Medicine Hat Media

Rip Off – 2011 Visual Communications Grad Show

Medicine Hat College Visual Communications students will be exhibiting their work from April 9-17, 2011 at Medicine Hat College Centennial Hall. The exhibition is open daily from 9:00am – 4:30pm. The reception is being held Saturday, April 9th at 7:00pm.

For those unfamiliar with Medicine Hat:Rip Off - 2011 Visual Communications Grade Show

  • Medicine Hat College
  • 299 College Dr. SE
  • Medicine Hat, Alberta

“This year’s graduating exhibition for Visual Communications students is an examination, exploration and exploitation into the social, moral, and ethical implications of the business of repurposing these axiomatic brands and compositions. The magnifying lens is on how often and how pervasively our culture uses and reuses images and brands for their own purpose.” Nelson Yuen – Instructor

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User Comments

10 Responses to “Rip Off – 2011 Visual Communications Grad Show”

  1. March 28th, 2011 at 10:27 AM

    Vaughn says:

    This is a very interesting concept. I like the invite animation in specific:

  2. March 31st, 2011 at 10:10 AM

    Anon says:

    In your expert opinion, Kyle, what do you think future potential employers will think when they see that you chose to use stolen design to represent the culmination of your VisComm education? It does not take a designer to swap out some words and letters in well-known logos, only a fifteen year old kid with Photoshop on their home computer.

  3. March 31st, 2011 at 11:40 AM

    Kyle says:

    Future potential employers should see the cleverness within the identity. Rip Off is the “Visual Communications” art and design graduation show. The goal for the students that conceptualized, developed, and executed the identity, is to successfully “communicate” the given theme of Rip Off. You have helped prove that their goal was achieved by identifying that the students used “stolen design” (after all stealing is the biggest “ripoff”).

    In the design community many ideas, visuals, and designs are appropriated. Often, design projects are worked on by more than one person, where ideas are shared, combined, and used by others to make the project stronger.

    In the art community, master artists paintings, styles, and techniques are appropriated and it is seen as acceptable. In a way, the identity of the show should be considered a piece of art rather than just design. Art has always been used to comment on society and that is what the show identity is doing by addressing the constant existence of corporate logos in our everyday life and how the meaning of those marks can change based on the context they are put into.

    In many ways Rip Off is a homage to the designers that created the logos that students have used. All of the logos, identities, and brands that have been used are highly recognizable, and successful. The creators of those logos should be proud, and flattered with the way the the logos are used.

    The identity is used as a promotional vehicle for the show. It is not the culmination of the students “VisComm education”. If you are willing and able to come to the show you will be able to see a true culmination of student work. The show will display student portfolios and grad projects and the graduates will be available to discuss what they have learned throughout the program.

    Many 15 year old kids have a higher technical competence with Photoshop than the most successful designers. The ability to use the “tools” does not make someone a visual communicator (designer). Software like Adobe Creative Suite is becoming more and more intuitive and the larger population is able to use it. This does not mean they have the skills to communicate an idea using design. The goal of visual communication is to communicate an idea without letting personal preferences for aesthetics get in the way. The Rip Off identity is a communication medium for the given theme.

  4. March 31st, 2011 at 11:44 AM

    Vaughn says:

    Great follow up, Kyle! I should also mention (concerning the 15 year old comment) that a 15 year old can do anything. A 15 year old can build a cabinet, paint a house, rip-off a logo in Photoshop, or even sell 4 million albums (catch the reference there). It says nothing about how well the do it in comparison to trained professionals. As the “Anon” commentator is clearly in the or around the design community, this should be a common concept to them that amateur design is not of equal level to that of professionals.

  5. March 31st, 2011 at 11:50 AM

    Sean says:

    Ya that was a good follow up, Krug. Although on the website, I don’t see any paintings, printmaking, etc. that displays the culmination of a 4 year course in an art/design hybrid course.

    I get that the purpose of the website and brand is to perpetuate “ripoff” (of design) and that there may be paintings and printmaking at the actual show, but a lot of what is shown doesn’t seem to go past graphic design. Or maybe everyone just chose graphic design as their focus for their grad show.

  6. March 31st, 2011 at 2:13 PM

    Kyle says:

    I agree with you Sean, so far the “show progress” section only incorporates identity development(design for the show). all the students have been busy with other classes, and organizing the show, so the image collection will continue to grow with images of artwork, final artifacts, and more process.

  7. March 31st, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    Anon says:

    I love the conversation that is now happening here. I am in no way trying to insult the theme of the show, I think from a purely artistic standpoint it is very interesting and provides a great societal commentary.

    However, from the purely practical standpoint of assuming that the goal of taking viscomm is to get a job, I can’t help but wonder if an employer seeing that the graduates this year decided to plagiarize (basically) the design of others would be impressed enough to hire them. In the real world clients and non-designer employers (as many viscomm grads will have) tend to not care at all for the convoluted (albeit eloquent) “artspeak” that characterizes formal design education. Employers often barely glance at the portfolios/resumes of applicants, and if a prominent part of it is a “ripped-off” image I can’t help but believe that at least some of them will wonder why the applicant would purposefully create that when given the chance to make something truly impressive. Instead they decided to cop-out, steal someone else’s work, and come up with a fancy culturally relevant explanation. As someone who could easily at some point in the future seek a designer to hire seeing work of this nature in a portfolio would immediately turn me off of them. The fact remains that the average client wants to see what YOU have done, not what you have acquired for the purposes of a cultural or economical commentary.

    Also, I am not in any way a part of the design community, although I somehow managed to fool Vaughn. In some way this seems to prove my original point…

  8. March 31st, 2011 at 5:42 PM

    Kristina says:

    I am one of the Graduates participating in this year’s grad show. While the goal of taking the Visual Communications program is getting a job, the goal of the grad exhibition identity itself is not. It is a class assignment for our degree students, meaning our “client” is our instructor (who has been very happy with work we are providing). Our goal was to communicate Rip Off in a clear and concise way. We researched and developed numerous identity options, but none communicated the idea of Rip Off better than “Ripping Off” identities.

    The identity of the show is not meant to represent the students, the portfolios and grad pieces are there for that purpose. Any employer who would only consider one piece of work instead of looking further into a candidate’s repertoire will be missing out on a lot of great talent.

    Personally, I don’t intend on using this identity work to represent myself as a designer for the exact reasons that have been identified… on the surface it looks like a “cop-out”. In reality, it is merely a solution to a problem. After all, that is what visual communicators are… we are problem solvers. I should also point out that half the graduating students are diploma students who did not participate in the identity-development.

    As someone who was originally opposed to this idea because I wanted to design “something truly impressive” to win over potential employers, I learned sometimes you just need to get over yourself and solve the problem. Having said that, this identity was in no way a cop out. It turned out to be more work and thought process to develop this idea than any other one we developed. It was an enjoyable project and personally, it has taught me more than any other class in our program.

    I hope you will attend the show and see what the students really have to offer instead of judging us based on one assignment. I would be more than happy to show you my work and discuss how much I have grown as a designer while involved in this program.

  9. March 31st, 2011 at 6:56 PM

    Vaughn says:

    I don’t think you fooled me per-say, you obviously have experience or knowledge of design “clearly in the or around the design community”.

    I know, personally, being a graduate of Visual Communications that I did not use any grad work for getting employed. It never touched my portfolio, so Kristina’s response holds up. Also, I might ad, very nicely written and defended, Kristina!

  10. April 9th, 2011 at 9:24 PM

    Vaughn says:

    Congrats to Kyle, Kristina and Cody for the best work/portfolios in the show – I know it seems incredibly bias, but it’s true 🙂

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