Wednesday, September 1, 2010


A post about a tuesday posted on a wednesday? Yes I should have posted this yesterday but I hadn't really decided what I would post on this blog: only things regarding the course "We Create Identity" or all Creative Technology related matter. I have now decided to do the latter, and because of that I still have to write a post about yesterday.

Tuesday started with the course "We Create Identity" but the teacher wasn't present. He kind of told us so on monday but it wasn't exactly clear whether we had to be at the university or not so I decided to go anyway. About half of the group was in the classroom, waiting to see if someone would show up to give us an assignment. When it turned out that this was not the case, most of us left to do something else. Others decided to play videogames or watch movies together. I decided that I wanted to use the time to prepare our course of the afternoon, Graphic Design. There was a PDF file on the Blackboard page of the Graphic Design course about, amongst other things, the development of our alphabet. I found this to be very interesting, also because I already knew some of it from the Greek and Latin courses in secondary school.

In the afternoon we had the Graphic Design course itself. It started with an introduction to the course as well as to the Creative Technology programme in general by the teacher. After that we had to look at photographs from each other. The person presenting the photograph would not tell anything about it. Instead, everyone in the audience was encouraged to say what association he or she had with the photograph. This resulted in the following observation: some photographs have a very clear focus. They tell the story of only one object. With these kinds of photographs, most people will agree on what it is about. Other photographs lack this clear focus, and as a result, everybody has a different association with this picture, because there is a lot of visual data available in the picture. Lastly, photographs can also be associated with something that is not actually visible on the photograph itself. For example, somebody showed a picture of her sister and herself sitting in the desert, wearing a sweater. For some people this picture represented loneliness, because no sign of human life can be seen anywhere around the two people on the photograph. For others this picture represented a contradiction: wearing clothing suited for a cold environment (a sweater) in a very warm environment (the desert). But to the girl who presented the photograph it brought back the memories of a happy holiday with her sister.

This was the photograph I had intended to present to the class, but unfortunately there was not enough time to show all photographs. It is a photograph of my parental house in Driebergen, near Utrecht. In retrospect I think this photograph isn't very well suited for the exercise, because there are not a lot of different associations people can have with it. When you have a photograph that everyone has another way of looking at, you can discuss why each person has this association, and that is where things get interesting. Another flaw with the photograph is that I have associations with it that no-one else can have, because the memories I associate the picture with are not represented in the picture itself. If I had to choose a photograph for the assignment now, I would choose a photo that I like because of the atmosphere it has, a photo I like because of its aesthetics, rather than a photograph of an object I have fond memories of, because somebody who doesn't know what that object means to you will never have these memories attached to the photograph.

The next part of the lesson consisted of a presentation about various typefaces, and how they came into existence. It helped us to be aware of the aesthetic side of letters instead of just looking at their meaning. It was really refreshing to look at letters in a completely different way. I also liked the fact that the teacher himself was very enthusiastic about the subject.

Our assignment for the next time is to pick a font which you like. You have to find a problem with this font and present the fixed version to the class.

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