# Entropy_in_Graphic_Design_RishiGhanThesis

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1

Entropy
in
Graphic
Design:

Analysis
of
how
the
manifestations
of
order
and
disorder
have

affected
graphic
design
practices.

A
Thesis
Submitted
to
the
Faculty
of
the
Graphic
Design
Department
in

Partial
Fulfillment
of
the
Requirements
for
the
Degree
of
Master
of
Fine

Arts
Savannah
College
of
Art
and
Design

By

Hrishikesh
Chandrakant
Ghan

Savannah
GA

May
2010

2

Table
Of
Contents

1.
Literature
Review

4

2.
Manifestations
Of
Order
in
Graphic
Design

9

3.
Order
in
Design
Movements

15

4.
and
Disorder

19

5.
Entropy

22

6.
Plurality
in
Design:
Useful
Entropy

26

7.
The
Equilibrium
State

32

8.
Conclusion:
New
Contexts
and
Continuously

36

Increasing
Entropy

3

Literature
Review

Entropy
is
defined
as
the
measure
of
disorder
in
a
system.
The
second

Law
of
Thermodynamics
states
that
in
a
closed
system
(one
that
does
not
interact

with
the
outside
environment
in
any
way)
the
entropy
will
increase
indefinitely.

Entropy
in
this
case,
precludes
the
possibility
of
a
state
where
the
countering

forces
in
the
system
are
at
rest
(equilibrium).
The
implications
of
the
Second
Law

can
be
studied
in
the
realm
of
Graphic
Design,
where
creative
forces
are
always

interacting
with
each
other
and
sometimes
countering.

Graphic
designers,
who
are
continually
engaged
in
the
creation
and

communication
of
visual
information,
are
well
aware
of
the
importance
the

underlying
order
of
their
design
construct.
This
order,
called
useful
order,
is

apprehended
first
by
the
senses,
the
observer
perceives
shapes
and
colors
and

sounds
facing
him.
(Arnheim,
2)
This
order
helps
the
viewer
to
establish
a

relationship
between
various
design
constructs
he
sees
within
the
message,

which
further
aids
the
process
of
interpretation
of
this
order.
Perceivable
order

is
understood
as
a
reflection
of
the
underlying
order.
This
is
most
apparent

when
the
observer
understands
the
designer’s
message
in
the
same

way
as
the
designer
intended.

Order
is
a
prerequisite
for
survival;
therefore
the
impulse
to
produce
orderly

arrangements
is
inbred
by
evolution
(Arnheim,
2)
The
social
organization
of

4

animals,
the
spatial
formations
of
birds
and
fishes,
webs
of
spiders
and
conch

spirals
are
examples.
There
is
a
natural
inclination
for
orderly
living
in
the
human

mind,
for
good,
practical
reasons.

However,
design
needs
are
rarely
simplistic;
they
often
involve
the
execution
of

complex
and
multi-­‐layered
messages.
Although
orderly
arrangements
facilitate
a

simpler
learning
curve,
there
is
a
to
be
when
dealing
with

significant
complexity.
As
an
example,
we
can
consider
typeface
design.

There
are
numerous
parameters
under
consideration—the
medium
(book,

poster,
billboard
etc.),
the
audience,
the
aesthetic
preference,
usage
with
other

type
families
and
many
others.
In
to
serving
the
purpose
of
legibility,
a

typeface
should
function
both
by
its
construction
as
well
as
connotation.
The
role

of
order
in
this
scenario
becomes
clear.

This
practice
is
a
continuation
of
the
Modernist
typographic
ideals
instilled
in
the

graphic
design
praxis
by
Jans
Tschicold
in
his
Die
Neue
Typographie.
Modernist

typography
emphasized
the
importance
of
production
and
distillation
of
function.

Kurt
Schwitters
famously
said,
“Futura
is
the
appropriate
typeface
in
all
sizes
and

all
styles
for
all
purposes”.
(Remington,
26)

In
Holland,
the
De
Stijl
movement

was
attempting
to
simplify
form
in
the
most
pure,
basic
and
concrete
way

possible.
The
Bauhaus
emerged
as
a
major
influence
of
several
Modernist

canons—the
drive
for
function
and
structural
simplicity.
The
typefaces
of
the

modernist
era
bear
testament
to
this.
Futura,
Memphis
and
other
sans-­‐serif

variants
became
the
new
norm.
The
sparest,
most
rigorous
architecture
of
the

5

twentieth
century
its
counterpart
in
the
equally
geometric
typefaces

designed
at
that
time,
by
the
same
people.
(Bringhurst,
132)

This
striving
for
order
was
not
an
incident
occurring
in
isolation.
A
movement

called
was
the
driving
force
behind
creating
a
sentiment
of
anti-­‐art
and

anarchy
in
design.
Born
out
of
the
bitterness
and
atrocities
of
World
War
I,

was
unabashed
its
intentions.
activities
often
involved

flamboyant
mockery
of
“high
art”.

were
expressive
in
their
techniques

and
liberally
created
collages
out
of
cut-­‐up
newspaper
clippings,
which
came
to

be
entered
in
the
New
Typography
first
as
“composite
photography”
and
later
as

“photomontage.”
(Heller,
Meggs,
132)

The
drive
for
anarchy
was
as
strong
and
resolute
as
the
Modernism’s

drive
for
order.
While
Modernists
sought
purpose
and
order
in
form
and
function,

sought
lack
of
meaning—In
all
aspects,
the
were
‘decisively

against
the
future.’
(Bartram,
70)

There
is
an
aspect
of
causality
to
Modernism
and
though
they
are
only

two
amongst
the
many
design
movements
that
occurred
over
a
period
of
time.

The
behavior
of
artists
and
designers
within
this
movements
bears
resemblance

to
the
countering
forces
in
a
system.
The
Second
Law
of
Thermodynamics
states

that
the
entropy
in
a
closed
system
will
continue
to
increase
indefinitely
till
an

equilibrium
state
is
reached.

Modernism
and
sought
a
change
of
order
through
their
pursuit
of

creative
endeavors,
which
gave
the
design
world
sans-­‐serif
typefaces
and

6

photomontages.
Both
Modernism
and
dissipated
into
a
flurry
of
other

design
movements,
each
of
which
resulted
in
more
design
precedents,
in
other

words,
they
to
the
plurality
of
design.

Entropy
can
be
compared
to
a
deck
of
cards
before
shuffling;
if
the
initial
state
is

considered
as
order,
then
after
shuffling,
you
have
reasonably
perfect
disorder.

(Arnheim,
7)
This
sets
the
premise
for
discussing
how
entropy
in
the
design
can

never
reach
an
equilibrium
state.
Equilibrium
makes
for
a
standstill–no
further

action
can
occur,
except
by
outside
influence.
It
also
represents
the
simplest

structure
the
system
can
assume
under
the
given
conditions.
This
amounts
to

saying
that
the
maximum
entropy
attainable
through
rearrangement
is
reached

when
the
system
is
in
the
best
possible
order”
(Arnheim,
25)
Put
differently,
if
an

equilibrium
state
is
reached,
it
would
mean
that
our
creative
processes
have

come
to
an
end.

Based
on
Arnheim’s
contention
that
there
is
Useful
Entropy
in
the
universe,
we

can
attribute
designers’
creative
tendencies
as
the
contributors
to
this
entropy.

Many
designers
make
clear
and
persistent
efforts
to
reach
an
equilibrium
state,

which
may
be
demarcated
by
a
standardized
design
praxis,
where
everything

looks
and
feels
the
same.

Clearly,
the
visual
realm
experiences
an
increase
in
entropy
faster
than
it
can

equilibrate
owing
to
the
tireless
creative
endeavors
of
designers
with

dramatically
differing
tendencies,
practices
and
personalities.
Suffice
to
say
that

7

this
rich
visual
environment
that
we
are
accustomed
to,
is
because
of
entropy
and

not
in
spite
of
it.

