Far too often in contemporary design, or any other field of endeavour, do adherence and loyalty to accepted standards zealously merge... and spawn little or no fresh insight. In an image-drunk consumer consciousness, too many created visuals that fail, or don't even try to show the public a perspective it hasn't seen several times already. Through this malaise, we need to stress a group who produce work which consistently speaks of a vivid and individual graphic identity: Substance the design/typography and photography collective. Substance was founded in Sheffield, South Yorkshire where it continues to be based some eight years on. This is highly significant. While other design groups' continuities are harder to identify, Substance is inextricably linked to this city's heritage as an industrial powerhouse. In Substance Images, we detect the rhythms of confrontation between human and machine - the impacts, positive and negative, of wave upon wave of technological advance on the role of our species in the world. These themes have always been important to the group and its creative overlord, Neil Fletcher. To conclude, graphic design exists in numerous realms, among them those of industry, culture, entertainment, business and the very infrastructures we traverse around every day. Substance continues to provide us with responsible and distinctive visual insights into these worlds without every shying away from the expression of its own dissenting voice whenever it applies.
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