CC#2. Communication of Content & Art

This post is a slight continuation from my last post about Druckwerk Press and its creator, Johanna Drucker. To quickly summarize, Johanna Drucker is a well-known creator who mixes the uses of text as content and art. In doing so, Drucker’s goal is to create a whole new viewing of the connection between these two topics. She uses her background historical knowledge in graphic design along with other poetic and artistic endeavors to accomplish this connection. Drucker strongly teaches about trying new ways to connect the two, so it was fitting it would flow into her press. The topics are shown from the start on the company’s website, “Druckerwerk: Print and Art.” from there, Druckerwerk Press is almost like if not in itself a maker’s space. Twenty-three artists feature under the “artists” section of the webpage. From there, the site discusses its workshop and what offerings they have for other artists to use the space. They even teach classes for the different processes in the evenings and have offers for commissions to be made. This wide variety invites unexperienced or those who may not normally be able to then take things such as text and art and work personally with them in their own hands. Thus, much like Johanna Drucker herself, many can create their own connections to art and content. 

For example, I made my own piece inspired by Drucker’s work, specifically her “Proof before Laying” series. For this, I used the five words in this article’s title for the words and letters in this piece. I choose these words because we have focused our on where content and art mix and are separate and communicated the ideas of many others as well along in this process. One other in this, of course being Johanna Drucker who this post and art piece are inspired by. Plus, I am both a communication minor and have a couple art majors so I thought the words would also fit my personally. This takes the content of the words and then a creative artistic form on where they would be mixed onto the page. I saw a couple pieces from this series that used multiple colors as well, so I wanted to incorporate that into my piece. I had done my piece by hand, but I tried to make it look as much like type as possible to imitate her pieces letter-pressed quality. I’m admittedly pretty proud of how it turned out. I think it imitates Drucker’s work well. 

[A design by Matis Stephens inspired by Johanna Drucker’s “Proof Before Laying” series. This piece is an arangement of the words of this post’s title. The letters are mixed together, some in red and others in black. Picture taken by author.]

Works Cited

Impressum. (n.d.). Welcome to Druckwerk. druckwerk. Retrieved November 2, 2021, from https://www.druckwerk.ch/en

“Johanna Drucker: Druckwerk,” 2012. A Poetics of the Press, edited by Kyle Schlesinger, Cuneiform Press & Ugly Duckling Presse, 2021, pp. 168-182. 

5 thoughts on “CC#2. Communication of Content & Art”

  1. Your visual is so fascinating and wonderful! It’s interesting how you mention that there are 23 artists on Druckwerk’s website, because I see echoes of that in your own visual. I love the contrast between the red and black colors, as well as the differing fonts in their varying thicknesses. The letters come together well – forming that unified title from which you drew – and yet are also boldly individual. The almost-tension between mixing/separating and unifying is present in both your work and many of the small presses about which we’ve read; I’ve noticed that there is nearly always some level of tangible tension that adds dimensionality to the works, which is really fascinating.

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  2. What makes your art so interesting, among many other aspects, is that it makes a scavenger hunt for the reader. It requires work which one would find satisfying, and the different fonts and colors certainly add to it.

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  3. Your piece is so cool! The scattering of letters brings to mind several additional words– “fun” and “accomodation” were two that came to mind. It’s interesting that, by deconstructing a fairly straightforward phrase, your artwork expanded to contain more words and ideas. The image as a whole is dynamic, too. The letters seem to be floating or falling, tumbling over each other. With the integration of text and graphic design, you created something unique and playful.

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  4. I like the idea of imitating the creator’s choice of color, or lack of color, in a piece where you are consciously imitating the style as well. Choosing red for “Communication” and black for “of Content & Art” makes your piece feel like a warning, or a bold statement of some kind, like the way a red pen stands out on a homework assignments being proofread.

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  5. Your piece definitely echoes the work of Druckwerk Press. Much of Druckwerk’s publications are so visually rich and interesting, and your piece is as well. Your piece is one that requires viewers to spend a little time looking at it to really figure it out– the layout and color choices add so many elements of artistry, which is characteristic of Druckwerk pieces. I think it’s also fitting that you choose this press to study seeing that you are also a communication major and art minor. It definitely seems like a good fit for your creative personality.

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