Week 6: Design Matters

This week has been all about design. Because of a class I took earlier, some of it has been just a reinforcement and refresher, which is actually pretty useful given a natural tendency to forget things I do not use. I think to this point, the rule of thirds, rules about typography, and dominance were about the only aspects of design I could recall. Reading the post for the weeks was therefore interesting and helpful, especially the run through on the concepts of design. Hopefully because it is all rehashed information, and because this class focuses on a different usage of those concepts than just designing magazine spreads and flyers in Adobe InDesign, I will retain more of it this time around.
The first things I did was go though the readings and material for the weeks and write a couple of blogs about it all. I appreciated Vignelli’s abstract tone but rather straight forward message about the importance of design and what separates good from bad. He dispelled some important misconceptions, e.g. that more is better, that good design is costly and bad design is not, and that there are less important elements of design that require less attention. That blog post is here. The next thing I did was, using the information I garnered from the readings, examined western design in all its various forms and blogged about it here. I put all the principles and elements discussed here to use in my design blitz

For assignments this week, of the mandatory options, I chose the digital reflection. I tried to use some design elements to represent something meaningful in the photo, but I don’t know that on its own, the design properly conveys what I am saying. Design is sometimes like trying to write in a new foreign language, a few misused words and the meaning changes entirely.

The next assignment for my first 3 stars was  the 4 icon story which really illustrated how just a small amount of meaningful imagery and design can convey a far more complex, albeit coded, message. Plus, it was a lot of fun.

For my next four stars and to make sure I had at least one 4 star or higher assignment, I made a popular character venn diagram. The design elements are rather simplistic and I wish I could have thought up a better way to represent it all, but I do think that the design reinforces the overall content of the image.

My final assignment for 3.5 stars, to put me at a total of 10.5 not including the mandatory assignment, was making a design that conveys a catchphrase. It was fun and an exciting opportunity to learn a few new tricks in gimp.

For my daily creates this week, It was mostly just some photo edits with a little creativity. The new skill I worked on this week was how to create engraved wood for my old trail sign. I found a tutorial on youtube that helped out. I made mine a little darker for readability, and tried to incorporate some of this weeks design elements. I used proportions and the rule of thirds for the sign placement. I sought out a nice western font, one that included an @ and ? symbol, so that I could have consistent typography that tied into our western theme, and I gave the whole photo a western trail feel. For the heading west, I made my albeit lame joke visual by adding an absurd amount of sunscreen to my photo for all the fishing I’d be doing.

For participation, this week, here are a few of the comments of which I kept track. Here, and here, and here, and here. I also commented on a few other pieces of work from those people and some other places earlier in the week that I did not keep track of.

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