Low-tech Identities – Lauren Campbell & Marie Otsuka, MFA Graphic Design 2018
As the Zero-Footprint Campus project wrapped up, we have been transitioning out of the Netherlands to settle in Spain, where the rest of the project will take place. In the process, we’ve been discovering the challenges of low-tech travel: clunky bike-sharing systems, the reduced availability of night trains, the expenses of high-speed trains, and country-specific regulations and processes.
We’ve been discussing an identity system to launch for Low-tech Magazine. Below are a few of the initial sketches where we focused on the a typographic system that embodies historic or alternative type-drawing technology, whether it be the PDU stencil system or calligraphy.
With some feedback, we are revising our next round of designs to include more pictorial elements and quieter typography. With Low-tech Magazine, a platform that has never considered design, there is a sense that the “default” design, the status quo is sufficient. But in the same way that the articles question progress in high technology, we’re working to question how its current design of the blog, consisting of “default” choices, can be better tailored for its mission. “Default” is hardly neutral, and is comprised of a series of design decisions made by individuals that may or may not aid the readability of the site’s content. Our challenge is to make an identity that aligns with the low-tech values of the site, both in its construction and its aesthetics, while also being mindful of the high-tech forces behind a lot of system defaults.