Dialogue Studio: Kurt Schwitters

To write this post I had to do a bit of research, and had to quote a few passages to define a few concepts that where a bit tricky for me. I had to do this in order to understand his work and at the end I’ve learned a lot about several movements.

Kurt Schwitters (1887 – 1948)  was a german painter, sculptor, writer and worked with typography as well. His work is very hard to define and delimit, since he worked with so many materials and within so many movements, or was inspired by:  constructivism, cubism, expressionism, futurism, dadaism…its somewhat confusing.
He was born in Germany, but escaped to Norway due to the nazi regime dislike of his work. After Norway invasion he moved to the UK, where he died.

“In the war, things were in terrible turmoil. What I had learned at the academy was of no use to me and the useful new ideas were still unready…. Everything had broken down and new things had to be made out of the fragments; and this is Merz. It was like a revolution within me, not as it was, but as it should have been.”.  – Kurt Schwitters, (source: Design is History)

I see his collage works as belonging to dadaism, but very linked to cubism in its aesthetics when compared with other collages from the same movement.
I had to research the movements he was involved, because although I’ve studied it before, its always good to refresh!

Heres a brief description of art movements:

Cubism: Invented in 1907/08 by Picasso and Braque. Had as his goals to break down objects into geometric shapes, cubs, and to represent them as 2D “beings”. The illusion of dept created in the oil canvas before, is now abandoned. Its inspired by Cézanne latest work and African masks.

“Cubism opened up almost infinite new possibilities for the treatment of visual reality in art and was the starting point for many later abstract styles including constructivism and neo-plasticism“.  –Tate Modern

Dadaism: This Movement started in Zurich during the IWW, as a reaction to it. The war instability placed society and art in a place of study and artists started to question essential aspects of their lives. The aim of this movement is to question the traditional values, destroy them and to create a new kind of art. These people were somewhat aligned with the left political sphere.


About collage:

Following his experiences in the First World War, Schwitters decided to create something new from the rubble of the old world and henceforth concentrated on collages: ‘You can also shout with items from rubbish heaps, and that is what I did, by pasting and nailing them together’… In the hands of Schwitters, Hannah HochGeorge GroszJohn Heartfield and the other dadaists disparate materials from all sorts of sources retain their own identity and are combined to create an entirely new self-sufficient composition. Collage and montage become groundbreaking, structural concepts in modernism – Karin Orchard about 2013 exhibition on Schitter’s work. – Tate Modern

Now some of Kurt Schwitters work:



Dialogue Studio: Lorena G

Note for everyone reading this: this post is about Lorena G the designer, not the most famous on google.
Lorena is a graphic designer living in Barcelona ( ah, how I miss the Iberian summer…well, summer.)

She loves geometry, bold colours and top-notch vectors and is specialised in attention to detail, accordingly to her website.

First I though she was involved in the Grand Budapest Hotel design, but she wasn’t. Her related illustration work was a tribute to the film aesthetics. She transformed several visual elements into flat design illustrations. That in my opinion are quite representative and well made. I believe there should be a touch of contrasting bold colours involved , but that’s my humble opinion.

What caught my attention to her work was the film illustrations, but she has so many fantastic works in her Behance! Here’s a link for a project she made with google. I’ll not post the pictures, but the ending…that is too cute to miss.

Here’s some of the film illustrations: ( and after the images the post ends, so no need to scroll to infinity).

( Random: She also sells several things on society6). 




Title: Dialogue Studio: Armin Hofmann

Armin Hofmann, (1920) is a swiss graphic designer. His work was key to shape and expand the Swiss Style. He started studying lithography and begin his career as a teacher, with typography. He spend most of his life in the academic environment, first as a teacher then heading the Basel school of Design.
The swiss style was parallel to modernism in architecture and shared important values.
The designers adept to that style had as main goal to communicate above all. As “form  follows function”, their work was restrained by that, and the style is slim and focused on the content, every element had a reason. ( no decoration here, please).
Hofmann’s posters are defined by the use of tree elements: point + line + shape; economy of colour and type ( mainly sans-serif, what definitely aligns with the goal of keeping the essential only, even in letters.)
Today, several of his posters feature in art galleries.
Heres some of my favourites:


I end this post ordering ” The graphic design manual” by Hofmann.
I think its still very relevant..we’ll see. I believe that (although it is a re-edition)….old books about graphic design keep the message more simple and clear, we just have to filter a few bits, but also helps us understand how the old-school designers saw the changing coming their ways..( and knowing how things evolved, makes it fun for me.)

