University of the Arts London
LO RES DES for CoHR IGNCC 2020 CBurston FINAL.pdf (1.92 MB)

Craig Burston - Lo-Res Des and His Lo-Res Des Res

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posted on 2020-06-29, 15:54 authored by Craig Burston

Craig Burston - Lo-Res Des

Lo-Res Des and His Lo-Res Des Res - an exploration of the interplay between graphic design and comix. A monochromatic typo/graphic comic universe that exists as a vehicle for an exploration into but not exclusively related to self identity through objects and personal purpose. The banality of everyday life is replaced by lucid daydreams of teleportation, time travel, weightlessness, science fantasy, metamorphosis, with only rare glimpses of, or acknowledgments of, 'normal' life.

Typographically, Des exists in an 8-bit universe where both speech and sound effects are rendered in the most BASIC of faces and weights. Sound effects carry the narrative or meaning as well as the accompanying protagonist's interior monologues.

In the first and second iterations, the Lo-Res Des universe was two dimensional, monochromatic and bitmapped. In his most recent incarnation, revised, remodelled and rebooted, he exists (without any awareness thus far from the character himself) in an isometric world of God's eye views and uncompromising angles.

First and second iterations of Lo-Res Des first for the self-published STUNGUNPUNFUN through to its revival in The Comix Reader (issues 4-6 inc.) functioned with a linear narrative and a consistent approach to panel size and information distribution. A gridded 7 x 5 grid system had a singular self contained story arc resulting in a conceptual punchline or payoff in the final line. Each episode was conceived as a clear homage to movies, genres, music, technology. The Des(irable) Res(idence) is no more than a space to imagine being outside and beyond. Sanctuary versus escape.

Most recently, episodes are self-contained within a single panel format. The visual pun coexists as a bitmapped paean to humanist ideas. Each episode is allegorical; the desire for meaning, belonging or purpose. Albrecht Dürer and Nintendo Modes of distribution are key and impact upon design decisions.

Lo-Res Des of the now is drawn to be viewed on screen as well as in print, exploiting detail; zoom in zoom out. It’s most recent print iteration was for Comic Street Journal (UK), distributed in key comics stores at irregular intervals and available as an on-line PDF free shot.

Production and conception methodology: Lo-Res Des is digital. It is not pre-drawn nor scripted in advance. A theme with reference points is mentally noted. Before production, a focal point is internalised; the creative class’ obsession with Brutalism, selfies, nostalgia, object function. Oftentimes, curious combinations of themes collide whilst production is in progress. Drawing, writing and thinking functions in real time, detail added or stripped back. Iterations are saved but paper never used.

Lo-Res Des and his Low Res Des Res exists within a wider body of personal research, writing and practice that focuses upon formative visual memory, its impact and function upon the creative process.

Craig Burston June 2020 (for UAL CoRH + IGNCC 2020) @skipratmedia



Craig Burston is a Senior Lecturer upon the BA Graphic Media Design course at London College of Communication. Specialist areas of teaching and studio practice focus upon applied semiotic principles and the graphic image and the interplay and exchange of information through text and the graphic image. Discarded technologies and aesthetics is a second focal point of teaching practice. Research activity focuses upon formative visual memory, its impact upon and use within communication design practice. Outputs vary from published texts, object collecting for exhibition design, collaborative practice with a diverse range of practitioners (musicians, writers, programmers) to small press and independent comic artists, publishers and distributors.