Grafik BS — Amy West’s Design Satire

“Lucky for us we never posted any of Grafik BS’ work” — It’s Nice That

Graphic designers do have the reputation of taking themselves and their work very seriously. Many feel the need to battle their clients for victory or talk in an inaccessible jargon. Criticism is unpopular, but what about a poke of fun?

Here is a project offering an opportunity for designers to have a bit of a laugh at themselves, while at the same time, is a startling reveal of disturbing trends and attitudes in design.

Amy West’s Grafik BS is an acerbic piece of work based on the internet’s obsession with trends and style, rather than content, context and message. Grafik BS was a fake studio set up by West with the intention of uncovering the popularity of superficial understandings of design while pointing the finger for a bit of a laugh. “A fake Behance page for the studio received hundreds of appreciations, positive comments on the style of the posters and even a job application for a position in the studio,” West later explained. “The experiment proved that there is an online community practising design with the understanding that the entire process consists solely of applying style to anything,”

The aesthetic attractiveness of some of the posters is undeniable, with lovely use of colour palettes and compositions, but they exist for no reason. There was satire even in West’s choice of using posters, posters being the medium of choice for many of the empty designs that are sent viral around the web in redesigns of mid-century classics for a TV Show, remixes of constructivist masterpieces to advertise a punk band and so on. This is an opportunity to consider perhaps what is truly valuable in the process on going online to achieve inspiration in a mode that often neglects context and meaning and emphasises style.

“Grafik BS was an experiment set up to catch the attention of those who have come to rely on the aesthetic qualities promoted by new technologies within graphic design,” West concludes. “Designing stylish posters with meaningless messages [was made to] see if this is what people thought graphic design should be.”

  • Grafik9
  • behance_57
  • GrafikBS2
  • GrafikBS3
  • GrafikBS6
  • GrafikBS7
  • GrafikBS8
  • GrapfikBS4
  • GraphicBS1
  • 8cdc1e2a2eff28098f70f5ec63a2668e

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