Originally I wanted to talk about photography in this post. Considering Chapter 9 in our text had an abundance of exciting information about the beginning of photography. I mean some really cool stuff that I didn’t even know about. I already knew about the Daguerreotype but I didn’t know about Joseph Niépce and his experimentation’s that resulted in the heliogravure (Sun Engraving) Which was a light-sensitive asphalt by the name of bitumen of Judea that becomes hard when exposed to light! Or his collaborations with Louis Jacques Daguerre who perfected the Daguerreotype less than a decade after Niépce had passed away. As most people know the Daguerreotype was the first step toward the modern photograph.
Unfortunately my text book has started to disintegrate. And by disintegrate I mean a chunk of pages from page 28 though 78 has just fallen out. So instead I’ve decided to focus on William Morris and his utter disdain for things that were mass produced.
Do you want to know why? Because much of what’s mass produced is just crap. Simple as that. There’s no pride in it, there’s no craftsmanship in it, and there’s no beauty in it. Now William Morris may be considered the “Leader of the English Arts & Crafts Movement” but he was following the ideals of William Pickering, among others.
When Morris married and it came time to furnish his new home, he was appalled at the craftsmanship and design of the Victorian era furniture available. Of course this was all due to the Industrial Revolution and the mass production of products. Horrified as he was he got together with a few enterprising friends and started a textiles business “that included furniture and cabinet makers, weavers and dyers, stained glass fabricators and potters and tile makers.” Meggs’ p179. Morris himself turned out to be adept at two dimensional design and may of these designs were popular for fabrics, wallpapers and carpets as well as other textiles.
Any way… the point of all of this is Morris was focused on bringing back artisan made crafts. Not just for the quality but for social reasons as well.
Morris saw that the Industrial Revolution was creating a situation were people were forced to work longer hours, and live in poorer conditions. Considering the wealthy background he was brought up in, it was kind of amazing for him to be aware that this was going on, and yet “A moral concern over the exploitation of the poor led Morris to embrace socialism.”
As a leader of the Arts & Crafts movement, Morris inspired many people who in turn have contributed to Graphic Design as we know it today.
I just wish that the John Wiley & Sons, Inc , Hoboken, New Jersey would have been a little less “mass production” minded with my text book. I’m really gentle with my text books. I’ve NEVER had one fall apart on me before so this is rather disappointing to me. I treat my books like sacred objects. I refer back to them. I keep my text books forever because I know the day after I get rid of them is the day I’ll need them.
Any way… Quality matters with things, with books, with imagery, with graphic design. Don’t put shit out there. Please! Put quality work, quality books, quality images, quality craft… quality whatever. What you put out… “THERE” is representative of you, your company, your ideals, what you represent. When your product falls apart you’re not saying anything good about your craftsmanship. I suppose it doesn’t matter if you don’t care. But I’m going to remember that your text book is a piece of crap. Which is quite ironic considering the subject matter.