Friday, September 19, 2008
I love how understated the creative typography is in this Tibor Kalman design. The sans serif font is mater of fact and doesn’t draw attention to itself. The image is a split composition, inviting comparison of the text on red with the photo of beautiful Joan Chen. She looks seductive, confident, and her gaze is direct. Her gesture, the act of smoking, the setting, and her “wild” shawl create an appearance that is anything but innocent. The “O” on the left is level with the smoke ring emerging from Joan’s mouth, the focal point of the photograph. While the text, “it’s very important for a woman . . . to always appear innocent” and the provocative image of Joan Chen disagree, the renegade “O” floating in a sea of red mirrors the spirit of the photograph.
About the font: I don’t have a positive ID. I looks like Helvetica Bold, but the J doesn’t look right and the s’s don’t match.
Ed. Hall, P. & Bierut, M.: Tibor Kalman: Perverse Optimist, Princeton Architectural press, 1998, p198.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
The first design is clearly structured into three equal parts. Each section contains a strongly related image and word with an elaborating line of text in smaller print. The images are iconic and as clear as the sans serif all-caps text. The ad actually communicates to a wide audience. If you don’t have money, the poster suggests, you can help. If you don’t have time, send money. If you’re hungry, eat at Florent. Even the last message, "Eat at Florent," emphasizes community (communion) over consumption by using the image of The Last Supper.
The second ad works with the same message of social responsibility and the same organizational structure, a division of three. The image flows left to right rather than top to bottom, but more importantly, rather than giving three options it shows three steps of a single process. The diagrammatic approach and simple design suggest that it is simple to give. The contrasting font choice for “Be Happy” says that generosity is a state of grace, lightness, and ease.
Because it’s so darn good I’m throwing in the ad below, a get out the vote campaign by Kalman in association with Florent Restaurant. It’s a happy coincidence that Dan Quayle misspelled a food product as it ties in nicely with the restaurant theme.
Florent Political Ads by Tibor Kalman.
Ed. Hall, P. & Bierut, M.: Tibor Kalman: Perverse Optimist, Princeton Architectural press, 1998, p74.