SRS Serious problem with my family (involves my graphic design, our background, etc)

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by Ivandrago, Oct 11, 2005.

  1. Ivandrago

    Ivandrago I must break you.

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    [​IMG]

    NEW LOGO! (temporary until i have something better)
    [​IMG]

    What you see above is my logo. I'm Russian, was born and raised there for the first 10 yrs of my life. i"ve been in the US for 17 years now. I recently designed that logo for myself (i'm a graphic designer about to finish grad school) and to give myself identity. My intention was to allude to my roots as a russian-born partially educated human being, and as such i draw my inspriation for some of my design from it. But for all intensive purposes, I consider myself American.

    When i showed it to my folks shit hit the fan. Granted I'm 26 years old, but i have a close relationship with my mom and dad. WE have an old-fashioned russian family and are very close. Alot of our relatives (mom's great grandma and great grandpa) and my stepdads (great great grandpa) surivved (and some died) in concentration camps and becuase of the old Soviet Regime.

    They said it's shameful that I'm using a symbol that stood for murder, war, torture, and brutality as my own logo, to represent myself in such a away.They said i literally spit in the face of my family by doing this, in my dad's face, moms face, grandma (she actually caught the tail end of the regime and her and my grandpa, who is dead now, suffered from it as well)
    My stepdad also suffered from it, but in the KGB form. And they said that i'm ncredibly stupid, criminally immature, politically ignorant , etc. And they said they will pretty much not talk to me for as long as it takes until i change my symbol.

    So tell me, after reading all this, who's int eh right and who's in the wrong? I want honest serious opinions.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2005
  2. Moistfly

    Moistfly Anal Bum Cover

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    Regardless of what you think that is what that symbol represents for them; I think understandably so. That's similar to the images it conjures in many other peoples minds as well.
     
  3. Ivandrago

    Ivandrago I must break you.

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    I know. And I see both sides. But people dont' think of how the star has pbeen appropriated to our culture. I was building on that, and on the fact that the star is white. I know the red and my very typical russian name bring forth certian associations. But still.....that's what i want to allude to ...not exactly communism..but more russian culture...design..etc
     
  4. RuskeR

    RuskeR ReksuR

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    I don't think it's a matter of "right and "wrong". Try looking at it through the eyes of your family.
     
  5. Ivandrago

    Ivandrago I must break you.

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    I did :hsd: worst part is i understand their reasons 100% and agree with them. But I also don't think i'm wrong either..or at least 100% right :o
     
  6. less_than_adam

    less_than_adam New Member

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    I think it is a pretty common situation. My grandparents took pearl harbor day very seriously, where as people of my generation think of it more like columbus day or something. I think the same will happen in 20 years with their views of 9/11. When you witness an event it has significantly more impact on your life than when you just hear about it from other people.

    If it were me, I'd respect their opinion and change the design.
     
  7. Toasty

    Toasty Naked people have little or no influence on societ

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    I don't think there's a right or wrong either. As a graphic designer I'm sure you've touched upon the subject of symbols and their impact upon the subjects who view it.

    Especially across cultures where it may be acceptable in one country, but could mean an entirely different thing in another.

    You chose to associate your name with visual symbols that mean a great deal to another generation. You're not right or wrong, but you decide whether that's the impression you want to pass every time someone looks at your logo. Perhaps it IS what you want.

    My own logo has elements that can be risque too. But I chose to move ahead with it because that's the audience I'm hoping to market to.

    The question you should ask yourself... is this the result I'm looking to achieve?
     
  8. Ivandrago

    Ivandrago I must break you.

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    If you don't mind sharing, what is your logo? :hsd:
     
  9. dave steel

    dave steel My Kung Fu is the best.

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    What have you learned from this experience...Don't share things with people that you can't communicate with.
     
  10. johan

    johan Active Member

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    Here's the deal.
    Your family SLIGHTLY overreacted in that they could've been a little more mature and not exploded.

    But mostly, the blame lies with you. Yes, you.
    You see, you want to be a graphic designer. When you think about it, what is a graphic designer? Why bother with graphic design in the first place?

    What you do is communicate with people in symbolic manner that's (usually) aesthetically pleasing. Even if it isn't pleasing (commercial work is usually meant to be pleasing) at the core of what you do is communicate symbolically.

    If you want to get work as a commercial designer, you're doing more than just making pretty little things. You're communicating to people.

    What if someone else made a symbolic design that was personally offensive to you? For example, some people take the nazi swastika very seriously. Especially if your grandfather was burned alive in a gas oven.

    So if you were a commercial designer and produced something extremely offensive, you need to be aware of that and not come back with "It's THEIR fault for being offended".

    You could always claim, "hey I didn't know the significance of that..." That'll work for a while, but claiming ignorance only goes so far.

    I assume your goal as a designer isn't to offend and alienate the very people you're trying to communicate to.

    If it is...better remain an avant garde artist then.
     
  11. Ivandrago

    Ivandrago I must break you.

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    Hey...
    Thanks for the response. i appreciate the honesty (rare these daysbut nice to hear) I'm not saying it's their fault for being offended, and I'm aware that I touched on a subject that's VERY personal to them. However, it was not done on purpose, and i honestly thought that they way I treated it would not be offensive. My parents are right in their comments, and I'll give them that. But i dont know what to do. I feel strongly about it in a sense that it does shoiw my Russian roots but doesn't not allude that strongly to the old Soviet Era.
    Regarding the design being offensive? Design is subjective, maybe even more so than fine art. And something you do it BOUND to disagree with someone out there, whether it will be a matter of overall aesthetic or a really personal subject.
    Makes sense? :hs:
     
  12. johan

    johan Active Member

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    Well, yes, that's the thing with art or anything that extends the boundaries. You're always going to find someone who objects, even if what you produce isn't really offensive, or at least not offensive to the general public.

