Time and Language

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Throughout the project’s second phase of experimentation I used words that related to time, such as now, then, today, nu and idag. The last two are Swedish and mean now and today. In certain typefaces, such as Mikro which is used in the images on the left, the graphic characteristics of the letter n is identical to that of the letter u, when rotated 180 degrees. The word nu (now) when rotated 180 degrees or when viewed upside down still reads the same word. 

It has been my aim to make the word nu move across or down a block of plaster as it does in the example on page 29. The purpose of this was to demonstrate that no matter when or where we read the word now (nu) it is technically correct or up to date. In many of my presentations throughout this thesis project I have talked about chasing the word now. One second after I had uttered the word it belonged to the past; but when it was written, or printed or visible in letterforms, it remained truly in the present.

On page 20 of this thesis there are stills from a film where I walked with a now stencil over my head, under street light. The concept of me chasing the word now can be read as a metaphor for my role within this project and my critical thinking around technology and its impact on the discourse of visual communication. Throughout the year I’ve thought about what causes the struggle for graphic designers to stay current and up to speed with quickly evolving technology.

The seemingly impossible and perhaps absurd pursuit of chasing the present became less of a struggle and more of a liberation once I changed my perception of what now means to me. By simply changing the action or behaviour, i.e chasing or grasping or seizing time and instead releasing or unclasping it allowed me to see my career and practice in the same way. I realised that the graphic design industry will improve with diversity. If all graphic designers are striving to do the same thing and know the same software, the output will become homogeneous and stale. When designers choose to develop their existing, skills as opposed to ditching older or outdated methods or technology modes entirely, then there is an opportunity for their skills to complement the skills of the generations of designers that came before and after them. To complement rather than compete with other designers is the mantra I will take with me, leaving this project and my studies.