Friday, 26 October 2012

A very useful resource that investigates the essence of typography and how it can be applied effectively, enhancing the communication of your designs.

Fig 1. Contents.

Important Points to learn in response to the first session of type we've just had...

The above link is a very useful downloadable pdf that considers the history of type/  Rich source of information*********************

Lecture 3: Panopticism (Richard Miles Thurs 25.10.2012)

‘Literature, art and their respective producers do not exist independently of a complex institutional framework which authorises, enables, empowers and legitimises them. This framework must be incorporated into any analysis that pretends to provide a
thorough understanding of cultural goods and practices.’ Randal Johnson in Walker & Chaplin (1999) 

Ultimately we'll be talking about social control and how it holds an interest infinitive with psychoanalysis and the gaze. How the social situation were born into effects our consciousness and how we behave...are they pre-determined?...

Michel Foucault - 1926 - 1984, Two interesting books; Madness & Civilisation, Discipline & Punish: The Birth of the Prison. 

The Great Confinement - ( Late 1600s ) 'Houses of correction' -  ideals = to curb unemployment and idleness.

There was no kind of strict conception of madness during these times, people were almost tolerating & accepting the madness, the victims were looked at quite endearingly 'The happy fool'. BUT then a new sensibility emerged, providing a new attitude to the value of work and the social usefulness of work. Not just to make...but to make things better. Inside these 'houses of correction' they threw a range of characters, who were looked upon as the pitiful of society, making the socially unproductive, productive through moral reform, 'honesty of work'.

In the 18th century these houses of correction were looked upon as a massive mistake, all these deviants would corrupt each other, a huge error which needed to be remedied, the sane would fall victim to the insane. Institutions were put in place....hence the birth of the asylum. More subtle techniques were used,  'patients' were tactically treated as children, behaving appropriately would result in rewards/ celebration whereas behaving badly would mean they'd be chastised.

From Pre-modern -  where they'd control the population through physical violence; 'the stick'. They weren't about reforming or correcting, their aim was to basically be as spectacular and grizzly as possible, ultimately discipline would serve as a very visible reminder of the ultimate power of the state over you as a individual.

To the more modern/ socially acceptable approach of modifying peoples attitudes, altering the way they think and subconsciously making them respond to stimuli...

The emergence of forms of knowledge – biology, psychiatry, medicine, etc., legitimise the practices of hospitals, doctors, psychiatrists. Foucault aims to show how these forms of knowledge and rationalising institutions like the prison, the asylum, the hospital, the school, now affect human beings in such a way that they alter our consciousness and that they internalise our responsibility. 

Guy Fawkes - Exact punishment that was enacted - That you be drawn on a hurdle to the place of execution where you shall be hanged by the neck and being alive cut down, your privy members shall be cut off and your bowels taken out and burned before you, your head severed from your body and your body divided into four quarters to be disposed of at the King’s pleasure.

New mode of disciplinarily power that infuses all parts of our modern lives - Ultimately to improve our social capacities making us more useful for our society. (Named after a building - the Panopticon, designed by Jeremy Bentham. Many built in the modern era.

Discipline is a ‘technology’ [aimed at] ‘how to keep someone under surveillance, how to control his conduct, his behaviour, his aptitudes, how to improve his performance, multiply his capacities, how to put him where he is most useful: that is discipline in my sense’ (Foucault,1981 in O’Farrrell 2005:102)

The blueprint above was proposed as a design for a generic institution, a multi-function building, it could be a school, could be a prison, could be an asylum, could be a theatre...however most were either Prisons or Asylums...

What's special about this building is that it applies a mental effect, Bentham proposed this building as the perfect institution, in each cell there's an inmate who's staring constantly at the central building, meaning there's a constant presence of their supervisors without the comfort of visibility between each cells. On the other hand... a dungeon is where you'd lock away or hide away the evil classes, Mass social repressions < related to psychoanalysis. 