8

Manifestations
Of
Order
in
Graphic
Design

The
perception
of
order
in
the
visual
realm
is
a
point
of
contention
amongst

the
practitioners
of
visual
culture
(designers,
artists
et
al.)
Graphic
design

has,
through
its
long
history,
striven
to
achieve
its’
penultimate
purpose–

communication;
of
messages,
of
detail.
Graphic
design
strives
to
achieve

the
synthesis
of
form
and
function.
It
intends
to
issues
pertaining
to

visual
communication
and
creates
design
vehicles
in
various
fields–from
politics

to
thermodynamics.
The
practitioners
of
graphic
design
consolidate
ideas
for

communication
and
set
precedents
for
more
effective
visual
communication.

Visual
communication
constructs
collectively
affect
our
senses
through

vehicles–print,
television,
digital
and
many
others.

Designers’
intentions
and
the

sheer
numbers
of
vehicles
that
they
use
to
convey
their
messages
are
both
the

contributors
and
outcomes
of
entropy.

Figuratively,
entropy
is
defined
as
a

decline
into
disorder.
Robert
Smithson
summarized
it
in
an
interview

conducted
in
1973
by
stating:

“One
might
even
say
that
the
current
Watergate
situation
is
an
example
of

entropy.
You
have
a
closed
system,
which
eventually
deteriorates
and
starts

to
break
apart
and
there's
no
way
that
you
can
really
piece
it
back
together

again.
Another
example
might
be
the
shattering
of
Marcel
Duchamp
Glass,

9

and
his
attempt
to
put
all
the
pieces
back
together
again
attempting
to

overcome
entropy.
“1

Entropy
manifests
itself
as
the
multiplicity
of
design
processes,
which
directly

affects
the
design
solution.

Design
as
a
medium
of
furthering
visual
culture,

presupposes
creativity
on
part
of
the
designers
and
creativity,
by
its
definition,

presupposes
creation
of
original
ideas.
To
constantly
create
something

original
means
deviating
from
what
was
established
previously
as
a

precedent.
In
an
environment
saturated
with
visual
information,
graphic

designers
often
face
the
problem
of
making
a
visual
construct
communicate

amidst
a
clutter
of
other
communication
vehicles.
By
the
nature
of
our
appetite

for
consumption
of
information,
this
clutter
only
tends
towards
an
increase,

which
means
that
the
designers
have
to
manipulate
the
constructs
accordingly,

so
that
they
to
an
environment
of
ever-­‐increasing
interference
formed

by
the
proliferation
of
visual
information.

Consequently,
the
nature
of
graphic

design
has
increasingly
shifted
from
simple
form
making
to
solving
complex

communication
problems.
Graphic
designers
have
to
discern
the
appropriate

methodology
for
constructing
the
design
vehicle
to
deliver
the
intended

various
concerns
pertaining
to
the
target
audience,
the

medium
to
be
to
deliver
the
message
and
ultimately,
formulation
of

the
message
itself,
all
within
the
increasingly
fragmented
visual
realm.

This
is

1
Flam,
Jack,
“Robert
Smithson:
The
Collected
Writings
2nd
Edition”
(The
University
of
California

Press,
Berkeley
and
Los
Angeles,
California
1996)
45

10

why,
it
is
important
to
take
into
account,
the
entropy
graphic
designers
encounter

at
various
levels
in
their
design
processes.

If
entropy
is
considered
as
a
manifestation
of
increasing
disorder
in
design,

we
must
begin
a
discussion
on
the
aspects
of
order
first,
to
evaluate
the
effects

of
entropy
on
design
outcomes.

We
can
evaluate
the
manifestations
of
order
on
several
levels
of
a
brand

development
process.
A
graphic
designer
must
first
research
the
nature
and
the

scope
of
the
the
company
is
involved
in;
apply
this
research
to
the

creation
of
a
theme
that
resonates
with
its
philosophy.
A
second
level
of
thought

involves
key
aspects
of
the
design
process–delving
more
deeply
into
the
psyche

of
the
target
audience,
finding
out
what
aspect
of
the
brand
would
appeal
the

most
to
the
target
audience.
This
translates
into
what
colors,
textures,
materials

and
shapes
should
be
used
in
developing
the
brand
and
the
“brand
language”.
It
is

worth
repeating
that
this
brand
language
is
used
to
solve
a
basic
communication

problem:
How
to
make
the
brand
speak
the
language
that
its
target
audience

comprehends
and
responds
to
instantly?

The
designer
continually
this
question
to
himself
during
the
process
of

developing
a
logo
and
applying
it
to
different
brand
collateral,

promotional
materials,
packaging
etc.
The
logo
is
more
than
just
a
form;
it
is
the

first
point
of
contact
for
the
consumer
of
the
brand.
The
form
itself,
along
with

type,
the
interplay
of
individual
design
elements
with
each
other
serve
a
bigger

purpose
than
just
being
a
design
construct–they
establish
communication
with

11

the
target
audience
and
over
time,
create
a
gestalt–the
logo
becomes
more
than

the
sum
of
its
individual
design
constituents.

A
logo
simplifies
the
complex
underpinnings
of
the
company
philosophy
by

becoming
an
identifier,
a
visual
embodiment
of
what
the
company
stands
for.

This
eases
the
process
of
establishing
a
clear
path
for
communication
between

the
brand
and
the
target
audience.
The
logo
for
Apple,
the
computer
hardware

and
software
maker,
is
simply
a
symbol
of
a
bitten
apple.
Apple
is
also
one
of

the
few
companies
to
not
use
its
name
in
its
logo
mark.
One
of
the
powerful

connotations
it
has,
is
that
of
being
a
fruit
of
wisdom
from
the
tree
of

knowledge,
which
caused
the
Biblical
and
Eve
to
be
cast
out
of
Eden.

Gravity
was
discovered
when
an
apple
fell
on
Newton’s
discovery
that

changed
the
way
the
world
was
perceived.
This
aligns
with
Apple’s
positioning

in
the
computer
industry
as
a
company
that
always
takes
design
decisions

and
shifts

This
example
goes
a
great
length
to
say
that
a
logo

encompasses
more
than
just
the
plain
description
of
its
infuses

a
layer
of
personality
and
emotion
into
what
would
otherwise
be
considered

as
a
money
making
machination.
A
logo
aims
to
give
form
to
the
intangible

attributes
such
as
trust,
prestige
and
luxury;
it
structures
the
information
that

the
brand
wishes
to
convey.

whose
activities
span
a
wide
array
of
specialties
need
to
consolidate

their
position
and
present
themselves
to
their
consumers
and
investors
as
a

unified
whole.
The
logo
serves
as
a
tool
to
attain
this
unification,
which
is
vital

12

to
sustain
the
brand’s
longevity.
By
reducing
complexity,
the
brand,
as
an

entity
becomes
easier
to
grasp.

When
the
information
from
the
research
of

the
brand
is
condensed
to
only
those
aspects
that
reflect
the
essence
of
the

the
brand
becomes
cohesive.
This
cohesion
is
representative
of
a

systematic
and
orderly
functioning
of
the
brand
in
tandem
with
the
philosophy

that
drives
it.
To
the
target
audience,
it
is
this
cohesion
that
is
of
utmost

importance.
To
the
consumer,
it
is
an
indicator
of
the
underlying
order
of

the
company.

A
more
explicit
discussion
on
order
in
its
literal
as
well
as
figurative

representation
in
graphic
design
is
important
to
understand
how
it
affects

the
design
process
as
it
pertains
to
the
creation
of
design
constructs:

“Order
translates
into
clear
and
consistent
formulation
of
content
and

form.
Order
makes
it
possible
to
focus
on
what
is
alike
and
what
is

different,
what
belongs
together
and
what
is
segregated.
When
nothing

superfluous
is
included
and
nothing
indispensable
is
left
out,
one
can

understand
the
interrelation
of
the
whole
and
its
parts.
The
spatial
layout

of
a
building
reflects
and
serves
the
interconnections
of
various
functions;

the
layout
of
a
magazine,
together
with
the
typographic
treatment,
pictures

and
negative
space
all
culminate
in
the
communication
of
the
content
that

dictates
it.
Since
outer
order
so
often
represents
inner
or
functional
order,

13

orderly
form
must
not
be
evaluated
by
itself,
that
is,
apart
from
the
relation

to
the
organization
it
signifies.”2

Order
helps
us
grasp
the
hierarchical
scale
of
significance
by
which
some

features
of
a
structure
are
dominant
and
others
are
subordinate.
Any
constructs

of
design–a
building,
a
car
or
even
a
poster
have
formal
hierarchical
relationships

among
their
constituent
components,
which
reflect
their
inner
order.
Our

kinesthetic
sense
can
inform
us
if
that
construct
works
with
a
smooth
ordering

of
its
components.

