Nicolas P Maffei

Dr Nicolas P Maffei is a Senior Lecturer, Graphics, Norwich University of the Arts

February 25, 2014 11:53 am
Bold Colorful Typographic TWEN magazine ad, back cover, August 1968 

Bold Colorful Typographic TWEN magazine ad, back cover, August 1968 

December 17, 2013 3:31 pm
An example of electronics used to create 3-D type from Dolphin Computer and Electronic Design System. 
Upper and Lower Case, The International Journal of Typographics, ITC, vol. 7, no. 2, June 1980, pp. 47-49

Full publication here: 
goo.gl/sc3NRA

An example of electronics used to create 3-D type from Dolphin Computer and Electronic Design System. 

Upper and Lower Case, The International Journal of Typographics, ITC, vol. 7, no. 2, June 1980, pp. 47-49

Full publication here: 

goo.gl/sc3NRA

December 12, 2013 4:57 pm

How can we discuss authenticity in design and branding in a serious way? Authenticity and design: some notes from Crang et al.

image I am constantly frustrated by the lazy way in which ‘authenticity’ is discussed in discourses on marketing and branding. It is too fuzzy: too undefined.Crang et al may provide a way forward:
Authenticity is always in flux, always being redefined. It is a negotiation between consumers and others (designers, marketers, etc.) When it is too authentic it is tempered by the familiar. 
In a section on authenticity, or more precisely authentication, Crang et al discuss how food consumers, especially cosmopolitan ‘foodies’ use their access to food knowledge, to local people, places and foods, and expertise to access a feeling of an authentic culinary experience. These knowledges help to position and construct the ‘cosmopolitan’ who ‘float[s] above’ and occasionally engages with these local worlds. Authenticity is a fabrication and self-construction, a social process that is constantly performed by consumers and proprietors. It is not a stable set of meanings. They refer to Lu and Fine whose study of Chinese restaurants around Athens, Georgia show how ethnicity and authenticity are constructions that are manifested in cultural transactions (Lu and Fine 535). The restaurateurs in Lu and Fine’s study negotiate ‘two rather different perceived consumer desires: a desire for the authentically ‘Chinese’, and a desire for something familiar enough to be enjoyable (which restaurateurs frame through notions of “American” and “Americanization”) [Crang, 238].’ 
I WONDER IF YOU CAN DISCUSS AUTHENTICITY AS A CONSTRUCTION CREATED BY THE DESIRES OF CONSUMERS ON THE ONE HAND AND THE CONCEPTS AND DESIGNS OF DESIGNERS, ADVERTISERS, AND MARKETERS ON THE OTHER. ALSO, CAN YOU DISCUSS AUTHENTICITY IN BRANDING AS SOMETHING THAT, AS LU AND FINE DISCUSS, IS OFTEN BALANCED BY A NEED FOR SOMETHING FAMILIAR.  

‘These socially negotiated performances of ideas such as authenticity or ethnicity are particularly explicit in restaurants. But they are not limited to them…. In other sites of culinary culture the spatialities of these performances may be different. They may be characterized by the marketing departments of food manufacturers, or increasingly likely retailers, setting up a range of performed interactions with product designers, home economists, packaging designers, focus groups of consumers and so on in order to eventually stage a number of encounters between product and consumer [Crang, 238-9].’ 

Crang et al ‘Eating Into Britishness: Multicultural Imaginaries and the Identity Politics of Food’ Ian Cook, Philip Crang, and Mark Thorpe, Explorations in Sociology, Basingstoke, Macmillan Press, 1990, Vol. 56, pp. 223-248.
Photo by Garry Knight, 2012, Tex Mex Restaurant, Notting Hill, London, via Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/garryknight/7327814010/
6:10 am

Ethnic food consumption as compensation for modern life? Is the Chicken McKorma Such a Bad Thing?

In 1987 food historian Warren Belasco observed that an ‘ethnic revival’  - ‘a grass roots movement seeking tradition, authenticity, pluralism, cultural decentralization’ - was occurring in the 1970s and ‘represented a genuine dissatisfaction with mainstream, mass-mediated, corporate American culture, and in part it involved a nostalgic resistance to such industrial feeders as McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and General Foods [3].’

Large corporate food concerns took advantage of this nostalgic demand for traditional food by producing fast food versions of ethnic foods. ‘Indeed, despite the anticorporate, decentralist implications of the grass roots ethnic revival, the food industry was more centralized in 1985 than it had been in 1970. The corporate response to the ethnic revival highlights what some culture analysts call the hegemonic process – the subtle way in which dominant forces within a society are able to withstand, absorb, and incorporate insurgent strivings [3].’  (Belasco is referring to ‘incorporation’ / Dick Hebdige)

Belasco, Warren J., ‘Ethnic Fast Foods: The Corporate Melting Pot’, Food and Foodways, 1987, Vol. 2, pp. 1-30, Harwood Academic Publishers, Great Britain

November 16, 2013 4:29 pm
new-aesthetic:

Artist layers 100 unique copies of The Beatles’ White Album for original vinyl release – The Vinyl Factory
"Not one to fret about the odd duplicate, earlier this year Houston-born Californian artist Rutherford Chang displayed his staggering collection of 693 discrete second hand copies of The Beatles’ self-titled 1968 LP, more commonly known as The White Album, at New York’s Recess Gallery. Fascinated in the differing organic and man-made ways in which the virgin sleeves aged or were deformed over time, Chang has since amassed close to 800 copies of the record, unique for their embossed “The Beatles” title and serial number, giving the impression that the album was itself limited. As it is, almost three million are thought to be in circulation.
"Slated as the final work in the exhibition, Chang has electronically overlaid 100 discrete copies of the album to create one densely layered 96-minute double LP on which each version of the iconic original brings its own sonic history to the final recording. The physical imperfections of the 45 year old records pop, skip and crackle to create an eerie heterophony as the record gradually drifts out of sync with itself over the course of each side."


