Saturday, January 22, 2011

Garry Barker Publication

Garry Barker

Brief For catalogue design

The problem to solve.

To design a publication that can operate in several ways.

1. As a catalogue resume for the artist Garry Barker, who is having a show down on the College of art Vernon Street site opening in September 2011. This would involve different authors writing about his work from different viewpoints. It would include images of his work, old and new and would suggest that he has been around as an artist for quite a while. In particular a problem is that recent work is hard to reproduce as a whole because it is large scale drawing (6 feet across) using fine pen and ink. A photograph of a whole drawing just bleaches out, but sections can be made to work photographically, so perhaps can be fed into the publication in ways that suggest how they came about/can be read as part of a larger narrative.

2. As a publication that announces the fact that Garry Barker is opening an etching studio that will be devoted to working with both artists and illustrators as a facility to further the possibilities of working in traditional media within a contemporary context. This opening will be accompanied by another exhibition of Garry Barker’s work in a small dedicated gallery built within the same space as the etching workshop and designed as a showcase for artists/designers using the workshop.

3. That there is the intention to develop a publishing arm to support the workshop, specialising in writings/visual or other investigations that interrogate the issues surrounding the fine art/illustration/comic book divides that exist. In particular writings, visuals or other work that investigates issues in relation to understanding the nature of figurative and narrative work, within painting, drawing and print will be priorities. An underlying theme will be the continuing use of traditional media within a contemporary context.

4. To showcase the possible writings/questions that may be asked under the above umbrellas.

5. To be flexible enough to have other future uses.


Exhibition catalogues are often unusable after an opening, could this be solved by having wraparound covers that are changed for future exhibitions?

Should the whole production be lots of separate print based objects brought together?

Could there be several linked typographical identities?

Would different formats be used to signify different uses?

Cost. The client will be trying to keep costs down and is interested in working with the printer’s co-operative Footprint, because they are local to the etching studio. However traditionally their products have looked as if they have come from a DIY/zine background and the client is interested in how a radical design could make use of their limitations, by investigating alternative paper stocks, possibilities of format interrogation etc. and therefore open out the print co-operative’s productions to new possibilities. This may mean certain elements are produced elsewhere and inserted into the publication.

Publications the client likes:

Dave Eggers’ McSweeny, Cabinet Magazine, Maps, Brooke Bond tea cards and albums.

This is a Brief that I'm really interested in, it presents a challenge in terms of what kind of publication it can be and it fits perfectly with my rationale. It's quite a mammoth task and I didn't really want to face it alone. Fortunately Ed Webb really wanted to do it an approached me about it. Having just recieved an email from Fred that because theres a few people wanting to do it, the brief for now is to put together a pitch for it. If we get the pitch we can go ahead and produce the book, if we can't produce the book then the pitch becomes a brief. This is something that could be expanded on, or if I don't get the pitch I'll have to find another brief to do because it won't be substantial enough.

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