Sunday, 16 May 2010

Old and new processes with Reid Miles

I'm really interested and inspired by the work of Reid Miles who was behind much of the blue note jazz record sleeves. To me, the graphics feel like they have been stripped down of anything that is unnecessary to the design, casting away that which was cluttered. His works are models for composition and have an overwhelming cleanliness and clarity about them. Strong, bold geometric shapes give a head nod to modernism, kept within a restricted colour palette of usually an off white, black and signature colour. In a search for brevity his works have a consciously understated design ethos which focuses more on the functionality ( i.e relaying the information on the sleeve) and how to design that in the most simplistic and aesthetically pleasing way possible. This way of thinking is a staple ethos in modern graphic design, with many designers work being so reductive that literally nothing other than the bare information is included in their wholly functional practice. The admirable part of it is that although in our lives we are saturated with images including clean lines, bold shapes and perfect circles of course at this point there was no computer aided design and this work was all produced by hand. This gives it an entirely more credible nature because its creation and execution is so laboured, precise and ultimately, skilled. Compared to the very little time it would take you to knock out a tacky pastiche of his work on photoshop.

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