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The VCFA MFA in Graphic Design Program Blog

Process: Rosemary Rae

June 17, 2017

As a grad student at VCFA, I have been able to work in many disciplines — design, book making, and assemblage. As much as technology has invaded my life, I still yearn for the tactile experience. Trained as a graphic designer and working everyday in a realm where alignment, structure and grid are imperative, I like to be able to rebel. No rules, no mandates. I am rediscovering the joy of process and haptic experimentation. I am inspired by Tauba Auerbach’s work and how she “explores new visual and poetic possibilities.”

RR School book 3 crop RR School book 1 RR School 2 small book

My small books are journeys, from panel to panel, with type. I love the surprise of randomness (maybe it is not randomness) of creating new layouts in unexpected ways. Repetitively photocopying type creates a tapestry with letterforms. My canvas is card stock, cardboard, wood — any surface and material I can get my hands on and create with. Sometimes its ordinariness and quietness is the appeal. I am in awe of magical transformations and fascinated by folds, shadow and light.

RR IMG_2309 1 introspection

Folded paper also provides a background where new and vintage letterforms collide and demand attention in bright color. 

RR School 5 -0031 CROP

Bruno Munari stated “artistic objects will be designed to be looked at, touched” and that began his reinvention of the object-book, producing one off experiments, “influenced by the idea of art, rather than an editorial product.” Here type stands, folds, bends. What resulted from my folding experiments, was a dimensional architecture of type, and I kept rearranging the panels, playing with placement and composition. 

TYPE CITY RR School 8- 276 CROP

When books are pulled apart, the bindings and threads are revealed — here I am pulling them to the outside of the book structure and allowing them to cascade down — unraveling and unbound or wrapped around the form. The thread symbolizing, also, loose thoughts or lines of text. A tension between inside/outside, or outside/inside of books. Pattern, texture, dialogue, ideas and questions populate the surfaces — visual poetry with repeated phrases and my personal writing. 

RR Colossal Word Blocks crop

In more recent work, I am using hand cut stencils and spray paint to study the impact and meaning of color in my work. Bright layers and rich palettes create unexpected explosions on folded and flat paper. 

folded spray IMG_6739