Studying Graphic Design at an art academy is about exploring new ways of seeing. I was trained to look at things from the other side. To put my creativity where my mouth is.
Boy, how reality was different.
Client: ‘Can you design a identity for my new sushi restaurant? The restaurant is different from all the others. We combine tastes that are new and exciting, dishes that surprise your senses.’
Designer: ‘Of course I can!’ Leaving conventions behind, not use black and red, but maybe purple and yellow… Thinking not only about a logo, but thinking about a visual experience that reflects the values of this new and exciting restaurant in town.
Client:‘Mmmmm, purple and yellow? Not sure, it doesn’t feel like sushi. Maybe you can try black and yellow?’
Designer: ‘Yeah, but there is a reason why I choose purple. The combination of these two colors makes it different, surprising, not like all the others. Just like your restaurant.’
Client: ‘How does a customer know then that it is a sushi restaurant? Don’t know… show me the option of black and yellow.’
So I did it. Next day the client phoned me. ‘Now it looks like a taxi business. Just use black and red.’
That’s how it goes in most cases. People are scared to stand out, what leaves the designer a blanks exercise. Not what I was trained for at art academy.
StereoTypo is a project that shows stereotypes in typography that shape visual daily life. It is a project that tells you to fit in in. Or not.
I gave the first years students at the Graphic Design Department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in The Hague the assignment to find a StereoTypo that caught their eye. The outcomes make you shiver, like monotonous gravestones, or ‘hipster’ typography of coffee bars.
Enjoy the moment of total astonishment.