First things first, I absolutely love graphic design. As soon as I saw this was design week, I got so excited. I did a lot of graphic design my senior year of high school when I was taking an Advanced Design class and Photojournalism (working on the school’s yearbook). I am so ready to create some designs again!

The first reading, The Vignelli Canon, was about the principles of design and provided some beautiful examples. Some principles that really stood out to me were semantics, pragmatics, discipline, appropriateness, and ambiguity.

Semantics is about knowing as much as you can about what you are designing; it’s about developing an understanding of the topic and its meaning. Pragmatics is about making sure that what you designed can stand on its own and actually make sense. It is important that other people can understand what you designed without needing an explanation. I liked how discipline was related to “attention to detail”. It is hard to put a lot of meaningful details into a design if it was a product of procrastination. Appropriateness is a very important principle in design. I liked how it was explained as having a “correct level of conformity” because designs have to be unique, but some designs are more appropriate in some situations than others. My favorite part of the reading was probably when ambiguity was given a positive definition, as opposed to the usual negative ones. Ambiguity is a “plurality of meanings” that give more depth to a work.

In the second reading, A Kid’s Guide to Graphic Design by Iconic Designer Chip Kidd, I also liked the way he explained design. My favorite quote from the article is “Everything that is not made by nature is designed by someone.” I had never thought of design in that way before, and it is almost mind-blowing. From reading other quotes in the book, I like how blunt and honest he is about everything. He called a technical definition boring and then proceeded to explain in a more interesting, yet simple way. I also liked the quote, “graphic design is a purely head trip from your eyes to your mind.” The preceding image is from the article. I like how simple, yet accurate the formula for graphic design is.

Question of the Week

What makes a poster look like a poster? What makes a book cover look like a book cover? It takes more than just putting words together with a photo. What distinguishes design from decoration? How does your work this week build on what you did in the previous weeks? How does design build on photography? How do design principles or elements of design apply to audio production? To video production?

Week 6: Live and Let Design

There are so many different things that go into what makes a poster, book cover, etc. A poster may have a quote or large image on it. A book cover may be minimalist or extremely designed, but either way it has a book title and the author on it. Design is a work that can stand on its own while a decoration creates more artwork out of something that is already standing on its own. For example, if you’re decorating your room. The wallpaper, curtains, paint color, pictures, etc are the decorations while the room itself is the design. The work this week builds on what we have been doing in this class because we have to pay attention to the details whether it’s capturing a picture in photography or making the right sound to give listeners a mental picture. Video production combines the importance of good visuals and good sounds to create an experience that viewers can be a part of.

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