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August 17, 2010 / ashithymia

GREEN LUNGS SYMBOL + RATIONALE

The symbol which my group chose from our three was this one below.

Colour

Mono

We chose this one from our three symbols which we devised as we felt that it embodied and presented the cause in the most efficient manner.  It conveys the environmental aspect of the Green Lungs cause without being too overpowering, and also uses the literal sense of ‘greenspace’ in an efficient manner.  Once again, the three grey shapes symbolise the  stark and gloomy city buildings in a harsh comparison against the bright, organic and pleasant green shade.  The negative spaced leaf accentuates the idea of greenspace and this is still apparent in the mono version.

August 11, 2010 / ashithymia

SYMBOLS AND MEANING

Symbols have been around since the beginning of time and naturally, it is assumed that while humans have evolved in terms of technology, language and thought processing – the meaning of our symbols may have changed too.   No one can escape the meaning of symbols – whether they be religious or spiritual, or merely the everyday run-of-the-mill type of symbols which are seen around all the time.  In Mari Womack’s book ‘ Symbols and Meaning: a concise introduction’ she begins her first chapter by driving home the message ‘tonight, somewhere in this very city, someone will die for a symbol’.  While this statement can be viewed as vastly overdramatic, it reinforces the notion that no one can escape them and that they are a paramount part of our communication.

A symbol which I researched in terms of its meaning evolving and changing over time, is that of the Pentagram.

A symbol five pointed star shape, that many children are taught to draw as a quick way of ‘drawing a star’.  Its name comes from the merging of the words ‘star’ and ‘pentagon’, simply as it is a pentagon enclosed inside a star shape and can be interchanged with the word ‘pentacle’.

The first known and recorded uses of the pentagram symbol are from around 3000 BC in Mesopotamian writings from Sumer.  The pentagram here served as a pictogram for the word ‘UB’ which meant something along the lines of a corner, angle, small room or cavity.  In this context it was used upside down, with two points facing upwards.

More recenty, in the mid 19th century, the pentagram symbol received two meanings.  Used in the same way as the image above, with one triangular facet pointing upwards, the symbol presented a ‘good’ meaning in relation to magic and spiritual elements.  However, when used in the context of the Sumerians (upside down) it was linked to the ‘goat of Black Magic’, where the two upper most points symbolised its horns, the two  outermost its ears and the lower point its beard.

In Christianity, the pentagram was taken to be a representation of Jesus Christ’s five wounds, which he received before being crucified.  It was called the ‘pentalpha’ and was believed to protect against demonic forces and witchcraft.  The symbol was used for a while in Christianity, but the Catholic church later chose the cross as a better symbol and the use of the pentagram eventually ceased.

Since then, the pentagram is now widely renowned for its use in Wiccan/Pagan spiritual beliefs when used upright and enclosed in a circle as it represents the four elements; earth, wind, water and fire and the fifth point being the spirit.  It a symbol of ‘good’, also representing the 5 fold Wiccan kiss and the 5 stages of life which also parts of Wiccan belief and Paganism.

However, within the last 20-30 years, the pentagram used upside down and enclosed in a circle has come to represent Satanism.  It is reflective of the horned god which is often used as a symbol of Lucifer, a fallen angel of the Christian God and symbol for the ‘anti-Christ’.  This is reflective of the Sumerian belief of the ‘Goat of  Black Magic’ and now in contemporary times, a horned goat or ram is often super imposed over the figure.

This symbol is now one of fear and often used in a confrontational way, such as tattooed on death-metal band members and worn on their clothing.  This is particularly symbolic as at the time of the rise of Rock and Roll music, many Christian authoritative figures denounced the music and associated it with Satanism.

August 10, 2010 / ashithymia

Ex. 4 – ROAD SIGNS

In class and for homework, we were assigned the task of completing symbols for roadsigns.  I found this very challenging to think about as many of the roadsigns were difficult to express in a symbol.  I tried to not do this too pictorially as this is a mistake which I made with the previous exercise on the Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme.

Red Light District- I chose to use the symbol of a pole dancer as I thought using the red light from a traffic set of lights could confuse viewers into thinking it was a traffic related sign.

Soccer Pitch – I have portrayed a soccer ball and a goal.

Low Gravity Area- This was a difficult one.  I thought about using a figure of a person floating in the air, but thought this could give the impression of someone tripping over.  Instead I chose to use the symbol of an astronaut’s helmet.

High Crime – I chose to portray a robber, but as a few weapons so as to not confuse viewers that this sign was talking about pick pockets.

Street busker- Many buskers often use their instrument cases as a place where passers-by can place their lose change.

Gold Digger- I found this one very difficult, so I decided upon using a female figure and a shovel.

