At the beginning of this course, I was asked to give my definition of what Graphic Design was. Now I am being asked to reflect on it and and decide whether or not my definition has changed. I would say that my definition is still the same but I feel that some of the ways to achieve the final goal are shifting. For instance, graphic design is no longer person centered. Designers are now forced to work with clients and clients are forced to understand what goes into design. This leads to new ideas and the concept that designers are now teachers and not just artists who implement ideas.
However, I still feel my original definition of graphic design holds true. It is about expressing ideas and evoking emotion that is understandable by all.
SO we are still working on or Exploration A project and I got to say, it has been a relatively eye opening experience. Once the mind map was created, there were so many relations just 3 everyday words that you don’t even think of. Like how curtains relate to pizza…it’s nuts. Keeley and Justin have been great and I think that we work quite well together especially to bounce ideas off. I was able to come up with my project idea relatively quickly because I love Halloween and see the same thing every year. Anyway, it will be good to develop this into a finished piece and hope that my classmates enjoy what I have done.
Although my brain has been fried for much of this week, I did happen to come across a very lovely article on Smashing Magazine. The article discusses the problems with Responsive Design, How to fix the broken system of client participation, and how to deal with a client of lesser intelligence. I figured this would be a great article to link to seeing as how we are discussing responsive design and previously discussed the client designer dynamic.
Design-Thinking is a hot topic used to acquire knowledge, and find solutions to bigger problems. There are many types of design-thinking methods that are relevant to graphic design. One such method that I’m sure many designers use is the Brainstorm method. The idea is quite simple. You have a a group of individuals sit around and write down any and every idea that comes to mind. In a brainstorming sessions nothing is off limits. From the ridiculous to the weird, every thing gets written down. These types of methods are great because they allow a large number of ideas to be presented in a short amount of time, and because nothing is off limits you begin to see ideas that you might not have considered. Many times my firm or band will brainstorm for ideas on songs, or artwork for album titles. It’s within these brainstorming sessions that we begin to understand what each other is thinking and ways to bounce ideas of one another to further develop a plan of attack. Other method example is the “How Might We” Questions. These are related very closely to brainstorming because these are the questions that you begin to ask during a brainstorming session. Essentially the HMW questions work backwards to create a solution to a problem. These questions help to develop answers by generalizing the problem and then allowing groups to come up with a wide array of solutions.
These methods go hand and hand in thinking. It is usually with the HMW questions that you begin to develop the brainstorming session. These present new ideas that I hadn’t really thought of until now. Working backwards to create a solution to a problems is an odd way of thinking, however, it is the odd way of thinking that usually achieves the best results.
So before I started coming to SCAD, I had a very different approach to completing projects and jobs for clients. I would do a little research, complete some thumbnails, do a rough, proof to client, make changes, and complete the job. It was almost robotic, just me going through the motions to get the job done. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the job and didn’t have fun with the experience, it’s just that I had a way of doing things that developed my Senior year in college and further developed working for companies that wanted quick turn around. I had go-to fonts, a place to get stock images, and a way I did things. It was who I was and I was stubborn to change.
Now, I have had to take a step back and really examine the way I carry myself through the process. Get out of my comfort zone. “Think wrong,” would be the accurate description. It’s been hard. You always find yourself slowly drifting back to the way you do things. It’s not wrong, it just pigeon holes you into a category. As a designer, I want to be good at what I do, and sometimes that means being awful at trying something completely out of the ordinary. Taking a different route to work, going somewhere new for lunch, buying a book that you would never buy. Things I have been trying to do to make me better. It hasn’t been easy but it has to be done.
Will I ever completely stop doing certain things like using Avenir or Pantone 2995. Probably not…it’s who I am and it’s my own personal touch on certain things. However, will I maybe use other techniques to create a certain project…sure, why not.
I would like to discuss something that has been on my mind for a while. Back in 2010, on Rodger Ebert’s Blog on the Sun Times website, he discussed his idea the video games would never be considered a form of art. “Video games can never be art…Having once made the statement above, I have declined all opportunities to enlarge upon it or defend it. That seemed to be a fool’s errand, especially given the volume of messages I receive urging me to play this game or that and recant the error of my ways. Nevertheless, I remain convinced that in principle, video games cannot be art. Perhaps it is foolish of me to say “never,” because never, as Rick Wakeman informs us, is a long, long time. Let me just say that no video gamer now living will survive long enough to experience the medium as an art form. (Ebert). As an avid gamer, I would like to strongly disagree with this statement.
