Student Project Marries Graphic Design With Handcraft

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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