Low Flying Birds- I chose to use a large bird and a car driving towards this as the scale helps to communicate the height at which the bird is flying.

Fun Run- Another difficult one, this one is fairly self explanatory – a figure running.

Cinemas – I chose to use the screen of a movie theatre and rows of seats.

Fashion Shop- I also found this one difficult as using just the symbols of a bag or clothes may have symbolised a bag shop or a dry cleaner.  I chose to incorporate the coat hanger and a pair of shoes which are female ones as this seemed to reinforce the idea of fashion.

Wet Paint- Fairly self explanatory again, a paint brush with dripping paint.

Big Surf- I tried to communicate the height of the surf by creating heaps of wave shapes and making the surfboard smaller.

August 9, 2010 / ashithymia

GREEN LUNGS SYMBOL DEVELOPMENT

For the cause that my group has been delegated, ‘Green Lungs’, we chose to divide up the workload and allow each person to complete one symbol and argument that they thought best represents the cause.

#1

This is thesymbol which I have devised.

It is a fairly simple symbol through which I have tried to embody an organic feel, but also promote the ‘Green Lungs’ cause through a literal way.  The green shape on the left which has a negative spaced out leaf shape inside it symbolises the green space which the ‘Green Lungs’ cause is promoting.  It is taking the cause literally through presenting an actual shape which is green, and a leaf to present the plants which the cause is encouraging those who live in the inner city to plant.

The grey shapes which take up the other three sides of the symbol represent the city buildings, grey symbolising industrial space and also man-made structures.  Together, the contrast of the green with the grey shapes promotes the cause, putting forward the notion that a little greenspace can brighten up a gloomy, industrialised city as well as improving the overall health and wellbeing of city dwellers.

I understand that is it probably difficult to understand all this through the symbol without first being educated as to its meaning.  However, due to the way in which I have presented the cause literally through symbolism, I believe that it will make the symbol easier to understand and henceforth more effective.

#2

This is Abby’s symbol.

This logo symbolises the encouragement of city dwellers to cover their city with natural plants.  The blue has been used as it is less cliche then the usual green colour.  The flower like shape in the bottom right hand corner symbolises the organic forms of plants and the way in which it is stretching across the circle which encloses it, represents the way in which we want people to embrace green space.

#3

This is Abe’s symbol.

This symbol represents greenspace in terms of sustainability for future generations.  The curved arrows represent the sustainability as the known symbol for recycling is very similar, and those arrows extend the same meaning.  The green circle is literally green space and the leaf represents the plants.

August 9, 2010 / ashithymia

SUPERSTITION SYMBOL

Many cultures and traditions have superstitions which they pass down to each generation.  Generally, it is not always clear where these superstitions have emerged from as they are notions not based on knowledge or reason.  They often feature luck and prophecy as a main part and are often called ‘old wives’ tales’.

I am Italian, Russian, Polish and Slovenian by descent so my family has passed on many superstitions down to me.

Lock of Hair

It is a European superstition that a mother should keep the first lock of hair that is cut from her child’s head for good luck.

Sneezing

It is a Slovenian tradition to say that when someone sneezes it is good luck because somebody is thinking good things about you.

Lady Bug

It is good luck if a lady bug lands on you.

Rabbit’s Foot

In European tradition, the hind foot of a rabbit is said to be good luck.  It is said to enhance the owner’s chances to became a parent.

August 9, 2010 / ashithymia

TRIBAL SYMBOL

From class last week, we presented three of our top symbols to the class.  We received feedback on them and took this into consideration.  We were told that our concept was well thought out, but our symbol still clearly needed work.  So we all piled together some ideas and decided on a slightly different design, still based on the triangle.

These are some greyscale concepts on the logo design which we decided upon.

It is still based on the equilateral triangle, symbolising equality – which was the word we chose for our group to stand for.  It is also made up of three triangles to symbolise each person.  The shape, also, looks very much like the capital ‘A’ letterform, embodying the first initial of all our names.

OUR FINAL LOGO

This is the final logo which we decided upon in colour.  We chose two shades of a more green-blue as blue is a fairly neutral colour.  We tried to steer away from a deeper corporate blue as we didn’t want it to appear like an organisation.  Blue is a positive colour and this links in with equality, we also agreed that the slight green tinge gave reference to our cause ‘Green Lungs’.

August 3, 2010 / ashithymia

Ex 3 – HUMPTY DUMPTY

In class, we completed an exercise using only the symbols provided to us in order to recreate the nursey rhyme ‘Humpty Dumpty’.

I found this exercise fun and interesting, however it was difficult to represent horses in this nursery rhyme as their was no symbol for horses provided to us.  Instead, I chose to use cars as they came after horses, and their power is often talked about in ‘horse power’ therefore I saw a correlation in this.