Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The quick brown fox...

Today started with a discussion about the "We Create Identity" project. We eventually came up with the idea that you would meet a park manager in the interactive video, who asks you to decide how the problems with the park should be solved. The consequences of this choice will then be shown in a video. We also wanted to incorporate the concept "Enjoying Nature" and "The Power of Nature", for example by having a picnic in the park and by water surfing. Since we didn't quite know how to link those ideas, we decided that it would be best if everyone works out one (or more) of those ideas and then link all the best options in the end to create one coherent story. You can see the discussion about this project on our Google Doc.

In the afternoon we had a Graphic Design class, where everyone had to pick a font, look for a letter in this font that somehow doesn't feel right, and then correct that letter. This resulted in the observation that all typefaces follow a certain set of rules, and this exercise makes us look for the letters that don't follow the rules. In practice, however, we found that sometimes it is necessary to break the rules in order to make the typeface better: sometimes breaking the rules creates a certain identity for a typeface, at other times the typeface might become more legible by doing so, and in some cases it improves the balance between black and white in a printed text.

After most people had presented their work it was time for a lecture on visual language. We looked at several visual messages, identifying their meaning, judging how clear this came trough, trying to work out how you "read" an image and offering suggestions on how to improve those images. This lecture made it very clear that you have to take utmost care when creating a visual instruction. Viewers must be able to see what it means in a couple of seconds, there can be no ambiguity, viewing the image must give the viewer a feeling of comfort, and the image must respect the viewers knowledge and level of development by not having too much explanation of the message of the image. When you consider all those requirements, it becomes apparent that creating a proper visual message is not as simple as it might seem at first.

Following the lecture, there were a few more presentations of typefaces. At the end of the lesson we received the assignment for next week: we must pick a photograph, put it in a grid of 3x3, and add, remove or exchange elements from those 9 pictures. I will explain the assignment in more detail next week after the Graphic Design course. I will also update this post with my own fixed typeface at the end of the week, after I have used all the knowledge I have obtained today to improve my version of the typeface.

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