Sunday, November 23, 2008

[Secret] sik

This is what I made after I had learned about Design elements and Typography. My inspiration came from my name and what I think about my life; redness, sickness, and my own chaos.

I intended to use contrast colors to make the word stand out the background; 'Sik'. It means 'I'm terribly sick of what I have now'. All I tried was to make this organic, more human, and hand writing. 'Cause I believe that can show my characteristic and my emotional, something more personal.

I didn't use any type face for 'Sik'. In details, it was made by brush tool in Photoshop and my hand writing. You may think it insane and it might be not the way every professional designer do now.

I don't clearly know how to explain why I did this. Maybe I will leave the rest for you to judge.

[Designer] Sato Koichi

Sato Koichi was born in Takasaki city, Japan, in 1944, one year before the end of the Second Great War. Sato Koichi enjoyed his career as a free-lancer designer from 1971 after a period he worked for Shiseido Co., Ltd (Masanori U., 2008).He made his graduation from the Department of Industrial Arts, which can be considered as a Design Department, and the Tokyo National of Fine Arts and Music.

Sato Koichi, Graphic designer
Photo A. Sang-Soo 2004

“A graphic Designer with a scientist’s mind, he visually questions and defines his nation’s and humanity’s place in the world”
(Robert K.)

In 1995 Sato became a professor in Tama University of Art. And he’s also known as a director of JAGDA (Japanese Graphic Designers Association), and an important part of AIG (Alliance Gaphique Internationale), Japan Design Community, and other design associations working in inside and outside Japan (Masanori U., 2008).

Sato’s works appeared eight times in Colorado International Invitational Poster Exhibition, which is held each two years by the Colorado Sate University Department of Art (Colorado State University, 2007). And in the 1997 exhibition, he won the Award Winner. Besides, Sato was awarded in many poster exhibitions like Grand Prix (Tokyo ADC 1985), First Prize (MOMA Poster Competition 1988), so on, and the latest award is Golden Bee in International Biennale of Graphic Design (Moscow) (Colorado State University, 2008)

In addition, Koichi Sato is a graphic designer working on Computer Graphic, Line Art, Photographs, and Wet media.

Poster for a musical play

Sato Koichi designed this poster, named ‘Ongakuza’, in 1988 for a theatrical performance (Colorado State University, 2004). And this poster can be represented his talent of using typography, lines, shapes, and color to create humanity in his poster.

Poster for a musical play, 1988,
Offset lithographs

Firstly, looking at the poster viewers will quickly catch and generate an illusion of a human’s hand in their brain. It’s easy to understand his skill here. The closure concept in Gestalts theory can be used to explain how Sato can link six different organic shapes into a form of a hand.

Looking at the color scheme, analogous, he used in this poster, it’s really brilliant. The violet-contours of shapes and the pale blue shade around those shapes have set up a story for this poster. It seems like some one trying to press drastically his/her hand on the surface of a glass on the opposite side with viewers. So how does it make sense? In a movie scene, this action seems to be dramatic and strong enough to catch everybody’s attention into what will happen then. And this poster did the same thing, catching cleverly people’s attention and touching them.

Take attention to other stuffs, there is an image of the universe, which is shaped following the shape of a hand. Is it a metaphor here? With the black color, it’s creates depth and take our eyes going deeply into the poster. And the similarity is also created here, when images of the universe of each shape (six shapes) want to tell the viewers that they belong to a unique group.

Sato decided to use Japanese calligraphy in this poster (texts on the upper right hand side). Although we can’t understand exactly what this Japanese sentences mean, but we can tell that they are really human.

By using different proportion between the image of a hand and texts, Sato cleverly leads our eyes from dominant element, shape of hand, to sub-dominant one, Japanese calligraphy, and subordinate one, small text about information of the musical play in the bottom. Actually this poster is horizontal symmetry, but the placement of the calligraphy break the symmetry. However this makes the poster more attractive.
With a hand and traditional calligraphy, this poster expresses humanity’s place which Sato always want to represent in his works. And these make everything in this poster become unique.

