Author: Tom Hagan

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" el_class="blog-new-hagan" z_index=""][vc_column width="1/4"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text]   As I type this blog with paragraphs made from sentences built from words spelt by letters constructed from little visual forms, these forms build each pica of the letter to connect and build words...

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" el_class="blog-new-hagan" z_index=""][vc_column width="1/4"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text]A pioneer of constructive graphic design, Anton Stankowski was a designer throughout the 20th century whose work still has high visibility today. And it's wonderful.

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" el_class="blog-new-hagan" z_index=""][vc_column width="1/4"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text]Hierarchy is one of the first principles in graphic communication.   Designing a hierarchy is a compositional skill. It's to arrange the elements in a way that emphasises the importance of information.

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" el_class="blog-new-hagan" z_index=""][vc_column width="1/4"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text] A term which I often see getting thrown around is whether or not someone has “the eye” or has “taste”… But what exactly is this?    Is this some natural force that a lucky few are...

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" z_index="" el_class="blog-new-hagan"][vc_column width="1/4"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text]My first experience of Armin Hofmann was staring agog at this poster for the ballet Giselle. Created in 1959, this may be his most celebrated work.

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" el_class="blog-new-hagan" z_index=""][vc_column width="1/4"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text]We are by nature, pattern recognition machines.

 

Sometimes all we need is colour and composition and we can tell exactly what something is saying.

 

A friend recently sent me this with no words, no introduction, just this, an image sitting there in my message box with no explanation. But none were needed.

 

 

Here, all we need is three colours and a general composition and we understand in an instant what it's telling us. By presenting us an abstraction, our brains naturally try to 'solve' it, this makes us invest time and feel accomplished when we figure it out. It's similar to the success of Milton Glaser's 'I Love New York' graphic. By presenting you a letter, a symbol, and an abbreviation our brains decide it's a puzzle and a puzzle that's solved in an instant. It's satisfying.

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" el_class="blog-new-hagan" z_index=""][vc_column width="1/4"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text]

The Pillars of the Parthenon aren't actually straight…

   

The NeXTcube wasn't a perfect cube…

   

And the letters I type aren't all dead flat to the baseline…

    Every day, perceptive illusions are built around us because sometimes when something is constructed 'perfectly' it doesn't look perfect. If the Parthenon's columns where perfectly straight, it would not look straight. If the NeXTcube was a perfect cube, it wouldn't look like a like perfect cube. And if 'o's, 'e's, and 'a's, etc, were all aligned perfectly to the baseline, it would feel like the letters weren't even.

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" el_class="blog-new-hagan" z_index=""][vc_column width="1/4"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text]We've all seen them, maybe you're one of them. One of the thousands extending their arms, phones in hand, and snapping pictures of themselves at every turn, sometimes in the most precarious of places. If I'm honest, in the past it's annoyed me. Going to a gallery and seeing my attention shift from the artwork and toward people moving from piece to piece, fluffing their hair and posing the obligatory pout before snapping away; barely even looking at the artwork, as though the gallery experience was nothing more than a marketing opportunity for the cult of themselves.

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" el_class="blog-new-hagan" z_index=""][vc_column width="1/4"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text] A sudden deadline, your train delayed, an earthquake, a financial panic, sleeping through your alarm. Any unpredictable situation, life-threatening or not, will give you spark of energy which can go in any number of directions. We all know the worst ways but often find ourselves panicked, abusive, depressed or simply non-active. In my life, the principles of Stoicism have become a constant to resolve the certainty of the uncertain world around us. A guide to living a better, more productive and conscientious life, Stoicism is a philosophy, an operating system, a process which ebbs and manages the tide of the uncertain world, a philosophy with principles, practices, and actions which work for the applications of today.

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" el_class="blog-new-hagan" z_index=""][vc_column width="1/4"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text]Often underestimated is our sensitivity to the visual world around us. We can often underpin when something is exciting or awe-inspiring – from a gun-wielding maniac (fear) to a mountain backed by a starry sky (awe), though it's our subtlest emotional responses from the seemingly small which affect us at every moment, making up the majority of our days and the bulk of our common interactions…