Department of Art and Design

Just Design

Shaquasia Myrie

So today I bought new headphones because my previous ones broke. They ran out of headphones in the store I usually go to, so I decided to go to the store that recently opened across from Manessi called Just Design. I  dont know why, but I thought the logo on the bag was nice. The bag itself is transparent and the color of the letters are light silver. When you hold the bag up to the light, the letters take on a dark gray color. I also found it appealing that under the light, the logo is seen on both sides of the bag.

The letter forms themselves are joined together by a a single top bar acting as what could either be  the cap height or the ascender for all the letters. Im not too sure why the letter “S” differs from the other letters. It is more so the negative space around the letter S that is profound.  There is a boxed shape forming on the left side. The only explanation I can come up with is that the J, U, and T are letterforms that are created utilizing straight lines. The letter S is formed only through curved lines. The colored area on the left side of the S unifies the design a little better.Given the gray space to the left of the letter S wasn’t there, there would be more white space between the letters U and S than between the S and T.

The items inside the store itself is colorful, so I understood why the store may have gone with a transparent bag. The color of the bag would change depending on what was purchased at the store. The headphones I bought were yellow, so one could see a spot of yellow at the bottom of the bag.

I also noticed as the bag was held up to the light, one can see and uppercase J with the bar extending out on both sides. On the other end the J only has the bar extending out on one side. The letters of the bag itself are not aligned on the baseline. In not too sure if this was done purposefully or not.



Ill Have A Sign With Extra Semiotics Please. Grazie

Shaquasia Myrie

While I’ve been out here, I’ve noticed some signs that literally stopped me in my tracks. I could not help but snap a shot of them. The first of these signs I noticed was behind the Prato train station, next to the University of Prato. It was of a man’s silhouette carrying a white bar. At first I thought it was a real sign, then later found out it was a tagged sign. “What kind of graffiti…” was the first thought that came to mind. I spotted this sign a few times again during my weekend trip in Rome weeks later and in Florence as well. This was the most common tagged sign I’ve came across. Florence seemed to have the most diverse tagged “do not enter” signs. My most recent visit to Florence was this past Wednesday for my Italian Art and Renaissance class. This is where I came across the man in the sign again. This time, he was hammering into the bar which had a jagged edge. At first I thought the jagged edge was caused through wear and tear over time. I took a closer look and saw the jagged bar was intentional and took on the shape of a geometric face. I had Doug snap a photo for me because I forgot my camera that day. I was the only epic fail as usual. I stayed behind in Florence after people left to head back to Campus for class. I was walking around with Carlos and Raven when I came across this sign with a police officer hugging the white bar in an affectionate way. One could tell it was a police officer because the silhouetted man was blue with white stripes and a hat to indicate an officer’s uniform.

Everyone is aware these signs mean “do not enter.” I found it very appealing that someone could manipulate its visual connotation while still concluding to the “do not enter” message. I myself have tried to come up with possible scenarios as to why the actions of the silhouetted man fits with this sign in particular:

I personally associated the man carrying the bar as a sign indicating men at work. Although it does not take on the traditional colors of construction signs, one would usually avoid places where men are at work carrying heavy items, hence “do not enter.” The man hammering into the bar can be viewed as a sculptor at work who needs to be left alone. The one with the police man took a little extra creativity to come up with a reasonable explanation. It could be a pun that suggests police love the part of their job that involves security and restricting people from certain areas. In relation to the other two scenarios, the man could have put on a police outfit in disguise to publicly expresses his love for this bar, an inanimate object. In this case, one would say he is crazy, and conclude to stay away. Again, do not enter.

Whoever tagged these signs seems to be creative and would probably approve of  me using my imagination to make a connection between these signs. Special thanks to Doug and Raven for the wonderful photos. Also Chuck who sent me the man carrying the bar via FB. I had a photo, but his was better, so I used it.









Tessuti in Prato

Jennifer Hesselbach

Although many things can fall into the category of “Textiles”, the term is typically defined as varying types cloth or woven material. In today’s world, the thought of textiles brings to mind the image of clothing, blankets, rugs, and other fabrics for decoration and upholstering.

The evolution of textiles has come a long way- from early people using animal skins and nature to cover themselves; fabrics and clothes have become used much more for self-expression rather than simply an essential for warmth and survival.Though they have come a long way, it’s still necessary to trace back the history, especially in a place like Italy that is highly regarded for their “tessuti” or textiles.

In the textile industry, there are a few major front-runners for countries or nations with the largest industry for it and are ranked as the largest exporters of textiles- the top three include The United States, China, and in first place, The European Union. Though the European Union covers approximately twenty-eight member countries, one of the largest contributors to their textile statistics is Italy. With many of it’s cities having a background in the textiles industry as it came up in Europe,Italy become a leader in Europe for textiles, sewing, and tailoring.Italy also earned it’s standing as one of the largest fashion capitals of the world due to it’s large fashion design niche as well as it’s long-standing history with the clothing and textiles industry.