Plakate aus Japan: Kirei, 1993

This poster is produced for the Vintage & Modern Posters Exhibition in 1993 (International Poster Gallery, 2008).

Poster for Vintage & Modern Poster Exhibition, 1993,

Using red color for circle, which can be understood as a sun, leads our eyes focusing on big red spot firstly and going into the center of the poster. With another white layer above the red circle and dividing it a half has created a scene of sunset, which is easily seen in Japan.

In fact, the big red circle makes the middle of the poster become dominant element. Besides, small red rectangles on the top make words, ‘Plakate’, ‘aus’, ‘Japan’, sub-dominant elements. And the white thin line on the right side cleverly leads the viewers’ eyes across the Japanese calligraphy, and then to the information in the bottom, which can be considered as subordinate element in this poster.

It is an example of Sato’s posters showing his idea about Japanese place in the world. Organic shapes and lines and humanistic Japanese calligraphy in works might become Sato’s characteristics. And once again he used all of those things in this poster, but on another idea.

New Music Media Poster, 1974

With another poster, it’s clearly to see that Sato Koichi always want to show aspects of real life and being in his poster. There is not much more about information about this poster, but it was designed in 1974 by Sato.

New Media Poster, 1974

‘Less is more’, the important principle of modern graphic design is well applied on this poster. White and clean background made its elements more dominant. And the asymmetrical balance makes the poster look more interesting and energy, although it also breaks the stability.

Looking firstly at the dominant element in this poster, there is a box which has a living fish inside. It might be a dead fish; however the water around it has created the living in this poster. It’s hard to say that he used all the organic line in this poster, when we can see it easily the box made by geometric lines; it sounds like the living is really powerful and attractive.

Once again, he used Japanese calligraphy in this poster. Combining with the organic fish and the artificial box, Sato might want to describe his idea about living.
Using not much color, monochromatic scheme, Sato cleaverly linked all elements to make the poster become a unity.

With a talent in graphic design, Koichi Sate created different meanings when he brought ideas of living, his ideas of Japan, and humanity in his works

. Ahn Sang-Soo (2004) ‘Koichi.Sato’ [image online], available: [accessed on 15 July 2008]
. Colorado State University 2007, ‘Colorado International Invitational Poster Exhibition’, Colorado State University [online], available:
[accessed 17 July 2008]
. Colorado State University 2008, ‘Koichi Sato’, Libraries, available: [accessed 20 July 2008]
. Colorado State University 2004, ‘[Ongazuka]’, Library [online], available: [accessed 20 July 2008]
. International Poster Gallery 2008, ‘Plakate aus Japan:Kirei’ [online], available: [accessed 18 July 2008]
. International Poster Gallery 2008, ‘Plakate aus Japan:Kirei’ [image online], available: [accessed 18 July 2008]
. Klanten, R., ‘Book Reviews’, Art Magazine [online], available: [accessed 20 July 2008]
. Tokyo Art Director Club, ‘Ongakuza’ [image online], available: [accessed 8 July 2008]
. Tokyo Art Director Club, ‘New Music Media’ [image online], available: [accessed 8 July 2008]
. Umeda, M., ‘Koichi Sato’, MaruTomi Project [online], available: [accessed 15 July 2008]

Sunday, November 16, 2008

[Secret] Collage/Montage

I called this '#ly sequence'. It is a composition of different pictures and elements from different sources. Some I took from 'flickr' page, and others I 'googled'.

More developing the human society reaches, more limited our abilities are tied. Why we can't travel around the world without any difficulties, why we can't do stuffs without being worried about our culture. Some people, inside them, always want to break to rules to make them free, and try to fly away. And so do I.

This image was made to represent my dreams.

