Align #5 Meaningless and sad logos, life-saving design, objects that don't work and States of America

By Molly Waring-Moore on 29th Sep

In this issue: Life-saving graphic design, accidental ceramics, useless objects and the States of America exhibition at Nottingham Contemporary and more.

States Exhibition

States of America at Nottingham Contemporary

Featuring photography from the Civil Rights Movement to the Reagan Era in America, States of America documents the three decades that have shaped 'Trump's America' including work from Louis Draper, William Eggleston, Bruce Davidson and Stephen Shore. The show also sees the welcome return of Diane Arbus' work to the Contemporary, originally featured  in a fantastic solo-exhibition there in 2010.

The free exhibition runs until 26th November 2017 at the Nottingham Contemporary.

Medical Design

Can Graphic Design Save Your Life?

We generally don't associate medical packaging and posters with incredible design, but the new exhibition, Can Graphic Design Save Your Life?, sets out to demonstrate how healthcare design can be persuasive and even fundamental to the sector. Curated by Lucienne Roberts, the exhibition contains pieces from the 16th century to the present day in the categories: Persuasion, Provocation, Education, and Medication, Hospitalisation and Contagion. This exhibition aims to prove just how valuable design is in healthcare, and therefore why it's disappointing that so much of it is left to amateurs. 

“The best design has nothing to do with making money, it’s about presenting information. I’d like to see more people who have the power – such as governments – harness it.” - Lucienne Roberts.

The exhibition runs until the 14th January 2018. Read more about it on Design Week

Inconvenient Objects

The most inconvenient objects - The Uncomfortable

Deliberately inconvenient, The Uncomfortable is a light-hearted collection of every day objects that'll frustrate you at the thought of using them. Impossible wine glasses, useless cutlery and an infuriating cup and kettle are enough to make you appreciate the simplest everyday objects. The designer, Katerina Kampari, has turned her concepts into annoyingly-brilliant reality by ploughing her personal savings in producing working (or not-working!) prototypes. 

Take a look at the collection on The Uncomfortable website.

Assemble Ceramics

Accidental ceramics - 'Splatware'

Splatware is the product of the playful work approach of creative collective, Assemble, and architectural ceramics studio, Granby Workshop. The two experimented with an industrial hydraulic press and different coloured clays. This technique creates unpredictable and accidental patterns within the clay, which they then turn into cups and plates. These cups and plates are part of an ongoing project to rejuvenate their Liverpool neighbourhood and re-enforce Granby's sense of community through communal eating.

Check out the project and buy a unique piece on their Kickstarter - live until 5th October

Logo Refinery 3
Left: Design Week Poor Logos | Right: Refinery29

Meaningless, sad and trite: Michael Wolff on bad logos

Logos that offer little more than 'visual nonsense' - as scrutinised by Michael Wolff. In this Design Week article, Wolff discusses how the general improvement of design standards ensures  bad logos throb like a sore thumb...

"Unfortunately, some designers and their clients continue to inflict on us indiscriminate and poorly designed graphics purporting to be brands."

His harsh but justified words criticise "[the] trite British Steel symbol, the sad thin new logo of Addison Lee, the meaningless look of Newcastle Building Society and NatWest’s attempt at enlivening their existing symbol."

Wolff doesn't just criticise these logos, he goes on to discuss the real impact of branding and how to do it right.



29 Rooms from Refinery29

29 Rooms is Refinery29's 'funhouse of style, culture and technology.' Each person is given three hours to explore and experience the rooms, each designed to be interactive.
Of course, this surreal experience is in LA, but you can explore the rooms on their Instagram feed.




Align puts Makermet studio-chat to good use; in each bi-weekly issue we pick out the most exciting art and design related news, rumours and reports that we've caught sight of in print, in person and online. 

Got something you think we should feature? Tweet us or email Molly, our Digital Marketing Exec.

About the author

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Molly Waring-Moore

Digital Marketing Executive

Works directly with clients on the planning, delivery and analysis of multi-channel marketing campaigns.

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