In
graphic
design,
type
is
a
key
element,
which,
when
used
effectively
with

other
visual
elements
such
as
illustrations,
pictures
or
even
white
space,
creates

a
powerful
and
compelling
design
construct.
Type
is
constituted
of
letterforms,

which
are
nuanced
by
features
such
as
x-­‐height,
serifs,
ascenders,
descenders
etc.

Each
nuance
gives
the
individual
letterforms
a
definition–it
gives
the
letterforms
a

characteristic
appearance
that
is
dictated
by
mathematical
parameters.
These

nuances
serve
to
create
a
semblance
of
order
across
all
letterforms,
unifying
them

so
that
their
overall
use
in
words,
sentences
and
paragraphs
suggests
that
they

belong
to
a
unit–a
typeface.

The
typographic
grid
is
a
notable
manifestation
of
orderly
form
in
graphic
design

praxis.
It
can
be
perceived
as
a
module,
a
fixed
element
within
a
structure,
which

is
used
to
design
typefaces.
This
grid
is
a
reference
unit
for
constructing

2
Arnheim,
Rudolf,

“Entropy
and
Art”,
(The
MIT
Press,
1973),
pp.
188-­‐189

14

letterforms,
because
of
which
they
look
consistent.
It
correlates
the
point
size
of

the
type
with
the
width
of
the
text
block,
the
line
height
with
the
line
spacing,
it

decides
the
total
amount
of
lines
in
a
text
block,
it
defines
the
foreground
and
the

background–it
aims
to
create
an
orderly
structure
within
the
page.

While
the
grid
is
actually
a
constraint
that
designers
impose
on
themselves,

there
are
virtually
infinite
permutations
that
can
be
achieved
with
something

as
simplistic
as
a
nine
by
nine
pixel
grid,
while
still
retaining
the
consistency
of

the
outward
appearance
of
letterforms.

This
inner
order,
in
the
form
of
a
grid,
works
in
concord
with
the
way
in
which

several
typefaces
are
used
together
with
visual
elements
to
create
external
order.

This
order
is
translated
into
highly
legible
type
and
overall,
good,
dynamic

interplay
of
the
textual
and
visual
elements,
which
results
in
an
objectively
good

design
construct.

Order
in
Design
Movements

Historical
movements
such
as
Modernism
and
Constructivism
have
informed
the

manifestations
of
order
in
graphic
design.
Modernism
finds
an
important
place
in

our
discussion
on
order,
because
of
how
it
came
into
existence.
Modernism

emerged
after
1900
as
a
rejection
of
values,
rejecting
the

embellishment
and
the
ornamentation
of
the
Victorian
era
to
embrace
a
simpler,

progressive
approach
that
fitted
the
twentieth
century.
Embodying
Modernism’s

15

philosophy,
painter
Hans
Hoffmann
said,

“The
ability
to
simplify
means
to

eliminate
the
unnecessary
so
that
the
necessary
may
speak.”
3

The
visionaries
that
paved
the
way
for
the
Modernist
ideal,
looked
for

a
new
kind
of
functionalism
in
what
Hoffmann
called
the
‘necessary’.
After
World

War
I,
architects,
graphic
designers
and
artists
were
challenging
the
established

forms.
The
postwar
period
was
one
of
extreme
tension
and
turmoil.
The
war

shattered
the
channels
of
artistic
expression
and
the
destruction
it
embittered

the
artists
and
proponents
of
creativity.
The
overarching
effects
of
the
war

served
to
inspire
two
different
schools
of
thought–one
that
sought

reconstruction
and
uphold
the
authority
of
reason
after
the
mindless
destruction

that
the
war
inflicted
and
the
other,
disenchanted
with
the
state
of
affairs,

wanting
to
renounce
art
altogether.
The
former
embodied
the
thoughts
and
ideas

that
would
culminate
into
the
Modernist
ideal.

The
syntax
of
Modernism
as
it
pertained
to
graphic
design
was
typified
by

simplicity
of
form,
unbroken
lines,
application
of
pure
colors,
contrasts
in
light

and
and
an
honesty
of
materials.
(Remington,
30)
Jan
Tschichold

major
contributions
with
his
book
The
New
Typography,
where
he
codified
the

principles
of
Modernism
as
they
applied
to
typography,
printing
and
graphic
arts.

These
rules
included
asymmetric
page
organization,
use
of
photography
over

illustrations,
use
of
primary
colors
and
use
of
sans-­‐serif
typefaces,
primarily

Futura.
Jay
Hambridge
published
The
Elements
of
Dynamic
Symmetry
in
1920.

3
Remington,
Roger,
Bodenstedt,
Lisa
,
“American
Modernism:
graphic
design
1920-­1960
“(Yale

University
Press,
2003)
16

16

Dissatisfied
with
the
incoherence
of
design,
Hambridge
studied
nature
in
art
and

in
design.
His
work
extending
over
a
period
of
twenty
years,
resulted
in
the

identification
of
two
types
of
symmetry
in
layout,
called
active
and
passive.
His

research
brought
an
interest
in
structure
to
art
and
design
of
the
printed
page.

(Remington,
43)

1919
saw
the
establishment
of
the
Bauhaus
by
the
German
architect
Walter

Gropius.
As
a
school
of
design,
it
became
a
landmark
of
modern
thought–it

symbolized
the
“heroic
age”
of
Modernism.
It
differentiated
itself
from
the

parallel
movements
in
the
1920s
by
institutionalization
and
a
synthetic
concept,

social
utopianism
and
an
optimal
degree
of
formal-­‐aesthetic
purity
and
perfection

far
of
the
available
technological
means
of
realization.4

Information
on
the
rise
of
the
French,
Dutch
and
Russian
avant-­‐gardes
described

principles
and
visual
qualities
that
also
applied
to
the
Bauhaus.
Bauhaus
the

visionary
and
the
revolutionary
character
of
an
avant-­‐garde,
which
was
reflected

in
its
resolve
to
shift
away
from
purely
artistic
interests
and
seek
integration

of
art
into
a
new
structure
of
societal
consciousness.
(Kentgens-­‐Craig,
37)

The
Bauhaus
represented
a
that
excluded
subjective,
stylistic
and

arbitrary
forms.
In
the
eyes
of
many
architects
and
designers,
the
Bauhaus

stood
for
an
embodiment
of
a
new
form
of
order.

4
Margret
Kentgens-­‐Craig,
“The
Bauhaus
and
America:
first
contacts”,
1919-­1936
(MIT

Press,
2001)
14

17

The
principal
intent
of
Modernism
was
to
no
longer
work
in
the
spirit
of
history

but
in
the
knowledge
of
its
substance.
Informed
by
research
and
driven
by
a

desire
to
base
design
decisions
on
reason
rather
than
intuition
marked
the

beginning
of
an
era
that
introduced
a
shift
in
graphic
design.

Typefaces
incorporated
characteristics
of
twentieth
century
painting,
poetry
and

architecture.
The
modernist
typefaces
unmodulated
strokes,
absence
of
serifs

and
equal
weight
with
the
main
strokes.
The
sparest,
most
rigorous
architecture

of
the
twentieth
century
its
counterpart
in
the
equally
geometric
typefaces

designed
at
that
time,
by
the
same
people.
These
typefaces,
like
their
Realist

predecessors,
no
distinction
between
the
main
stroke
and
the
serif.5

Futura,
a
typeface
designed
by
Paul
Renner
between
1924
and
1926
was
based

on
geometric
shapes
that
become
representative
elements
of
the
Bauhaus

design
style
of
1919-­‐1933.
In
designing
Futura,
Renner
avoided
the
decorative,

eliminating
non-­‐essential
elements.
The
lowercase
has
tall
ascenders,
which
rise

above
the
cap
line.

