The Hammer Museum currently has a graphic design exhibition that runs through January 6th. It’s the largest museum exhibition devoted to the subject since the Walker’s seminal 1989 exhibition and the Cooper-Hewitt’s 1996 comprehensive survey. This past weekend I attended a lecture walk-through of the exhibition which I highly recommend if you live in Los Angeles.
I also got a chance to visit my old hood, since the Hammer Museum is in Westwood, near UCLA. It was nice being in Westwood and since Lamont works one block away from the museum I borrowed his parking pass, avoiding the one major downfall of Westwood. If you’ve never been and you decide to visit Westwood, make sure you read ALL the signs because there are at least three and you need to put the puzzle together to really figure out when you are and are not allowed to park in that spot. Oh, and don’t you dare be even one inch over the red, you’ll get a ticket for sure.
Back to the exhibition… It was really interesting for me, especially because I attended FIDM for interior design and completed a certifciate program for graphic design. Which means, I’ve learned the basics of graphic design and the programs I need to know, but I pretty much have to teach myself everything else. For example, small things like typography (sarcasm). So, since I’m new to the field, this exhibition was perfect for me.
The way the exhibition was organized, you walk into a room all about fonts which is one of my favorite rooms. There is a huge wall with all of the newest, most well-known fonts. Included in the font grid, are short descriptions below each font name describing the intent of that design. For example, Aktiv Grotesk attempts to challenge the infamous Helvetica. The next room is all about branding and identity and in that room one large wall is devoted to several of the most well known brands (i.e. Starbucks), giving you an opportunity to vote on whether you like their old logo or their new logo better. It’s interesting to see the old versus new identities and logos.
My next favorite room was book design. The entire room is covered in three different custom wallpapers, designed especially for this exhibition. In the middle of the room there are two large glass cases featuring beautiful book designs, some more well known than others.
Now, the last room was my personal favorite… It is full of magazine and poster designs. There is a small screen with a two minute video about the process of putting a magazine together and in the middle of the room there are three large glass cases full of magazines, with even more glass cases along the wall. Ah-some!
The overall exhibition featured about 30 different graphic designers in all areas including branding, logos, type, posters, books, movies titles, interactive and magazines. It was a great experience and I might actually go back just to walk through at my own pace. If anyone is interested in going, holla at me…