[Designer] Josef Müller-Brockmann

neue zucher zeitung, 1971

Born in 1914 in Rapperswill, Switzerland where had just suffered through the Great War, Josef Müller-Brockmann grew up in the time when people was trying to deny the old and establish something new. He early exposed his interest and ability in drawing and art. For a long time, Müller was influenced by Dada when working as an independent illustrator and Designer in his hometown. This can be seen clearly through Muller’s first works. After serving in army as a lieutenant in Swiss army throughout the Second World War, Müller continue his searching for knowledge of “the structure elements” which modify his works (Kerry, 2006). And like his statement,

“As a young person I had no clear perception of my future-I only knew that my professionnal career depended on my energy, self-criticism , discipline, and a permanent desire to learn”

Josef Müller-Brockmann

zurich tonhalle, poster, 1955

Müller began to change his idea and his perception of what he was doing; “from a parochial and provincial context to a radically constructivist and universal language” (Kerry, 2006). And this was the key element influencing on his works later and the concept of modernism as we know today.

musica viva, poster

Graduating from the university and Kunstgewerbeschule, the School of Applied Art, he is really an expert in architect, art, and especially design. Müller began to create his reputation by producing “functional, objective design and an influential figure for generations of designers around the world” (Kerry, 2007). Working with photography, poster, and advertising, establishing New Graphic Design, and being an owner of famous books, such as ‘The Graphic Artist and his Design Problems’ (1961), ‘Grid Systems in Graphic Design’ (1981), ‘History of the Poster and A History of Visual Communication’ (1971), Josef Müller-Brockmann left a large influence almost to designers around the world.

He died in 1996 in Zurich, Switzerland.

operhaus zurich, poster, 1967

.Filter Fine, ‘Biofraphy’: Josef Müller-Brockmann, available: [accessed 03 April 2008].

.Friedl, F., Ott, N. and Stein, B. (1998) Typography: An encyclopedic survey of type design and techniques through history, New York: Black Dog & Leventhal.

.Müller-Brockmann J. ( 1955), Zurich Tonhalle, Josef Müller-Brockmann, New York: Phaidon Press.

.Purcell, K.W. (2006) Josef Müller-Brockmann, New York: Phaidon Press.

.Purcell, K.W. (2007), ‘Book’: Josef Müller-Brockmann, available: [accessed 03 April 2008].

Sunday, November 9, 2008

[Secrect] 99 Francs

Have you ever read the book '99 francs' written by Frédéric Beigbeder, a professional French designer. It's about what behinds advertising world and designers' works. A mad world, where being a designer means you have to know techniques to manipulate happiness and cheat people. That what this book is and I don't want to talk too much about it. However, if you could, coming out and trying to read it

The background originally is a piece of paper; white and clean. I used some tools and filters in Photoshop to make it look like a bad printed copy, and it must be taken from an old cabinet of documentary. You see, there's a stamp on the top, which makes this paper look more officially, and formally. So I tried to change something official into a piece of beautiful paper by relaying out it and placing different elements into; texts, lines.

Personally, I really love the thin vertical line of the paper on the right. It is absolutely contrast with lines I drew.I feel that it directs my eyes to the bottom of the paper.

[Analysis] 'Werkbund Idea and Werkbund Work' Exhibition Poster

. 'Werkbundidee und Werkbundarbeit' exhibition poster
. basel gewerbemuseum, swiss| 1938-1939
. designer: hermann eidebenz


. this work is made for an exhibition of the Basel district group of Swiss Werkbund, held in winter, 1938-1939. There were many works form different participants, including architects, weavers, graphic designers, furniture makers, and so on, shown there. (Richard, 2006)**

. how do you feel when you first saw it? It's clearly that you can tell what is dominant in this poster. Is it the black circle in the middle. I think it's dominant too. On contrary, smaller circles around can be considered as sub-dominant elements, and the subordinate ones are the title on the top and information that the designer placed in the bottom.

