游走於 Modern 與 Post-Modern 之間

近來,我接了一本新的旅遊書,正在 brainstorm 可以怎樣設計。一邊 brainstorm,一邊又在想很多,應該怎樣設計呢?我自問,自己還未有一套自己獨有的設計觀/設計哲學/美術理念,我這陣子常常在想 layout 上應該 modern 或是 post-modern?Minimal or Maximal? Construction or Deconstruction? 嘈雜或是平靜?有 grid 還是無 grid?

在我個人的學習過程中,我喜歡 modern 的 layout design 與喜愛 post-modern 的時期是不同的。在 year 1 的時候,根本不知 design 為何物,所有所謂的 layout design 也可以說是亂排的,只是按照自己的喜好,喜愛就是一切,完全談不上有原因、有好好的美術根底;我在 year 1 才第一次接觸 typography 這個字,之前連這字與 calligraphy 的分別也未搞清楚。不知為何,那時做 presentation board 的時候,真的很喜歡用 Arial or Arial Black ,可能因為不怎麼會錯,或是兩個字——「無知」。

到上了 year 2,真的在這年學了很多很多,亦經驗到很多很多,跟到兩個好的 tutors;這兩年學了一點點的 basic typography, basic Chinese typography, book design, publication,還加上在《號外》雜誌的兩個月 internship。這兩個月的實習真的是我非常好的經驗,亦在那時期,我開始慢慢欣賞到 modern design 的「美」。那種 minimal,那種 clean & clear,那種乾淨與平和,那種沒有雜質,亦沒有一點兒多餘的「美」。當日《號外》的 art director 程少偉認為這才是書版設計應有的「美」。他相信「less is more.」。

I think he has his own design theory. He likes the very traditional way to do design very much and only this can make things long lasting. The layout and editorial design of CITYMAGAZINE is very traditional and they will follow the grid to design. He also thinks that “as a magazine designer, apart from creativity, hard working, communication and co-operation skill is very important. The latter aspects are even more important than that of creativity. He thinks creativity can be trained, but the personality such as hard working is hard to teach.”

He believes that only monthly magazine can train the designer who really can design books and layout properly. Only monthly magazine (or longer time) will emphasize grid and the basic design elements of a page and a book. He thinks that there are too many weekly magazines nowadays which some of the pages are quite good but it needs to be fast. It doesn’t have adequate time for the graphic engineer to do better layout.

以上是我當年對他的記述(載於 LUXURIOUS INTERSHIP REPORT),他很喜歡《號外》那種傳統 modern design 的排版方式,他覺得這樣才能長久,沒有雜質,每一點一條線也計算清楚,沒有一點多餘。

從那時開始,我也開始欣賞這種「少一點」的設計,不懂看的人會覺得像無設計,但它的目的就在於你可以置身於 well-designed 的環境中,而你不覺有設計。Modern design 沒有一點花巧,沒有一點作狀,文字才是主角,讓你平靜地閱讀內容。

Laszlo Moholy Nagy 說:「Typography is a tool of communication. It must be in its most intense form. The emphasis must be on absolute clarity, Legibility—communication must never be impaired by an a priori aesthetics…

Modernist design 常常著重容易傳遞訊息,著重 readability, legibility, information hierarchy, grid system;但有時也忽略了個人的情緒與感情。

然而,我好一陣子也是非常著重 grid system,好一陣子很喜愛用《號外》式 modernist 的 layout,覺得好有安全感、好 clear、好多 spacing、又好有變化。直到現在,我也很著重 grid system 的運用的。

而時間來到 year 3,final year 這一年是我個人在這三年來,個人學習與獨立思考最多的一年,做 final year project 是最辛苦而又學得最多的一個學期。這一年亦是我對 graphic design history, Chinese typography and book design 放得最多心機學習與研究的一年。我的 FYP 所跟隨的老師是 Esther,跟她真的可以學到很多,因為自問不是太有 talent、太有態度、太爆的人;未有自己的設計態度之前,做事只可以慢慢學、慢慢做才會有一點點的成績,現在也是如此。

Esther 造書是一個很有 flow、很有 rhythm 、很有建築味與音樂感的一個設計師,所以我覺得她是比較 post-modern 的。作為我 FYP 的 tutor,她不會太 buy 太平靜的 layout design。

零六年四月廿八日,我在 FYP 的 blog 寫道:

「好像讀完三年 design,跟了 Esther 這麼久,我也好像沒有學過一樣,完全唔識。之前所排的 layout 都是隨意的;或是我只可以排一些跟晒 grid,排得整整齊齊、穩紮穩打的 layout,可以騙一下人。昨晚,我完全感覺不到本書的 flow;所有 visual element 都看不到;他們的作用與感受好像完全看不到。」

這是非常難受的,這之後 Esther 教了我這幾點(這也是我從我那個 FYP blog 節錄下來的):

1) There is flow for the book. There is interaction and linkage between pages to pages. There is a sequence of paper for flipping.