Authentic inauthenticity: a collection of 800 pre-owned Beatle’s White Albums

new-aesthetic:

Artist layers 100 unique copies of The Beatles’ White Album for original vinyl release – The Vinyl Factory

"Not one to fret about the odd duplicate, earlier this year Houston-born Californian artist Rutherford Chang displayed his staggering collection of 693 discrete second hand copies of The Beatles’ self-titled 1968 LP, more commonly known as The White Album, at New York’s Recess Gallery. Fascinated in the differing organic and man-made ways in which the virgin sleeves aged or were deformed over time, Chang has since amassed close to 800 copies of the record, unique for their embossed “The Beatles” title and serial number, giving the impression that the album was itself limited. As it is, almost three million are thought to be in circulation.

"Slated as the final work in the exhibition, Chang has electronically overlaid 100 discrete copies of the album to create one densely layered 96-minute double LP on which each version of the iconic original brings its own sonic history to the final recording. The physical imperfections of the 45 year old records pop, skip and crackle to create an eerie heterophony as the record gradually drifts out of sync with itself over the course of each side."

Authentic inauthenticity: a collection of 800 pre-owned Beatle’s White Albums

September 9, 2013 11:12 pm

new-aesthetic:

Dizzee Rascal | I Don’t Need A Reason (by DIVISION)

Dizzee is GIF-ready (h/t @WillWiles).

Dizzee these GIFs are bonkers: nice historical revisioning too!

September 7, 2013 8:38 am
Marissa's Tumblr: Geeking Out on the Logo

marissamayr:

So, tonight we unveiled the new Yahoo logo, concluding our 30 days of change.

We hadn’t updated our logo in 18 years. Our brand, as represented by the logo, has been valued at as much as ~$10 billion dollars. So, while it was time for a change, it’s not something we could do lightly.

New Yahoo logo explained includes blue print and design rationale. Fascinating insider’s view.

July 31, 2013 1:31 pm
The number of infographics giving infographics a bad name infographic

The number of infographics giving infographics a bad name infographic

(Source: Flickr / philgyford)

July 29, 2013 12:33 pm

Craig Mod’s Subcompact Publishing webography

July 19, 2013 1:23 pm
"

Ever wonder what our labor market would look like without minimum wages or labor law protections? Take a look at the brave new world of online piecework platforms, like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, which allows employers, politely termed “requesters,” to post jobs for a “global, on-demand, 24 x 7 work force.” […]

Low-quality wages may elicit low-quality work. But as Professor Ipeirotis points out, companies can compensate in two different ways, through redundancy (hiring several workers to do the same job and comparing their results) or through use of “gold data” — questions to which employers already know the answer, randomly inserted as a test of worker competence.

One recent academic paper on the future of crowd work, acknowledging sweatshop anxieties, asks, “Can we foresee a future crowd workplace in which we would want our children to participate?” It does not provide a clear answer.

"

Nancy Folbre: The Unregulated Work of Mechanical Turk - NYTimes.com (via new-aesthetic)

Graphic designers worried about crowd sourcing their profession: read this!

(via new-aesthetic)

June 21, 2013 11:04 pm

askerquestioner

Anonymous: I am doing a presentation for one of my classes on you and a piece of your work, "The search for an American design aesthetic: from art deco to streamlining" any way I could get some info on biographical things such as when you were born, where you grew up, etc? its been rather difficult to find!

Hi, thanks for your interest, You can email me at n.maffei@nua.ac.uk. I’d be happy to tell you more. All the best, Nic M

June 20, 2013 2:10 pm 1:02 pm

Virtual ‘Thank You’. Does it mean as much?

11:45 am
new-aesthetic:

Hell is Other People: Anti-Social App Helps You Avoid Running Into Your Friends | Geekosystem
“Hell Is Other People is an experiment in anti-social media. It monitors your friends’ check-ins on Foursquare to figure out where they might be and then creates a map with “optimally distanced safe zones” to decrease the chances that you might cross their paths.”

new-aesthetic:

Hell is Other People: Anti-Social App Helps You Avoid Running Into Your Friends | Geekosystem

“Hell Is Other People is an experiment in anti-social media. It monitors your friends’ check-ins on Foursquare to figure out where they might be and then creates a map with “optimally distanced safe zones” to decrease the chances that you might cross their paths.”

May 14, 2013 7:03 pm

prostheticknowledge:

The Art of Nandan Ghiya

Artist creates works using vintage portraits with physical modern-day digital distortions.

More info and examples of the artist’s work can be found at Ocular here and Galerie Paris-Beijing here

Digital analog now then

(via new-aesthetic)