Panopticon holds a far different scrutiny, everything is lit and on display, the Panopticon internalises in the individual the conscious state that he is always being watched. If you were to rebel you'd be instantly spotted, your permanently isolated. Internal form of Psychological torture.

‘Hence the major effect of the Panopticon: to induce in the inmate a state of conscious and permanent visibility that assures the automatic functioning of power.’ (Foucault, 1975) 

Allows scrutiny, Allows supervisor to experiment on subjects, Aims to make them productive, Reforms prisoners, Helps treat patients, Helps instruct schoolchildren, Helps confine, but also study the insane , Helps supervise workers, Helps put beggars and idlers to work. 

Institutional Gaze... Acting & adapting to the way you think the institution would want you to behave, without any force to!

What Foucault is describing is a transformation in Western societies from a form of power imposed by a ‘ruler’ or ‘sovereign’ to........... A NEW MODE OF POWER CALLED “PANOPTICISM”

The ‘panopticon’ is a model of how modern society organises its knowledge, its power, its surveillance of bodies and its ‘training’ of bodies. 


This system of modern discipline is working everywhere in our society! Look and you'll notice.

The open plan office theory is that it encourages people to share and get along, but in-fact it's just so the boss can oversee his workforce, altering their attitudes through visibility and scrutiny, when you internalise start to act accordingly.

The design of open-plan bars as oppose to Pubs - Everything is visible to the bar-staff and doormen...Your always on display, unconsciously you'll adapt your behaviours and respond in a certain way. Everywhere we go in society were watched through CCTV.... Everything's documented on Google earth.

Right this second, in the Lecture theatre - were expected to conform, there were Registers left...another form of surveillance that we all adhere to. Every-things more productive and we become more useful through this form of mental power that were enacting upon ourselves.


‘Power relations have an immediate hold upon it [the body]; they invest it, mark it, train it, torture it, force it to carry out tasks, to perform ceremonies, to emit signs’ (Foucault 1975) 

It has a hold on our body and forces us to do tasks in order to train us, psychically become more productive, however this produces what Foucault calls: 'DOCILE BODIES'

• Self monitoring
• Self-correcting
Obedient bodies.

An unquestioning, obedient workforce... the aim of disciplinary and 'gentle punishment'

“That the techniques of discipline and ‘gentle punishment’ have crossed the threshold from work to play shows how pervasive they have become within modern western societies” 
(Danaher, Schirato & Webb 2000)  

The Gym/ CULT OF HEALTH - Most are open plan and have big windows just for the purpose of showing off your body, conforming to the ways of society.

Whenever we eat or even visually see food, were bombarded with the health implications and what we SHOULD eat. The same principle is applied with images of the human form....were told what our bodies SHOULD look like and what exercise we SHOULD do & the more we see these types of images...the more we become persuaded to act upon them.

Foucault and Power

His definition is not a top-down model as with Marxism. "Power is not a thing or a capacity people have – it is a relation between different individuals and groups, and only exists when it is being exercised. The exercise of power relies on there being the capacity for power to be resisted."

‘Where there is power there is resistance’

An interesting example of this is 'Social Media' websites such as 'Facebook' allow us to post information about ourselves and portray ourselves in a certain light. Aware that everything we put up is observed and monitored, it's as if we want people to see it, so they can have some form of a reaction. This eventually snowballs into a fake identity that we've provided ourselves with, everyone will believe what your putting is from your inhibitions as a human when in-fact you might not believe half the things you write.

Further Research

Bentham’s hope that his idyllic prison structure would become integrated into greater society, consequently permitting the preservation of democracy within a capitalist society, was confirmed by French Philosopher Michel Foucault, who, in the 20th century, revealed how the panopticon’s methods of discipline had, in fact, been adopted by the general citizenry. In order to grant credence to his assertion, Foucault highlighted numerous aspects of society that echoed the theory of panopticism, in which the creation of passive, self-regulating bodies resulted from an instilled fear of an omniscient entity.