2) There are lots of visual elements. All affects the layout of the book. Simply putting the graphic into the square box, we have to consider the box is enclosed or not. If it is not an enclosed box, there is a chance for the white space to flow out.

3) The heaviness and the lightness in a book are important. The whole book should not be very noisy from start to the end. We have to give readers to have a rest. There should be comfortable situation and noisy environment in a book.

4) All the visual elements have a kind of effect and feeling to us. Everything is suggesting and providing something. I have to learn to “see”.

是的,學習怎樣「看」是很重要的,我現在還在學習。這一年,在 Graphic design history 與 FYP 的學習之下,我開始了解 post-modern 為何物,也開始欣賞 post-modern 的 designers。其中,當然包括 David Carson。

‘ I need a blank screen to begin designing—no guidelines, no rules.’

‘ I can’t work with any kind of guidelines on the computer—the first thing I do is eliminate them,’ says David Carson. ‘ I have to get rid of all that before I start work. It probably comes from my lack of training—I never learned what a grid was. By the time I knew, I was a few years in and didn’t see as place for them in my work.’

This, he says, is why he doesn’t like grids; working within a grid system can lead to blandness. ‘ Magazines can be the worst,’ he says. ‘ They might have an article about flowers, and one about a murder, and they will both look the same. When I design, I read the article and try to interpret it, so that the design gives it more life, more emotion, more impact. I try, visually, to bring the readers in. And hopefully they will be rewarded by a good story.’

以上是 David Carson 的講話,節錄自一本我很喜愛的書 ‘the designer and the grid’。我覺得他講的最好的是「點解設計花的故事與設計殺人犯的故事是一樣的 layout 的呢?」請給書版設計多一點感情,多一點生活。

Jeffery Keedy 也講過差不多的說話:「Typography “ … a life of its own. You create a situation for people to do with it what they will, and you don’t create an enclosed or encapsulated moment.”」Typography 是有生命的。

而日本書籍設計大師杉浦康平在郝明義先生的訪談也提過:

郝明義:你曾經說過,設計的時候,「要讓文字部份有用眼睛閱讀的魅力。」請多解釋一點。

杉浦康平:文字永遠是與聲音連結的。當聲音凝結了,就變成了字。我們可以用不同的排版字體和字型來表示,這種字型的聲音很大,這種字型柔和一點;這是女性的聲音,這是年長男士的聲音……我總會仔細觀察字體,這是誰在說話?想要表達哪一種聲調?所以的用的排版字體和字型都會發聲,不只是讓讀者眼見而已,甚至會讓他想要唸出聲來。在我的設計裡,字型字體總是不斷變化、出現不同的和聲……形成一種聲音的戲劇效果。

郝明義:字體設計(typography)的根本精神?

杉浦康平:讓內容有生命力,而不是冷冰冰的。
今天西方的字體設計,注重讓內容很安靜,顯得很知性。當字體設計非常安靜又乾淨的時候,世界看來非常平和。但事實不然,世界的表象之下總是波濤起伏。我總想把這些帶出來,由內而外,由外而內。比如在中國文革時候,人們在牆上寫標語、做大字報,字體有大有小,非常喧鬧,整個帶出了人的活動能量。
當然的有時候也會使用安靜的字體,但基本上我總想讓字體設計是熱鬧的、生動的。

這是我所認同的設計理念,在盡可能的情況下,我也嘗試以各種適合的字體配合版面設計,從而表現內容的生命力。Post-modern design 總是活潑與具有生命力的。

最後,當然,當我們選擇以 modern 或是 post-modern 的設計手法去設計書時,除了是個人的設計態度與風格外,實際上,也是取決於主題與內容的。其實,在現在我還未有自己的 style 的時候,我也不斷嘗試。可能是安全感的關係,我設計時是需要有 grid system 的,可以給我一點指引,亦可作為 visual flow 的 guide;但在這 grid system 之下,我也嘗試 breaking the grid,令 layout design 有多一點 rhythm,活潑一點。所以,我可以說是不斷游走於 Modern 與 Post-Modern 之間,處於一個模糊的定位。

圖:Michael Vanderbyl, postmodern architecture poster, 1984. An “innovative” postmodern building sticks out its tongue at an “obsolete” modern building, the stereotypical and oft-criticized “boring glass box.”

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5 Responses to “游走於 Modern 與 Post-Modern 之間”


  1. 1 June 1, 2007 at 5:30 pm

    我岩岩幫手一個service, 好多好多野做! 其中一part就係做100頁既場刊
    原來, 做一本書係今難今多學問…. 我一定要請教你啦!!!!

  2. 2 Michelle June 3, 2007 at 1:32 am

    我很認同你所講的,一開始接觸layout design,以為不是很難的事,但越認識它,越覺得自己很像不懂設計。

    以下是我這幾年在做書時的一些感受:
    書中每一個設計元素都不可以亂加,每一點,每一個字,每一張圖都影響著設計的概念。有了這些包袱,現在設計時會仔細一點,但也會令自己舉旗不定…時間也多花了….

