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A Declaration of Self-Dependence

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"A Declaration of Self-Dependence" is a thesis based on the idea of personal truth that tells of four personal proverbs. Illustrated typographically, each has a whimsical approach that tells a story through visuals as well as through words.
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  • A Declaration of Self-Dependence is an idea-based design experience that uses personal truth as the basis for communication. Typography, a graphic designer’s greatest asset, along with illustration can work harmoniously in order to effectively communicate the idea presented. The four personal proverbs that I have written are concise, witty sayings that represent a greater idea that is insightful, identifiable and relatable to myself as well as the audience.

    This exhibition displays 4 personal proverbs that were created out of personal truth that I have found, observed and experienced within my own life. Narrowing down hundreds of phrases until these 4 proverbs, each has a separate and unique meaning about life, society and the human condition. This project lived as an exhibition for Northern Kentucky University's Bachelor of Fine Arts program and hung on the walls of the gallery. Documenting concept, process and creation, the work below shows the breadth of the project as not only four separate pieces that hung on a wall but the silkscreen prints, exhibition cohesiveness, invitations and various collateral, creative writing and a systematic approach throughout the entirety of the project. 

    The process reflects my values and opinion on the current state of graphic design: design is a craft and the human hand and human mind are the two most important elements in this craft. Bridging the gap between art and design, A Declaration of Self-Dependence lives as not only four different compositions but as a systematic approach that reflects my ideas about graphic design.
  • Matter Doesn’t Matter
    Matter is tangible existence; things that we can taste, touch, smell and hold in our hands. Matter sustains life but often human beings esteem matter to be more important than values that go beyond tangible existence. Family, friends, happiness, legacy among many others are things that tangibility cannot satisfy and individuals should look to serve something greater than their own need for stuff. Iconography was created in order to express the breadth of existence (matter) and variety of personal as well as general objects of importance.

  • The North Is Cold But There Is Gold
    This metaphor describes the notion that hard work will prevail. There are rewards offered to those who work diligently but it takes courage, sacrifice and discipline in order to find the gold that so many seek after but few will ever find.

  • The Past Is Good For A Laugh
    Mistakes are made, bad luck is had and embarrassment happens to everyone. These things are never humorous when they occur, but in hindsight, the past offers entertainment to the individuals that have experienced bad things happening to them. The past is not something that should be haunting or embarrassing, rather the past is a reflection of a life fully lived and experiences that can offer humor.

  • Pop Culture Is Fiction
    This phrase is based on the idea that Hollywood determines pop culture in America and with the westernization of the United States, Hollywood ultimately effects the entire rest of the world. The ideals and lifestyles promoted through Hollywood via movies, music, magazines, etc., promotes an unachievable, glamorous and fictional lifestyle that is not only unhealthy but can be destructive for many individuals who try to follow.

  •  Bachelor of Fine Arts Senior Exhbition
     Northern Kentucky University
  • Screen Printed Series
    Edition of 50 of each design
  • From Concept to Creation
    Process Book
  • see online portfolio at
    matthewdugger.com

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