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Reading Notes Chapter 1

1. The Shape of Space

  • The size and shape of space in a picture changes how we perceive form. By changing the size of a format, I can learn to change the apparent size of elements in my design processes.

2. Positive and Negative

  • The form of a picture is considered a positive element while the space of the picture is considered negative. By learning the relationships between positive form and negative space, I can convey the appropriate message desired from my designs.

3. Clarity and Decisiveness

  • An image must be readily understandable (clarity). It must be obvious that it is one thing and not another (decisiveness). This can change my design process by encouraging me to make sure my works are obvious in what they are and understandable.

4. The Dot

  • A dot is a point of attention that anchors itself to any space it resides. No matter what the space is, it is still a dot. By learning about the nature of the dot, I can gain a better feeling for what my work will be.

5. The Line

  • The line unites areas together in a composition. They are inherently dynamic and perform functions like separating space and enclosing objects. By learning about the functions of lines, I can gain a greater understanding of how they control space.

6. Plane and Mass

  • A plane is a dot with its outer contour containing an important attribute (ex: angular instead of round). All form have a perceived mass that changes based on the size and simplicity of a shape. By learning about the important of mass and the attributes of planes, I can give my works a true sense of texture and weight.

7. Geometric Form

  • A form with a regularized contour is geometric. These forms are often angular and perceived as artificial. By adding geometric forms to my works, I can create a feeling of ambiguity of unease.

8. Organic Form

  • A form that irregular or textured is organic in nature. These forms are often seen as soft and naturally occurring as opposed to geometric forms being artificial. By using organic forms in my works, I can help create a sense of familiarity.

9. Surface Activity

  • Surface activity helps viewers differentiate forms from each other. By grouping dots together, we create the illusion of activity through texture and pattern. By learning the importance of texture and pattern in surface activity, I can make my images come alive.

10. Static and Dynamic

  • A image that has little movement might be considered static. On the other hand, an image that contains perceived movement might be considered dynamic. Learning the importance of rest and movement can help me to really bring out the purpose in my images.

My Design Process

1)  pick colors on purpose

– This is important because If I just put a bunch of different colors together it doesn’t make sense. Colors can bring certain emotions or meanings. I think this is important because I don’t want to add just random colors together.

2)  negative space is magical – create it don’t just fill it up

– This will help me when I want show and define a object. I never really thought about how negative space affects an object. When it comes to negative space it Is important to notice that it any art that is created.

3) if you can do it with less then do it.

– I have learned that you don’t need to put so much stuff. It can be simple and still portray a message or have meaning to it.

 

4)  be universal that its not about you

-I learned that you need to remember it is not always about you. For example, You are trying to get people to go to a certain event like a festival. I need to focus on what the event is for and what the audience should and like to see. I need to realize that most of the time it is for an audience and telling a message.

 

5) be decisive do it on purpose or don’t do it at all

-This is a struggle for me because I am indecisive. I will like one thing for a moment and then want to change it up again. I have to learn to make clear decisions. I don’t want to show that I am not confident in my work. I want to show that I can do the work and have the audience believe in me.

6) create images don’t scavenge

-What I got from this was that I shouldn’t just rely on images such as stock photos. If I am going to use a certain type of image I should change it up and transform to how the client would want it to be. I feel like what this means is that it is alright to use an image but my own style to it by adding more details and certain things to it. I should customize so it looks different than the original image.

7) Use two typefaces families maximum

-I really haven’t done much that I have used different typefaces. But this does make sense because if you are using so many different typefaces it won’t look right. Font is really important whether it’s going on a poster or website. You want everything to sort of look the same but still using the same families.

8) Squish and separate

-This is something that I think every person has to play around with. It is important that some things on a design should be put closer together or farther away. Sometimes you don’t want to have so much together because it looks crowded.

 

9) Symmetry is the ultimate evil

-I never knew how much this affected when you are designing.  Not everything always has to be symmetrical. Everyone always does that so to be different you want your art to stand out. It gives you more freedom to express what you are trying to show.

10) Look to history but don’t repeat it

-This is super important to anyone who designs something. You don’t want to copy someone else’s work. I know there are times where I have liked something and wanted to do the same thing. But it would just mean I am copying someone. You don’t want to rip of someone else’s work. I think you can pull certain ideas and corporate them into yours but don’t do exactly the same.

 

| DESIGN PROCESS |

  1. Have a concept.

In order to be graphic design it needs to have a message. It has to have a purpose. This will definitely remind me that the message is the most important thing that needs to be conveyed.

2.  Communicate don’t decorate.

I think this is something I tend to struggle with. I love making something look aesthetically pleasing and struggle with the amount of information the client wants to be on the poster. As much as I would like to decorate and make it look nice I need to that the client wants to communicate rather than have a pretty poster.