Another
typeface
called
Memphis,
designed
in
1929
by
Rudolf
Wolf,
an
art

director
at
the
Stempel
foundry
was
an
example
of
such
geometric
solidarity.

Memphis
weighed
virtually
the
same
throughout
the
letterform.
Memphis
was

designed
to
be
almost
completely
monolinear,
a
sleeker
and
a
more
practical

revision
of
the
past.
Memphis
letterforms
were
created
to
appear
streamlined.

5
Bringhurst,
Robert,
“The
Elements
of
Typographic
Style”
(Hartley
and
Marks
Publishers,
2004),

132

18

Wolf
factored
in
a
lot
of
optical
creating
a
perfectly
circular
‘O’
and

a
‘r’
that
a
unique
circular
ear.

Examples
such
as
the
ones
above
serve
to
explain
that
there
was
a
concerted

effort
in
the
realm
of
graphic
design
to
move
towards
a
systematic
approach
to

design,
one
that
was
holistic
and
scientific
in
nature.

Modernist
design
was
partly
a
response
to
the
destruction
of
the
World
War
and

partly,
an
intent
to
engage
in
the
conditions
of
industrial
production.

In
either

case,
its
drive
to
establish
simplicity
of
form
and
functional
minimalism
was

nothing,
if
not
the
drive
for
seeking
formal
order.

and
Disorder

It
is
equally
important
to
note
that
there
was
another
school
of
thought
that

responded
to
effects
of
World
War
I
in
a
manner
that
was
completely
antithetical

to
the
Modernist
school.
In
1919,
a
collective
comprising
of
writers
and
artists

launched
a
protest
against
everything.
They
named
it
which
means
“hobby

horse”
in
French.
According
to
these
artists,
everything
was
nonsense:
literature,

art,
morality
and
civilization.
The
held
public
meetings
at
which
poets

brash
statements
art,
literature
and
many
other
things.
Several

people
manifestoes
at
once.
One
such
manifesto
was:

No
more
painters,
no
more
writers,
no
more
musicians,
no
more
sculptors,

no
more
religions,
no
more
republicans,
no
more
royalists,
no
more

19

imperialists,
no
more
anarchists,
no
more
socialists,
no
more
Bolsheviks,

no
more
politicians,
no
more
proletarians,
no
more
democrats,
no
more

armies,
no
more
police,
no
more
nations,
no
more,
no
more,
NOTHING,

NOTHING,
NOTHING.
Thus
we
hope
that
the
novelty,
which
will
be
the

same
thing
as
what
we
no
longer
want
will
come
into
been
less
rotten,

less
immediately
GROTESQUE.6

As
opposed
to
Modernism,
Futurism
or
Constructivism,
no
utopian

vision.
By
1918,
according
to
the
Romanian
poet
Tristan
Tzara,
a
member

of
the
school
of
thought,
were
against
the
Futurist
aim
of
making

the
universe
more
joyful,
to
accomplish
complete
recreation
through
ordered

reconstruction.
They
were,
he
said,
‘decisively
against
the
future.’7

Kurt
Schwitters
who
was
a
poet-­‐artist
devised
compositions
that
consisted
of

letters
and
numbers,
transliterated
to
emphasize
their
sound
value.
He
used

different
typefaces
in
different
weights
to
achieve
this,
breaking
the
every
tenet
of

modern
typography.
Interestingly,
Schwitters’
most
extraordinary
work
in
this

manner
was
‘Ursonate’
,
which
was
given
immaculate
typographic
form

by
the
most
precise
and
elegant
typographer
of
the
day,
Jan
Tschichold.
This
was

almost
a
act
in
itself.

6
“The
Age
of
Anxiety:
Europe
in
the
1920s”,
2000/Goodreports.net,

<http://www.goodreports.net/essays/thedeathoftheauthor.htm>

7
Bartram,
Alan,

“Futurist
Typography
and
The
Liberated
Text”

(Yale
University
Press,
2005)
70

20

Though
ostensibly
bent
on
destroying
all
art
tendencies
by
laughing
them
out
of

existence,
the
could
not
escape
the
powerful
influence
of
Picasso.
They

seized
upon
that
part
of
his
work,
which
looked
to
them
least
like
art–his
papiers

collés,
paste-­‐up,
compositions
using
cut-­‐up
newspaper,
imitation
wood,
and
other

materials
for
their
texture
values.
Working
half-­‐seriously
with
anti-­‐art
materials

and
experimenting
with
accidental
compositions,
they
developed
a
medium
of

expression,
which
was
to
enter
the
New
Typography
first
as
“composite

photography”
and
later
as
“photomontage.”8

Consistent
with
the
preference
for
photography
and
photomontage,

which
were
deemed
as
the
original
expressions
of
the
industrial
age,
over
the

more
antiquated
brush
and
paint
on
canvas,
publication
layouts
eschewed
the

more
conventional
formats
and
the
established
hierarchy
of
and

Columns
of
type
were
skewed
beyond
conventional
margins;
multiple

type
weights
and
faces
from
different
families
were
used
unharmoniously
in
a

single
composition;
and
hot-­‐metal
type
material
(heavy
rules
and
stock

illustration)
were
strewn
willy
nilly
throughout
the
pages.
A
typical
design

looked,
in
printer’s
terms,
like
the
contents
of
a
hellbox
(a
receptacle
for
smashed

and
broken
type
bodies)
This
willful
typographic
anarchy
is
reflected
in
the
chaos

8
Heller,
Steven
and
Meggs,
Philip,
“Texts
on
Type:
Critical
Writings
on
Typography”

(Allworth

Press,
2001)
132

21

in
the
wake
of
the
Great
War,
but
more
importantly,
it
marked
the
battle
lines

between
archaic
and
bourgeois
mediocrity.9

In
many
ways,
was
in
the
vanguard
of
typographic
disruption.

represented
the
typographic
code
that
signaled
a
revolution
in
graphic
design.

Hans
Arp
characterized
the
goal
of
as:
wanted
to
destroy
the

deceptions
of
reason
and
discover
an
irrational
order.”10
craved
for
a

state
of
anarchy
that
it
eventually
achieved,
abolishing
the
gap
between
‘elitist’

art
and
‘low’
art.

It
became
the
expression
of
the
particular
attitude
of
mind

with
which
international
youth
reacted
to
the
social
and
political
upheavals
of

the
time.
They
formulated
their
opposition
in
anarchical,
irrational,

and
literally
”sense-­‐less”
actions,
recitations
and
visual
art-­‐works.
(Elger,

Grosenick,
7)

Entropy

Angrist
and
Hepler
formulate
the
Second
Law
of
Thermodynamics
as
follows:

"Microscopic
disorder
(entropy)
of
a
system
and
its
surroundings
(all
of
the

relevant
universe)
does
not
spontaneously
decrease."
In
this
sense,
therefore,

entropy
is
defined
as
the
quantitative
measure
of
the
degree
of
disorder
in
a

9
Heller,
Steven,
Fili,
Louise,
“Typology:
type
design
from
the
Victorian
era
to
the
digital
age”

(Chronicle
Books,
1999)
66

10
Dietmar
Elger,
Uta
Grosenick,
“Before
was
there,
there
was
(Taschen,

2004),
7

22

system-­‐a
definition
that
can
be
applied
to
the
function
of
design
movements,
in

our
case–Modernism
and

The
work
driven
by
Modernist
and
ideals
(pertaining
to
graphic
design)

points
to
their
existence
as
two
strong
and
opposing
forces,
that
strived
to
change

the
prevalent
order,
in
wake
of
the
post-­‐war
chaos
and
in
an
environment
of

growing
rejection
towards
values.
Comparing
this
observation
with

the
Second
Law
as
formulated
by
Angrist
and
Hepler,
we
find
that
the
work
of
the

designers
who
were
influenced
by
these
design
movements
was,
in
fact,

increasing
the
overall
entropy
in
the
contemporary
design
realm.

