Marian Bantjes vs Swiss Style – week 9

The use of the computer combined with different media

«When I worked at Digitopolis, I was working almost entirely on the computer, basically the computer and with photography. And now I am using a wide variety of materials, sometimes still involved with a computer and sometimes just with the materials themselves. But having a space like this allows me to obviously store them all, and to work on these various surfaces in different media.» – Marian Bantjes

I found the interview with Marian Bantjes extremely interesting. Her approach to graphic design has a relationship with nature and art which thoroughly appeals to me, with my art background and farm life. It seems that she has been able to free herself and her work from computers, thereby widening the graphic concept and freeing her mind. This leads to highly original work and a wide range of ideas. Like nature itself, she is constantly moving and changing, and her work is absolutely fascinating.

I believe computers are as essential to graphic design as tractors to farming. They help us make prints and speed up the process. It also makes it possible to create complex virtual images, taking us into new dimensions and imaginary worlds. I love computers and mixing programs and media.

But computers can limit our imagination as well. Vector art is so practical it can be the go-to option for most designers. However, Marian’s work is labour intensive and very personal, as computer graphics are often fast, following a present style, making most pieces look the same. The average graphic designer won’t have time and room for these types of experiments and thought processes.

As a graphic design student, coming from an art background and having worked for clients for years, I love to get to know people like Marian Bantjes and her work. Of all the designers I have gotten to know through my studies in graphics, this is the one that pushes me in the right direction. The projects given to me in my studies don’t give room for much contemplation, but I will strive to make it shine through where possible.

I believe my work will benefit from free inspiration from all of nature, art and human activity before taking it into the computer. And I will further develop my love for a wide range of media and software.

The relationship between image and text

“I am not an expert on illuminated manuscripts by any stretch of the imagination, but there are a couple of purposes of it. But one of those purposes is definitely to invoke wonder in this way that was very interesting to me and was feeding directly into my ideas about that symbiotic relationship between graphics and text.» – Marian Bantjes

The images above show how Marian can work in direct line with the swiss style. But she can also combine swiss style with her own organic approach.

And she can also go completly off into her own style, making her own rules:

Marian Bantjes’ work shows a great understanding of her subject. She finds the essence of the brief, searching for and finding an optimal solution to the task. She can use objects to create patterns, hide typography within art and graphics. In all she does, she makes the viewer work, lets the eyes wander, and stimulates the mind in a wide range of ways. You will always be surprised by her work.

In many ways, her work falls in line with the Swiss Style, in the sense that she strives to find the essence of the brief and start a new with fresh eyes for every project, letting the brief guide her to the suitable form.

But she is also free from grids and font styles. She is a lot more organic and nature-based than the classical industrial style.

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