Why does everybody shoot work like this?

This rather nice set of posters (featured on Computer Love) is by German designer Michalt Slawek. All very lovely, but they left me wondering one thing: Why is it that this has become the default way to photograph graphic design work?

Michalt

This rather nice set of posters (featured on Computer Love) is by German designer Michalt Slawek. All very lovely, but they left me wondering one thing: Why is it that this has become the default way to photograph graphic design work?

At Creative Review, we used to get sent work that had been beautifully photographed on white backgrounds, all ready to be cut out if necessary. Then when digital technology really took off, everyone got very excited, and a bit lazy, and started sending us flat, original artwork files. Not as nice, but much cheaper.

But in the last year or so, the images that arrive at our palatial headquarters in the heart of London’s bustling West End have started to feature a procession of headless standing figures. Arms outstretched, they nip the work gingerly between finger and thumb. Who are they? Is it the same person each time – some kind of professional poster holder-upper who, seizing their chance, has carved out an unlikely career in the graphic display business?

I can see the advantages of doing it this way. We’d far rather feature images of physical objects than Illustrator files any day – the latter being so anaemic and, obviously, one-dimensional. With these images you get a sense of scale and a feel for the quality of whatever print finishes have been used. And if you could see the face of the holder-upper, well, I guess it might detract from the work.

What we’d really like to know is: who thought of it first?

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Budapest ’56 & ’06

By Wladyslaw Pluta
In late October this year, an exhibition of Polish and Hungarian poster design, 1956 Plakáton, was launched at the Polish Institute in Budapest. The new work, by a range of designers from both countries, aimed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Hungarian rebellion in 1956; the national uprising that demanded an end to oppressive Soviet rule. The communist state was eventually dismantled in 1989 but the events of ’56 remained a turning point in the country’s history.
50 years later, however – amid the celebrations of the ’56 uprising – and there was violence on the streets of Budapest once more, after it emerged that Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany’s had admitted lying to win re-election. Ewa Engler, a young poster designer from Warsaw, told us how it felt to be exhibiting work commemorating the events of ’56, while in the midst of contemporary protest.

IIASA_115x115

Graphic Designer

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
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Integrated Designer

Centaur Media