T H E     O . C .    D E S I G N





Welcome to the O.C., where Summer’s all year round and we bask in Californian dreams all day long while sipping chilled drinks as we float in our pool overlooking Newport Beach and of course where Miss Marissa Cooper and Ryan Atwood steal our hearts. Totally kidding, but what a dream!

Instead, let’s replace Summer with Spring, California with Brisvegas, pools with a stark white Apple filled home office and of course Miss Marissa Cooper with little old me; the YOLO Girl. And just in case you’re not clued in, I mean me, Ellee Hc, the editor / founder / designer / writer / photographer and all round heart and soul of YOLO Magazine now turned full-time design girl.

For the past couple of months I’ve been lucky enough to travel back and forth to Sydney to freelance for LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics in their Marrickville office as their graphic designer and then head on over to Cosmopolitan Magazine to experience life as in intern in the walls of the Bauer Media Group empire.

Back to it though, Open Colleges hooked me up with a scholarship to study their Certificate IV in Digital Design back in May and now that I’m finally back home in the wonderful Brisvegas, I’ve had time to sit down and bury my head in the books… or let’s be honest, book, no plural.

The greatest thing about studying with Open Colleges is that you can do it in your own time, which is incredibly handy when you’re working full time and freelancing on the side. Heck, I completed my senior years at high school via distance education and really… the best thing about distance education isn’t doing it in your own time, it’s all the pyjama days you can have!

The hardest part is always just starting, and if I’m being completely honest, after not studying for a good 4 years, a new study routine was much needed.

Once the basics of learning all about the history and theory of graphic design and the required reading of Chapter 1 of Essential Graphic Design Solutions was out of the way, the real fun begun.

The task at hand: Learning Activity 1 whereby we take our new found knowledge of graphic design’s long lost past (at least all the way back to the 1890’s) and represent all of that history by creating an A4 poster.

A simple task, sure - but an exciting one at that. You know you’re exactly where you’re meant to be in life when you get even the slightest ounce of joy from designing a basic A4 poster on the topic of history. With the excitement, there’s also a little bit of a challenge; it’s nearly impossible to visually communicate 120-something years of history on just one poster.

Cue lightbulb moment; I figured with all of the experience I’ve had with YOLO Magazine, perhaps I should just do what i do best (or a lot of, anyway) and so with that in mind, I came up with the idea of displaying the history of graphic design on a magazine cover.

Who’s the cover girl? This in itself was a little tough to decide on too, so of course I turned to one of the many women who I admire; Shauna Haider. You may know her as Nubby Twiglet; the blogger, creative director and all-round Queen of Style from Portland. Shauna’s style is incredibly bright, poppy and inspiring and is someone who has inspired me for years.

Although Miss Haider isn’t mentioned in my textbook and isn’t necessarily an iconic part of the graphic design history, she instead, is most definitely taking part of the right now of GD history and no doubt graphic design students will stumble across her name in 100 odd years or so to come.

With the cover girl sorted, I needed a title. ‘Graphic Design History’ was far too boring, I wanted something trendy, out of the ordinary. As Japanese art influenced and affected artists in the 1890’s, right at the beginning of my study time period, I thought what could be better than having a Japanese influence on this piece of mine. Hence the title; Rekishi with a subtitle of Gurafikku Dezain which of course both translates to History and Graphic Design.

Back to the cover - as you’ll notice, our cover girl looks a little… deranged. As Haider represents modern GD history, she also embodies body parts of generations of graphic designers. It’s a little crazy, but crazy is good.

Combine the craziness, the generations of body parts, the typography and we’re all good to go. Some may think that this doesn’t represent the history of GD at all, and that’s fine, but ask yourself this; who are the people who make history?

The Design Generation;
Andy Warhol (bow tie)
Cipe Pineles (nose)
David Carson (right eyebrow)
George Lois (left eye/glasses)
Hayao Miyazaki (right eye/glasses, pocket square, tux)
Louise Fili (right lips) 
Massimo Vignelli (left eyebrow)
Milton Glaser (scarf, blazer)
Pablo Ferro (scarf)
Paula Scher (left lips)
Saki Mafundikwa (hair)
Saul Bass (head, moustache)
Stefan Sagmeister (jawline)
Takashia Murakami (pink top)



*Please note that none of the images used in the making of this poster are owned by me, nor do I claim that they are my original work. All images used in this magazine cover design are to simply represent the history of graphic design as a learning project.