3.Use two typeface families maximum 3.

Totally agree that when there are way to many typefaces, it tends to look like the creation doesn’t flow or come together. I want to learn more about which typefaces go best with each other. I tend to stick with the same two that I know look well together.

4.Pick colors on purpose.

I love color pallets! I definitely lean more towards earthy, muted tones and love combining them together. It’s so important to have colors that go well together and even match the mood of the message the client is trying to achieve. I want to be able to branch out of my go to earthy,pastel colors to be able to excel in work where pastels, muted, earth tones aren’t the clients favorites.

5.If you can do it with less, than do it.

Simplicity can be better than having something very decorated. If the same message or story can be told using less then do it that way. More doesn’t always mean better.

6. Negative space is magical…

I love using negative space, it kind of goes with the point of simplicity. Using negative space can help those viewing the graphic design to easily distinguish the message of the design. The message is very clear when negative space is used.

7.Treat the type as an image…

Type is definitely as important as an image. If there is too little/much it or too little/big and doesn’t flow with the rest of the design, as a whole it will look off. Type is just as important as an image.

8. Type is only type when it is friendly.

Completely agree, you can have something that looks great together, but if the type is illegible then the graphic design has failed to reach it’s purpose.

9. Be universal; remember it’s not all about you.

I definitely want to grow in this class to be universal, I love the style that I currently know but I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. I want to learn to create things that are outside of my comfort zone.

10. Look to history, but don’t repeat it.

I think it’s awesome to look at work from the past as inspiration, but it’s definitely important to not copy it.

Design Process

The following are the 10 things that stood out to me from the introduction:

1.“….to realize that design is also a commentary, opinion, a point of view, and social responsibility.” -Paul Rand

This quote reminds me that in using design, I am sending messages that reveal either my own worldview or the worldview of others. No symbol is detached from meaning and bias.

2.  Graphic design is a cousin to advertising.

This is a concept that I want to keep in mind when I am creating content. They share the goal in urging people to action, either to buy something, go somewhere, or even to feel a certain thing. Even though their ultimate purpose is different, keeping in mind the goal of selling something with my work can be beneficial.

3. Communicate- don’t decorate.

I could see myself carrying a rule like this with me into the rest of time designing. I sometimes feel the need to fill space on a poster or embellish a graphic to make it more appealing, both of which can sometimes be valid and good things to do. However, I need to keep in mind that even the “decorations” carry meaning and can be necessary.

4. Reinforce, restate, and reference.

The author mentions that each piece of a project should go together, and should reinstate the concept as well as the design elements. This will be helpful for me to remember to put the same effort and consideration into every piece of a design (poster, handout, CAF TV slide) so that I will not weaken the overall message.

5. Pick colors on purpose.

There have been colors that I have chosen in the past that were picked out of personal preference and convention, rather than careful decision. Choosing colors that are right and not just expected is something I would like to implement into my designing process.

6. Type as an image; Friendly type.

Using type as an integral element of the design rather than just as a title put on last is a rule I need to follow. However, if you cant read it or understand what it says, the purpose is defeated. It is an interesting balance.

7. Measure with your eyes.

This rule is one that I believe I have both succeeded and failed to implement in the past. Despite whether I know the images are centered, if they look off or too far to the left for my audience, I need to change it.

8. Ignore fashion.

The pressure to be with the trends and to create according to popular culture is real and powerful, especially with our age group. I have to fight the urge to get inspiration from Pinterest before starting a project.

9. Tell the format who’s boss.

I need to take charge of my design and not let things like symmetry and minimalism do my work for me.

10. Do it on purpose, or don’t do it at all.

Yes, I believe accidents work to our advantage sometimes. Like accidentally moving the layer with the pattern a little to the right when attempting to drag the type and finding that is is more visually appealing can be great. But plopping things on a page without considering what it does and not resolving the awkwardness of the form can ruin a design and leave it essentially ineffective.

(11. The layout.

I appreciated the layout of this section of the book. The designer was careful with placement of titles, numbers, and the examples. The two type families distinguished the paragraph, from the title, from the explanation of the images. The faded 20 in the back of each page made it feel three dimensional and added something without being obnoxious.)

DESIGN PROCESS

1. Use two typeface families maximum.

Typeface always serves a specific purpose. In order to make my message clear and understandable to the viewer, I need to decide what purpose I want the type to serve and then choose the most effective option.

2. Use the one-two punch.

This is a principle which is familiar to me from photography; whatever is the biggest or brightest object inside the frame will draw the viewers’ eyes first. So in design, I can intentionally place elements that will capture the viewers’ eyes, and then follow up with details that complete the message.

3. Pick colors on purpose.

I am excited to start learning more about the significance of colors and their impact on visual hierarchy. I know what colors I personally like, but I don’t know WHY yet, and that intrigues me.

