Semiotics and Understanding Symbols

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A short video describing the study of semiotics.

Experience design is based on the idea that we find meaning in visual and written things based our own personal experiences, whether it be cultural or social. Every individual will approach a design differently based on their experiences but some groups will have also have similar experiences based on their religious, cultural, geographical, generation, etc.

Read and understand more about experience design, by visiting Look at his meaning and experience template.

More P4 Resources

This is an example of a similar project that required students to create icons out of the characters of the typeface Helvetica: icons.pdf

This guy designed and is selling icons based on Helvetica Bold: Check it out at

Final Project Info

Take a look at what our next project will be: project4_icons.pdf

Typographic Logos

Type as Image...Words as Icons

Just love these iconographic stylings of sayings done for the New York Times Magazine.

If you are reading this post, this finding is somewhat loosely related to your next assignment.

This weekend, you can do a couple of things to get ready for the final project. 1. Find a typeface that best reflects your personality. Choose a simple serif or sans serif from the more classic choices, don't use DaFont and don't choose any display faces. 2. You could start a journal that does two it logs some experience you've had through your day and two it includes some visual finding that represents that experience. You will be keeping a journal that is 8 days long starting next Monday/Tuesday, but if you want to get a head start, please be my guest!

More to come on the final, next week...

Copyright, Trademark & Fair Use

When you are a working designer the best rule to follow if you are not using either purchased stock photography or illustration is to seek permission to use said image. That said, there are certain laws that protect use of existing artwork to create parody, use in education, non-commercial editorial, or transformative works. This is called Fair Use.

You can read about Fair Use in AIGA's Center for Practice Management.

In this guide you can also learn about copyright and trademark. Both in terms of protection for others and your own work. When and why you should copyright and why to avoid infringement of copyright. There are other sources for this information as well:

The United States Patent and Trademark Office
: Look up trademarks, and find other information about what trademark protects

US Copyright Office: Get the basics on copyright law and how to pursue copyright

Stanford Copyright and Fair Use: More legal documentation about copyright and fair use from Stanford University Libraries

Copyright and Fair Use in the Classroom from University of Maryland University College

10 Rules about Color

1. It should convey information.
2. Create color harmony.
3. It should attract and hold attention.
4. Remember that context is everything.
5. Consider that experimentation is key.
6. Know that people see color differently.
7. Assist in mnemonic value. (lasting memory)
8. Think about composition. (contrast, figure/ground, proportion)
9. Use standardized colors systems. (pantone)
10. Understand limitations. (budget, paper, media)

From Color Design Workbook, Adams/Morioka

Typographic Rules

From Experimental Typography by Rob Carter (with some of my own commentary)

1. For optimum legibility, choose classical, time-tested typefaces with a proven track record. (Can be more contemporary but should be designed by legit people like Tobias Frere-Jones)

2. Be mindful not to use too many different typefaces at any one time (unless that is part of your concept--otherwise, usually no more than two maybe three per campaign)

3. Avoid combining typefaces that are too similar in appearance

4. Text set in all capital letters severely retards reaading. Use upper-and lower-case letters for optimal readability (lower case letters are more interesting anyway)

5. For text type, use sizes that according to legibility studies prove most readable

6. Avoid using too many different type sizes and weights at the same time

7. Use text types of book weight. Avoid typefaces appearing too heavy or too light (I see alot of the too light lately)

8. Use typefaces of medium width. Avoid typefaces that appear extremely wide or narrow in width

9. For text type, use consistent letter and word spacing to produce an even, uninterrupted texture

10. Use appropriate line lengths. Lines that are too short or too long disrupt the reading process

11. For text type, use line spacing that easily carries the eye from one line to the next

12. For optimum readability, use a flush left, ragged right type alignment

13. Strive for consistent rhythmic rags

14. Clearly indicate paragraphs, but be careful not to upset the integrity and visual consistency of the text

15. Avoid widows and orphans whenever possible

16. Emphasize elements within text with discretion and without disturbing the flow of reading

17. Always maintain the integrity of type. Avoid arbitrarily stretching letters

18. Always align letters and words on the baseline

19. When working with type and color, ensure that sufficient contrast exists between the type and its background

20. (Once you've learned a thing or two more about type and image/design in general, then break the rules as much as possible.)

Schedule for 4/12-4/22 + Project Sheets and Examples

Attached is your Project 3 project sheet. On that, specific details about what will be happening and what is due are on the sheet. See attachments at bottom of this posting

In a nutshell:

Apr. 12/13
Begin Project 3
Readings assigned; check project sheet for other due pieces

Apr. 14/15
Project 3 Work on setting up document
Reading assigned; check project sheet for weekend work

Apr. 19/20
Rough of P3 Due; in-class critique
Discuss reading; project due next session

Apr. 21/22
Final Critique P3

Project Sheet: project3_thebooklet.pdf
Brochure Examples: brochure_ex.pdf
Reading 1: chap2_layout.pdf
Reading 2: chap3_layout.pdf
Reading 3: chap4_layout.pdf

More things to look at for Formal Design

This Week: April 5-8

Today, we are going to accomplish the final, important look at your work. We are looking at more formal aspects of what might be making your designs work or not. And so, we will first discuss what makes design tick, in the following three ways:

1/ Typography
Great examples on GraphicHug
2/ Design as a Whole
The Chop Shop Water T-shirt
Berlin Map by artnomono
3/ Integration of Type and Image
Some packaging design on The Dieline

Now, look at your own each others work in these three aspects. Look closely and be serious about helping your fellow designer-in-training to make their work better.

Finally, we will discuss what you need to do to make your presentation of this project snap. Look at last week's questions and write a script for yourself. Take this presentation seriously. Sell the idea to us. Make yourself look good.

Wed./Thurs. is your presentation for this project. You will need to be prepared to show the work and discuss why the choices you made for type, style, form are all the best possible choices for this message, this product.