Though I didn’t really know much about it before coming abroad to study here in Prato, this city has a pretty high-standing history in the Italian Textile business. With it’s own Museo del Tessuto (Museum of Textiles), Prato’s greatest business and trade has been in the textile industry since the beginning of the twelfth century. Located right along the outside of the city’s walls, the Museum is housed in a converted textile building. Aside from showcasing old and historical pieces, the museum also includes exhibitions and expos on specific types of textiles and time periods. The Museum’s main objective is to show gratitude to the city’s past as well showcase the evolution of the industry that this city knows very well. All the while, educating visitors on the processes and techniques of the textile industry.

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While earlier generations, centuries ago, almost primarily wore clothing that was either simple, plain colors with no decoration,  or their choices in these subjects had conscious backing. Decorations, patterns, and designs on their possessions and clothing would have been put their for a reason, based on religious meaning, social standing, and for specific occasions. The same can be said about other textiles of the time such as carpets, robes, curtains, tapestries, etc.

Fast forward to today’s society, where virtually the entire textile industry is based from self-expression- personal preference, and very few restrictions on what you can wear, what you can decorate your apartment or house with.

Prato is a prime example to show how the industry has shifted as well as show the progression and evolution over time of the styles, techniques, and types of textiles that are included in the industry.


This has been a blog.

You’re welcome.


Shaquasia Myrie

This past weekend I went to Rome with a few other students from UNH. I took tons of scenic and candid photos on my trip. From time to time I snapped a photo of a sign that I found intriguing. One of the signs I took a photo of was of a Gelato spot. At first glance I asked myself “what’s a lato?” then I saw the capital letter G at the end. Then I read the sign again and caught on the second time. Under “latoG” was a subtitle in Italian. I didn’t understand it. With the assistance of Google translate I found out that its direct translation was “flavors of ice cream in the world.” I now understood why the G was placed to the right of the rest of the word. In reference to the world being round, reading the sign would allow the reader to re-read the sign in a rotation after the 1st encounter. I myself read the sign twice after my 1st encounter. This is an example of semiotics in graphic design where there’s a denotation and a connotation. The denotation is what one sees. The connotation is what one thinks. My research on the elements of semiotics brought me to a blog post that gave these simple definitions:

My denotation was the letters and words written in Italian. My connotation was my relation of the letters to the translation of the subtitle. Aside from type, color was also a tool to suggest a variety of gelato flavors offered at the eatery. The row of assorted colors at the bottom of the sign hinted at this idea, as well as the colors used in the subtitle.  The sign itself did not have an overwhelming amount of color. I personally liked the use of white space in the sign. Gelato it is a very light treat. The white area in the sign gave off a light feel, especially at night. That’s when I took the photo. White stands out quite well. As for the daytime the lettering would most likely catch someone’s attention. There was a good amount of white space to contrast with the black lettering in my personal opinion.



Pisa Type

Kara Zavaglio

The University of New Haven organized a trip to Pisa. A guided tour around the Piazza del Miracoli was amongst what was included during the day. We were taken around the Duomo, Baptistery, Bell Tower (Leaning Tower of Pisa), and Campo Santo. The Duomo, otherwise known as the cathedral, was the second stop around the Piazza del Miracoli during the tour. The cathedral is about one hundred meters long and fifty-four meters tall. At the front of the building, there were three massive bronze doors that caught my eye. There was incredible detail including carved images and type to go with the images.

The construction of the cathedral in Pisa started in 1093. The main architect to work on the cathedral was Buscheto. The architecture of the cathedral showed the early stages of Romanesque style of this time. In the twelfth century, this style was further developed into a more Gothic style. This was mainly characterized by pointed arches, which we now see all over Italy. An example is Brunelleschi’s Dome located in Florence, Italy. Romanesque architecture combines different features of Roman and Byzantine architecture. It is known for thick walls, arches, large towers, mosaics, and massive quality.

The outside walls are constructed out of grey marble and white stone, accented with colored marble. Rainaldo constructed the façade. Above the three doors are four rows of open galleries with statues on top. The current main doors were casted by students of Giambologna after a fire in 1595 destroyed the original doors. The center door is larger than the two on either side of it. Each door has engraved images on them. They are in separate panels, which represent different biblical stories. These panels have type included in them around the framing of the image.

There is still one original door left. It is currently used as the main door on the south end of the cathedral. The south end of the cathedral is located by the Bell Tower. It is named the Door of San Ranieri.  It was casted by Bonnano Pisano in 1180 during the construction of the Bell Tower.

I photographed the front center door of the cathedral. The engraved images caught my eye, when I walked towards the door I noticed type in the frame of the boxed in image. The type is in all capital letters. It is easy to decipher what letters they are due to the simplicity of the typeface. The photographed image I took says “IMBRES” and “EFFVGIO”. It is Latin, I only found an english translation for one word, Imbres means ‘showers’. I could not find the english translation for effvgio. The typeface is a serif. The serifs are small in the typeface though. There is a good amount of negative space within the letters; therefore the letters have a larger counter form. The typeface is a simple typeface resembling Helvetica or Arial, but still including serifs. Times New Roman and this specific typeface resemble each other as well, but the typeface featured on the door of the cathedral has a smaller serif.


