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Graphic Art II Week 2

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Biljana Kroll

on 20 January 2014

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Transcript of Graphic Art II Week 2

The Invention of Writing
32,000 BC
Writing has origins into the creation of simple pictures

Movie: Cave of Forgotten Dreams
Charcoal, red and yellow iron oxides
mixed with fat as medium
This was not only the beginning of art but the dawn of visual communication

Early pictures were made for survival and ritualistic purposes
Pictographs represents objects (animals, people)

Ideographs represent ideas or concepts
Cave Paintings at
Chauvet Pont D'Arc 32,000 bc
Lascaux 15,000 bc
3500 BC
The earliest written record:
Tablets from Uruk city
Made out of clay, which was abundant in Sumer.
Reed stylus was used to draw.

They list commodities by pictoral drawings of objects accompanied with numerals and personal names
On this tablet the symbol for "sun"
represented ideas such as "day" and "light"

Pictures become simplified into abstract wedge shapes - cuneforms
Personal names, adverbs and other hard to represent ideas were broken down to sounds that represented objects.

Rebus writing - pictures that stand for words or syllables that represent the sound of the object described
IBM logo, Paul Rand
The highest development of cuneiform was using abstract signs to represent syllables, which are sounds made by combining more elementary sounds
Writing helped organize and record:
-everyday events such as wars and victories
-religious events
-law and mathematics

Writing helped stabilize societies.
3100 BC
Egyptian hieroglyphs
Unlike Sumerians, Egyptians kept their pictographic writing until the end of the Egiptian empire in 394 A.D. when it became Roman colony.
Last to be able to read hyreoglyphs were Egyptian temple priests in 14th century but didn't want to share their knowledge with others.
In the 18th century, Napoleon's troops uncovered a stone tablet in the town of Rosetta, known as the Rosetta Stone

First translation and understanding of hieroglyps began
The writing is a recording of a gathering to celebrate the Egyptian pharaoh Ptolomey's ascension to the throne.

The event was recorded in Egyptian hieroglyphs, Egyptian demotic script and Greek
The importance of the ancient Egyptians is tremendous

- Sense of design
- Use of decorative elements
- Organization of writing
- Papyrus
The use of papyrus had a major impact on religious writing and preservation

Cyperus papyrus flowers were used for garlands at the temples, roots were used as utencils and the stems were used for making rope, sandals and papyrus
Knowledgable scribes gained power as were the only ones that knew how to read and write the complex language
First Illustrated Manuscripts
Egyptians were first to produce religious manuscipts in which words and images were combined

The Book of the Dead chronologically records what happens when a person dies.
2000 BC
Cretan Pictographs
The hundreds of signs and symbols in cuneiform and hieroglyphs were replaced by 20-30 signs.

A set of visual symbols used to represent the elementary sounds of a spoken language.

The origins of the Alphabet:
Cretan pictographs
Phaistos disk
Stamps were used to impress each character into wet clay - the beginning of movable type.

First alphabet known.
Created by a nation of merchants.
Various scripts existed some more pictoral other inpired by cuneiforms.
Pictoral signs devoid of pictoral meaning.
Right to left writing developed because of the stone masons.

Phonenician alphabet was the influence on the early Aramaic and Hebrew alphabets. The Aramaic alphabet influenced early Indian writing.
Phoenician Alphabet
Phoenician alphabet
Greek Alphabet
Phoenician alphabet was brought into Greece

Greeks added structure to the letters, converted them into art forms with great harmony and beauty

Stroke weight was unified
Space between letters was considered
Each letter built based on geometric shapes: square, circle and triangle
The early greek writings were read:
1st row right to left
2nd row left to right
Later left to right writing was adopted
which became the standard for all
Western civilizations
Rounded writing style, easier and quicker to write
Used by scribes
Greek Uncials
250 BC
Literacy flourishes and aids birth of democracy

Alexander the Great establishes the largest library of
the world in Alexandria.
200 AD
Latin Alphabet
Romans "borrowed" heavily by the Greeks who they conquered in 2 b.c.