A
closer
look
at
how
typography
evolved
during
this
period
explains
this
more

clearly.
The
Modernist
principles
gave
form
to
the
New
Typography.
The
first

book
on
New
Typography
was
set
in
a
light
sans-­‐serif
midway
between
Venus

and
Futura.
Between
the
period
1920
to
1935
Herbert
Bayer,
Jan
Tschichold
and

Karl
Teige
and
others
experimented
with
reform
alphabets,
all
working
more
or

less
on
the
principles
stated
by
Bayer:

“Geometric
foundation
of
each
letter,
resulting
in
a
synthetic
construction

out
of
a
few
basic
elements.
Avoidance
of
all
suggestion
of
a
hand-­‐written

character.
Even
thickness
of
all
parts
of
the
letter,
and
renumeration
of
all

suggestions
of
up
and
down
strokes.
Simplicity
of
form
for
the
sake
of

legibility
(the
simpler
the
optical
appearance
the
easier
the
comprehension).”

Bayer
formulated
the
Universal
type,
after
which
the
letters
in
“The
New

Bauhaus”
were
modeled.
Paul
Renner’s
typeface
Futura,
followed
soon
after.

23

Tschichold
also
produced
a
typeface
based
on
a
phonetic
alphabet,
which

reflected
the
strong
geometric
urge
persistent
in
the
Modernist
typographic
ideal.

The
on
the
other
hand,
were
against
the
typographical
harmony
of
the

page.
As
an
integral
part
of
this
revolt,
they
created
compositions
that
challenged

legibility
and
questioned
the
purpose
of
the
order
that
the
typographic
grid

represented.
While
the
modernists
were
driven
to
strip
away
any
semblance
of

emotion
from
type,
were
doing
the
opposite
by
creating
phonetic

poems–making
type
“talk"
through
the
use
of
different
weights
and
point
sizes.
.

The
typographic
grid
was
broken
and
contorted
by
the
to
the
point
of

making
the
type
appear
purposeless
and
diffuse.
Hugo
Ball’s
phonetic
poem,

Caravan,
used
different
used
dramatic
type
changes
to
convey
different
voices

and
different
forms
of
expressions
from
low
growls
to
whispers.
Kurt
Schwitters

believed
that
words,
letters,
syllables
and
phrases
were
the
key
elements
of

poetry
and
that
meaning
arose
only
if
it
was
employed
as
one
of
those
elements.

The
love
for
activism
came
to
the
fore
with
the
publication
called
Der

The
cover
of
the
third
issue,
published
in
April
1920,
featured
a
collage
of

text
and
image
by
Heartfield.
It
contained
an
incongruous
juxtaposition
of

typography
and
photographs
to
set
up
an
aggressive
confrontation
with
the

user.
Heartfield’s
collage,
in
typical
fashion,
exhorted
“free”
typography

and
layout.

The
overall
programme
of
non-­‐logic,
discontinuities,
disruptions
and
a

transitional
manipulation
of
language
would,
it
was
hoped
create
a
new
kind
of

24

poetry.
(Bartram,
70)
It
was
believed
that
each
word
carries
several
meanings

and
it
was
the
imaginative
participation
of
the
that
allowed
various

evocative
thoughts
and
ideas
to
be
awakened.

The
followed
the
Futurists
is
disrupting
normal
syntax
but
consciously

abandoned
the
constructive
formulation
of
new
forms
in
a
pursuit
of
illogic
and

chance.
To
the
lack
of
meaning
was
the
meaning.

This
analysis
of
Modernist
and
typography
finds
its
parallel
in
the
Second

Law
of
Thermodynamics,
which
states
that
the
entropy
in
the
world
strives

towards
a
maximum–though
the
energy
in
the
universe
is
constant
in
amount,
it

is
subject
to
increasing
amounts
of
dissipation
and
We
find
that

Modernism
and
were
trying
to
achieve
the
same
goal–change
of
order,

and
different
ideologies
to
that
end.
However,
soon
imploded

under
the
weight
of
its
own
ambition–the
Berlin
group
began
to
lose
its

cohesion
as
early
as
1920,
and
away
completely
by
1923,
the
artists

involved
each
pursued
their
own
interests.11
The
Modernist
typographic
ideal

diffused
into
different
pastiches
and
influenced
a
litany
of
typographic

breakthroughs
that
would
later
be
termed
as
postmodern.

It
is
important
to
note
that
even
within
its
short
lifespan,
created
its

own
typographic
vocabulary
and
new,
innovative
compositional
strategies,
in

to
the
ones
created
by
the
Modernist
ideals.
Indirectly,
the
call

11
Eskilson,
Stephen,
“Graphic
Design:
a
new
history”,
(Yale
University
Press,
2007)

25

for
freedom
diffused
into
contemporary
culture
and
influenced
designers
to

a
more
open
attitude
towards
typographic
solutions.

In
this
way,
Both
Modernism
and
infused
plurality
into
the
graphic

design
realm.
Designers
working
within
both
movements
aspired
to
create
a

new
order
with
their
newfound
principles
and
to
an
extent
both
succeeded.

They
moved
away
in
their
own
directions,
creating
new
influences
and
giving
rise

to
new
design
movements.
This
plurality
to
the
entropy
in
the
design
realm

and
in
essence,
diminished
any
possibility
of
reaching
a
state
of
equilibrium.

This
is
where
our
discussion
on
entropy
becomes
interesting:
What
effects
does

this
plurality
have
on
the
overall
entropy
of
the
design
realm?
Is
the
design
realm

ever
going
to
attain
equilibrium?
If
so,
what
constitutes
this
state
of
equilibrium?

Plurality
in
Design:
Useful
Entropy

The
were
extremely
skilled
publicists,
knowing
exactly
how
to
keep
the

expectations
of
the
public
on
the
boil.
In
Zurich,
the
dynamics
of
the

movement
soon
started
to
show
dissolution.
Eventually,
the
public
expectation
of

being
entertained
by
provocation
ran
into
the
ground,
partly
because
the

aims
of
the
movement
were
diluted
by
their
own
vagueness
and
partly
because

major
proponents
of
ventured
off
in
their
own
directions.
was

eventually
replaced
by
Surrealism
as
the
artist-­‐activist
movement
in

Europe.
As
opposed
to
negative,
destructive
and
perpetually
exhibitionist
attitude

of
Surrealism
professed
a
poetic
faith
in
man
and
his
spirit.
In

26

to
Dali,
the
works
of
artists
like
Wassily
Kandinsky,
Käthe
Schmidt

Kollwitz
furthered
the
experimental
new
techniques
and
demonstrated
how

intuition
and
fantasy
could
produce
unique
visual
narratives.
12

Design
movements
have
a
cause
and
effect
relationship
with
each
other.

A
single
movement
such
as
sprouted
into
Surrealism
and
later
into

Expressionism,
each
with
its
own
set
of
objectives
and
influences.
Each
design

movement
a
new
set
of
techniques,
visual
styles
and
methodologies
to
the

existing
ones.
Pluralism
saw
the
rise
of
postmodernism
as
designers

began
to
question
the
underlying
tenets
of
modernism.
In
design,
the
term

‘postmodern’
was
attributed
to
the
work
of
architects
and
designers
who
were

breaking
the
universal
style
that
become
prevalent
since
the
Bauhaus.

Specifically,
typography
underwent
a
massive
shift
with
regards
to
the
emphasis

placed
on
legibility
and
the
use
of
serifs
versus
sans
serifs.
Typefaces

a
rich
legacy
to
build
up
on
and
the
plurality
of
stylistic
influences
that
design

movements
brought
with
them,
them
even
more
varied.
Seigfried
Odermatt

and
Rosemary
Tissi
designed
typefaces
that
produced
unexpected
letterforms.
A

presentation
folder
designed
by
Tissi
for
Anton
Schöb
achieved
typographic

vitality
by
overlapping
and
combining
letterforms.
Superimposing
text
on

geometric
shapes
whose
configuration
is
generated
by
the
line
lengths
of
the
text

was
a
technique
frequently
used
by
Odermatt
and
Tissi.

