Week 28 – PART 3 – Learning Activity – Analysing the Use of Design Fundamentals

Week 28 – PART 3 – Learning Activity – Analysing the Use of Design Fundamentals
Learning Activity – Analysing the Use of Design Fundamentals               (2 hours)
Choose any one of the illustrations from the lesson “Design Drawing” and answer the following questions (when submitting your feedback – also provide the illustration you chose):

  1. What fundamentals are used successfully? Describe in detail what you think is the most successful aspect of the illustration (remember to focus on the fundamentals.)
  2. What style from the past is being used in a new way in this illustration? If no previous style is clearly apparent, does it use some form of pastiche? Why do you think this specific style or pastiche was used? Describe in detail whether you think it was used successfully or not.
  3. Read again what Mondrian said about the expression of beauty or self. Which do you think played the dominant role in the execution of this illustration? Explain your thoughts.
  4. If you had to create this illustration, before starting the actual execution, what would your initial thoughts be on:
  5. Colour (what would your approach to colour be?)
  6. Line (what would you like to portray with the use of line?)
  7. Composition (what would you wish to instil in the viewer by the use of composition alone?)



I choose this image from “Design Drawing” of Che Guevara

Question 1 and 2

The successful fundamentals of this image when I analyse it, it is how the poster is made by “halftones”.  

When you look really up close at the image, you will only see halftone dots, but from a distance you will see the image appear, the further away you look at it. The halftone dots are done successfully with a “rainbow” gradient. You are driven from the bottom of the image and towards the face, so the color use is done successfully. The image almost looks modern, since the halftone dots looks like giant pixels. The image is very photographic in that context, but still very artistic, since the dots looks “handmade”. So, at first glance the image can look like it’s made by a computer, but when you look closer, you see that the dots have differences, and this makes the image look more interesting, it is more to its look. 

Halftone is a technique that’s been around since 1852, you can read more about this technique here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halftone 

It is a successful use of the fundamentals of the Gestalt Theory, where the designer has used Proximity in his design. The halftone dots in the image is arranged closely together, this creates groups of association between the dots.  

You can read more about the Gestalt Theory here: http://grafisk.torilsorlie.no/2017/09/03/learning-activity-gestalt-theory/ 

The dots also look familiar to Pointillism. Pointillism is a painting technique that started in the Neo-impressionism time. Neo-Impressionism was a term that started by the French art critic Félix Fénéon in 1886, this was to describe a movement by Georges Seurat in 1886.  

Pointillism consists of small dots of colour that are painted in patterns to form an image. Pointillism is almost similar to Divisionism, which is also called Chromoluminarism, this is a more advanced and technical variant of Pointillism, and is more concerned with colour theory, while pointillism is more focused on the style of using brushes to apply the painting. Chromoluminarism was founded in 1884 by Georges Seurat.  

Since I don’t know when this image was made, but it was made by the artist Tahier Variawa, and I think he has made this image successfully, and maybe he was inspired by the Pop Art movement. The poster has the same qualities in the expression of colours, colour range, and somewhat ironic feel to it.  Pop art was a movement that emerged in Britain and in the United States during the middle to the late 1950’s.  

You can clearly see the dots forming Che Guevara, and it is a reworked copy of the original poster made by Jim Fitzpatric from Ireland in 1968. Here you can see the original image.

Link to Pontiillsm: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pointillism 
Link to Neo-Impressionism: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo-impressionismc 
Link to Divisionism: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divisionism 
Link to Pop Art: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pop_art 
Link to Che Guevare: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guerrillero_Heroico


I don’t think this image is a pastiche, since the image is not copying the style of the original poster. It is neither a parody of the original image, rather a celebration. I think this image is more an “Allusion”, this is when a designer refers to another one’s work. Allusion requires the audience of the designer to share the designer’s cultural knowledge. Allusion is when it is up to the audience to make the connection of the design.  

I am not shore why Tahier Variawa have used this style on this image, but he is a Graphic Designer, and he says in an article, that he has come to develop his own methodology when it comes to design. He makes different designs, and all of his pieces of work is different, but he uses some general principles in all of his design, that he works through in every new project.  

The first he uses is “Empathy“, his first step in his project is identifying his target audience, and for this poster I think it is difficult to say, but the poster is an artistic/political poster with his touch of design. So, I would think when he made this image that he wanted to reach an audience that was familiar to Che Guevara and its history, maybe an adult audience. 

