Carving Mangkhut

Presented by: Product Design Year 4 Students

Location: 7/F

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Collection of seven selected logos done on the SD4465 Professional Practice course of the Product Design curriculum, conducted at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Design, during school year 2018/19. 

 

Students were tasked to do a series of assignments which when added up make one consistent narrative that can define each of them as a brand with a set of tangible or intangible values behind it, logo design being the foundational element as the logo is a building brick of a brand. The reason for this is current situation in professional practice of creative industries where the supply of designers entering the market is higher than demand, with a probable trend of this equilibrium moving even more against their favor in the future. This over-saturation imposes the need to distinguish oneself in a certain way as much as possible, placing the importance on individuality. The difficulty is that being product designers, sharing in passions and interests, mostly having the same education and feeding on similar information, it takes a deep personal examination to truly understand what is that small bit that sets one out from the rest. This is in many ways a “vision quest” for a value or a set of values or beliefs that the designer might not have been aware of before but that were present in his works being embedded instinctively, not consciously, or finding out that they have been omitted and they should have been there all along. Finding and selecting the most appropriate way to show these, a fitting metaphor, would satisfy the narrative quality the logo should possess.  

Personal deconstruction starts as a forced destructive process with unclear direction and a vague goal and it is far from easy. Looking at broken and scattered, seemingly random leads at first, through honest observation the designer begins to connect these dots and to filter out what he is about as a creator, or even better what he should be, and order slowly takes place. Typhoon Mangkhut hit Hong Kong and destroyed a lot of city green. Using reclaimed wood born out of destruction and sometimes left to waste and elevating it to become a personal ‘confession board’ for the author on one hand, but hopefully something of value to the audience as well, felt like a natural representation to the described creative process. People sometimes carve their names or initials in the tree, scarring it to leave their mark, these designers seemingly did the same thing, only they picked up on the leftovers and made something out of them.  

We receive over 80% of information through sense of sight and under 20% through other four combined, making it the most dominant sense by far. Translation of these values, or anything for that matter, into a visual form should therefore come naturally to any human being. Still, just carving your mark is an impulse of personal expression without care for others’ approval which does not describe these projects completely. Professional designer’s priority is to cater to the crowds, not to themselves, and this is where skill and talent come into play. More specifically, if the viewer cannot relate to the logo, it can not be considered successful, and this is where second, aesthetical quality becomes a validating criteria. It does not refer just to the beauty of the solution per se - it is about choosing how a previously chosen metaphor is being communicated, and does it add another layer of quality in an appropriate way.  

Third criteria in logo design would be technical qualities and without going into too much detail, it can be described as ease of application in various scenarios and situations, and it is all about the ratio. This requirement forces a designer to be smart, efficient and to reign in his creativity making the solution as simple and pure as possible, and most of the time overwhelming amount of work behind it is in reverse proportion to the low visual complexity of the outcome provided it is a good logo, since there are no visual cacophonies to hide behind.  

 

Exhibition convener & art director, course tutor: Marko Stanojević

 

With gratitude to Ricci Wong from R2 - Recycle & Redesign (facebook.com/R2HK.org) for donation of wood and wood processing