‘Designer’ teas make big splash
There are two reasons why UAB Asscioate Design Professor Doug Barrett now assigns students a designer to emulate. Oe reason is because the first time several people chose David Carson. The other is because so many of us chose such obscure designers we had trouble figuring out the hallmarks of another’s style. I fell into a third trap: over-outlandishness. Now I can’t look at a tea box or or an Ed Hardy tee shirt the same way again.
Students in Doug Barrett’s Intro to Graphic Design course gain familiarity with prominent designers as well as a solid understanding of historical references in his “Designer Tea” project. This project helps students synthesize and reinterpret the style of a preceding graphic designer. This project also insists on the importance of research in the development of a final design. Students are paired with a designer from history El Lissitsky, Art Chantry, David Carson, Paul Rand, Banksy, Warhol, Lester Beall, Murakami, Shepard Fairey, to name a few. Students start by researching the designer’s work: what keywords can be identified to capture the look and feel of the work? What images are most indicative of the designer’s style? Students then create sketches, and create a concept statement that will guide the creation of their work. The final product includes both a three-dimensional tea box, as well as a flat cut-out on presentation board. Barrett is an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at the University of Alabama – Birmingham, and his work can be viewed at http://www.dougbarrett.net/