As part of my application for promotion to full professor at ODU, to accompany copies of Volume, I made a limited-edition book of additional writings for internal and external reviewers. The writings are a selection of articles, essays, and miscellany that were either written after receiving tenure and not included in Volume, or written after that book was compiled. Usually, faculty in this circumstance simply photocopy or print out their articles. As a graphic design professor, and, more importantly, someone who likes to make design artifacts, I thought it necessary to design and produce a book. Of course, I also like to think it makes the writing more accessible and places it in a more favorable context. The book was printed by the on-demand service Blurb, is 6 x 9, and 162 pages. The title, Untitled, was devised (like Volume) by my title Muse, Ellen Hutta-FitzGerald. Thanks to Jiwon Lee for the photographs.
Projects like the visual/literary journal Four Minutes to Midnight (23:56 from now on) evoke Steve Baker’s “A Poetics of Graphic Design?” The 1994 article—which appeared in the Andrew Blauvelt-edited New Perspectives: Critical Histories of Graphic Design—is one of the most intriguing essays written about graphic design criticism. It proposed a unique method of representing design activity.
Baker drew upon the writings of French feminist writer Hélène Cixous to propose a “more imaginative form of critical writing.” It would “…take(s) its lead from Cixous’s demonstration that the visual and verbal need not always be kept strictly apart, but can escape to each other’s territories and beyond.” This “graphic design poetics” would be a critical method that (no surprise here) evaded the “’masculine’ linearity” prevalent in criticism and multiplied meaning. Before that, graphic design’s nature as a hybrid form of text and image interplay simply calls for a distinctive form to discuss it. Continue reading “The Chronographical Survey #3: Four Minutes to Midnight, Issue 10”