Ephemera – Research 1

Existing Design Ephemera

As part of our narrative section of our course we were asked to design a Ephemera for a  hypothetical design festival, showcasing 7 Graphic designers from around the world. Having not heard of a ephemera before I started by research what an Ephemera is;

Ephemera is the plural form of the Greek word ephemeron (epi=on, about, round; hemera=day). Editor’s Introduction, Rickards, Maurice, Encyclopedia of Ephemera, New York: Routledge, 2000. “Literally, it refers to something that lasts through the day, which is the case of some winged insects.” The word “ephemera” originally emphasized the essence of things that were very temporary or short-lived. In graphic design terms an ephemera can be anything from a leaflet or brochure to ticket studs. For this particular project I will be designing an 16 page brochure to showcase a graphic design festival hosted at Chapter Arts in Cardiff. From researching I found some 1950’s design festival ephemera. The brochure covered festival events which took place around the uk. The designers of the brochure have used an a-symetrical layout throughout, and from the looks of it they could have used a 8 column grid system throughout. It gives a lovely overall view of design in Britain. The aim of this ephemera was to illustrate the quality of British design in the post-war years. I can imagine for the time that this was printed that it was very contemporary.

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From looking at some modern festival ephemera the layout and overall design is quite dynamic, its not as restricted as the design from the 1950s. Obviously technology has moved on and improved and has enabled designers to be more explority with their pieces.

This is a poster designed for Publicite Sauvag, they are poster display company based in Montreal France, “its primary mission of offering efficient and effective visibility at low cost to cultural organisations and events.” They advertise and display works by contemporary artists usually around constructions sites or abandoned building.

This particular poster was designed by Emanuel Cohen. https://www.typographicposters.com/emanuel-cohen/ The reason that this poster stood out to myself, was the image which is placed in the background of the text, its got an almost humorous feel to it. Its seems fast paced and creates a nice path of the eye. Even though the text seems very all over the place from first look, there is a grid system that is being used. I think possibly a 12 column. It has given Cohen flexibility to be more expressive. The uses of the bright red is very eye catching and lovely contrast to the black and white image.

http://cyrilquenet.com/Treatise-visual-identity   – this is a digital example of an online ephemera. Treatise is an exhibition and publication project that brings together fourteen young design offices. Design2014ed by Cyril Quenet. Again this design is very contemporary, and has used the eye catching colour of red. It shows that designers are very much thinking outside of the box with modern design. Even though the main red letters are not readable from first look, it makes you want to read more. The overall design I like, has a very modern look to it.

This leaflet is from 2012 London design festival. Again the use of red seems very popular colour choice. It has a very clear layout and has an effect the use of the text reading sideways on one of the sides. Designed by DNA of design http://www.dnaofdesign.com based in London.

From looking at all these different ephemera it has given me some ideas for my own design. I would love to use red, however we are only allowed to use black in for our final print however we can utilise colour form using coloured paper to print onto. Having seen these example they are all very modern and dynamic looking. The hierarchy and path for the eye are clear in all, which gives me plenty to think about when designing my own ephemera.




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