Labs: ideas and musings



Well it's that time of year when I take some time to have a look around the various art schools here in Scotland. It's frightening to think that I graduated from Glasgow School of Art almost 20 years ago. You would imagine that the internet revolution would produce a Smörgåsbord of creative ideas but I found myself somewhat disappointed by the lack of freedom and visual imagination by most graphic design departments.

My main bone of contention is the vast array of Swiss influenced design using Helvetica. Don't get me wrong I love Helvetica but unfortunately it often dictates how the design will look. Helvetica was designed in Switzerland by Max Miedinger & Eduard Hoffmann in 1957 and based on the Akzidenz-Grotesk typeface created by Berthold around 1898. It's essentially a post-war European font which no longer looks modern to my eye but rather classic and stable and that's not what should be coming out of art school. Art students have the greatest opportunity in their life to think outside the box, be bold and adventurous. Afterwards they can get a job, play it safe and be thankful for that brief opportunity to express themselves.

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