The Italian Edition?

Charles Brooks

For my first post of the semester, I came across what I originally thought was a unique Italian design for a Red Bull can.

In regards to packaging design, Red Bull is a very recognizable brand. Most people know the slogan “Red Bull gives you wings” and would be able to identify their logo. This is because of their comprehensive advertising campaign that produces commercials and sponsors almost every action sport imaginable. The original can design, or the one we normally relate with the brand is blue and silver with red writing. The logo on the original can is red and yellow and very small compared to the type.



(The Red Bull “Red Italian edition” can) While looking at the can I can immediately recognize at least two separate typefaces with varying weights. The logotype is separated into two sections, the physical type “Red Bull” and the logo itself. The logo is enlarged, angled at around 30 degrees and extends past the edge of the can. In comparison, the type is much smaller and rotated 90 degrees to be read vertically. The design is simplified by using two colors, red and silver to create higher contrast. I would say that the typeface used is something close to Futura, perhaps modified for the logo itself. Using all caps for THE RED ITALIAN EDITION, clearly gets its point across, “Buy me cause I’m special”. It uses four different weights, and 4 different font sizes and treats the information using a hierarchy. With the most important (based on font weight) being Red Bull followed by The RED Edition. There is also a fair amount of negative space used throughout the design which helps create more contrast.

Originally, I thought this design was unique to Italy because is says “The RED Italian Edition”. After reading the can, If it truly is an Italian edition shouldn’t it be written in Italian? Simply writing the Red Italian Edition doesn’t make this an Italian Design. Its written in english! I looked online and found that there are currently red, blue, and silver editions identical to this one in the U.S. market already. After further inspection, if they translated the phrase “Stimulates the Body and Mind” (stimuli corpo e mente), why not translate “The RED Italain Edition”? Shouldn’t that read Il Rosso Edizione Italiana? Maybe I am over thinking the design process, or maybe we have a lazy designer on our hands, who knows.


Overall I think is is a interesting interpretation of the original Red Bull can design. It incorporates the original logo’s color, uses scale, rotation, negative space and high contrast. However, the only Italian in the design is mixed case and the smallest font size on the can. At the very least, it should have translated “the Red Italian edition” into Italian. I still find it comical that it says Italian Edition in English in Italy. Even reading my last sentence sounds weird.

History of Futuristic Movement

Sara Haney

The futuristic movement was an artistic and social movement that started in the early 20th century and originated in Italy.  The founder of the movement was an Italian writer, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti.  The movement started when he published “Futurists Manifesto” in 1909 on the front page of the French Newspaper Le Fiagro.  In the article  Marinetti showed a strong dislike of the past and despised anything that wasn’t completely new.  He embraced everything modern and announced the creation of new tradition.  Four particular people were highly attracted to this article, Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carra, Giacomo Balla, Gino Severini, who became known as the founding members of the futuristic movement.  Boccioni represented technology, movement and speed in his paintings and sculptures. The futuristic movement inspired him to paint ‘The City Rises.’  Carlo Carra was a futurist painter who was known for his 1911 futuristic work, ‘The Funeral of the Anarchist Galli.’  Balla’s paintings were based on the concept of capturing figures and objects in motion.  Severini was interested in the depiction of human bodies in motion, his painting ‘Blue Dancer’ showed his interest in this concept.

Futurists were interested in concepts such as speed, technology, youth and violence, change, automobiles and the industrial cities. Futurism grew quickly and spread all over europe, most significantly to Russia.  The Futurists explored every medium of art, including painting, sculpture, poetry, theatre, music, architecture and even gastronomy.  Publishing manifestos was part of the futurism movement.  They were typically about painting, architecture and clothing.

Printed word was very important to the futurist movement.  The movement started with poetry and literature that were published in newspapers and books.  Marinetti founded the international magazine Poesia in 1905.  He used this magazine to launch his ideas about releasing poetry and literature from the traditional punctuation and syntax.  His manifesto Destruction of Syntax – Imagination without Strings – Words-in-Freedom spread quickly around europe and ensured a strong influence on typography internationally.

“I call for a typographic revolution directed against the idiotic and nauseating concepts of the outdated and conventional book, with its handmade paper and seventeenth century ornamentation of garlands and goddesses, huge initials and mythological vegetation, its missal ribbons and epigraphs and roman numerals.  The book must be the Futurist expression of our futurist ideas..even more: My revolution is directed against what is known as the typographic harmony of the page, which is contrary to the flux and movement of style.” [1]

Marinetti is highly known for his masterpiece work, Zang Tumb, Tumb.  Zang Tumb, Tumb first appeared as excerpts in journals between 1912 and 1914, and then finally as an artists book.  The book is about the battle of Adrianopolis in 1912.  The poetic descriptions of explosions of grenades and shots of weapons are represented with the use of “words-in-freedom,” having different typefaces and different sizes.  The text uses onomatopoeia to describe these variety of sounds.



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