The Roman alphabet had 21 letters
Y and Z added later
In the middle ages - 3 letters

W is a ligature of two Vs (12th century)
J is lengthened I (14th century)
Insciption on the base of the Trajan Column
Perfect example of:
Roman serifs (created with chisel marks)
Thick and thin strokes
Parchment Codex vs. Papyrus scroll
- writing on both sides
- durable
- long lasting
- smoother

Vellum - refined, bleached new born calf's skin
Discovery of Paper
and Printing

105 AD
Chinese Contribution
Early Chinese writing was pictographic

Calligraphy developed from painting

Children were thought how to write by first learning to draw

Calligraphy expresses spiritual state and deep feelings
Light strokes vs. thick dark strokes

Calligraphy is described as having
bones - size,authority
meat - proportion
blood - ink
muscle - spirit

Traditiional Chinese Stamp

Traditionally used with red ink, the Chinese chop is usually made of stone or wood

A Chinese person will typically have three chops, one for bank transactions, one for documents and legal matters, and one for invitations and cards.

The chop is so highly regarded that a business deal can be concluded as long as the persons chop is present
The Chinese chop
Invented in 105 A.D.
Process of making it stayed unchanged until the 19th century
Cheaper option to bamboo or silk
Discovery of Printing
Chops are considered as the beginning of block printing.

Larger stamps were created from inscriptions and stamped on paper.

Rubbings were made from stone monuments.
Movable type
To simplify using 44,000 characters
Raised characters were created out of wood
They could be reused in various compositions
Held in revolving type cases
Illuminated Manuscripts
The Gutenberg Bible
Copperplate Engravings
German Illustrated Books
400 AD
Illuminated manuscripts
Called "illuminated" because they were decorated with gold leaf which
gave the sensation of the page being illuminated.
Created in monestaries across Europe from 400 AD to 1450 AD

Costly and time consuming:
-Parchement and vellum took hours to prepare (300 sheep skins = 1 book)
-Inks prepared from mineral, animal and vegetable matter
- Gold grounded into powder or applied in smooth fine sheets
- Leather binding and precious jeweles were added at the end
All books prepared in the writing room of a monestary. Monestaries were the cultural and educational centers.

Scrittori - the educated monk scolar who understood Greek and Latin who served as an art director and editor.

Copisti - the letterer

Illuminator - the illustrator that added decoration in the margins

Colophon - credits page listing all involved

"Writing dims your eyes, makes your back ache, and knits one's chest and stomach together"
Celtic Illuminated Books
Celtic design is abstract and extremely complex
Geometric patters interwoven
Bright colors
The Book of Durrow 680 AD is the earliest ornamented Celtic book

Caroline Miniscule - first lowercase alphabet
The Book of Kells
Chi-Rho (XPI) page
Matthew 1:18

13 human heads, mice, otter holding a salmon
Gothic Manuscripts 1300 AD
Ormesby Psalter

Textura, blackletter
Paraboles and stories hidden in the intricate detail
1300 AD
1400 AD
Beginnings of Printing
Manuscripts were expansive to produce
Only the wealthy and churches could own manuscripts
One book = 1 farm or vineyard

Paper making and woodblock printing made its way from China - Arab World - Europe

First paper mill established in 1276, Italy
1300 AD - 1400 AD
Wood block printing
Playing Cards
First printed materials intended for the illiterate masses

Hearts signified clergy
Spades (spada) - swords , nobility
Leaflike club - peasantry
Diamonds - middle class (town people)
1450 AD
Johannes Gutenberg
Goldsmith by trade
Knew how to produce mirrors
Interested in mechanizing printing

10 years to produce first print

20 years to produce the first typographical book
The Forty-two line Bible

Things he addressed:
• Type - textura
• Type mold for each character made of unique alloy
that can withstand thousands of impressions
• New darker black ink
• New press inspired by wine presses
1282 pages
2 Volumes
6 total presses used to print
290 characters used
Johann Fust, Peter Schoeffer
Johann Gutenberg
1459 AD
The Master of the Playing Cards
Developed the earliest copperplate engravings

Engraving is printing from an image that was cut down into the printing surface

A drawing is scratched on a smooth metal plate.
Ink goes into depressions
Plate is wiped
Paper is pressed agains plate
Compare Engraving vs. Wood cut
1500 AD
Printing spreads across Europe
By 1500 there were 140 towns with print presses.
Free pamphlets and flyers distributed
Literacy improves

Printers in Germany used to print type using printing press
and added wood block illustrations
Albrecht Durer
Grew up in Nuremberg, the print capital of Germany
Worked as an illustrator at his godfather's print shop
Known as the greatest artist of Northern Renaissance
Ink drawing based of description of a rhinocerus
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
Wood block print
Wood cut print
Squirrel - greed
Dog - loyalty
Falcon - status,nobility
Making paper and printing
printmaker, painter, mathematician,goldsmith
The Development of Writing
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