Bye 🙂


Dialogue Studio: Stories, Concepts, Tone of voice


Tuesday we had to go out and interpret the city through several processes, photo,mark-making, live-drawing…. The objects of study where buildings, people, type, sounds and smells.

Bellow are the two images I chose to develop further. First is a sound made visual, through mark-making, then I remade it with collage…and edited a bit with Ai. Its very simple, but I liked the aesthetics. Simple, bold and geometrical.

The second one, was a close-up photo of a building, then re-interpreted as a collage. Every time I looked at it, a labyrinth came to my mind, so i tried to organise the shapes to look like one… and for me this image is now a metaphor for the city. ( brick-labirinth ). At the end I felt like adding some text to give it a purpose, and with the title I think it looks like a book cover :).


Ambulance sound – Mark making


Collage from tile photo – transformed into “The labyrinth”


Here’s the initial sketches/photos/collages :



Dialogue Studio: Emma Mcnally

“Her drawings are often associated with mappings of geological formations and constellations. They appear to be the result of scientific readings yet they have been made intuitively.”  The Drawing Sweet 


Emma does abstract drawings with graphite, they often look derived from a map, or a link between something, they are very intriguing. But actually, as the Drawing Sweet writher says, they are …intuitive. There is nothing behind them given them a meaning, or nothing to be connected. I found this website, Art Forum where they have a great article on her.
Emma says “They are the turbulence between noise and signal”. Then she explains a bit of her process, and what inspires her. She enjoys looking at aerial photographies of cities at night, airports and Nazca Lines. As I imagine those images, I can clearly see the relation and connection with her work. Music, or sounds play an important part in her process, as she tries to be a “human seismograph” and interpret the music/sounds trough her drawings.

For me they look quite disturbing, in a horror-filme kind of way. I always remember the typical sociopath that traces their victims on a huge map on the wall of his parents basement. Or even a work of a conspiracy theory freak.
…So, at the end her work does have a strong impact….

Bye 🙂


Making a Living: Market Ready Brief

This project has as its objective to develop our disciplinary and creative skills to start getting used to the industry. We have to plan for a stand at the LondonMet Christmas Fair.
In that planning there are a few things we have to develop:

  • Collective brand
  • Products to sell
  • Promotional Plan
  • Display for the stand

In more or less 3 weeks we have to pitch our plan to the Student enterprise team at the Accelerator.
This plan has two deliverables, the presentation itself with the following topics:

  • Product Design
  • Plans and Costings
  • Stall Display
  • Promotion plan 

and, the Group Brand Development Document: 

  • Group Manifesto
  • Logomark + logotype
  • Header for a webshop page + Facebook page + Twitter header
  • Banner Design for the stall
  • Products labels / Point of sale design
  • Competitors research and USP
  • Customer profiling 
  • Presentation Slides


I believe this will be a very useful project, we will learn a lot and have a more realistic perception of how it is to work with design. So far we had the academic experience only, and I believe that  is essential to get a grasp of the business/practical part of it all, since we live in the real world. On my point of view and thinking of my future I believe its a start on freelancing and therefore into a more independent way of working. I look forward to it.

Bye 🙂


Nik Hill: His journey and his work

Nik Hill @nikilldesign  its an Art Director, 3D artist, Illustrator and works with Motion Design as well. He have been working at Territory for the last 3 years, but also have a few solo projects going on and had a few exhibitions at the Red bull Studio London and Weapon of Choice Gallery.

Going throw his Instagram I could see his journey. Initially he had work with a lot of strong colours, graffitis and geometrical shapes. The first image above is from the RedBull Studio and I think it represents well the kind of work he did 186 weeks ago hehe.
Then we have the Dear necklace, done with 3D printing technology and is one of his newest projects.  I like it so much, its a mixture of a natural element + geometric forms, looks very polished without being boring and although modern, doesn’t have a geeky feeling to it. The web site called twenty Third C, where he sells them is amazing due to the animations. These create an unique atmosphere for the website… the user gets involved in his world and its almost like a “set” of a modern jungle where the lovely dear lives. Check it out.


