Deconstruction Still A Key Piece in Design

The word deconstruction is key here in the questions unto which asks if it is still practiced in graphic design today. In the eyes of postmodernism which has seen designers such as David Carson take an approach of complete disregard for any preconceived notions of design systems, grids and rules deconstruction is alive and thriving. Jose Lopez, Houston Rockets, designer/creative director created an ad to bolster ticket sales (fig. 1) which questions the traditional system of design and pushes the conceptual adaptation of said design.

This deconstruction transforms design through experimentation, adaptability and interpretation — which in turn can completely change how we approach graphic in a holistic manor. But contextually it goes beyond postmodernism, David Carson, and the no-rules club. Postmodernism can be seen as a rebellion against modernism. Postmodernism becomes a deconstruction of the rules and systems of the designers before them. Modernism does the same for it’s predecessor. So the question is the answer in itself. The field of graphic design and deconstruction go hand in hand, one would not exist without the other. As we continue to progress with how we create and interpret design, we are constantly deconstructing the tenets of the past to fit the needs of the present.

The key thing to ask is who are you asking. Does a postmodernist say they are deconstructing what a modernism brought forward — or are they just reinventing or readapting to fit their needs. In regards to the “needs of the present” — the deconstruction isn’t necessarily saying that the previous design rules and systems are wrong, just that they aren’t what we need at this moment. For instance, Modernism was a reaction to the war — artists and designers sought to change the world through art. That isn’t to say that Modernists would even say that they were deconstructing the rules prior — they just were. They saw that there needed to be a change, and sought about creating it. Postmodernism fits in the same boat. They felt that the rules and systems in place were not capturing and producing work that was relevant for the world at that point. It is a point of perspective. Deconstruction to one may be reinvention and innovation to another.