    我覺得自己眼睛不太銳利,看到自已的layout有不對勁的地方,有時不能具體的說出問題所在….

    其實我不太喜歡整整齊齊的做book design,常常想突破框框,常常愛用浮誇的表現手法吸引讀者。有些以前認為滿意的作品,現在看看覺得有點膚淺…雖然如此,我依然嘗試在自己的設計上運用不同的表現手法…儘管效果不太成功…但我想盡量在書中實驗不同的可能性….

    我沒有特別認同某個風格或設計師的話,因為每個時代,每個設計師都有自己的見解…這個post讓我一再反思如何做好book design…

  3. 3 Cati Chan June 3, 2007 at 2:44 am

    It’s happy that you can get a book job about travelling~~我都想做haha~~~great~

    我之前做過study trip既project book~都係travelling…所以我都有一點的feelings….

    我唔知講得岩唔岩la,唔同做financial report果類,看travelling書的人都想書的message帶到佢真係好似去到或者expect…even認定左果個地方的impression……..睇的心情較有interest…..emotional…

    我覺得除左考慮Grid同Modern, post mordern等手法外,好似travelling呢類的書,好多時要做到有theme味…..我就覺得可以重少少響內容/emotional果一方出發先.e.g.某地方的特色藝術,當地design element方向自著手think…可能響果處搵到一些既岩theme又有「風味(mood)」的grid……然後再配合其他元素……

    haha…就好似俾你去旅行,你的目的係relax…..你跟團,架車車你去金至尊買野兼無得走會好玩d ar?定自由行,行行下挖到正野好玩d?就是咁既道理~

    我明白到所謂的travelling書(還有其他書)可能到頭來要做一些悶蛋approach…(因某某原因局限),所以以上是的一些case下的idea~

    愚昧之見,請笑納。

  4. 4 hei shing June 3, 2007 at 3:36 am

    超開心!這裡好像開始有一點討論的氣氛,這一篇拋磚引玉也有一點收穫。

    其實,我只是藉著我接到本新書去帶出一點點我對 modern 與 post-modern design 的看法。我想,很多年輕的書籍設計師或平面設計師也經過我們這個階段,掙扎或思考關於這些設計上的矛盾問題。

    而以我們的年紀,我們也比較喜歡一些實驗味重的設計,但往往,這些作品亦難 long-lasting。最怕自己的作品變成:這一分鐘看很 amazing;下一分鐘已經完全沒趣。怎樣在這兩者間找一個平衡點立足呢?這是我們須要學習的。當然,在這一分鐘看很 amazing;在下一分鐘看時更有趣,這是最好的。

    謝謝 Michelle!謝謝 Cati!

  5. 5 Ling June 3, 2007 at 9:42 pm

    I pretty much agree with what 程少偉 mentioned. Only monthly mgazine can train up one’s book design/ layout skills. I guess many designers got such an experience that time was just too limited for detailed or good layout and you simply hand in “something pleasant” to satisfy clients’ urgent need. What’s so cruel is that we are always bound by those “urgent” request and our desire to make better design is therefore being postponed unconditionally.

    I remember my past employer often showed me the work of numerous applicants, whose portfolio was surprisingly poor after all those years of working experience. I think it’s not all their fault. There are just too few employers willing to invest time for better ideas and layouts. We’re all too immensed in this “fast-food” culture. Below is an extract of article by an exchange student from UK who has spent his past 3-4 months studying in PolyU School of Design. What he has observed within such a short period is pretty true for HK design environment:

    “Consequently, local work was very different to what we knew and we had to make a significant shift in our style to fit into the course. Hong Kong students have a love of technology and anything computer related and this translates into CAD skills that put many UK professionals to shame. Likewise, their presentation skills were initially in a different league to what was expected in Coventry and although this often came at the expense of strong concepts, it is a design approach that suits Hong Kong. For us, it was a surprise to find so many of the local students taking freelance design work: they would be designing USB sticks and other small products in their spare time, as well as using their significant graphic design skills to create packaging and advertising. This ability to find quick, simple and well paid design work part time was perhaps the biggest shock for us and the most encouraging development of our time in Hong Kong. However, the blurring of the boundary between student and paid designer came at a cost: the local students work so much harder than many of their contemporaries in the UK yet often lacked clear, directed conceptual ability in favour of design for quick, cheap manufacture.”

    Hope that we all create our design balancing on both good concept and executions!


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Contributor

Hei Shing
chanheishing@gmail.com

書就是… A Book is…


一片紙不但表現時間,也表現空間。而一片片的紙張組合起來的書就是一個高深的容器,盛滿文字,既能從中不斷汲取智慧,又能裝入無限的智慧。

A piece of paper reflects not only time but also space. Books are formed by binding papers together to become containers of words that serve as a reservoir as well as a spring of wisdom.

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