I got to meet him las week at Uni, he is a LondonMet alumni and came to talk to us last week, he showed us some of his work, current projects…etc. He talked mainly about the animation stuff for Avengers etc…which isn’t my cup of tea..but clearly he is successful and does very good work. He also seems to be a very down to earth person, he told us about  his struggle to start working “in the industry” and how he devoted his full time and attention to reach his goals. One of the key things he mentioned was that with each new project the artist builds his brand, and how one job pulls you into another, if of course the previous outcome is good 🙂

Was very interesting to meet him, I usually don’t follow the animation works so closely, but definitely could be more attentive to that side of design.

Bye 🙂

Blog Title: Dialogue Studio: Prototyping

Friday we started with the “Dialogue prototype sheet”, which is a A3 paper with several phone layouts, where we should draw more or less a user journey for an app that would show the work done Tuesday. It should portray a narrative, using our images. This part for was harder for me. I don’t have a clear narrative in mind yet. But I liked the talk  from”nicer tuesdays” and how the game developer of Monument Valley approached the hole narrative aspect. He wanted a simple story, more or less like a music video. Short and concise…Those two features make it easier for the user to be engaged until the end, thus the experience being more intense.


The information missing in the paper is regarding colour and type. But I know that I’ll use a sans-serif and few colour, because the drawings are quite colourful, even the line-drawings are very saturated..so I will balance it a bit. The sans-serif choice is due to the non-formatily of it all. There isn’t any long text, and the project “context” will always be the screen…its a good set for a geometric/mono-spaced sans-serif.

The end

Map of me: Us two

Two childhood friends, joined by the passion to create awesome products.
They develop digital products (+services and business, according to the website)… apps..and work with major brands.

At the beginning of the video they won me by saying that they want to do work for the world to see, “not small cool stuff”. Congratulations on the honesty about their goals and not being afraid to show they are after success and money.
I also noticed that they feel the need to build a positive work environment, and look for people they enjoy working with. I’m all for that. Life’s short, and work take most of our time.
Going throw their blog posts I realised their are super engaged, and the passion shows throw their work. Also the posts are very elucidative and it shows their commitment to “design to make people feel special” as they say in the video.

They made one post about it is the Pause app one, which is an app with the goal to relax the user through some Tai Chi practice. You have to move your finger slowly to guide a blob, that looks like a ink stain. The “main” blob eats tiny blobs that are around it, and gets bigger! There’s some relaxing sounds..birds and ocean…  You have to do it for a set amount of time ( your choice)…and that will relax you. To be honest, it does…at the end I end up buying it, and here’s a screen shot:


Beyond liking what the app does, I also like the aesthetics, and plan on following something similar for my own “Map of me”app.


Footnote: The whale game is extremely annoying (but I’m not a game person). 


Creative Industry Practice – week 2/3

Last week we started to learn a bit about logos, as a first introduction to branding.
We answered a few questions about ourselves (strengths, weakness, favourite colour..etc) and used the answers like a brief to develop a logo. We made a few sketches and decided on a “final” one.

This week we did a mood board for that questions/logo development and applied the logo into a simple stationary set.

So, I developed a logo. But I don’t believe I’ll be sone working with it so soon. Here’s a mock-up ( a freebie 🙂 showing it applied to a business card:




Actually, I’ve used this logo, or a version of it, last year in my final portfolio, and didn’t felt weird using it… So its promising! I created it with some tape and rests of paper I had from the binding I did for the portfolio. (That, my friends will cost you tones of paper until you get some experience and insights about the entire process.)
I had a logo before that I really didn’t like..it didn’t feel right. This one does. I know is a common place to use the letters of our names for our logo…but typography is my world, where I feel most comfortable and truly find enjoyment. So even if my logo changes on the future, I’m sure it will be type related.

Here I have a few sketches of a few letters as logos I did today: I was thinking about developing it further, but I don’t think I have the time with all the projects and work. ( But I’ll try to relate this to something. Since we never have any typographic project per se. ) Very sad true story .


That’s all folks.