I am a gamer (if you didn’t catch that last part). Have been all my life. It started when my father gave me his old Atari 2600 when I was but a we lad. I have watched games grow from 2 color pixels on a screen to media that resembles big Hollywood movies. First, I would like to raise the question, what is art? Art is the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form. That right there makes video games art by default. Video games creators imagine whole worlds, with stories, missions, and characters from scratch. It takes concept artists to draw roughs of what everything will look like even before it is brought to the computer.
Skyrim was one of the most ambitious games to hit store shelves.
Films are considered art today. But what is the difference between films and art? How does one get the honor of being a celebrated artistic medium, while the other is a scapegoat for fat kids, and good for nothing teenagers? It’s the fact that many people don’t understand video games or the amount of heart and soul designers and artists (yes I said artists) put into these projects. Take a look at 2 examples. One is from the game Okami. The whole design is based around Japanese woodblock art. It is a beautiful game that won up to 15 awards in the video game design community, but most people have no idea what it is.
The other example is a very popular children’s cartoon that has won awards from Emmys to Golden Reels.
I love Spongebob Squarepants. I think the cartoon is hilarious and great for kids, but you can’t tell me that Okami is not fun to look at and just loose yourself in. That is what art is to me, anything that you can lose yourself in and just enjoy everything it has to offer.
While Roger Ebert may not feel that video games are an art form, I have to strongly oppose. Then again, I guess it’s is up to the viewer what they reprieve as art. All I know is that I will be enjoying the emotional roller coaster that is video games, and I hope someday to allow my kids the same opportunity.
When I started research for my Methodologies Class, I had just a broad topic. I knew I wanted to do something relating to color, but I had no idea what. What about color interested me? What about something we see everyday, and often take for granted did I want to spend grueling hours researching. That’s when it hit me, color has such a huge impact on our lives that often times we don’t even realize it.
Most if not all of us have a favorite color, and this whole idea of Color Psychology helps, at least in a small part to explain why. You can use color to get people to buy things, and even to invoke emotions. How ridiculous is that?!? You have the power to control the hearts and minds of people by the color of a logo. Change the paint in your bedroom and you can effect sleeping patterns.
There is so much that has yet to truly be understood about this topic of color and the effects on the human brain, I just hope I can harness it for my own selfish needs.
For this assignment, we were each assigned 3 words. Using these words, we were asked to make a list of all the words that came to mind with these words. These words could be synonyms, antonyms, even words that related to other words on the list. We were then asked to send our lists to 2 other classmates and have them add to the list. This assignment in general was an interesting one. It helped us to learn to think about everything and not hesitate in writing down the words. This is a good technique for designers to just get things out of their head and onto paper. It also teaches designers not to restrict themselves to the first ideas and to keep pushing. Finally, it helps train the designers to work as a team by bouncing ideas off of one another. While at first glance this assignment may seem rather easy, it was just the opposite. It wasn’t that it was difficult coming up with words. It was a challenge to come up with words that weren’t already used, or to know when to stop. All in all, I enjoy working with other to bounce ideas off of, and hope to work with my classmates again.
I’d like to get something off my chest if I could…Of course I can this is my blog after all. I would like to talk for a minute about the importance of typography in design. Now most of us being Grad students understand, that type is just as important as the images that accompany it. Why then is it that I see many designers out there who just don’t understand anything about kerning, leading or even not to use 40 different type faces together. I remember my first year as a design student I was required to take one semester of typography. I could take another if I choose, however it wasn’t required. I think there is just too much to comprehend with only 4 months of a typography course. I think it should be required to take at least a full year if not more.
Type needs to be respected and understood. It says a lot about a designer when they can understand basic aspects of typography. I would love to hear so horror stories from teachers or professionals about this topic. Feel free to leave them in the comments section below.
Many times during the day I find myself distracted by articles on various blogs and around the internet. Some deal with World News, a lot deal with football, and even more still deal with design. I read everything from business aspects of design to what other designers are doing.
I recently came across and article on Computer Arts Magazine’s website discussing the idea of collectives. Now I’ve never really thought about it, but starting something like a collective is actually a really helpful way for a freelancer to get their name out their and but have the ability to help others out if they get over whelmed. It also brings to light the fact that even though many of us look forward to being our own boss, the lack of social interaction we experience during the work day can leave us feeling isolated. Starting something like what the designers in the article did, allows you to gain the support of other designers and to build up your reputation, even if you lack some of the marketing skills to get the bigger clients. They do say that some of the drawbacks are that instead of being within one studio many of the designers are placed around the country or across the globe. This makes it difficult to meet or to do critiques as much as they would like. However, I think that for people looking to break out this could lead to developing a really good team of designers with different ideas and styles.
One could also look into starting something with artists with different strengths and weaknesses. For example a web guy, an illustrator, a copywriter, and so forth. Where as everyone will have the ability to design something or work on different projects, they will all be able to come together to develop something extraordinary for clients.