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April 27, 2006

Enger Tower

Maria, Kabao and I are documenting Enger Tower. We have decided to design a 12 foot tall piece of paper that we may roll into a scroll. It will have a charcoal drawing of the tower with photographs in each window of the views. We are also going to incorporate large cut outs of pictures we took of the spring buds and flowers. For text we are going to each write some descriptive words of how visiting the tower makes us feel. We will each hand write the words we came up with in charcoal pencil. Hopefully it will turn out as cool as it is in our heads right now!

Gaming Symposium

I attended the gaming symposium last friday for a walk around and one speaker. I got a chance to see the set up (I liked the games on wach table) and the interactive stations by companies like Best Buy. I also stayed for Sandra Voelker's lecture. It was interesting to hear about how many people are involved in each game and how much detail goes into it. I thought it was neat that she went out and lived in San Francisco for two years to get to know the team and then was able to work from her home here in Minnesota. It gave me the idea to do that with a design firm so you know the people you are contacting each day yet you are able to work remotely. Overall a great show!

April 18, 2006

Green Man Client Project

Although this project began as an assignment to deal with a client, it became in the end a chance to design a logo ourselves for the Green Man festival that will be taking place this summer in Duluth. When I began to design a logo on my own I kept in mind some words that Shannon had said about the green man going urban this year. This provoked me to stray away from the familiar leafy images of the green man in the past and focus on a more organic and abstract design. I of course decided to keep the green color to set the mood, but instead of leaves for hair I incorporated large swirls that i thought could refrence the wind, dreadlocks, or sound waves of music. I wanted to keep the facial features simple so they could be used at any size and recognizable from a distance. I got the idea for the large knobby nose and chin from some "green men" I took pictures of while I was on vacation in Idaho this spring break. Overall I am very pleased with how my logo turned out and how easy it was to work with when I put it in posters, t-shirts and buttons.

Green Man Festival Website

Green Man Images

greenman_all.jpg

Healing With Design

I chose to read a second article abour healing with design because it is an area I am really interested about. This article by Chase Rogers gives a summary about the healing effects light, electromagnetism and color have on the body. He feels that if a designer can successfully harness these areas in their design it could be the most responsible things a designer can do. He introduces energy as the link between mind, body and soul and says this relationship between our body and it's environment can have dramatic effects on our overall health. Bioentrainment is a term that is given to designers who can effect these vibrations to help the body coexist and thrive in it's environment. This concept is used in music as well. Music entrainment has been shown to improve the listener's mood by promoting livliness or serenity. Light is also a huge factor in mood. Rogers brought up a study that proved changing the light in classrooms from flourescent to broad spectrum decreased ADD, and increased learning, memory retention, and optimism. Color, of course, is another factor in mood and health. Many studies have shown how mood can alter mental health and reasoning so it is important as a designer to be able to harness this knowledge to improve the health of those we design for. One interesting statistic Rogers gave was that when England changed the color of thier bridges from black to blue, suicide attempts decreased by 50 percent! Rogers concluded the article by reminding us that illness is not only caused by bacteria and germs but also by unhealthy ways of relating ourselves to the environment.
Personally I do agree with a lot of what Rogers is saying here but some does seem a bit far out. I think his facts about changing the light in the classroom and such were helpful ways to relate this area to the reader but he could have used a bit more. What I think has been concretely proven is that color can have a great efffect on the consumer and therefore it is important as a designer to be able to address those effects in our design.

ByDesign, Mankato

I attended the first day of ByDesign in Mankato, but unfortunately I got sick that evening and had to go home. The first lecture, however, was interesting. I can no longer remember the name of the speaker but he gave a very informative and interactive speech. He put up a grid on the screen with several pictures and let the audience chose which picture we wanted him to talk about. Each picture represented a story of something he had learned as a designer. These stories of advice ranged from allowing yourself plenty of time to get to a meeting to watching your use of words around clients.
I enjoyed the lecture very much and I wish I could have made it to more, I heard it was very helpful.

The Designer as Producer

The article I read by Victor Margolin touched on the ways the world of production is shifting towards entrepreneurs. He says this is shown by the rising ease of development of products with use of the internet and lower cost machinery. One main example of this he gives is the possibilities new typographers have to make their own fonts and sell them worldwide on the internet. He feels if more designers get involved in the production end of things, we could change the global market just as typographers have in their field. Through this, he feels we can focus more on social responsibility since it is easier for a small business to make these decisions rather than a large company where there are so many other variables such as shareholders and large competitors. Another point he makes is that we as designers can do more than challenge the system - we can create our own niches in the market. This allows product that otherwise may never have been produced and may fill a need in many lives. He ends by saying that design schools should take the initiative to have degrees in design entrepreneurship. This would enclude design classes as well as business classes to teach business plans, emerging niches in the market and monetary concerns.
Personally I felt this article was encouraging for someone like myself who hopes to be self-employed in the near future. It did, however, state many things I felt we quite obvious such as how the internet has helped support everyday people in starting their own businesses. His recommendation at the end for design schools to help students gain business knowledge is huge and I feel it would be a great success at any college.