4. Treat the type as image, as though it’s just as important.

Everything within the frame of a designed image has been placed their for a specific reason. I never thought about the fact that type is as much a vital element as everything else. This encourages me to get more creative with my manipulation and integration of text and typeface.

5. Be universal; remember that it’s not about you.

This is an important concept–design is created with an audience in mind. It is not just about self-expression and messing around in Photoshop, but it is about communicating with people and achieving a goal. This mentality will add a fun aspect of problem solving as I figure out new ways to effectively reach the viewers.

6. Measure with your eyes: design is visual.

I never would have guessed that this is a rule, but it makes complete sense. Shapes create optical illusions sometimes, even if they are mathematically aligned, so it is better to trust my own eyes than the ruler.

7. Create images–don’t scavenge.

I’m really excited to incorporate some of my own photography in this class and try executing designs from scratch.

8. Ignore fashion. Seriously.

My temptation this year will be to go out and copy things floating around on the internet on cute Pinterest pages. Instead, I would like to develop the skill of targeting the meaning behind a project, and then finding the right visual vocabulary to express it.

9. Squish and separate.

Not only does contrast need to occur between light and dark, big and small, but also between an interplay of density and rhythm. The language of a “pulse” or a “rhythm” to image is a little foreign to me, but I’m trying to figure it out. How does this work exactly?

10. Symmetry is the ultimate evil.

I love this rule, but it also scares the heck out of me because it means I can’t just rely on the center axis anymore. Asymmetry, as I learned in a class last year, is actually a characteristic of beauty. For example, no human face is perfectly symmetrical–we all have a tiny quirk or a “flaw” that throws off the balance and affirms our realness. Perfect symmetry creates a feeling of falseness because it is too robotic. Anyway, I am looking forward to learning how to craft asymmetrical images in an aesthetically pleasing way.

 

my design process

“If everything is “good“, then nothing really can be.”

Some things I noted from the reading that intrigue me or affect my design process are:

  1. Conceptualizing
    • I definitely think about things in my head before even attempting to do it and I usually make a plan as to how I’m going to do it (also in my head). I rarely draw anything because it feels archaic to draw something like 100 times and do the scene where the artist throws all the crumpled up attempts in the trashcan. It’s 2018, we attempting it on the computer and making changes as we go.
  2. Colors
    • I tend to use the colors I would use if the project were for me. Also, knowing which colors bring out certain moods is imperative to the vibe the project gives off.
  3. Less
    • I’ve never really done anything minimal. It has to have aspects to it that draw your eye. But sometimes minimal is good.
  4. Create
    • Good artists borrow, great artists STEAL. I don’t know who said that but I guess it stuck with me. I’m not the graphic design wizard that can create the image in my head. So I use free pictures from google.
  5. Voice 
    • Treat projects differently depending on the voice of the brand. Making all the parts look equal and in the same language and on the same page is something I’d say I’m good at.
  6. Type 
    • I have never used more than one type of font on a project, I guess the cohesiveness of it is something that I like.
  7. Purpose
    •  Every component on the page should have a purpose or contribute to the overall message.
  8. Measure
    • I usually measure with my eyes to gauge the overall aesthetic quality, if it doesn’t look good then I keep moving.
  9. Universal 
    • When they said “remember  that it’s not about you”, I gasped and dropped my cup. “WHAT?” Just kidding, I wasn’t THAT dramatic. For the most part I know that projects should be universal, but I also think that sometimes people bring things to you to do because of the personal flair that you bring to it. That, of course, is on a case-by-case basis and not to be confused with when people bring specific projects to you to do in their voice/brand.
  10. Squish
    • When I saw the example of the SYDNEY DANCE COMPANY with the squished and also separated text, I realized that this has been very popular recently with “hype churches” and their social media accounts. I thought it was cool, because it gives a very youthful appeal to it.

