1950 // 2020
BFA Thesis Project
Writing, Strategy, Identity, Exhibition, Typography, Iconography
1950 // 2050 is an exhibition of curated works and original content dedicated to advancing the theory of looking back at the history of graphic design to allow us as creatives to envision a solidified look
at our future.
Inspired by the global reach of The International Style, this project dives deeper into the suggestion that graphic design’s future is directly inspired by graphic design’s past.
This thesis uses the study of trend cycles and connects the original principles of the International Style to that of our current time to make an attempt to determine the future of design. Considering modern technology's influence on popular culture, can these trend cycles predict the next resurgence of something from our past, or will we falter and go to something new?
The boom in new-age digital advertising will house a fast-paced information-driven era of technology that with the ideas of the International Style and modern mass consumerism's production of algorithm based information, will lead to a customized experience that is easy to understand, fast-paced and objective, making it into something “simple”.
1950 = 2050
The curated works above find commonalities that support the thesis that looking backward is, in fact, looking forward. The fundamentals of design (type, color, texture, shape, line, composition, etc.) are all key factors in understanding this theory. When looking through history you can see events, ideas, aesthetics, etc. that reoccur.
Alex Bigman, a UC Berkley Grad and Art Critic talks about the ideas of the International Style; the use of asymmetric layouts, flush-left, ragged right, sans serif type with photography substituting illustration, and the development of the mathematically determined grid. These features have now become so common in design that we “no longer think of them as distinctively Swiss”. Combining this with the understanding of 20 year trend cycles, we can look through the years starting from 1950 and make the educated guess that 2050 will hold the same ideas, whether it be on a new platform, technology, or something that we come to tweak slightly to fit our modern standards.​​​​​​​
Icons as
a Second
Ideograms, logograms, icons and other picture based “grams’’ have been around since the dawn of man. It was shown since the finding of the caves at Lascaux all into the great pyramids and writings from Egypt, the beginning stages of Chinese writings, the Native American communication system, even into the “hobo” culture of homeless individuals in Western Society. These have shown that man as a specimen has used pictures/visual based writings to communicate with each other since the “dawn of man”. ​​​​​​​
Where Are
We Going?
1950 // 2050 places itself in this weird paradox of time. Finding itself in the past, the present and the future, this thesis lives in the present as a nod to the past, and a prediction of the future. Living in the "real world" 1950 // 2050 will follow its predictions and implement itself into the world of creation. It may start out slow...stickers, social media posts, posters, but the phenomenology behind questioning the meaning of these icons and these ideas will reignite the inspiration and or understanding of the ideals of the International Style. The "new age" of technology and our idea of what may be best for our future is taking a look back into the past, and it doesn't seem like a bad idea.
The full exhibition catalogue // process book PDF is available at this link >> HERE

02+ (L-R Top to Bottom)
-“Respect Eachother” by Hans Hartmann
- Exhibition poster designed by Armin Hofmann for the Kunsthalle Basel
- Poster for a Bauhaus Exhibition by Yusaka Kamekura 
- The Globe Magazine Cover by Marg Stewart
- Inhouse IBM Poster IBM Creative Team
- Osaka World Fair Poster by Shigeo Fukuda
- Thinking Different Campaign Poster
by Apple
- Typo Plakate Poster by Niklaus Troxler
- Plakate aus Japan Poster Sato Koichi
- Visual Experimental Exhibition Poster by Reza Abedini
- Ruins Performance Show Poster by Unknown Artist
- Yeah! Indie Rock Club Event Poster by Quim Marin


Other Works

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