Tuesday, January 20, 2004

It is good to meet an artist who is at home with digital technology and makes competent use of it. Last week I went to meet Mark Ansell one of our new Ludlow Art Society members. Mark is a graphic designer and we met to discuss the Society’s publicity – specifically designs for the posters for our exhibitions. Mark had been busy on his Apple Mac and showed my some of his preliminary designs for the Society’s logo and a redesigned format for the Newsletter.

Some years ago I designed the Society logo using a graphic created with Corel Draw. Greyscale versions of it are used on our membership cards and on the masthead of the Newsletter. Colour versions also are used on the Society’s web site. The design carries the words ‘Ludlow Art Society’ superimposed on the church of St. Laurence the town’s most visible landmark. This in turn has the skyline of the Titterstone Clee as a background.

Mark essentially adopted the same device but gave it more impact by placing the lettering below the graphic and simplifying it into a stark black and white design employing counterchange. It was at once more contemporary and striking. I congratulated him and we chatted about this and other changes over a cup of coffee. What was refreshing about our talk was the way in which he was quite ready to engage in critical discussion without rancour. A rare quality I find in the art world where artists can be temperamental and easily upset if someone expresses a dislike of their work. But then as a professional designer he is constantly discussing designs and listening to his clients instructions. Such is the difference between the real world of the commercial art and the more esoteric one of the fine artist.

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