Affecting My Design Process

  1. Have a clear message.
    • I can sometimes create something that is just pleasing to look at, with no story behind it or no message.  Thinking of a story, and then making a design that depicts that story will help me to have a message to my designs.
  2. Keeping Typeface to a minimum.
    • It’s easy to find a typeface for a project, but keeping it at a few can be difficult especially when text is a big part of a project.  Just because multiple typefaces are pleasing to look at, it is good to be reminded to keep it at a minimal amount.
  3. Knowing the colors you want.
    • For me finding a color is difficult since there are so many colors and shades of those colors.  I end up usually picking a color that I’m familiar with.  Picking a different color and matching those with different combinations can help to make a design more appealing.
  4. Don’t fill up negative space.
    • Just knowing that blank spaces can bring more attention to your design helps since I’m not used to doing designs with negative space.
  5. Make your work universal.
    • I’m used to just making things that I would enjoy, but it would be good to make my work more about something others would enjoy and not just make something only a few people would enjoy.
  6. Be confident about decisions.
    • I can be indecisive about some decisions and try to change a shape, etc. Keeping the message I’m trying to send will help for decisions to be easier.
  7. Measure with your eyes.
    • I think most things look better symmetrically so measuring with my eyes is something I don’t do that much, but it should help in designs that are not meant to be symmetrical.
  8. Ignore present day fashion and trends.
    • When you are giving a design what the people want, it’s easy to just come up with something that is trending at the time.  However that trend wont always last so creating images that will last is key.
  9. Don’t repeat history.
    • Mainly just don’t recreate something that has already been done, be inspired by something sure, but do something no one has seen.
  10. Stay away form symmetry.
    • I’m used to symmetrical designing, but staying away from symmetry will only make my designs less lazy.  Using my eye for the measurements of the designs will make the design more appealing.

Changing My Design Process

1. Use restraint when choosing typefaces for your work.

  • I tend to let my creativity get the better of me when I work. Showing restraint can helped keep my work grounded on a specific form.

2. Picking a color out of convention isn’t always the right choice.

  • Colors carry a large amount of emotional weight. They can challenge me to stop and think about which colors I want to choose for a project.

3. Deal with negative space in a healthy way.

  • Negative space can be used to draw attention to the actual content. I can learn to leave space in my designs instead of jamming things into it.

4. Type needs to relate to everything else in the design.

  • Type is just as much a part of an image as all of the other factors. This can change how I use typography in my design process.

5. Don’t add things to an image that only you like.

  • One of the hardest things in design is trying to appeal to oneself and the audience. By thinking beyond myself and trying to be more universal, I can make my images more appealing to a wider audience.

6. Use darkness and light in concentrated areas.

  • Distinctions between light and dark must be clear in order to make the image more appealing. I can concentrate areas of light and dark to change the tonal value of my design process.

7. Be confident with the visual material you are placing.

  • Placing material in an image without confidence can portray a message of weakness or insecurity. I should be confident in my designs and what my plans are for them.

8. Measure elements with your eyes.

  • This can challenge me to use my eyes when making an image instead of relying on a ruler.

9. Create illusions of three-dimensional movement.

  • The idea that static images are boring and dull can help my design process to become more visually interesting and mysterious.

10. Symmetry isn’t necessary.

  • Symmetry is often static which in turn, makes it less visually interesting. By using more asymmetrical elements in my design process, I can give my images more dynamism.

 

 

 

Altering My Design Process

  1. Make sure that every piece of the design has a meaning that contributes to the overall message
    • This will alter my thought process when I decide what I should incorporate into my design.  It will help me to place my attention on the meaning rather than only the look of the image.
  2. Pick colors that go against the norm but that can still be understood by the common population
    • There are many direct associations that are made with color but the idea of using color that goes against the assumed associations challenges me to think of how the meaning of color can be manipulated in my designs.
  3. Use the type as an image that contributes to the overall look of my design
    • I have often seen typography as something that needs to be there rather than something that can contribute to my design.  Using the type as a part of my design changes how I use typography throughout my design process.
  4. Make sure the majority can understand the purpose behind the colors and shapes that I decide to use
    • I often struggle to look beyond my own perspective and by looking at my design from the perspective of the majority it will change what I decide to add or remove from my design throughout the design process.
  5. Using different light adds depth
    • This idea challenges me to use the same color in different shades to drag the eye through my designs rather than simply using light or dark design elements.
  6. Create your image out of nothing rather than using something that already exists
    • Creating something completely new is challenging and while other people have great ideas I want to challenge myself to create something original and to rely on my own creativity more than the work of other people.
  7. Don’t try to be trendy
    • This changes the way I approach my design and how I understand who the consumer of my design will be.  I want to make sure that as I go through the design process that my design appeals to my audience but does not look like other common design elements that are popular in our current society.
  8. It is better for the design to look messy than to use something that has already been created
    • Thinking outside of the box and beyond what has already been done is challenging but it is a part of the design process that should be considered before starting any designs.  Even if my design looks a little bit more messy, it is still better for me to create an original design without incorporating another person’s work.
  9. The designs that get noticed are the ones that do not look like the others
    • In my design process, I want to look for inspiration but not copy it or create something that is extremely similar.  
  10. Movement creates engagement
    • When going through the design process I want to purposely create dimension through color, shape, and typography so that the audience will desire to stay engaged with my design.

Cool Find!

I have encountered many poster pieces that have geometric shapes in them and shapes like these give the design more edge. However, this semester, I had come across this poster and could not stop marveling over it. I love it when design has a 3-dimensional illusion to it. It gives the piece more life to it.