Wednesday 6 June 2012

Tactile Graphics – Designer's New Portfolio Trump Card

Tactile Graphics refer to designs involve the use of a variety of materials such as wood, glass, and paper. They may also involve the use of tools such as computer software, and techniques such as mass-produced, handmade and ready-made products. Tactile Graphics are used to create and produce two-dimensional and three-dimensional communication mediums. Primarily focus on the senses of touch and sight.

There are many practitioners keen on having tactile work in their portfolio, especially if they have a hand in making such work. The tactility is able to give the artwork greater depth and can make it more personal and original. Duchamp’s Green Box Notes is one of the historical examples that reflect the importance of the originality and the personality in the artwork. Duchamp explained the importance of making each box of his 320 box project as accurate as the original box: I wanted to reproduce them as accurately as possible. So I had all of these thoughts lithographed in the same ink, which had been used for the originals. To find paper that was exactly the same, I had to ransack the most unlikely nooks and crannies of Paris. Then we cut out three hundred copies of each lithograph with the help of zinc patterns that I had cut out on the outlines of the original papers.
Whether is created by one or a combination of handmade, readymade, mass-produced or exclusively produced processes, using one or a mixture of materials, it will reflect the unique character of both the sender and the recipient. American designer Steven Guarnaccia said it succinctly:
…. handmade work conveys a sense of personal contact between the sender and the recipient, because it is not something you just look at but also have to handle. By simply adding an element on top of the paper, for instance, the piece becomes an object. Even if it is printed in some aspects, the tactile element makes the printing seem more personal, as if it were saying, ‘This was made just for you’.
Street & Lewis in the introduction of their book Touch Graphics wrote: Still, tactility is graphic design’s trump card, and textile designs often become the most prominent pieces in a portfolio
One argument is that the age of the mass audience is no longer relevant and has been overtaken by the age of the selective target audience.
Today’s advertising materials should carry meaningful messages and not insult the intelligence of the audience. Rance Crain wrote in the pages of Advertising Age:
I’ve been talking to ad people who say that advertising can no longer be linear as it was in the days of Bill Bernbach and David Ogilvy. In other words, ads shouldn’t be so presumptuous as to sell the product directly and straightforwardly. Instead, advertising’s new role is to show that your products share the same value as your target consumer. One ad guy told me his son likes the Miller Time ads because they’re “weird,” and presumably he likes the ads because he likes weird things. 

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