Conceptual Design

Less is More – Milton Glaser”

Conceptual Design has been floating around since the 60s with Andy Warhol at his prime. Obviously Warhol is the most prominent conceptual thinker of the time, with works such as “Empire” which is literally a full day of nothing but the Empire State Building in NYC from 3am til sunset. I always considered conceptual design something that has zero benefit to anyone, as a teenager in school i remember graphic design being associated with leaflet stands, movie posters, packaging design and branding/logo design. I NEVER in a million years thought that graphic design didn’t have to be literal, i thought it was black and white – plain as day, functional  if anything.

My time at college soon dragged that out of me, a short 9 month pre-degree that really made me think about art in a way i had never thought about it. As raw human expression, “sonder” is a word that means ‘the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.’ And that’s what i relate art to today, i don’t see it as ability or history or culture – none of that bullshit, art is purely human expression – in whatever form, good or bad, ability, history or sodding culture.

That is why it irritates me when people label good art and bad art, perhaps that is their right – perhaps that’s the real reason for art and conceptual design. To provoke thought and nothing else. Its not for me to pin down, but I’ve developed my thoughts on the topic and somewhat solidified them in writing this, who knows i might disagree with myself in a few years. Anyway, the relevance of all of this is i have recently created something extremely conceptual, that i never would have dreamt about in GCSE product design at school. Its a book, a popular one at that – “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde” by  Robert Louis Stevenson. The book design, was hard to print and even worse to explain, but to me it makes perfect sense. Each page is a representation of Jekyll, and with every page is a acetate sheet wedged in-between with jumbled words and characters on it – most of which are references from the book concerning Hyde. As you read the book the page is a nuisance, you swat it away only to continue reading – frustrating but no real danger. As you get towards the penultimate end, the words become manic, and far from few on the page – this symbolizes the growing power of Hyde over Jekyll, until at last both Jekyll and Hyde are ended and the book ends abruptly.

The final page reads, “Hyde lurks in all of us, Stack the loose pages.”

If you were to cut the pages from the book – those that resemble Hyde’s thoughts and stack them accordingly in any order, you would be met with the monster himself.

Some images here:

The final built-up image of Hyde:



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