Make it simple, but significant– Don Draper
Week 6 DesignBlitz
This week is all about design and the careful thought that goes behind it. In the readings and videos, I learned so much about the importance of the intention and clarity within designs, and the measurement of how effectively that intention is realized by the viewer. For this #designblitz challenge, we were tasked to take a look at some of our own pictures and explain how elements of design are shown in each. Below, I have included the photos of mine that I chose to examine through the lens of different design concepts. If you want to look at them via my class instagram, click the links below each photo to get there!
Element #1: Color
This picture employs the design concept of color. While there is a person (me) in the foreground of this photo, the background stands out more due to the vibrant, bold colors used in the posters. The bold black text, stark white background, and bright red detailing cause the poster to pop in the viewer’s eye. The clothing I am wearing in the picture is dark and muted, overshadowed by the colorful surroundings. The colors used in this poster definitely help to enhance the delivery of their message “have a good time”. Red is almost always a color used to draw the attention of the eye, especially a bright red like this. It demands to be looked at. The color red often literally represents an indication to STOP, like in a stop sign or a red light. In the same way, this sign is saying stop, look at me! Read my message before you continue on with your day.
Element #2: Form/Function/Message
This picture demonstrates the concept of form, function, and message in design. I took this photograph while engaging in the mundane task of getting a new light bulb. However, never before had I gone into a store to do this and saw light bulbs displayed in such a creative way. It was evening when I took this picture, which helped establish great contrast against the light bulbs themselves. They’re hanging at different lengths and reflected in the store-front window. This simple yet effective display reveals the function of the light bulbs in a whimsical manner. By displaying the light bulbs in their on position, the viewer experience is enhanced greatly. Looking at the lights strung up this way instead of nestled unlit inside a cardboard box gives new life to the usually humdrum task of finding a replacement bulb. Having the lights on allows the viewer to imagine the lights as they would be in their own space. It shows their subtle differences through the various brightnesses, lengths, and positions, making the display overall more effective.
Element #3: Typography
This photograph focuses on the element of typography in design. Typography deals heavily with the type of fonts used, the spacing of the words, and how those choices affect how one views an image, poster, sign, etc. With this picture I am specifically analyzing the fonts of the restaurant signs on this street in Detroit. I wanted to look at the fonts and overall designs of each sign to ascertain what type of fare and atmosphere each sign offers a passerby. The frontmost sign uses an all capital font, and different sizes for the words “small” and “plates”. The word “plates” appears larger and in icon form, presumably to emphasize the food of the establishment. The phrase in totality, “small plates” gives off a sense of comfort food found within. Now when looking at the second closest sign, it reads “Detroit Beer Co”. This sign appears to be designed to look aged and vintage, giving off a tavern feel. The common thread in both signs is the old-English spelling of Detroit, a style that is specific to the area. Adopted by the Detroit Free Press and then later to great fame by the Detroit Tigers, this old-English feel is indicative of detroit and lets patrons know that they are visiting businesses that are attempting to create the feel of “traditional” Detroit establishments.
Element #4: Unity
This photograph demonstrates the element of unity in design. As defined in the DesignBlitz Resource Article, “the concept of unity describes the relationship between the individual parts and the whole of a composition. It investigates the aspects of a given design that are necessary to tie the composition together, to give it a sense of wholeness, or to break it apart and give it a sense of variety.” With this definition in mind, I believe that my chosen photo can be examined in various ways. Firstly, all of the different elements attached to this wall are different, but they share a common theme. They all have a carefree, traveler, beachy kind of vibe that helps draw them together into a cohesive display. The individual pieces of the wall could however be taken apart and put into more specifically categorized displays, such as “beach posters”, “license plates”, or “surfboards”. However, I think that the intermingling of the different pieces with similar themes creates an overall more effective and aesthetically pleasing wall space rather than just a wall made up of only one of the three parts of the whole. The combination of these individual pieces help create a recognizable feeling of ease/vacation time, and that message is achieved through design.