The language of visual pollution | research project

wall with a hidden message using contemporary initials - Lenka Hamosova

bachelor graduation project | Typolab, AFAD/VSVU Bratislava | 2012

installation of prints, typography, visual research, critical project

Using typography as an actual image…

I started to focus more on the images in my practice during working on my bachelor thesis in 2012. The project is about visual pollution in the public space (of the city of Bratislava) and its language in graphic design.

I got overwhelmed by the density of advertising and visual image-overload in the city and it made me wonder how much it is influencing our visual perception. What does it do to the sensitivity of our visual filters?

Obchodna street, Bratislava. photo: Lenka Hamosova

Obchodna street, Bratislava. photo: Lenka Hamosova

famous Obchodná street, packed with fast-food shops and various uncontrolled signage. photo: Lenka Hamosova

famous Obchodná street, packed with fast-food shops and various uncontrolled signage. photo: Lenka Hamosova

Trnavské mýto, Bratislava. photo: Lenka Hamosova

Trnavské mýto, Bratislava. photo: Lenka Hamosova

visual pollution Šancová bratislava slovakia

view from Šancová street, Bratislava. photo: Lenka Hamosova

In a similar way, like the medieval initials from the first manuscripts were able to absorb so much of information in one letter, I started to experiment with this visual pollution and was turning it into an alphabet of contemporary initials, which would consist of the visual elements we are surrounded by nowadays:

Example of medieval initials

Example of medieval initials

So in the end, I had three different ways how the initials were made –
either defined by the actual grid/layout that was already there:

contemporary initial based on grid - Lenka Hamosova

contemporary initial – Lenka Hamosova

or existing in a semi-layer in between the information:

contemporary initial by Lenka Hamosova

contemporary initial – Lenka Hamosova

or completely appropriating the visual elements and recomposing them in a stereotypical letter shape:

contemporary initial - Lenka Hamosova

contemporary initial – Lenka Hamosova

 

This wall full of leaflets from chain-stores was the final installation of the project and an experiment at the same time , which almost turned into a decoration.
The pollution in its maximized form looses it’s function and becomes just a pattern of shapes and colours.
Yet it is rising a question: Are our eyes able to spot the nuance in the pattern and decode the hidden alphabet forming a subliminal message?

wall with a hidden message using contemporary initials - Lenka Hamosova

wall with a hidden message using contemporary initials – Lenka Hamosova

modified advertising flyers

modified advertising flyers

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“Visual pollution and its language in graphic design.”
bachelor project / Typolab
may 2012, Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Bratislava (VSVU)