The Bone Structure of Design

Design is a multifaceted part of life. From an album cover to a dinner table, design has infiltrated almost every aspect of our lives. The unity of culture, ideas, colors, pens, paper and canvas is truly a beautiful thing.The creative process is deep and dynamic, producing wondrous works that fill our environment.

When we look at the concepts behind vibrant art around us, it’s easy to appreciate the creative skills of the designer or artist. Color schemes can help portray a message or unify a theme. In this image, we see  the use of energetic and lively colors. The orange/red/yellow combination gives us the sense that the skeleton characters are really playing the music and celebrating. We can almost feel that the movement of the birds and instruments is real! Viva la musica! This image encompasses the mexican culture with the hats worn by the skeletons, the instruments they’re playing, right down to the peppers that adorn the aqua-colored sugar skull. The idea behind the use of the skeletons playing the music is the celebration of ancestors and family that have passed. It’s possible that the birds are meant to represent the ancestors flying high in the sky, watching over family below. However, all art is open to interpretation.
The job of a designer is to creatively reach their audience on a level in which they can relate.
We know that design is behind every corner of this world, so don’t think your kitchen is beyond its reach! It’s in your kitchen that you’ll find such vibrancy with an array of veggies, fruits.. and sweets! We enjoy our conchas! So when it comes to design in the kitchen, it’s important for designers to use the wide variety of colors and shapes around them. The image here incorporates all of it’s design in a circular shape (a pan dulce, maybe) and uses colors that are associated with eating. Orange and brown are largely related to food, especially mexican food. Do you see a possible bowl of mole in front of you? This design also uses colors of the same tone but different hue. The light green limes and cilantro,  pink peppers and tomatoes, all help accent the design while giving it a unified look. Not to mention, the tiny orange peppers that create the skull’s mustache, and the burritos that put emphasis on it’s face. It seems that a lot of planning went into this design, integrating many aspects of the mexican kitchen.
José Guadalupe Posada, the printmaker who designed La Calavera Catrina, is an excellent
example of someone who brought culture and design together. In it’s original form, La Calavera Catrina is a zinc etching, an inexpensive medium used to produce art work during the early 1900’s. Born during the Mexican revolution, Catrina can now be found in various prints, paintings, heirlooms and street art. Posada’s intent with the Catrina is to illustrate the modernization of the Mexican culture in the early 20th century. Here we see the skeleton wearing a hat that would normally be worn by women in the upper class of the European culture. The original design did not include color, but we can see how the piece comes to life with color added. The depth of the shading shows Posada’s dedication to his craft. La Calavera Catrina had such a stronghold on the Mexican culture that it was also recreated in paintings by other artists, like Diego Rivera. A very popular image that we see for Dia de los Muertos celebrations, La Calavera Catrina will always be a reminder of the history of the Mexican culture.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3

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