What is the most profound thing you have learned about yourself and your creative practices through this course? Have you experienced moments of disruptive wonder? In what ways has your perspective on graphic design practice changed?
This course has been a great pair to the Methodologies Seminar. I find myself using many different creative practices – especially the use of word play and brainstorming, mind maps and detailed lists more often than others. The most profound thing I have learned about myself this quarter is time management. There were many weeks when the assignments had multiple due dates and the list of things I wanted to do and ideas running thought my head were too long on the time to do them extremely too short. I ended up being able to create a full scale card game, laminated, cut, box design and packaging all from scratch and had a blast doing it minus the index finger joint pain from the xacto knife.
I think I did experience a moment of disruptive wonder when I was working on the concept of Project B. Researching and studying the fairytale of Beauty and the Beast and pulling out a card game that could be institutionalized showing kids the differences of Virtues and Vices was not the obvious choice. It all started with the idea of ugly vs. beautiful and the idea of working with the opposites of one another – good vs. bad.
I have acquired a great deal of design reference books this quarter and some great tools for video seminars that were used as discussion questions. TEDtalk will be something I look to for inspiration or just a good kick in the ass. I really think my ideas of approaching a project will change. I like the idea of taking a few steps back and really working on the concept, the process and the idea behind the design before going directly to the computer. I am a firm believe in lists and writing out the design brief so that focus is not lost. I also think that I will work with word play and the term of disruptive wonder more often.
Reflect on your own creative process. How do you strive to achieve a moment of performance or move forward in reach of a noble pursuit? Are your creative activities leading toward a moment of disruptive wonder for your audience, as well as for yourself?
This week has been a production filled week. I had to make some decisions within my design that helped me with the amount of work that was a head of me. A normal card deck is 52 cards. Unfortunately with the amount of effort and thought that goes in with designing each one of my cards, I cut the deck down to 30 cards total. This allowed me to then take more time in the thought process and the way that I represented each card. I think 30 will be sufficient enough in the game I am creating because each card has a reflective component which will take time for each child to fill out and think about.
When thinking in terms of my packaging design I was really stuck. Some card packages can be very tacky and almost over the top in whimsical. I decided I wanted something a little more subdued and graphic oriented. The cards inside the packaging are overwhelming in imagery so I decided the box could be a little more simple and focus on color and line and connections between “opposites” so to speak. I began with a template that I liked, then I cut it out and had to end up piecing it back together in a way that made sense with the folds and closures where I wanted them to be. This was a moment that was very fun for me because I got to be hands on. I couldn’t computer the folds and see the box 3d when I was working in Illustrator for the template. I had to take a hands on approach or I never would have created a better box design.
I find those moments where I took a simple sheet of paper and made it into a 3d holder a moment of performance where I was physically moving forward within my design. I am learning that I need to be hands on in my work and have resulted in tearing apart things and creating new. I have always enjoyed this part of graphic design – starting with mock ups and moving to a finished piece that is structurally beautiful as well as graphically.
It’s interesting to see my to-do list these days. I find that each step of Project B I am looking at something new a new minute detail pops up. For example, while creating imagery for each card I am making of a certain virtue, I struggled with the imagery because the obvious shouldn’t be my first choice. Take for example: ANGER
First choice was a portrait of a person with a mean looking expressions. Obviously a child would hopefully understand that it was anger they were illustration. However, I chose a wolf exposing it’s teeth almost as a warning. This showed anger but could be related to a few different things, people, animals and more importantly studying body language which I think is an interesting concept in itself. I then put a RED band on the card. Red already associated with a few different things – love, hate, devil, anger, etc. However, when designing the opposite card – JOY, I chose animals again but a golden lab nurturing it’s pups. Not a happy face or a jumping for joy expression but something that seems happy. However, when labeling I chose a red label to match the label for ANGER. This was a dead giveaway and now I am second guessing if I need colored labels at all. Would a neutral color suffice?