“Prison continues, on those who are entrusted to it, a work begun elsewhere, which the whole of society pursues on each individual through innumerable mechanisms of discipline.” – Michel Foucault
What follows are several features of society that are an integral part of the panoptic machinery:
-Santa Claus: “He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake, he knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake! “.

This is an ideal example of how Santa Claus, utilising surveillance, forces discipline upon children. The promise of reward motivates the young to behave in hopes of passing judgment on Santa’s famed list of those considered “good” or “bad”.
-Tracking: Be it via mobile phone, On Star, or customer loyalty cards, an individual’s actions are monitored and scrutinized.
-Religion: Considered a societal necessity, religion aids in establishing social cohesion. For the individual within said society, his thoughts, decisions, and acts are manipulated by the constant menace of eternal damnation.
-D.A.R.E.: Drug Abuse Resistance Education encourages children to observe and report any illicit activity, even within their own family unit.
-Peer-to-Peer Networks: Whether through Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, or any other of the countless social media sources on the Internet, one’s life is publicized for the world to consider. What one is willing to publish about oneself is -generally- carefully considered in order to avoid negative ramifications, thereby molding our public appearance in a manner that appeases authoritative figures.
Considering the methods of surveillance imposed upon the populace, it becomes far simpler to see what drastic effects these techniques have on the individual and how submissive we as a people have become.
Works Cited
Foucault, Michel Discipline & Punish: The Birth of the Prison
 (NY: Vintage Books 1995) pp. 195-228


Friday, 19 October 2012

Lecture 2: The Gaze & the Media (Helen Clarke Thurs 18.10.2012)

"According to usage and conventions which are at last being questioned but have by no means been overcome - men act and women appear. Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at’ (Berger 1972)

This quote often gets mis-understood, the last sentence doesn't refer to women as vain, but addresses the proliferation of womens bodies in our culture. It's often hard for women to not think of people looking at them, wherever they go they are bombarded with images of femininity and the desirable.

The body is on full display while the women holds a mirror, not directly to her face...but at a right angle. The reflection is a full face, providing an inaccurate representation of her face.  The mirror is placed as a device to justify the fact that people will be looking, its kind of an excuse, used as a distracting device. A technique also used in other advertising....

The focal point is clearly between the knees, the most sexual part of the body. As a viewer we're again allowed to look because her 'gaze' is elsewhere.

Alexandre Cabanel 'Birth of Venus' 1863 - ( Venus - The goddess of Love ) A mythological/ perpetual representation bearing sentimental values and a virginal positioned woman. The interesting thing about this image, is the positioning of the reclining woman, her eyes and face are partly covered. Allowing the viewer once again to look unchallenged. If you look at the balance of her body in relation to her head, there is a sort of concentration of the body rather than as a character or person.

Again the reclining figure is evident, however this advertisement is a lot more sexually charged than the previous. Probably because its a more contemporary image as oppose to the earlier paintings. The original advert was deemed too sexually explicit for magazines and billboards. However with a simple alteration of the composition '90 degrees, counter clockwise' Yves Saint Laurent managed to change the emphasis of the you can see above. (Sophie Dahl for Opium)

Titian's Venus of Urbino, 1538. Traditional nude oil painting. The woman clearly acknowledges our presence but its not a distinct recognition. She appears to be very 'passively' nude, covering herself with a singular hand in a very loose manner.

MANET - 'Olympia' 1863. When you compare the two images above, the differences are quite subtle, at first glance they look like re-creations. But once you start to depict the detail you notice that the hands in Olympia are more defensive and awkwardly positioned. You also identify the female as a prostitute, through the necktie and flower, a further emphasis is added by the gift of flowers which is most likely from one of her lovers. The overall picture has a sort of snapshot quality to it, it's as if she's lifted her head up sharply as oppose to Titians Venus. Giving the impression that we as, viewers, are spying on her.

Challenging the passive female who is there to be viewed as object. This painting formed the basis for a poster which was produced in the 1980's which was later criticised by one company because they believed the sexual connotations were too strong...relating too the phallic symbol the women grasps in her hand.