12
Meggs,
Philip,
Purvis,
Alston,
“The
Influence
of
Modernism”,
“Megg’s
History
Of
Graphic

Design”,(John
Wiley
and
Sons,
2006)
264

27

Just
as
Herbert
Bayer,
Jan
Tschichold
and
others
employed
a
new
understanding

in
designing
type
in
the
1920s,
roughly
forty
years
later,
the
cool
formalism
that

was
a
hallmark
of
modernist
typography
was
challenged
by
Wolfgang
Weingart,

who
joined
Armin
Hoffman
on
the
faculty
of
Basel
school
in
1968.
Weingart

taught
type
differently
from
his
mentors;
he
questioned
the
typography
of
clean

and
absolute
order.
He
felt
that
the
International
Typographic
Style
become

overly
pervasive.
Rejecting
the
right
angle
as
an
exclusive
organizing
principle,

Weingart
achieved
fresh
and
intuitive
typographic
design.
By
refuting
the

established
rules,
he
turned
up
the
dynamism
of
the
structure
of
the
page.

Arnheim’s
example
of
a
deck
of
cards
is
a
good
analogy
to
the
increase
of

entropy
in
design
movements:

“Disorder
is
not
the
absence
of
all
order,
but
rather
a
clash
of
uncoordinated

orders”
Another
model
for
the
increase
of
entropy,
is
shuffling.
The
usual

interpretation
of
this
concept
is
that
by
shuffling,
say,
a
deck
of
cards,
once

converts
an
initial
order
into
reasonably
perfect
disorder.
This
however
can

be
achieved
only
if
the
initial
sequence
of
the
cards
is
considered
an
order

and
if
the
purpose
of
the
shuffling
operation
is
ignored.
(Arnheim,
7)

The
above
example
can
be
used
to
explain
the
behavior
of
designers
working

within
these
design
movements,
who
continually
struggled
to
change
the

contemporaneous
state
of
order–Modernists
stood
by
their
ideal
for
typography

to
be
purely
functional,
experimented
liberally
with
every
typographic

parameter
and
eventually,
the
Postmodernists
incorporated
elements
from

28

nearly
every
design
movement
to
create
their
own
typographic
pastiches–

typography
underwent
a
similar
‘shuffling’
and
rather
than
having
a
fixed

number
of
typefaces
obeying
universal
guidelines,
we
have,
as
of
today,

typefaces
that
number
in
the
millions
creating
a
situation
similar
to
a
deck

of
cards
after
shuffling.

Postmodern
design
found
its
roots
in
the
dissolution
of
authoritative

standards,
which
reached
the
point
of
saturation.
The
clarity
of
form
and

function
that
Modernist
typography
sought
gave
way
to
fragmentation,

impurity
of
form,
lack
of
depth,
indeterminacy,
intertextualism
and
a
return
to

the
vernacular.

In
1983,
shortly
after
the
announcement
of
Apple’s
Macintosh
computer,

Rudy
Vanderlans
and
Zuzana
Licko
founded
Emigre
magazine.
Capitalizing

on
the
explosion
of
the
digital
computer
as
a
medium
to
create
photo
lettering

and
digital
type,
Emigre
soon
became
a
platform
for
inventors

and
practitioners
of
experimental
typography
to
sell
their
creations
in
the

practical
arena.

As
pioneers
of
early
Macintosh,
Vanderlans
and
Licko
designed
custom
bit-­‐

mapped
fonts
for
the
magazine,
whose
layouts
rejected
Modernist
rigidity

in
favor
of
Postmodernist
improvisation.
Prominent
typefaces
from
Emigre

were
Template
Gothic,
designed
by
Barry
Deck
in
1990
and
Keedy
Sans

designed
by
Jeffery
Keedy.

29

Based
on
Helvetica,
Keedy
Sans
represented
schizophrenic
disparity
between
the

thick
and
thin
strokes.
There
were
rounded
edges
and
sharp
angles
all
in
a
single

letterform.
As
a
typeface,
Keedy
Sans
was
witty
and
unpredictable
enough
for

some
critics
to
dismiss
it
as
“taking
vernacular
to
the
point
of
stupidity.”13

However,
Keedy
maintained
that,
"Old
typefaces
have
been
used
up
in
endless

rehashes,
If
you’re
going
to
do
new
typography,
you
need
new
type.”

Imbued
with
eccentricities
and
nuanced
in
every
way
that
would
be
considered

typographic
heresy
by
Modernist
ideals,
both
Template
Gothic
and
Keedy
became

markers
of
change
brought
by
plurality–of
tools
(computers),
of
cultures

(typographers
from
different
nations)
and
of
design
processes.

Arnheim’s
contention
is
that:

“Today
we
no
longer
regard
the
universe
as
the
cause
of
our
undeserved

troubles
but
perhaps,
on
the
contrary,
the
last
refuge
from
our

mismanagement
of
earthly
affairs.
Even
so,
the
law
of
entropy
continues

to
make
for
a
bothersome
discrepancy
in
the
humanities
and
helps
to

maintain
an
artificial
separation
from
natural
sciences”
(Arnheim,
6)

Arnheim’s
understanding
of
entropy
is
strikingly
positive–he
considers
entropy

to
be
the
inherently
useful
to
creative
tendencies.
Arnheim
further
extends
this

observation
to
visual
culture,
in
which
two
stylistic
trends
have
resonated

13
Coupland,
Ken,
“The
many
faces
of
Mr.
Keedy”,
May
1,
1996,
Folio:
The
Magazine
for
Magazine

Management
<http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3065/is_n7_v25/ai_18214199/>

30

strongly
throughout
its
rich
and
varied
history–on
one
hand
there
is
a
tendency

to
display
extreme
simplicity,
which
is
seen
in
works
as
early
as
1913
by
Kasimir

Malevich’s
Suprematist
black
square
on
a
white
ground.
The
other
tendency

relies
on
accidental
or
deliberately
produced
disorder.
The
historical
analysis
of

Modernist
and
design
in
the
previous
chapter
provided
a
good
analogue

for
the
Second
Law
of
Thermodynamics.
These
movements
were
born
in
a
state

of
disorder
(WWI),
which
acted
as
a
catalyst
for
creating
a
rich
plurality
of
design

principles,
styles
and
aesthetics.

In
the
writings
of
the
composer
John
Cage,
one
finds
observations
such
as

the
following:

“I
him
what
a
musical
score
is
now.

He
said
that’s
a
good
question.

I
said:
Is
it
a
fixed
relationship
of
parts?

He
said:
Of
course
not;
that
would
be
insulting”
(Arnheim,
6)

The
direct
inference
from
this
observation
is
that
Cage’s
concept
of
a
composition

is
not
a
simplistic
gestalt.
He
implicitly
attributes
his
assertion
on
the
notion
of

creating
compositions
based
on
chance
and
on
disorder.
We
can
further
infer
that

over
the
period
of
time
in
which
postmodern
design
has
become
ubiquitous,
the

popular
use
of
the
notion
of
entropy
has
changed.
If
during
the
last
century,
it

served
to
explain,
diagnose
and
deplore
the
of
culture,
it
now

provides
a
positive
rationale
for
savoring
the
pleasure
of
chaos.
(Arnheim,
7)

31

It
follows
that
the
plurality
that
postmodern
typography
built
itself
on,
is

desirable
and
in
a
picture,
even
necessary.
Typographic
plurality

directly
translates
into
more
design
choices
at
the
designers’
disposal.
The

resultant
diversity
of
design
constructs
is
a
prerequisite
for
the
next
change

of
order.

What
necessitates
a
change
of
order?
In
other
words,
why
do
we
see
a
relentless

progression
of
stylistic
preferences
from
one
design
movement
to
the
other?

