Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Yesterday, we had our fourth lesson of Graphic Design. The assignment for this time was to pick two photographs, and two infinite verbs, and put them in a 2x2 grid, like so:

Photo 1 / Verb 1 Photo 2 / Verb 1
Photo 1 / Verb 2 Photo 2 / Verb 2

It turns out that it is very difficult to find a verb that fits both images, and isn't just an obvious description of what happens in the picture, but enhances, changes or narrows down the meaning of the picture. When you have finally found the right verb, the hard work is not over though: you still have to pick the right design for the verb and the right place. When you don't pick the right place for the verb, it will interfere with the message of the image, or the verb won't be noticed at all. When "designing" the verb, you will have to take the following things into account: legibility (colour and brightness of the verb in relation to the background), typeface (must enhance the meaning of the verb) and size (the verb must be seen, but not cover up too much of the image). In the end you must also think about an interesting contrast between the first row (different pictures, same verb) and the second row in terms of meaning.

Designing in this way actually is somewhat similar to designing a billboard: you want to give a photo a new meaning by using one word (or at least the minimum amount of words), and the text has to be easy to spot, but not deduct from the meaning of the photo. You also don't want to confuse your audience, but instead the meaning of your visual language should be immediately clear, and it should tell the same story to everyone, instead of having a different message to every viewer.

The assignment for the next two weeks is rather exciting: we have to design a postcard that promotes the Creative Technology programme. The advice of our teacher was to sketch, sketch, sketch, cry, doubt and sketch again. Next week we have to present our first proposal. I'm looking forward to what everybody comes up with!

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