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UAL Research Online

All Messed Up: Unpredictable Graphics

Gerber, Anna (2004) All Messed Up: Unpredictable Graphics. Laurence King Publishing Ltd, UK. ISBN 1856693902

Type of Research: Book
Creators: Gerber, Anna

"All Messed Up: Unpredictable Graphics" addresses graphic design through the prism of accident, chance and non-directed play. Although fine art practice has been approached from this perspective, for example studies of Dada, Juan Miró and Sophie Calle have all been made from this perspective, it is not an approach that has thus far interested writers on graphic design.

The volume is arranged in three sections: "Mistakes" which considers what can happen when something goes wrong such as a printer error; "Chance" where chance occurrences such as found objects are incorporated into graphic design; and "System" where a system or method is created to deliberately produce random produced material or deliberate mistakes.

"All Messed Up" contains both published work and independent unpublished exemplars. For example, "Control Book" by Rebecca Klein was printed on a letterpress until the ink ran out; Stuart Bailey made a book compilation of faxes sent to him creating unpredicted juxtapositions; "Auto-illustrator" by Adrian Ward created images through an automatic version of the vector-based graphic programme and Peter Anderson created "Moving Surnames" an initial design for the restaurant Cayenne using all the names in the Northern Ireland Telephone Directory reassembled into part of the street map for Belfast.

Using ideas drawn from the essay Museum of Accidents, by Paul Virilio, "All Messed Up" advocated fallibility in design and argued that perfection created no room for the kinds of creativity that arise from the imperfect. Ideas for the volume were first expressed in "Honour They Error's" which appeared in Eye in 2001. The author has also spoken on the topic at a number of venues including the forum "Accidents Not So Grotesque" organised by Stephen Banham at RMIT in Melbourne, 8th July 2006.

Additional Information (Publicly available):

My research is focused around the idea that as a designer, I generate my own content. This translates into a strong and integral relationship between the form and content of my work (e.g. the designing and writing). With each project, I am preoccupied with strong theoretical and conceptual threads and their visual application and interpretation.

My first book sought to celebrate the role of mistakes and accidents in the creative process and my second book aimed to bring attention to the working, research and thinking process that goes into any creative project. Looking at the working process as opposed to the final visual outcome.

I am currently developing (researching, writing, designing) my third book. The book is on the subject of graphic design's engagement with green issues. It will be published by Laurence King Publishing in Spring 2009.

Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: Laurence King Publishing Ltd, UK
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Communication
Date: 2004
Related Websites: http://www.lcc.arts.ac.uk/61117.htm
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Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2009 12:15
Last Modified: 05 May 2010 11:33
Item ID: 1339
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1339

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