I’m finding when looking for imagery I want to be politically correct. I also am appealing to a child like audience where the game will most likely be played in a school like setting. Thus, creating a more neutral and less offensive subject matter. I also have to think about representing everyone as if I show one race, I feel as if I should show all walks of like. These thoughts can be somewhat limiting at time. I for the most part go with my gut feelings on design decisions and then reflect and mark up all my work to the point where I am my worst enemy – but it pushes me to do better by my own set of guidelines. I hope that this project turns out really well as I am excited to print and create the final hard copy piece, not just something digital. I want to function with these cards and make sure they function all the way around.
I see a lot of test printing in my future!
I think the most common notion is to do what we are told. I admire Kelli Anderson’s idea of “disruptive wonder” as it takes great patience and self discipling at least from my perspective to actually be able to start with a mess, make sense out of it, create an innovative design and create a conversation that is needed to exemplify the human experience.
When I was in Undergrad my thesis focused on sound and space. I originally thought my idea would be something revolving around an interior space that would exemplify sound qualities or the thought of loss of sound. Instead, I was pushed in a completely different direction. I had to research the ear and then I turned to the search of an instrument and the idea of exemplifying those sound qualities by dissecting and analyzing the violin. I ended up drawing the violin in section drawings and looking at the hidden physical properties that are not normally scene by the naked eye. There is a hidden sound bar that not many people know exists unless they put the violin together. This piece helps the violin’s sound waves move and create a sound that resonates very loudly from a very small instrument. This was not a very orderly process. In fact, I bounced from the idea of dissecting the ear, to selecting an instrument, creating models, sound test to finally finding a part of sound and space that resonated not only realistically but with me. The end result was a great set of drawings that were something that related to the human form, the spine. I ended up questioning more aspects of the violin and its relationships with the human body.
Was this disruptive wonder? Not exactly… but the ideas were not linear and the final solution was something that I never would have thought I would have created. This thesis project needs to be resolved and will always be on my mind. Given the time and energy involved, I would love to take the concepts that Kelli Anderson has created and put it towards working on the solutions and design opportunities that would arise.
This week has been tough in the way that I struggled with moving past the initial part of my idea: infographic. I’ve never created one and although I was eager to get started – I also had to compile more information and history on the Beer Barrel Polka. I thought I knew the basics, but after downloading the song, looking into the heritage of Polka and music, I realized that my infographic could be very confusing – very quickly. So I worked with the information that the Professor supplied – an infographic that was simple yet showed the multiple connections that I was looking to make with the ideas of the Beer Barrel Polka and the connections it presented from history, music to sport culture.
First I created a sourcebook which helped start the idea of look, feel and text that I wanted to represent in my infographic. I am leaning towards a vintage feel. I began to illustrate that with an image sourcebook and am working diligently to completely illustrate the look of the Beer Barrel Polka and the history it has behind the song.
What are the heuristic biases that have impacted your explorations so far?
After researching and expanding my word lists in greater detail I have found that my crutch and most relied on source of inspiration and help is the internet. I am sure many other classmates can attest to searching the internet when we are stuck in a rut and not moving forward. I also asked my parents who I don’t see regularly and are from a different lifestyle and genre what they thought of when they heard a word and to think about it and write a list of words, really anything that came to mind.
Again my three words were Dog, Polka and Tip. I struggled with Polka because I automatically thought of subsections – heritage, family, history, music, dance. In the end, when I created my visual map, I ended up leaning on those sub divisions to organize my questions and words that related to multiple words and categories.
This exercise has been challenging. I tend to think about small aspects of everything: color, line quality, hierarchy and the ability to structure a map so that the connections are clear. In the end I went with the flow and enjoyed making it.
I was more alarmed by the amount of time that we had to complete each Playground then the actual exercise. I then began to work on the Playground exercise and nearly finished all of them in half the time. The three words that I had to work with were: Dog, Polka and Tip. The words that I struggled with were antonyms which you will only find a few on each list. I tended to go more literal when beginning my lists and then started to open them up a bit as I got further along.
These are the lists I have come up with for each one:
• Vet Bills
• Unconditional Love
• People Pleaser
• Best Friend
• Polish Food
• Blonde Braids
• Weird Al
• Milwaukee Brewers
• Falling Over
• Parental Guidance
• Means of Income
• Over the edge
• Tipping Point
• Tip Toe
• Take Away
Please make sure to click on the filters/categories labeled GRDS 702 to see written work for GRDS 702.