MANET - Bar at the Folies Bergeres, 1882. A mirroring the 'gaze', the barmaid looks as if she's nearly ready to serve us, her arms are open wide...waiting for our order. When you notice the reflection in the background, you recognise that it's an impossible reflection, which should be directly behind he. I think the function of this is for the viewer. We see the male as ourselves in the eyes of social perception. Whats different about this is that the woman is looking directly at us.

Coward, R. 1984. "The camera in contemporary media has been put to use as an extension of the male gaze at women on the streets" An alternative theory of the 'gaze', as you can see in the background there's no acknowledgement of the half naked women, everyone is getting on with their own things, normalisation. There are several devices in advertising that are making 'the look' become a thing of the past, introducing fashion devices such as sunglasses, making it socially acceptable to look unchallenged.

Eva Herzigova, 1994. This advertisement was used on billboards, causing both traffic jams and car crashes. It's another example of nudity becoming more prevalent in culture, 'the normalisation of nudity in the street'. The text lightens the implications however the voyeuristic purposes are still obvious. 

2007. The way we perceive different genders in our society is because of how they're portrayed in our society, the number of naked males is far outweighed by the amount of naked women's bodies reflected in society. As you can see in the example, all the males are looking directly at us and are portrayed in an active manner, they're not bothered that were's as if they want us to look.

Laura Mulvey - She declared her intention to make 'political use' of Freudian psychoanalytic theory (influenced by Jacques Lacan) in a study of cinematic spectatorship in narrative Hollywood cinema.

Marilyn: William Travillas dress from 'The seven year itch, 1955. She uses Freud's psychoanalytic theories to look at the way the camera breaks the females bodies up in film. The bodies are broken down seperately into components...

The cinema provides the perfect voyeuristic environment, making it dark enough for everyone to 'gaze', because of this there is an objectification of the female body because of this. 

Film has been called an instrument of the male gaze, producing representations of women, the good life, and sexual fantasy from a male point of view. Such films objectify women in relation to ‘the controlling male gaze’, presenting ‘woman as image’ (or ‘spectacle’) and man as ‘bearer of the look’. Men do the looking; women are there to be looked at. The cinematic codes of popular films ‘are obsessively subordinated to the neurotic needs of the male ego’. It was Mulvey who coined the term 'the male gaze'.

We know from my previous notes that Mulvey see's women as accessories to stories, they don't seem to drive the narrative, however when we look at the action character 'Lara Croft' we can see that she's the heroin of the story, as-well as the leader. She's a visual spectacle, an overly sexualised object, the pleasure lies in the fantasy of her destruction.

Artemisia Gentileschi 'Judith beheading Holofernes' 1620. The women have been portrayed in a way to challenge the gaze. When you look at the background information, we know that this painting was done by a women, portraying the gender in an active and gruesome role, A graphic manner for females is definitely an alternative characterisation of a females role.

Pollock, G (1981)

• Women ‘marginalised within the masculine discourses of art history’
• This marginalisation supports the ‘hegemony of men in cultural practice, in art’
• Women not only marginalised but supposed to be marginalised 

Barbara Kruger 'Your gaze hits the side of my face' 1981. Combination of image & text/ Collage. As you can see the figure is turning away from the 'Male gaze' In terms of feminist work, the implication of violence is in relation to the 'hits', the impact of this 'mode of looking' is perhaps more than just a gaze.

Sarah Lucas 'Eating a Banana' 1980.  Her works frequently employ visual puns and bawdy humour, and include photographycollage and found objects. In this photograph you can see the sexual implications of her motions. She's picturing; the self consciousness, addressing the connotations of simple tasks representing sexual desires. She's delivering a very confrontational look, as if to say 'what have you got to say about this'. Her work features a consistent theme.

Tracey Emin 'Money photo' 2001. As you can probably work out, she's stuffing money inside of her,   with the implications that its somehow vulgar to make money from your art, self representational?. 

