cultural studies


Cultural studies is the strudy of the political nature of contemporary culture, past historical precedents, conflicts, and issues.

En este breve ensayo se evalúan las percepciones equivocadas acerca de la tipografía occidental en general y la pertinencia del uso de la terminología eurocéntrica en torno a los tipos.
Essays · 23 May 2012 · Spanish · 1012 words
Third in the heavily subsidised series ‘Graphic design in the Netherlands’, Jan van Toorn, Critical Practice takes on the difficult task of exploring and striving to elucidate the work of Jan van Toorn (JvT), a designer who is not always clear about his intentions, who makes frequent use of inexplicable images and text, and whose work is often described with concepts such as ‘alienation’, ‘incomprehensibility’, ‘defamiliarisation’, ‘digressions’ and ‘intrusion’.
Reviews · 16 July 2008 · English · 896 words
More than 35 years after the seminal art book Ways of Seeing was published, Peter Biľak looks closely at its continuing relevance.
Reviews · 5 June 2008 · English · 1256 words
A short essay scrutinising the general misconceptions of western typography, and the appropriateness of Euro-centric type terminology.
Essays · 3 May 2008 · English · 989 words
Review of India’s first design conference, held in 2006 in Goa.
Reviews · 23 September 2006 · English · 656 words
The abstract for Emily King’s doctoral thesis which focuses on typeface design in the United States, England and the Netherlands between 1987 and 1997.
Essays · 23 January 2005 · English · 392 words
The introduction to Emily King’s doctoral thesis which focuses on typeface design in the United States, England and the Netherlands between 1987 and 1997 (part one).
Essays · 23 January 2005 · English · 1661 words
The introduction of Emily King’s doctoral thesis which focuses on typeface design in the United States, England and the Netherlands between 1987 and 1997 (part three).
Essays · 23 January 2005 · English · 9537 words
The first chapter of Emily King’s doctoral thesis which focuses on typeface design in the United States, England and the Netherlands between 1987 and 1997 (part one).
Essays · 23 January 2005 · English · 15154 words
The conclusion of Emily King’s doctoral thesis which focuses on typeface design in the United States, England and the Netherlands between 1987 and 1997.
Essays · 23 January 2005 · English · 2642 words
A critical review of a new book featuring excerpts of Marshall McLuhan’s work, designed by David Carson. Tha author considers the complex task of illustrating McLuhan’s intricate work, and whether or not Carson’s visual devices are successful.
Reviews · 29 November 2004 · English · 675 words
A review of Emigre Number 64, the Rant issue, where upon its pages designers do just that. Siegel talks about the old Legibility Wars of the 1990s, how design is being produced, thought of and critiqued today and in the 1990s, and he even provides an interesting background of the Dutch design environment as a foil for the maintream of the western design world.
Reviews · 29 November 2004 · English · 2127 words
A review of a new comic strip novel by an ‘underground comix master’, full of complex plot lines and psychologies, stories about and parodies of the underbelly of the cartoon business, all drwan exquisitely.
Reviews · 29 November 2004 · English · 633 words
A review, first appearing in Items first issue, of Bruce Mau‘s other large book, which arrived three years after S,M,L,XL. Described is an interesting archaeology of contemporary culture and design.
Reviews · 29 November 2004 · English · 899 words
Steven Heller, in his affable way, reviews a book by Lewis Blackwell and Lorraine Wild which takes on Ed Fella's Polaroids of found graphics and alphabets throughout the US as well as some of his lettering. The book sounds like a lively account of American vernacular lettering and images, as well as a good platform to view Ed Fella's own work.
Reviews · 29 November 2004 · English · 975 words
The autobiography of iconoclast Tomi Ungerer is a fascinating first-hand account of his childhood under Nazi occupation. It is also a rare visual collection of his dangerously rebellious drawings from the time as well as the dark ephemera he collected, making this a rare combination of cultural and political documentation and artist's history.
Reviews · 29 November 2004 · English · 1194 words
A review of the late Kalman’s monograph in context, with a brief background of Tibor’s influential design work and approach to its role in the consumer culture of the 80s and 90s.
Reviews · 29 November 2004 · English · 1726 words
An in depth account of Malcolm Quinn’s book about the swastika, which investigates in depth the history and function of the symbol, beginning with its earliest manifestations in cultures around the globe and even its pre-Nazi uses in western commerce, then focusing on its forever tarnishing appropriation by Hitler.
Reviews · 29 November 2004 · English · 1841 words
A brief rundown of the treatment of art by the Nazi state and the background of Hitler’s repressive cultural policies in this review of two books, one about the art of the Nazi state in general, and the other specifically about the show Degenerate Art which toured the Reich in an attempt to exterminate modern art.
Essays · 29 November 2004 · English · 1624 words
Steven Heller discusses the history and current state of guerrilla, activist and political design from posters to attached image files.
Essays · 29 November 2004 · English · 2857 words
An enjoyably nebulous set of Rick Poynor’s thoughts about the current condition of criticism and the value of oppositional tactics in design and writing.
Essays · 29 November 2004 · English · 5543 words
An interesting analysis of the history, politics and context of graphic images which are composed of crowds of people: people as pixels!
Essays · 29 November 2004 · English · 2076 words
A brief examination of the politics, culture and designer’s role in the uses, cultural placement and proliferation of stock photography.
Essays · 29 November 2004 · English · 2444 words
A poetically theoretical take on the fluid state of type, design and the vernacular in digital form as they relate to language and contemporary culture.
Essays · 29 November 2004 · English · 1267 words
An anecdotal history and analysis of the racy work of Robert Crumb, and the cultural situationing of Zap comics then and now.
Essays · 29 November 2004 · English · 2671 words
An overview of the work of Cuban-born titling artist Pablo Ferro who broke ground with the titles for films like Dr. Strangelove and pioneered moving type for the screen.
Essays · 29 November 2004 · English · 3038 words
Screens of all sorts, their histories and their metaphors are approached in this theoretical discussion which take on the panopticon, Clinton’s inauguration and the largest movie screen in the world.
Essays · 29 November 2004 · English · 1675 words
Walter Benjamin’s ideas are explored (amongst other early 20th century avant-garde artists) in relation to the recent discussions around expanding the designer’s role from that of problem solver to one of author—and producer.
Essays · 29 November 2004 · English · 1404 words
A talking Barbie lush as a foil for the Mac’s Speech functions; debates about the value of capital letters; Derrida, Saussure and Foucault; Oliver Sachs and Chaucer are all considered in this theoretical piece about the state of typography in new media.
Essays · 29 November 2004 · English · 2075 words
In the early 1990s Steven Heller takes on the word ugly as he sees it applied to graphic design and design education. En route, his views of art history, pop culture and recent design trends are considered in his essay about style and meaning in design.
Essays · 29 November 2004 · English · 2778 words
An interview from 2002 with the Font Bureau designer Tobias Frere-Jones, the creator of Gotham, Interstate and Garage Gothic to name just a few.
Interviews · 29 November 2004 · English · 1167 words
America as the republic of entertainment, the way Americans’ freedom in a vast choice of cable TV stations, xenophobia and the putting forward of the theory that American culture is NOT run by the political Right: all in the context of European and American history.
Interviews · 29 November 2004 · English · 3315 words
A theory-heavy, mid-1990s look at the concept of Deconstruction, looking at its origins in French post-structuralist discourse and then current use in the design world.
Essays · 29 November 2004 · English · 5125 words
Design is concerned with creations of form, rather than philosophical discussions about holism and acceptance of non-form. However, can the absence of matter teach us more about our true nature?
Essays · 19 February 2004 · English · 2088 words