. but what make something dominant or subordinate in this poster? When I firstly took a look on it and showed it to my friend, we agreed that our eyes were directed firstly in the center of the poster, where the black circle is placed. There might be several explanations for this. However, to me it's because of the contrast it makes. Firstly, while other elements like circles around it and background are in light-color, a little bit of yellow I think, black actually makes the circle standing out of other ones. Furthermore, its size is also bigger than other.

. hermann was really clever when he drew lines running away from the black circle to others to create the continuance. These lines play a role as instructions for viewers' eyes efficiently. From the circle in the middle, they direct our attention to other circles around. If you take a quick look, lines seem to lead you to each circle. But how? From the middle circle let's follow a random line, you'll catch a small circle. Now let's your eyes be free, is the line which you're following leading you back to the big circle, and continuing to lead you to the other small circle, and back, and to another likes it never ends. And it makes sense. The black circle is the most important. Plus texts inside each circle, I realized how clever Hermann was when he silently give us the metaphor of this poster; 'Werkbundaribiet 1938 is graphiker, goldschimied, weber, and blah blah'.

. dividing this poster into two parts; one is the image in the center including all of circles and lines, and other is the rest (title, and the bottom information). After that, we analyze the quality of each part. We clearly see the image is organic, and the texts are represented in the technical form with vertical-straight line. This creates the attractions, and lowers the boringness of the poster, which only has texts, circles, and lines.

. once more thing that makes the poster becoming more interesting is type. Hermann used san-serif font for type of this poster, but in lowercase. And if you pay attention to how each word is adjusted, you will see all of them except for ones inside small circles are placed on the horizontal line. However, according to Gestalt theory, this also creates the similarity to the poster.

. take a look on this poster in general, I feel like I'm looking at the solar system, when the black circle in the middle is the sun, and circles around it is planets and stars moving round. And it seems like they are absorbing light from the sun.

. to finish this entry, I want to suggest you to read the book ' Swiss Graphic Design' written by Richard Hollis. And you will catch this poster on page 122. Look and read carefully.

(*) Eidenbenz, H. (1938) 'Werkbundidee und Werkbundarbeit', Swiss Graphic Design: The Origins and Growth of an International Style, London: Laurence King Publishing, p.122.

(**) Hollis, R. (2006) Swiss Graphic Design: The Origins and Growth of an International Style, London: Laurence King Publishing.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

[Lab] Gestalt

[Secrect] What will happen? Without flash light

I took these photos in a coffee bar In Dalat. Without using flash, I found it really interesting to experience of capturing sequences of movement. Objects in my photos are dancers. As you see, how colors affect on them.

Actually, they're not original photos. I've used Photoshop to crop them following my perception, purposes and feeling.

In this case the shutter speed was adjusted to open a little bit longer. So that, the camera can catch as much movement as possible. And because I didn't use flash light so I had to increase the ISO value. If you take a careful look, it will be very clearly to find out the distortion.

Here are some other ones.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

[Secrect] Sun and Moon

[ my writing will be updated soon! ]

'sun and moon' on T-shirt

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

[Secrect] About My Blog Title

I want to spend my first entry to tell a story about my blog title.

My first idea came to me when I had accidentally read a article about the recent events of the world. I saw there were wars now happening in the Middle-East, races of future weapons of developed countries, the Terrorism, deaths, and unsafe situation that could be able to be. However, we still go on, and step into the new century with technologies which didn't exist several decades ago, entertaining industry developing rapidly, and discovery and search for new planets in the far far away galaxies outer space. The world we're living nowadays is called 'Atom world'.

'To Atom' is about what we see and hear nowadays on the streets, TV, press, Internet and so on. They can be posters, billboards, movies,... and whatever is considered as communication.

I intended to use the light-line to represent for the speed. You can see that those lines are curved, and the text I used is really blocked, and technical like scripts in programming. And around the text is the negative space to make it brought out the background and to attract the viewers' eyes.

It didn't take me too much time to make the blog banner. I used Photoshop program to adjust photos, I took, and make everything. You can see and imagine that it's not difficult to make it.