Joan Smith criticises the portrayal of Amanda in the courtroom and in the media - looking at the way she's described in court with implications that she could be a witch. "Witch hunts grew from a stew of emotions, notably fear of female sexual power. They have no place in a modern Italian court". 

"The Daily Mail has emerged as the major fall guy by mistakenly publishing the wrong online version of the Amanda Knox verdict. Knox won her appeal, but the paper's website initially carried a story headlined "Guilty: Amanda Knox looks stunned as appeal against murder conviction is rejected.” The Mail was not the only British news outlet to make the error. The Sun and Sky News did it too and yes - hands up here - so did The Guardian in its live blog. It would appear that a false translation of the judge's summing up caused the problem, leading to papers jumping the gun. So why has the Mail suffered the greatest flak? In time-honoured fashion, echoing the hot metal days of Fleet Street, it prepared a story lest the verdict go the other way. But it over-egged the pudding by inventing "colour" that purported to reveal Knox's reaction along with the responses of people in the court room. It even included quotes from prosecutors that were, self-evidently, totally fake. In other words, by publishing its standby story, the Mail exposed itself as guilty of fabrication." 

Photograph taken from Social networking website; Facebook. Social networking is being used to perpetuate the male gaze/ gaze of the media, the photograph addresses the body consciousness of teenagers and plays on the idea that they could potentially carry these perceptions into adult life.

Reality Television Appears to offer us the position as the all-seeing eye - the power of the gaze
Allows us a voyeuristic passive consumption of a type of reality Editing means that there is no reality.

• Contestants are aware of their representation (either as TV professionals or as people who have watched the show) 

"Looking is not indifferent. There can never be any question of just looking" - Victor Burgin. 

Further reading...
Victor Burgin (1982) Thinking Photography
John Berger (1972) Ways of Seeing, Chapter3
Rosalind Coward (1984) The Look
Laura Mulvey (1973) Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema
Griselda Pollock (1982) Old Mistresses

'The Look' by Roaslind Coward - How women are portrayed in contemporary culture...

‘I adore women and my eyes are in love with them’. This quote summarises what the text is about. It is showing how women are perceived in our society and the negative attitudes that surround them. 

I have looked at how men are generally in control of the media. The photographic, film, television and advertising profession is largely dominated by men. Men tend to gaze at women on the streets by staring, assessing, judging and ogling at women and in contemporary culture the camera is an extension of the male gaze.

Women are always in the spotlight, they are always in the public eye on billboards. These women are beautiful and give a sense of what we ‘should’ look like. They take an overpowering position due to the large scale and stare off the image with a look of availability. 

Strict control over women’s sexuality seems to be a characteristic of male-dominated societies. Marriage often operates to secure women’s labour and reproductive capacity to the advantage of men. There is a sense of duty for a woman to become married, have children and look after the family. This is quite an old fashioned attitude but is still present today. Single women at the age of thirty are generally looked at with pity, for example Bridget Jones. The last hundred years have seen less and less direct control on women’s morality and fertility. However it is interesting to look at how women have changed over the centuries in many ways including their fashion, attitudes, morals and even the roles that they play in our contemporary society. 

Women are a crucial aspect towards sexual relations. Their aesthetic appeal is viewed in many ways including voyeurism, sexual peep shows and pornography. Women are exploited as objects to be viewed and appreciated in a desirable way. There is a large pressure to be compared with celebrities and the ideal form, and feeling compelled to look a certain way in order to fit in. This can then lead to unhappiness with us leading to plastic surgery, violence to our bodies and feeling insecure and uncomfortable in our skin. ‘Does my bum look big in this’ is a typical example of questioning our appearance and never quite satisfied with the outcome. Every region of the body is now exposed to this scrutiny by the ideal. There are also many non-surgical ways to make ourselves ‘feel good’ like beauticians, health spa’s, waxing, eye brow tattooing and eyelash dying, even a simple trip to the hair dresser helps to boost our physical appearance and thus our inner selves. 

