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Mijeong Jeong

Defining Principles of Style Through Visual Expressions — Developing an Alternative Style from the Aesthetics of Chirashi

Style is one of the most commonly used terms in the fields of art and design and moreover one of the most fundamental issues for both designers and onlookers as to the production and interpretation of works of art and design over many decades or even centuries. To graphic designers, style is an essential aspect to be considered both for production and communication, because designers can convey a lot of information through style, not only about their own design technique, but also about the context of specific works.

Therefore, it is very important for designers to be aware of the concept of style as they are experts with a dual ability to create and read images, to ensure that, based on their intention, their designs are able to communicate in a better and more suitable way.

This importance of style in graphic design raises a lot of questions: what does it mean to pay attention to style in graphic design? And when does style begin to be recognizable in graphic design? To answer these questions, the main approach of this project was to develop an alternative style for poster design, based on the hidden aesthetics of Chirashi, and attempt to understand and experience the concept of style and its practical principles in visuals.

Chirashi is a Japanese word also common in South Korea that negatively denotes small flyers of low and cheap quality and anonymous design. In spite of this negative reputation, their visuals are very distinctive and different from those of other posters, because they mainly convey their message by very intense and “loud” visual languages. These highly recognizable visual languages are worth to be studied in terms of clarifying the boundary of style, that is, where it begins to be recognizable. Therefore, as a main visual material in this project, Chirashi is reinterpreted according to the concept of style, firstly by deconstructing all visual elements to discover and analyze their own visual languages and aesthetics and, secondly, by combining existing design approaches to develop their aesthetics into an easily applicable style and, lastly, by suggesting the visual principles of the Chirashi style for easy-to-understand objects, such as design manuals and posters.

In short, the scope of this project basically focuses on discovering and analyzing substances that help us comprehend the very principles of style in visual expression and, ultimately, suggesting the visual languages to articulate the grammars of style which had been studied on the basis of visual experiments. According to these two main topics, this project largely consists of two milestones: understanding style and producing style. To understand style, theoretical reviews of style were studied, and theoretical remarks reflected by examining existing examples of the Chirashi style from the point of viewers in order to grasp the essential components of style in their expression. To produce style, the philosophy of the Chirashi style was translated into a visual project by developing an alternative style from the point of view of a graphic designer, in order to represent the principles of style as a visual language.

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