It looks beautiful doesn't it? Especially foreign texts. Texts in character languages. Texts on old paper, textured paper, ancient fonts, brown pages. Beautiful. I love it. But then I started thinking about it.
Firstly, foreign texts are a little dangerous. If you do not understand the language, how do you know what the text says? I would recommend being very careful that you don't inadvertently use material which could turn your artwork into something controversial or offensive (unless of course that's somehow your goal).
What if that text is religious and you didn't realize it? Or what if the text is something crude or horrible... something you would never include in your artwork? Ooopsie. I'm simply suggesting that we are careful to respect written words. The pen is actually a sword people!!
Hmm. Respecting written words. That's right. Somebody wrote those words. So although I think it might be OK to use text in collage and then sell the original piece, I'm pretty confident that it's not OK to use text and then reproduce it (multiple prints, cards, whatever) when that text wasn't yours to begin with. It came from the page of a book. It came from the mind of a person who wrote that book. Just like a photo or image that isn't yours, should we be putting text on a copy machine and then reselling even a portion of it?
My hubby warns me in his ever loving way, that maybe I shouldn't bring these things up. Let people make whatever they want. It isn't my business and it isn't my problem. As long as I know what I'm using to make my own stuff, let it go. Hmm. He's probably right. But I'm interested in knowing what you think about when you look at old text being used in mixed media artwork... and will you think about it differently now?
Arabic for Designers is an excellent book about text in art. This is a must-have for anybody working on logo designs out there. The book is beautifully illustrated throughout and contains newspaper clippings of epic mistakes from the major corporations such as Coca-Cola and Nike. It's a great addition to my creative library and the best part is it makes me think about our responsibility as creative people to respect language.