There is a mythological character called Narcissus who was captivated and fell in love with his own self-image, his reflection in a pool. A narcissistic identification is supposed to be like when women looking at glamorous and highly sexualised images of other women because these images are meant to function like a mirror. However the images do not give back a glow of self-love as the image in the pool did for Narcissus. The faces that look back imply a criticism. The tragedy is that young girls are subjected to being concerned with their appearance. There are several stages that they pass through including puberty which begin the notion of feeling the need to fit in and look great. They then begin to become a woman and more scrutiny of becoming completely entranced by the media and Narcissism and being controlled by an image obsessed culture. 

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Commercial Print

Types of commercial print include;
1. Rotary Printing
2. Digital Printing
3. Screen Printing
4. Pad Printing


Offset Lithography (Litho) - Uses an aluminium plate for one off uses. Value for money, uses a 'Web Offset' Machine.

Advantages of offset printing compared to other printing methods include:
  • Consistent high image quality. Offset printing produces sharp and clean images and type more easily than letterpress printing because the rubber blanket conforms to the texture of the printing surface.
  • Quick and easy production of printing plates.
  • Longer printing plate life than on direct litho presses because there is no direct contact between the plate and the printing surface. Properly developed plates running in conjunction with optimized inks and fountain solution may achieve run lengths of more than a million impressions.
  • Cost. Offset printing is the cheapest method for producing high quality prints in commercial printing quantities.

Disadvantages of offset printing compared to other printing methods include:
  • Slightly inferior image quality compared to rotogravure or photogravure printing.

Rotogravure (Gravure) - Uses copper plates and is often used for high volumes of prints because its more durable and has a better ink hold, probably because it prints in dots. Print jobs usually include; Newspapers/ Magazines/ Money.

Flexography (Flexo) - Uses a rubber polymer plate which mirrors the image. There's a lot more flexibility and the image is usually raised 2-4mm above the surface. This type of printing technique is used substantially in the food industry.


There's no offset or plate involved, the design is ran straight through the printers. Short runs/ Specials on a range of print media from paper to metal.


Uses a stencil and woven mesh which can obtain high quality results such as digital prints, when time and precision is involved. It's inexpensive and is often used for shorter runs because of the time involved.

Screen Printing can also be used to transfer images onto 3D objects as this video demonstrates...


A transfer thats applicable to any surface you can find, 2D or 3D. The prints can wrap around objects, for e.g. Golf balls, helmets, cans etc...

Useful links...

The art of Litho-Printing.

This video basically demonstrates the process of CMYK and what can be achieved when you mix the 3  subtractive colours. Through a printer or through screen print...


(Refer to handout for more useful links)


Identifying high-volume printing processes.

Further Research

Spot Colours // Instead of using the CMYK model of colour, Spot colours are a specific mix of paint/ ink. You can usually find these spot colours in swatch guides which are linked with a's this code that will allow the printers to mix the exact colour you've selected.

The most common colour authority in Europe is PANTONE, a formula guide that consists of unique names and number followed by either a 'C' 'U' or 'M'. The letters refer to the paper stock on which it is printed. 'C' for coated, 'U' for uncoated and 'M' for matte.

As a useful reference I thought it would've been a good idea to collate a list of Leeds based printers who work with commercial orders. - Digital and Lithographic Printers - Total brand integrity** Useful resource - Gold foil, Foil & Emboss, Blind Embossing, Metallic Foil...

Design Inspiration...

Print marks and crop marks seem to be a popular choice among the majority of booklets concerned with printing, it gives the audience an instant recognisable feature of print in a subtle manner.

Useful attributes to adopt for my designs?

I really think this sort of approach is perfect from a design point of view, not only does it look aesthetically pleasing but it instantly communicates the content of the page. If my publication wasn't largely focused on the informative side of things, I would of loved to produce something similar, so abrupt and design conscience...

About Me

My photo
Leeds College of Art. Graphic Design.

Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.