Streamline Moderne

Streamline Moderne is a late Art Deco style branch which is mostly used for architectural design. Streamline or Modern in singular word is also used to signify the same design style. Streamline is mostly known with its curves, horizontal lines and nautical elements. It has reached its height pre WWII, in late 1930s. Streamline is also known for using electric light in design of architectural structure for the first time.

Streamline is mostly used in commercial buildings such as hotels, museums, airports, auditoriums etc. Examples of Streamline architectural design in residential buildings as houses, however, exist rarely. Other than architecture, Streamline design is also employed with a different variety of objects such as toast machines, airplanes, clocks, sewing machines and vacuum cleaners.


Ikko Tanaka

Ikko Tanaka (1930-2002) is one of the major names in Japan graphic design world who managed to link the traditional elements of Japanese Culture with visual language of modernism. His design works seem to be influenced by Suprematism‘s simple geometric shapes and bright colors fused with traditional elements of Japanese culture such as Japanese calligraphy. His works consists of posters, books, lettering and packaging design, as well as the corporate identity of many Japanese and international groups, such as Muji,  but also includes experimental forms of calligraphy and interior design.

After graduating from the City College of Fine Arts in Kyoto in 1950, Tanaka began his career as textile designer for a local firm, Kanebo Ltd. (1950-2). He then moved into graphic design, first for the Sankei Press (1952-7) and then the Nippon Design Centre in Tokyo (1960-3). He was founder and director of the Tanaka Design Atelier in Tokyo (1963-76) and of the Ikko Tanaka Design Studio from 1976. His career has been marked by an extensive series of art directorships for a wide variety of clients and projects ranging from environmental city planning to films and from exposition and event design to corporate histories. He has received many awards including the Mainichi Design Award (1954, 1966, and 1973), the Tokyo Art Directors Club Medal (fourteen times between 1957 and 1985) and the Purple Ribbon Award from the Emperor of Japan (1995).


Théophile Steinlen

Théophile Alexandre Steinlen (1859-1923) was a Swiss born French Art Nouveau painter and printmaker.

Théophile Alexandre Steinlen began his career as an illustrator for several Parisian journals, including Le Chat Noir and Gil-Bas. Because he was an excellent draftsman, he was naturally attracted to etching and lithography, two media in which he could exercise this ability. With some assistance from Eugene Delâtre, he taught himself these techniques, and was soon executing posters and prints. His subject matter included nude studies, pictures of cats, and scenes which reflected his social consciousness. Steinlen’s work is sought after for its sensitivity and originality, and some of his posters are distinguished by a freshness and vigor which make him one of the most powerful poster artists of his time. Steinlen was fascinated with cats and he portrayed them again and again.

Steinlen became a regular contributor to Le Rire and Gil Blas magazines plus numerous other publications including L’Assiette au Beurre and Les Humouristes. Between 1883 and 1920, he produced hundreds of illustrations, a number of which were done under a pseudonym so as to avoid political problems due to their harsh criticisms of societal ills.

Théophile Steinlen died in 1923 in Paris.

Jugend Magazine is a weekly cultural magazine from late 19th – early 20th Century Germany. Jugend Magazine’s style became influential in the launching of Art Nouveau movement in Germany and give this movement its German name: Jugendstill ( Youth Style) . The term is still used by contemporary graphic designers to refer to German art nouveau works coming from this period.

It would not be an overstatement to say that in Germany Jugend Magazine’s style shaped Art Nouveau movement, which was expanding all over Europe since mid 1800’s. Most typical of Jugendstil was the typography, hand-lettered fonts that heavily influenced computer and graphic design fonts used today.

Some of the most known Jugendstil artists who worked with Jugend Magazine:

Dig deeper: http://www.jugendmagazine.net/

Kris Kuksi is an American scupltor who was born in 1973 in Missouri. He defines his work as “an appropriated onslaught of shit put together that otherwise shouldn’t be together in order to create a physical world of what is in my head.”   He also uses “fantastic realism” as a rather more “offical” way of putting what he does. He assembles various media and objects together to create still grotesque portait of rich details which he creates to warn us of one thing : “history repeats, and we if we dont watch out, we can recreate the history of humanking which is full of war and destruction” His sculptures often -if not always- includes loads of in depth visual stories which he takes from history to make his criticism about money-driven, consumerist, popular culture of contemporary world.

Dig Deeper: http://kuksi.com/

Arabic Calligraphy

After last lecture on ideograms and Chinese / Japanese calligraphy in history of visual communication class, I have decided to look up more on the subject.

Arabic calligraphy, closely related to Islam, was highly revered and respected, being the primary means to preserve and reproduce Qur’an.  Writing the words of Prophet Muhammad and God as well as common Islamic phrases expanded the usage of Arabic calligraphy. Arabic calligraphy has also been used to decorate architecture, especially mosques, as well as using armor, clothing, walls (graffiti) and other various external mediums such as planes.

Dig deeper :




Here are some examples from Arabic/Persian/Ottoman Arabic:

With Turkey’s recent ban on myspace.com and ongoing cencorship issues on sites like youtube and 1000 more, the magazine I work for, Bant, decided to do an issue on internet cencorship. To ask for an article contribution, I knocked on Lan Franco Aceti’s door in my university. We talked briefly about what it means for Turkey to have such cencorship policy on internet sites,what kind of public perception is implied when a government decides to ban a site for the social “good” , how does it look to a European eye, and what new ways of challenging such repression is out there for the youth to overcome such silencing… Is changing one’s DNS settings the new political activism ? Or is it just a bypass that allows free websurfing survive?

Lan Franco Aceti’s ongoing art work series turned out to be pretty relevant to such subjects. “The Scream Project” and “Artistic Squatting” series merge text, visual art and virtual space on images taken from google maps. Google maps provides the digital space as satellite photographs of earth with such “technologic fidelity” that it is taken with a  perception of virtual reality by anyone who looks at it. “screams” and “words” of the author enhances this digital space on google maps with artistic manifestations, expressions and affections. To put it in a nutshell, choosing a digital space of such realistic calibre, pinning it with notes, words and images enables the artist to bypass the borders and limitations of geographical space and distance to communicate with his audience on this virtual canvas of earth simulated by new media.

Dig Deeper :  http://www.lanfrancoaceti.com/

p.s: Click on images for exact size.  More artwork from these series can be found in Lan Franco Aceti’s website, under fineart/events.