    I guess in commercial design, the bar is set higher in that you really aren't out there to push the boundaries of art.

    I personally don't find your design offensive, and it's rather aesthetically pleasing. It has a simple, clean powerful graphic element and is tasteful has a pleasing asymmetry. So speaking from a design standpoint, I think what you produced is actually quite pleasant to the eye.

    The symbol however carries a deeper meaning bound up in its heritage and origins. So to those for whom the symbol is deeply meaningful, well, there's just no getting around it. It's much more than a symbol of your Russian roots, it's inextricably bound to the political system that it represented.

    You and I are not personally offended because we did not suffer under that regime. I doubt there is any way to change your parents' opinion on this matter. You will simply have to agree to disagree.

    Perhaps you can find common ground by keeping your design but not showing it to them, or not "flaunting" it around them. Avoidance is a useful tactic sometimes.
     
  13. teo

    teo . => ? => !

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    Eh?
    Part of the problem here is that no matter what you meant for the logo to symbolize, it rubs some people the wrong way because of perception. Perception is everything in visuals, and the opinion of the majority > the opinion of one. It's why we unconsciously (or even consciously) put more weight on the words of the person in business attire than the one that's in rags and smelling like pee. Companies spend millions each year to create and maintain the public perception that they are upstanding and produce items that you can't live without and/or will make your life better.

    I bet your family feels the way they do partly because they feel you're too young to grasp the full significance of the symbol you've chosen. Regardless of whether you choose to keep it or not, regardless of who is right/wrong... do you want to risk seeing this kind of reaction from your prospective clients? Taking a symbol that was associated with a regime which caused pain and suffering for a lot of people and incorporating it into your identity implies that you fully support and espouse it, whether that was your intention or not. Is this the impression that you want to give?
     
  14. JohnJohnJohnson

    JohnJohnJohnson Effetely Sipping My Latte OT Supporter

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    Since it's just a frickin logo, why stir the pot? It obviously is a matter they take waayyy more seriously than you do.
     
  15. PocoDiablo

    PocoDiablo New Member

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    As my dad would say... How would this look if it appeared on the 6:00 news?

    Man, as a graphics artist, you really have to THINK about what you are doing here. It doesn't matter who is right or who is wrong, this is your family. You *are* displaying an icon that is offensive to them, and probably many other people as well. Don't piss off the family. You may as well have a picture of some kids twat with a cock in it, showcasing kiddie porn. Why would you do that???

    While you might think it's art, you are being offensive to your family in a BIG way.

    Man, lemme tell you... I started an adult web site a while back. My family found out ... they haven't talked to me since. :wtc: Looking back I did not care at first.

    Now the site is for sale. Would you like to buy it? $3,000 for www.RateMyVagina.com and it is yours.

    Swallow your pride, your an ARTIST. Go make a BETTER logo!
     
  16. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    Find something else to represent your russian roots, chuvak. Try the russian flag, or eagle? Communism pizdyets.
     
  17. Toasty

    Toasty Naked people have little or no influence on societ

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    [​IMG]

    I take the risk I hand out a card to someone who can take offense to either one of these images, but it's a calculated risk I'd probably not be marketing to people who don't have some sense of fun and humor.

    As Johan suggested, it's all about what you want to say...and you have to take the good and the bad associated with it.

    I'm all for supporting your idea to take in your Russian roots. But there's a million ways to do it so it doesn't automatically spawn the big reaction you're getting from your parents. Play around with that star...put it in different corners, make it asymmetric, make it stick out a bit.... whatever. There's many ways to keep what you want to say and yet deliver a cool looking design.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2005
  18. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    That star is not about Russia's roots. Its about Soviet roots. Right? The Star came down... the Russian Imperial Eagle went up. Cept for a few spots on the Kremlin. There's lots of Eagles to put up, they weren't done as of a couple years ago.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2005
  19. Toasty

    Toasty Naked people have little or no influence on societ

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    Whoops. :hsd:
     
  20. Ivandrago

    Ivandrago I must break you.

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    I had a very interesting discussion with my design professor, who's a very social and political designer. He made a lot of the same points that my parents made, and yet he saw it from my point of view as well. But in the end, he said it's better if i loose the star. There are many reasons why I can say fuck it and leave it where it is, but there are a lot stronger reasons as to why I should take it out and come up with something else. :hsd:
     
  21. Ivandrago

    Ivandrago I must break you.

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    Yeah, pretty much. I was also making the link between the Russian design/art that was developing in that time. playing on the irony that while the country was in complete and total disarray, the design theories and ideas that came out of it are still learned from and respected today.
     
  22. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    Soviet realist posters make my balls tingle. There was one on chisholm posters, of the statue of liberty crying... it was the most powerful drawn image I've ever seen.

    I think I forgot most of my Russian... but I was speaking fluently in my dreams not half an hour ago.
     
  23. quid

    quid I Piss Excellence OT Supporter

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    there is never right or wrong about culture. they percieve things one way, you think your just trying to express your heritage. but what you need to realize is that a potential client may see that and think what your parents did, then you miss out on $.
     
  24. Ivandrago

    Ivandrago I must break you.

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    I think I will have to in this case. Not too much choice really. :sadwavey:
     
  25. Toasty

    Toasty Naked people have little or no influence on societ

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    Get used to it. In this line of work you'll often be asked to change the stuff you create....
     

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