The Mark of the Hand + The Mark of the Machine
This project questions what identity design is really about whilst also commenting on the value of the communication designer's practice. What constitutes as art and what constitutes as design?
Business Card (1/200), Celeste Watson, 2012
Letterpress print on paper, stamp ink, red pen.
2 x 3.5 inches
When a prospective client contacts a designer with a branding/ identity design brief, what they are really asking for is a visual impression. Most commonly they want something unique and that accurately represents them and/ or their business. Well, what is more unique than the impression of your own thumbprint? I approach my work as a designer with the intention of creating an outcome as unique as the patterns etched into our skin.
I'm interested in the relationship between the human and the machine. By physically letterpressing each one of these cards manually through a traditional letterpress, I was able to capture old world technology from a contemporary standpoint. I used a MacBook Pro and Adobe Illustrator to compose my designs, but I printed them on a press that far outdates the invention of the Macintosh. The tactility of the cards themselves captures that moment, the apex, where old and new meet.
I used my signature web inspired aesthetic to reiterate my design ethos. I believe that my work is exactly this; grounded in tradition and theory yet aesthetically contemporary, new, progressive and self-referential.
I enjoy exploring the interplay between communication design and contemporary art. I feel as though my work often borders between these two disciplines. Unlike in art, the products of graphic design often hold very little monetary value once in the hands of the end user. By numbering each card out of the limited run of 200 cards, I was able take something commonly mass produced and make it a collector's item. Thus in turn shifting its inherent value in the eyes of the end user.
By making a business card seem as though it is collectable, I am making a promise to both myself and each person that I give one to that they will be worth something one day. If not, at least I made an impression.
Letterpressed at Kallemeyn Press, New York.
~ * • Thanks for your time • * ~