The
lies
in
a
designer’s
continual
struggle
to
be
creative.
Creativity

requires
that
the
designer
deviate
from
the
established
norm.
It
requires
a
change

of
order–
just
as
any
progress
requires
a
change
of
order.
A
revolution
must
aim

at
destruction
of
the
prevalent
order
and
will
succeed
by
asserting
an
order
of

its
own.
(Arnheim,
2)

The
Equilibrium
State

Arnheim
states,
regarding
equilibrium
that,

“Now
Equilibrium
is
the
very
opposite
of
disorder.
A
system
is
in
equilibrium

when
the
forces
constituting
it
are
arranged
in
such
a
way
as
to
compensate

each
other,
like
two
weights
pulling
at
the
arms
of
a
pair
of
scales.

Equilibrium
makes
for
a
standstill–no
further
action
can
occur,
except
by

outside
influence.
It
also
represents
the
simplest
structure
the
system
can

assume
under
the
given
conditions.
This
amounts
to
saying
that
the

32

maximum
entropy
attainable
through
rearrangement
is
reached
when
the

system
is
in
the
best
possible
order”
(Arnheim,
25)

The
statement
is
extremely
interesting
when
applied
to
the
nature
of
graphic

design
processes.

As
designers,
our
minds
are
media,
aggressively
pursuing
the

proliferation
of
more
media.
As
of
today,
the
visual
realm
is
saturated
with

numerous
design
constructs,
many
of
which
are
influenced
by
the
work
of
past

designers,
while
at
the
same
time
creating
precedents
for
future
generations
of

designers.
In
a
realm
where
creativity
means
formulating
something
new

constantly,
designers
will
deviate
from
basic
semiotic
conventions,
to

plurality
of
design
constructs
and
hence,
entropy.

We
discussed
the
plurality
by
tracing
the
evolution
of
typography
in
graphic

design.
If
entropy
in
graphic
design
is
increasing,
when
will
it
reach
equilibrium?

In
other
words,
when
will
the
plurality
cease
to
A
short
to
this

question
is
never.

To
explain
this,
we
must
first
explore
the
reasons
why
plurality

is
persistent,
preventing
the
equilibrium
state
from
being
reached.

Design
processes
are
often
a
culmination
of
the
designer’s
intent,
his
inspiration

and
his
research.
However
methodical
a
design
process
may
be,
there
are
certain

designers
who
do
not
to
a
‘process’,
but
rely
on
‘intuition’
i.e.,
they
don’t

subject
their
design
decisions
to
conscious
reasoning.
Such
unconscious
drives

33

are
the
ones
that
are,
as
the
Freudian
model14
suggests,
latent
or
repressed.

Building
this
thought
further,
it
can
be
deduced
that
these
drives,
find
a
way

to
manifest
themselves
in
the
designers’
mind–they
could
exist
as
multiple

voices,
working
in
concord
or
even
conflicting
one
another.
Invariably,
their

effect
on
the
final
outcome
of
the
designer’s
intent

(the
design
solution)
is

not
accounted
for
because
of
the
prevalence
of
a
general
tendency–if
the
final

outcome
of
a
design
problem
communicates
well,
why
should
we
even
care

the
process
that
was
used
to
reach
it?

Furthermore,
design
processes
are
never
unified–they
tend
to
branch
out

iteratively,
increasing
complexity
but
offering
different
possible
outcomes.

Our
efforts,
as
designers,
are
always
driven
to
reduce
this
inherent
complexity.

The
term
design
evokes
the
act
of
thinking
proactively
and
simplifying
a
problem,

finding
a
strong
voice
and
ultimately
simplifying
what
can
be
simplified.

Most
people
believe,
for
most
of
the
time
that
they
are
‘autonomous
and
unitary’

individuals,
marked
off
distinctly
from
other
people
(Freud
1963:
3).
They
also

believe
that
they
have
free
will
and
that
their
thoughts,
feelings
and
beliefs
are

their
own.15

The
designers’
world-­‐view
is
often
strongly
shaped
by
individual

perception
and
not
by
the
dynamic
of
their
relation
to
others
that
may
share
the

14
According
to
Freud,
it
is
the
insistent
return
of
the
repressed
that
can
explain
numerous

phenomena
that
are
normally
overlooked:
not
only
our
dreams
but
also
what
has
come
to
be

called
"Freudian
slips"
(what
Freud
himself
called
"parapraxes")

15
Malcolm
Barnard,
“Approaches
to
Understanding
Visual
Culture,”
(New
York:
Palgrave,
2001)

78.

34

same
world-­‐view.
The
reason
for
this
is
the
designers’
propensity
for
simplifying

things.
In
the
process
of
creating
new
constructs
to
reduce
complexity,
designers

spawn
new
processes,
techniques
and
ideas
in
to
the
ones
in
existence.
It

is
hard
for
designers
to
accept
that
their
processes
are
in
fact,
to
the
chaos

that
is
the
visual
culture,
as
we
know
it
today.

In
typography,
every
alphabet
is
a
culture
in
that
it
has
its
own
version
of
history

and
understanding
of
Other
alphabets
such
as
Armenian,
Cherokee,

Devanagari,
Georgian,
Hebrew,
Japanese,
Korean
have
unique
histories
of
their

own.
Their
histories
have
overlapped
at
some
points
and
diverged
at
others.

Typographers
working
with
different
alphabets
have
the
dual
of
knowing

the
cultural
history
as
well
as
work
with
the
intricacies
and
nuances
of
that

alphabet.
Postmodernism
and
globalization
converged
the
world
and

international
designers
within
easy
reach
of
each
other.
At
the
same
time,

publications
like
Emigre
espoused
the
notion
of
bringing
them
together
to

celebrate
the
plurality
of
typographic
history.
Zuzana
Licko’s
typographic

pastiche,
Mrs.
Eaves
upheld
the
spirit
of
its
source,
while
achieving

perfect
contrast
between
the
thick
and
thin
strokes.

Arnheim’s
explanation
of
equilibrium
holds
true
in
this
regard.
The
realm
of

graphic
design
is
in
a
state
of
constant
flux
and
with
every
shift
in
stylistic

preference,
strives
to
attain
the
simplest
possible
form–in
the
wake
of

postmodernism,
plurality
represents
a
state
of
maximum
entropy–the

equilibrium
state.

35

Conclusion:
New
Contexts
and
Continuously
Increasing
Entropy

The
previous
chapter
served
to
explain
how
plurality
of
design
constructs

reaches
a
point,
which
can
be
considered
equilibrium.
However
this
is
not
a

state
of
permanent
stasis.
That
is
because
the
graphic
design
realm
is
not
a

perfectly
closed
system–even
if
the
design
outcome
is
created
within
a
tightly

controlled
set
of
parameters
(specific
typefaces,
colors,
photographs
and

illustrations),
the
context
in
which
the
outcome
is
going
to
eventually
exist
is

out
of
the
designers’
control.
The
design
outcome
is
meant
to
exist
outside
its

controlled
environment
to
interact
with
other
outcomes
(of
other
processes).

When
the
outcome
travels
across
boundaries,
it
undergoes
examination
outside

of
its
original
context.
Till
this
point
is
reached,
we
continue
to
encounter
an

increase
in
unexpected
behavior.

As
discussed
in
previous
chapters,
artistic
movements
in
general
and
in

particular
can
serve
as
a
perfect
example
to
illustrate
this.
In
a
society
where
war

brought
chaos
and
despair,
represented
the
redefined
context
in

which
the
arts
reflected
pure
disorder.

Marcel
Duchamp,
who
ushered
in
new
anti-­‐art
proved
to
be
very
instrumental
in

challenging
and
subverting
conventional
art
processes
in
this
post-­‐World
War
I

context.
Duchamp
claimed:

“The
creative
act
is
not
performed
by
the
artist
alone;
the
spectator
brings
the

work
in
contact
with
the
external
world
by
deciphering
and
interpreting
its
inner

36

qualifications
and
thus
his
contribution
to
the
creative
act.”16
Design

constructs
are
also
subjected
to
similar
interpretation
when
they
move
out
of

their
own
controlled
environment.
Individual
interpretations
wildly
differ,
which

means
that
the
original
intent
of
creating
the
construct
is
not
met–the
meaning,

which
was
instituted
in
the
construct
by
its
designer,
is
not
understood
because
of

the
changed
context.

