Style as meaning: Postage stamp design process

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Tiivistelmä

By my works submitted I want to show the process that led me to create the style of Valentine’s Day postage stamps of Finland 2018. The process started in 2016 as a fine art practice – an exhibition – containing prints and works combining glass, nature objects and drawings /digital collages. After the exhibition, I took part in a postage stamp contest arranged by Posti Group, Grafia – The Associ- ation of Visual Communication Designers in Finland – and Kuvittajat – The Finnish Illustration Association. As a consequence, I was commissioned to design the set of five Valentine’s Day postage stamps to Posti Group. As Steven Skaggs (2017, xiv) notes `The graphic design studio provides an ideal laboratory for semiotic concepts´. My submission for exhibition makes part of my doctoral research, which is – for its part – a combination of artistic - /de- sign parts and research articles. The focus of the research is to study, how a fictive illustration makes meanings and moods through a multimodal interaction with the typography, colour, style, used media and materiality (See Van Leeuwen 2007; Kress 2010). Style can be regarded as an important semiotic resource (Nodelman 1990, 60; Siefkes & Arielli 2018, 169). In this case, the style was developed by technical experiments, my personal affinity to historicism and melancholy and the stylistic inspiration from earlier works like Dutch vanitases of 1600’s and the natural history illustrations made by Ernst Haeckel at the turn of the 20th century. In the context of Valentine’s Day postage stamp design, I had to adapt my style – al- ready developed in the fine art context – to the commercial interests of the client. By changes in modes like colour and composition, the overall mood of design changed from ambiguous melancholy to a fairy tale fantasy. References: Kress G (2010) Multimodality: A social semiotic approach to contemporary communication. New York: Routledge. Nodelman P (1990) Words about pictures: Narrative art of children’s picture books. Athens and London: University of Georgia Press. Siefkes M and Arielli E (2018) The Aesthetics and Multimodality of Style: Experimental Research on the Edge of Theory. Peter Lang GmbH. Skaggs S (2017) Firesigns: A Semiotic Theory for Graphic Design. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. Van Leeuwen T (2005) Introducing Social Semiotics. London & New York: Routledge.
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TilaJulkaistu - 17 lokakuuta 2019
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