We are now coming to the final stretch of the quarter. As a reflection of this quarter, I have really started to evaluate my design process. I’ve realized that I really need to get my crap together and I don’t mean that in an awful way, I mean that I really need to organize myself.
I have created a binder for this course to keep all my notes as I think they will be beneficial to getting “un-stuck” later on in my other design courses. What I really like about my style is my note taking. I have learned over the years that I am not one who can learn from listening from lectures, I tend to get a bit bored or multi-task and don’t absorb all the of the details needed. I am one that can learn from writing down specific parts, guidelines and inspirational quotes – which make my notes a great source to have if I can’t access the internet. One thing that I need to work on is thumb nailing. I have never been one who has kept a complete journal or sketchbook just for the heck of it. I am one who writes more than draws.
I also want to start collecting images. In GRDS 502 we created sourcebooks and I really enjoyed it. I think that is something else I would like to include in those journals. This is my assignment for myself for the next couple of semesters – daily sketch-booking and journaling. Let’s hope this will help me next semester during my design course.
Out of the three presentation that I reviewed this week for Unit 8, I resonated mostly with Jane Dorn. Jane’s process is very much like my own design process, where she writes down almost everything in her journal and notebook. What I found nice about her presentation was her ‘voice’. You could hear her throughout the presentation almost as if she was commenting on it and reviewing with you as your turned the pages. She utilized her process journal as documentation throughout her design process. The scanned pages showed her process in each step. My favorite was the questions she asked herself throughout the process so that she saw her design from multiple points of view. Her actual presentation was a bit bland, but what was the most intriguing was not her explanations on each bit of her process but her actual scans. I looked at them with great interest because I could clearly identify with her though process. One part of the process which I really liked and think I will include is her actualization and collage part of her project. It was visually dense and was nice to see the overlay of each thought process. Although a bit chaotic at times, it should exactly how many thoughts and scenarios were running through her head at any given time. I think Jane’s process book was a successful reflection of design methodologies.
From Jane’s project, I realized how great a good process journal is. I think I will start to scan pages in of my journal as I am done because it will be nice to flip back and see what my thought process was and how it has evolved from point A to point B. I will do this for those spur of the moments where I don’t have my journal near by.
April Bliss’s process book was interesting in the fact that she successful documented her research. In GRDS 502, we had to create sourcebooks for our typographic styles. I enjoyed documenting those inspiration pieces and found the use of April’s research reminiscent of my own. I liked how it help her become more in tune for the 18 year old audience she was trying to reach. One aspect of her process that I really think I will use in the future was her brainstorming word list. This was great! I really think this can help me in future projects when I have hit a road block. Another aspect that I liked and could see clearly defined in April’s process what her questioning of things… I have just recently started asking myself the “What if…” questions April did in her project and think it can help us design more effectively. April’s presentation was successful and interesting to read and clearly identified her thought process.
Last but certainly not least was Jamie Turpin’s design process. Jamie’s process is something that I aspire to achieve. Her use of research and thumbnails throughout the design process showed how invested she was to considering different options. Her detailed drawings and research in every aspect of her design process was something that I think we tend to skip over and minimize. Coming from an interior background, I could understand her thought process and aesthetics she was trying to achieve. I do wish she wrote more about what she was trying to achieve as her own commentary was lacking. I think this is something we should consider. Not only did her drawings show her great thought process, I think just summarizing after every step will help someone stay focused. Jamie was clearly focused during her process and her lack of reflection did not penalize her.
As I am refining and determining my own ideation processes, I will keep in mind the areas of each project that I hope to include in my own processes: a journal that is clearly defined by the project goals and deliverables, writing each process down and clearly defining my thought processes, brainstorming using word lists to create ideation, thumbnails that are sketchy and then clearly refined later on in the process to determine what ideas make the most sense and will be the most successful. I also can not forget research. Researching not only my audience but also materials used, past projects and creating source books will help me in the long run when designing. I am glad that these projects were shared!