Reading Notes Ch 4

1.  Abstraction and Representation

  • An image might mostly be representational or mostly abstract, but it always will be a mixture of the two.  Abstract images communicate ideas that are grounded in the human experience.

2.  Image Modes and Mediation

  • A designer might choose to represent an idea by using photographs, illustrations, or a hybrid manipulated photographs or drawn images in combination.

3.  Semiology and Stylization

  • A designer might often need to represent ideas in a stylized way, selecting the most important elements form a subject and arranging them in as concise and simplified a message as possible.

4.  Illustration

  • The choice of illustration over photography opens up tremendous possibility for transmitting information.

5.  Drawing and Painting

  • The directness of hand-generated images is universally appealing, the designer taps into a viewer’s own sense of creativity and connects on an extremely personal level.

6.  The Medium Is a Message

  • Every drawing and painting tool makes characteristic marks and affords a designer a specific kind of visual language.  The language of the tool has a powerful effect on an illustration’s communicative value, not just on its visual qualities relative to other elements in a design solution.

7.  Graphic Translation

  • Graphic translation combines some attributes of both icon and symbol.  It depicts subjects in a literal way, like an icon, but also in a self-consciously abstract way that takes on symbolic qualities.

8.  Collage: Old and New

  • Assembling graphic elements in a free pictorial composition, called “collage”, is a relatively recent development in illustration. It derives from the evolution of representation in fine art form depicting a strictly singular view-point through the construction of multiple viewpoints.

9.  Photography

  • Realism and directness allow a viewer to enter the image and process it very quickly, rather than get distracted by abstract pictorial issues such as texture, medium, and composition.

10.  Narrative Interplay

  • Putting photographs together increases their semantic power and creates narrative, or storytelling; the instant two images can be compared, whether juxtaposed or arranged in sequence, a viewer will try to establish meaningful connections between them.

Reading Notes Ch 3

1. The Nuts and Bolts

  • A system of lines with visual relationships that are nearly invisible built in the letters of the western alphabet.

2. Form and Counterform: The Optics of Spacing

  • Every typeface has a distinct rhythm of strokes and spaces.  This relationship between form and counterform defines the optimal spacing of that particular typeface and therefore of the overall spacing between words, between lines of type, and among paragraphs.

3. Type Sizes and Spacing

  • Typeface has an impact on the perception of its size, setting type smaller or larger than the optimal reading size for text also has an impact on spacing.

4. Visual Variations

  • The letterforms in all typefaces vary form their archetypes in only six aspects: case, weight, contrast, width, posture, and style.

5. Style Classifications

  • Classifying type helps a designer grasp the subtle differences among styles, organizing them in a general way further helping to select and appropriate typeface for a particular project.

6. Combining Type Styles

  • Provides a framework for finding a maximum amount of contrasts, and it forces a designer to exercise some restraint.  Only reason to change a typeface is to gain an effect of contrast.

7. Exploring the Ragged Edge

  • The rag of a paragraph might range from deep to shallow and active to subtle, but its uniformity and consistency form the top of a paragraph down to the bottom are what make it desirable.

8. Type is Visual, Too

  • Design students and novices often make the mistake of ignoring the abstract visual nature of type and, as a result, use type in a heavy-handed way that doesn’t correspond with image material in effect, separating the two things completely.

9. Typographic Color

  • Typographic color is similar to chromatic color like red, blue, or orange but deals only with changes in lightness and darkness, or value.

10. Color and Hierarchy

  • Applying color to a black and white typographic composition will have an immediate effect on hierarchy.  It’s often a good idea to understand how the hierarchy works in black and white first, separating the typographic components through their typographic color their density and  rhythm, linearity and mass.

Chapter 2 Reading Notes

1. Hue

  • Identifies how we perceive light being reflected from objects at particular frequencies.  A color’s identity is knowable only when there is another color adjacent with, in which it can be compared.

2. Saturation

  • Intense or vibrant, colors that are dull are often said to be desaturated colors.

3. Value

  • A color’s value is its intrinsic darkness or lightness, one color can be considered darker or lighter if it’s compared.

4. Temperature

  • The temperature of a color is a subjective quality that is related to experiences. Colors that are considered warm, are red or orange, and cool colors are green and blue. They are based on what reminds us of a particular temperature.

5. Temperature Relationships

  • Designers can establish relationships within a color palette based on relative temperature. Grouping colors with similar temperature together with one or two variations on the same hues can generate enormous possibilities for combining colors.

6. Color: From and Space

  • Color exhibits a number of spatial properties. Applying color to a composition will have an immediate effect on hierarchy, the relative order of importance of the forms in space.

7. Color Stories: Coding with Color

  • Color can help distinguish different kinds of information, as well as create relationships among components or editions of a publication.

8. Color Proportioning

  • Various parts of the system need to be distinguishable from each other while maintaining a clear family appearance in this way, the color coding not only helps a viewer separate the components from each other quickly, but also continues to enhance the unity of the system.

9. Color Psychology

  • Colors of varying wavelengths have different effects on the autonomic nervous system, warmer colors have long wavelengths and more energy is needed to process them as they enter the eye and brain.

10. Changing Color, Changing Meaning

  • Local color influences emotional responses in the viewer, and manipulation of the overall tonal balance of an image will usually skew an image’s feeling in one direction of another.

Chapter 1. Reading Notes

1. The Shape of Space

  • The shape of space is the size of the format space comparing with the to the form within.

2. Positive and Negative

  • A positive element would be a solid object or thing, and a negative element is the absence or opposite form.

3. Clarity and Decisiveness

  • The point, is to understand what kind of message is being carried in the given form, what it does in the space, and what effect the combination of aspect has on the viewer.

4. The Dot

  • The dot is a point of focused attention that simultaneously contracts inward and radiates outward.

5. The Line

  • The line unites areas within a composition, and is defined by the pulling effect on space between two dots.

6. Plane and Mass

  • A plane is just a big dot with outer contour, the sense of the shape becomes an important attribute.  The relative size and simplicity of the shape has an impact on its perceived mass, or weight.

7. Organic Form

  • Shapes that are irregular, complex, and highly differentiated are considered organic, our brains tell us this after millennia of seeing organic forms all around us in nature.

8. Breaking Space

  • The resulting breach of emptiness creates a new space, making the areas surrounding the form.

9. Symmetry and Asymmetry

  • Symmetry is a compositional state in which the arrangement of forms responds to the central axis of the format, asymmetry requires the brain to assess differences in space and stimulate the eye to greater movement.

10. Compositional Contrast

  • Areas that contrast with each other is inherent in designing a well-resolved dynamic composition.  Contrast applies to specific relationships such as light versus dark.

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.