Duchamp
pioneered
the
act
of
redefining
contexts
and
changing
meanings–his

most
seminal
and
controversial
work
titled,
“The
Fountain”
was
on
of
his
most

poignant
pieces
that
shifted
the
focus
of
art
from
physical
craft
to
intellectual

interpretation.
Under
a
pseudonym,
“R.
Mutt,”
Duchamp
submitted
Fountain.
It

was
a
prank,
meant
to
taunt
his
avant-­‐garde
peers.
For
many,
it
raised
the

question–was
Duchamp
equating
art
to
a
toilet-­‐fixture?
Was
art
dissociating
itself

from
what
it
originally
intended
to
change?

Was
the
marker
of

equilibrium,
a
logical
step,
given
the
continued
rise
of
entropy
through
all
the

events
following
World
War
I?

When
a
system
undergoes
change
to
grow
or
expand,
its
new
size,
complexity
and

function
call
for
a
correspondingly
modified
order.
(Arnheim,
26)
was

the
marker
of
this
modified
order–the
simplest
state
that
the
system
of
artists

could
assume
under
the
conditions
prevalent
after
the
war.

16
Marcel
Duchamp,
“Session
on
the
Creative
Act”,
Convention
of
the
American
Federation
of
Arts,

Houston,
Texas,
April
1957.

37

a
major,
irrecoverable
change
of
identity
in
European
modernist

art,
changing
ideals,
shifting
and
ultimately
creating
a
point
in
time

where
art
stood
for
nothing.
It
is
at
this
point,
that,
in
spite
of
the
conditions

to
its
creation,
represents
equilibrium–the
logical
state
that

contemporaneous
art
assumed
under
conditions
of
increasing
disorder.

A
similar
contention
can
be
Modernist
design.
It
is
important
to
note

that
the
context
in
which
these
design
movements
have
taken
shape
is

instrumental
in
deciding
what
represents
entropy
and
what
represents

equilibrium.
Compared
to
the
mathematical
model
of
shuffling,
where
no

structural
forces
other
than
the
shaking-­‐up
of
independent
elements
are
present,

entropy
is
not
a
lawful
force–it
does
not
describe
a
process
of
nature
but
simply

notes
its
numerical
effects.
(Arnheim,
26)

The
system
that
designers
reside
in,
involves
several
key
parameters
such
as

mercurial
trends,
subjective
opinions
regarding
design
outcomes
and
multiple

voices
on
several
levels
as
discussed
in
the
previous
chapter.
Owing
to
constantly

changing
parameters,
the
system
is
in
a
state
of
constant
flux–in
service
to
the

system
reaching
equilibrium.

In
response
to
criticism
of
his
book,
Entropy
and
Art,
Rudolf
Arnheim
explained:

“The
tendency
towards
orderly
equilibrium
in
physical
systems
has
its

parallel
in
the
striving
towards
orderliness
of
the
human
mind,
including
that

of
the
artist.
But,
as
this
tendency,
when
unchecked,
to
the
boredom
of

38

relieved
simplicity
and
ultimate
homogeneity,
there
is
need
for
a

countertendency,
which
in
keeping
with
the
nature
of
the
organism
as
an

open
system,
makes
up
for
the
increase
of
entropy
by
importing
energy
from

the
environment.
In
a
work
of
art,
this
interplay
between
the
structural

theme,
as
I
called
it,
and
the
ordering
tendency
results
in
richness,
complexity

and
dynamic
vitality,
on
the
one
hand
and
the
legibility
of
highly
organized

form
on
the
other.
Order,
in
nature
as
well
as
in
art,
comes
in
a
range
of

levels,
extending
from
the
simplicity
of
mere
orderliness
to
the
turmoil
of

illegible
shapelessness.

Considerations
of
this
kind
are
not
required
for
the
interpretation
of

particular
works
within
the
precinct
of
art.
There
is
no
need
to
talk

entropy
when
one
interprets
a
Gothic
But,
if
one
is
searching
for

the
place
of
art
in
the
world
of
nature,
then
the
reference
to
entropy
is
not

only
but
indispensable.”17

This
explanation
enforces
that
entropy
is
a
concept
not
restricted
to

thermodynamics,
but
has
far
reaching
implications
in
art
and
design.
Also
in

the
light
of
this
explanation,
the
role
of
as
a
systemic
entity
becomes

clearer.
As
an
entity
that
fed
on
the
disorderly
state
of
society,
it
represented
a

17
Arnheim,
Rudolf,
On
Entropy
and
Art,
Leonardo,
Vol.
6,
No.
2
(The
MIT
Press,
1973),
pp.
188-­‐
189

39

state
of
maximum
entropy
and
simultaneously
equilibrium.

It
was
an

embodiment
of
disorder
that
represented
the
most
simplified
organization.

Designers
design,
in
other
words
try
to
attain
a
semblance
of
equilibrium
by

trying
to
counterbalance
the
increase
of
entropy
in
the
system.
This
effort
is

largely
based
on
the
understanding
that
entropy
has
two
faces–orderliness
and

chaos.
In
doing
so,
they
only
succeed
partially
because
the
realm
of
design
creates

multiplicity
faster
than
it
can
equilibrate.
It
is
vital,
as
designers,
for
us
to

understand
that
the
visual
culture
that
we
consider
ourselves
a
part
of
is

because
of
this
entropy
and
not
in
spite
of
it.

Works
Cited

1. Flam,
Jack,
Robert
Smithson:
The
Collected
Writings
2nd
Edition
(The

University
of
California
Press,
Berkeley
and
Los
Angeles,
California
1996)
45

2. Arnheim,
Rudolf,

Entropy
and
Art,
(The
MIT
Press,
1973),
pp.
188-­‐189

3. Remington,
Roger,
Bodenstedt,
Lisa
,
American
Modernism:
graphic
design

1920-­‐1960
(Yale
University
Press,
2003)
16

4. Margret
Kentgens-­‐Craig,
The
Bauhaus
and
America:
first
contacts,
1919-­‐

1936
(MIT
Press,
2001)
14

40

5. Bringhurst,
Robert,
The
Elements
of
Typographic
Style
(Hartley
and
Marks

Publishers,
2004),
132

6. Good
Alex,
“Death
of
The
Author”,
2000/Goodreports.net,

http://www.goodreports.net/essays/thedeathoftheauthor.htm

7. Bartram,
Alan,

Futurist
Typography
and
The
Liberated
Text
(Yale

University
Press,
2005)
7

8. Heller,
Steven
and
Meggs,
Philip,
Texts
on
Type:
Critical
Writings
on

Typography
(Allworth
Press,
2001)
132

9. Heller,
Steven,
Fili,
Louise,
Typology:
type
design
from
the
Victorian
era
to

the
digital
age
(Chronicle
Books,
1999)
66

10. Dietmar
Elger,
Uta
Grosenick,
Before
was
there,
there
was

(Taschen,
2004),
7

11. Eskilson,
Stephen,
Graphic
Design:
a
new
history,
(Yale
University
Press,

2007)

12. Meggs,
Philip,
Purvis,
Alston,
“The
Influence
of
Modernism”,
Megg’s
History

Of
Graphic
Design,
(John
Wiley
and
Sons,
2006)
264

13.
Coupland,
Ken,
“The
many
faces
of
Mr.
Keedy”,
May
1,
1996,

Folio:
The
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for
Magazine
Management

<http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3065/is_n7_v25/ai_18214199/>

14.
Felluga,
Dino.
"Modules
on
Freud:
On
the
Unconscious."
Introductory
Guide

to
Critical
Theory.
Nov.
28,
2003
Purdue

http://www.purdue.edu/guidetotheory/psychoanalysis/freud2.html

41

15. Malcolm
Barnard,

Approaches
to
Understanding
Visual
Culture,
(New
York:

Palgrave,
2001)
78.

16. Marcel
Duchamp,
Session
on
the
Creative
Act,
Convention
of
the
American

Federation
of
Arts,
Houston,
Texas,
April
1957.

17. Arnheim,
Rudolf,
On
Entropy
and
Art,
Leonardo,
Vol.
6,
No.
2
(The
MIT
Press,

1973),
pp.
188-­‐189

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