Tuesday, February 23, 2010

OUGD203- A quick look at successful collaborations.

This is just a quick look at a few collaborations, how they work and what I can learn from the way these have worked in order to aid my own collaborative practice.

Morning Breath

Morning Breath is a design collaboration between Doug Cunningham and Jason Noto. One generates the images by hand, whilst one does all the computer work and type faces. I feel that this is a nice way to collaborate, playing to your own strengths and putting it together with someone elses to produce something genuinly unique. It allows for a collaboration that produces work that may be entirely different to what each of them may have produced by themselves. I'm a huge fan of their work, I love the combination of nice hand drawn elements that are sort of reminiscent of posters from the 1950's-60's combined with these contemporary skate/punk elements in the typography which is also quite sleek. I also find that the way the colour choices are made, which I imagine is a joint decision, ties all of the work together nicely into a neat package.

Project Projects

Project Projects are Prem Krishnaumurthy and Adam Micheals, they formed a colaborative practice based around a mutual interest in 'cultural prouction' which, in other words is design for things like museums; exhibition graphics, programme books etc. because they're both quite involved in organising art projects. Their practice is less about delegating skills than Morning Breath's though I imagine there is some of that. It's more about a shared passion. Given that I'm currently organising an exhibition and have plans to create a collaborative zine over the summer, I have a keen interest in how this collaboration works. I'm a fan of their use of typography and layout, though it's not something I'm a specialist in, in terms of my own practice, I can use someone else thats good at it. I think it's useful to share passions in collaborations, it creates a genuine enthusiasm and a shared enthusiasm that can create really great work.

Onomatopee-Activism Doubt.

Onomatopee are similar in collaborative style to Project Projects, using a shared interest as a passionate launching for their collaboration, in this case it's using graphic design to communicate radical, activist ideas. As I said before, I think that a collaboration of this essence is great, even if the shared passion is simply 'high qaulity design' it's essential to have that shared interest, I think it's also useful to have a goal other than 'great design' some kind of statement or topic you want to cover together.


No zine is a very different collaboration than any of the ones I've just looked at, essentially it's a zine headed by one man (Peter Frye) who takes the role of art director, he then has over 30 contributors to the zine who submit work based on the number of the issue every month. I think this is a really nice, clear concept and a great way to collaborate, allowing a large amount of varied and interesting work to be collated into one high qaulity collaborative outcome.

This quick insight has given me plenty of great ways to collaborate and I'm likely to employ Morning Breath's sort of delegation based on mine and Vickie's skill sets as well as a shared passion that Project Projects has (for hand drawn/created elements). I don't think it's likely we'll have an art directing role, though if we do, I think it's going to be Vickie who leads with that role.

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