The second thing he uses is; “Distill its message“, this is about what you want to communicate. Maybe by making this image, he did it to renew interest in the history of Che Guevara. 

Third on his list is “Explore“, by that he says that “we often get trapped in our own common references that works”. So, by researching and exploring, you may reveal different patterns and relationships that works well together. Maybe this is what he did to this image, he used old styles and techniques combined in a modern Pop Art look, for this image, wishI could ask the designer about this myself, what was his thought behind his design. 

Number on his list is to “Create a relationship“, by this he says in the article that the “brain is looking for patterns constantly”. And I can clearly see a pattern in his image of Che Guevara, by the way he has used the dots to create his image. He has used the Gestalt Theory in Proximity very well inn this image, but why he did it, I don’t know.  

on his list is to even “Explore some more“, and number 6 is “Be consistent“. You can see that he is consistent in his design, that you can see clearly how the dots are spread out in a system, and the same goes for the colours.  

The last point on his list is “Add Value“, he says in the article “Add an element of surprise, it is the unexpected that makes something stand apart and that makes someone remember it”. For me the surprise in this image when you look closer at it, is that you see that the dots are half tone, it is not made on a computer (it doesn’t look that way, I cannot say for sure, since I don’t know the history behind his design). For me it was a surprise that this was a design made by hand, and this gives the image even more value, for me.

To read more about Tahier Variawa you can do here: 

Link to pastiche: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pastiche  
Link to Allusion: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allusion 

Question 3

When I read about what Mondrian said about beauty, I see very clear similarities of the design of Tahier Variawa’s image and what have played a dominant role.  

Mondrian says “throughout the history of culture, art has demonstrated that universal beauty does not arise from the particular character of the form, but from the dynamic rhythm of its inherent relationships, or – in a composition – from the mutual relations of forms. Art has shown that it is a question of determining the relations.” 

You can see that the dots in this image clearly played an important role of making this image. The dots are placed carefully in position to each other, and in relationships together they play an important part of the design. They have a dynamic rhythm and in this particular composition, you see from their mutual forms, that this image wouldn’t’ have been the same without this pattern. 

Question 4, 5 and 6

If I had to create this illustration, and without doing any execution, but by just looking at the original design I would do this; 

On colour, I am split between three options, in one example, I think I would have used even more colours, to make the image look more realistic, with more natural tones. In skin, I would have tried to make it look more “photographic”. The reason for this is that I would have liked to see the image looking more “natural”, an image that would “blend in”, and maybe look “boring”. The reason behind this thought is that, the history of Che Guevara is definitely not boring, and the ones that know about him, they probably have made up their mind about the history around him, and what he stood for. By making an image of him looking natural, like as if he is your neighbour, could symbolize many things like, “the history is in the past”, “the history is forgotten” or “he is one of us”, the thoughts are many, but it would have been fun to try. 

In the second image, I would made it “crazier” in its colours, to make it astray more from its original feeling, to make it look more feminine. I would do this not to necessary approach a female audience, but to make an impact, to make something that is not expected or associated with the character in the image. So, the colours here would range from purple, pink or red, without the blue, green and brown in the image. I would instead of the dark brown, have used a dark purple, for example.  

For the third look, I would have used fewer colours, maybe not have used colours at all, but have made a black and white image, that used the grey scale to show the layers in the image, like a gradient. Why black and white colour theme? Well, I really like the simplicity of it, and the challenge of making an image with so few colours, but that it still would make an impact. How could this make an impact in black and white, I think those colours would be timeless, maybe make the image look more “elegant” in its design. The image would “fit in” in more places, and not be rejected of the colour theme.  This is just something, but it would have been fun to try it out.  

For this question about the “Line”, I think I maybe would have made smaller dots, the reason behind this is because I would have liked to see the image with more structure, with more details and elements in its design. I would also have tried to make squares instead of dots, because I really like the strict and tidiness of that thought.

Question 7

Maybe I would have liked to have more “air” in the picture, but actually I really like how the composition of this image is.  When you are “closer” to your image, in this design Che Guevara covers almost the whole image, you then feel that you get closer to the object in the image. I don’t think I would have changed it at all, I can’t find a reason really for why I would have wanted to do the composition differently.