

Even in Swiss designs where the headlines and text create interest while being asymmetrical in their respective layouts rely on the use of grids to look good and reach a professional standard. As an artist you have the creative freedom to play with typography and illustrate the typography itself and around it.

There are rules in place for creating good typography with a heavy emphasis on legibility, as a creative however there is nothing stopping you from creating interesting visuals with typography and layouts.

This may not be theoretically correct always, however if the composition is solid and it looks good it can be considered good or even great design. In other words, different can be good as long as it is done well. We all need to understand that being different just to be different, seldom vibes well with the designs or in the eyes of the beholders.


Thank you for reading


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