Modernist toy exhibition in London; Ken Garland et al. I must go sometime soon.
"The thing that annoys me most about most graphic designers is their inability to think outside of their own sphere of reference. The client, or customer, user, human, whatever, will have many things on their mind, graphic design is only one of them. A problem that requires graphic design to solve it will seldom ONLY require graphic design to solve it. It's just one weapon in the amoury. As Ken says, what you need may be less graphic design, or maybe even no graphic design at all. Something else. Or as Michael says, "you know, real life."" All of that.
22 April 2012
I had the great pleasure to get to Galy Tots at Kemistry last week: a lovely, tiny retrospective of Ken Garland Associates’ work for Galt Toys. It was lovely: lots of nice examples of graphic design and photography, as well as lots of items on display, including a prototype of knock-down furniture for playgroups, that was just beautiful.
There were several particularly lovely touches: firstly, that all the toys and games on display were set up to be played with – indeed, that they were set up so that children as well as adults could play.
And secondly: all the exhibition copy was written by Garland himself, which gave it a tone that was both very honest but also charming and subtle.
There were two quotation I took down, because they made an impact, and I wanted to share them.
Garland wrote about Edward Newmark, who had been manager of Paul and Marjorie Abbatt’s toyshop before he went to Galt.
Edward brought with him the conviction that play is a serious business, and toys are the tools of the child.
Talking about their time working for Galt, Garland said:
Most especially, it is rare for designers to have the experience of their work being enjoyed before their very eyes. I have had the greatest delight in seeing children playing our most successful game, Connect, in many parts of the world.
Watching something being enjoyed before your eyes is one of the great pleasures of designing things to be played or interacted with.
(And, by corollary, nothing hurts more, or reminds you to up your game, than watching somebody not have fun with something assumed they would enjoy).
Eye blog » Playing with the logo. How Ken Garland + Associates had graphic fun with the Galt Toys identityGorgeous work from Ken Garland, and an exhibition of the Galt Toys work in Shoreditch. And, best of all, the exhibition lets you play with the toys. Will be going to this.