Balloons, Spilt Liquids and Paper Constructions
Are the prior mentioned the inklings of a full-forced zeitgeist in graphic design and photography? Or simply the whimsical fancies of a small but distinctive community of visual communicators and cultural producers? My mini-endeavor into this subject matter leads me to believe that it lies equally between the two.
Concerning these three elements and their pervasive tendencies, not much explanation is needed (with the images (fig.1 – fig. 8) shown below as proof) when attempting to convince someone that each (or a combination of) has the potential to become the new black.
And while I am not one who has actively pursued the practices of trendspotting, I could not help but notice the recent and many occurrences of balloons, spilt liquids and paper constructions on a variety of design blogs and portfolio websites.
There is no doubt that each of these elements are visually interesting, but besides that, I have had little luck finding an explanation to their existence (or even their emergence) in current graphic design and photography. Perhaps the use of spilt liquids originated with Swedish designers, RGB6 and their poster for the typeface Kada. While it’s even possible that the use of paper constructions could have stemmed from the intricate workings of German photographer, Thomas Demand.
Is there a cultural barrier between the meaning of these elements and my understanding of them? Certainly, as a young designer in the United States, I have not ruled out the possibility that much of this is beyond me, especially considering that a majority of these designs come out of Europe. Specifically, I am most curious to know if the black balloon is a symbol or a metaphor that has some greater meaning.
As an attempt to better understand what balloons, spilt liquids and paper constructions could possibly entail within the context of graphic design and/or photography, I have started a word list (see below). I invite anyone to offer their insights, stories and opinions on the prevalence of these elements.
Balloons: celebration, youthfulness, pop, expressive/abstract typography, party, etc…
Spilt Liquids: spontaneity, irresponsibility, mysteriousness, happy accidents, playfulness, etc…
Paper Constructions: exaggerated representations of actual objects, a play between reality and fabrication, artificiality, etc…