Student Project Marries Graphic Design With Handcraft

  • Fonts in Use
Fonts in Use | Yves Peters | May 31, 2012

The FontFeed has a soft spot for students doing fun stuff with typography. This time we discovered I Could Have Done This…, a video on Vimeo by Briar Mark, “an Auckland-based freelance graphic designer, mad hand-crafter, avid Facebooker and collector of Starbucks cups.” This project was done as part of her final project towards a Bachelor of Graphic Design at AUT University in Auckland, NZ.

I Could Have Done This… from Briar Mark on Vimeo.

Having recently become a hand crafter herself, Briar Mark investigated with this project how handcraft relates to graphic design, bringing to light some of the similarities and differences between the two processes. Graphic Design often puts a lot of emphasis on speed and perfection, whilst handcraft and in particular embroidery is extremely time consuming and can never really be perfect. There are also strong differences in terms of the potential for mass production and gender associations with the design profession traditionally being masculine, while handcraft has always been a domestic feminine pastime. Briar’s work was really experimental and she found it an interesting process putting the two together. Despite all the differences, the main conclusion she came to at the end of her project was that there is the potential for embroidery to be interpreted into Graphic Design applications.

“I could have done this on my Mac” and “This would have taken 8 seconds to type” were typeset in Gill Sans.

The video I Could Have Done This… was only one example of a whole series of large scale posters using ironic statements such as “I could have done this on my Mac”, “This would have taken 8 seconds to type” and “iCraft” which make people think about the similarities and differences between the two processes and also hopefully make people laugh a wee bit. Ever an optimist Briar Mark totally underestimated how long these would take when she started. What began as a project to get her away from long nights staring at her computer screen really just ended up as long nights hunched over her stitching. The “I could have done this on my mac” was definitely the most time consuming, having to do every letter three times. The idea behind this was the relationship between the technical aspects of printing and how that could be interpreted through craft, particularly the technique of overprinting and how that could be replicated using the three process colours in a stitched medium.

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  1. Oh dear. Hasn’t this poor girl ever heard of a quilting frame? I figure this might have cut the time in half.

    Posted by Charles on May. 31, 2012
  2. Indeed, but that would also have cut the epicness of the project in half. ; )

    Posted by Yves Peters on Jun. 1, 2012
  3. I read in the final credits of the video »I wish I’d done this on my mac.« – a ruined marriage!?

    Posted by Tobias-D. Albert on Jun. 1, 2012
  4. I have been following Briar’s blog for a long while now, I am so happy to see how she has combined embroidery and graphic design together. I am a huge fan of sewing and I am currently studying Graphic Design so for me this is a big inspiration for me. Thanks for sharing and I can’t wait to see more of Briar Mark’s work. :)

    Posted by Angela Blanco on Jun. 5, 2012
  5. Amazingly beautiful. Please note this seems to be embroidered onto a heavy weight paper stock not fabric.

    I’m going to have to check out her blog now!

    I wish I had the patience to do such a project.

    Posted by JSchroeder on Jun. 13, 2012
  6. I think this is a great mash-up. Reminds me of some of the great cross stitch fonts that are out there. Although I gotta say I am really tired of designers being so hung up on Mac. They are severely overprices and overrated. Mac and graphic design are not related to each other, any more then lawn mowers are related to the super-bowl.

    Posted by Alina Yanta on Jun. 14, 2012
  7. awesome, love it, well done!!!!

    Posted by jet on Jun. 14, 2012
  8. I loved the wittiness of this and how cleverly Briar Mark showed the differences of the two. As to the idea of putting heavy stock paper into a quilting frame the result would be permanent creases and broken paper fibre that would have looked appalling. So, no, I don’t think she could have used a frame. In fact, when I think of how much I rely on my iron and washing machine for my sewing projects I am truly humbled at how Briar Mark managed to keep her paper so beautifully prisitne, considering how much she must have had to handle it.

    Posted by sylvia carlyle on Jul. 8, 2012

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