January 2010 Archives

Reading Response: Color Theory, Ch. 2: What is Color Theory?

Well-- what is color theory? In brief, it's how one uses color to convey certain messages and what messages color often has associated with it.

The chapter starts off with a glance at the history of color theory and, in the grand scope, our never ending struggle to disband chaos and create order. The author starts us at Aristotle and progresses us forward (about 2,000 years. I guess the rest of the world had better things to do...) to Isaac Newton and the first color wheel (divined from the splitting of a light beam) and updates us more regularly with other artists, scientists and philosophers.

Back history: done and done.

The author then brings us into the various fields that color is used, shows different approaches to categorizing color (i.e. the Munsell color tree, the standard 12-step color wheel, the color triangle, etc.) and also shows off the various color schemes.

All in all, straight forward and to the point. The chapter offers many lovely and well saturated images, and it can get a little distracting when trying to read through it at first and on the left is a giant picture that screams "HEY, YEAH YOU, LOOK AT ME. I'M FULL OF RED" ... but I managed to ignore it.

What I really, REALLY liked about this chapter though was the color index that showed how colors can be applied, what they mean in certain situation and their pros / cons.

It hit me to be more aware of what colors to use with what audience. For instance western cultures tend to see white as serene and often associated with divinity and beauty whereas some eastern cultures (namely Japan) sometimes associate white with death.

One must be mindful of their audience and use the proper tools accordingly.

Design for Social Good

While looking for inspiration, an angle, look, feel and so on for the upcoming project I was happy to stumble across this link (helpfully provided via the teacher's blog).

http://www.designforsocialgood.com/

9 people whose mission it is to get a positive social message across by means of design. This isn't necessarily a new idea. Using designs to further someone's agenda is an age old practice, but the audience and ideologies used here are what caught my attention.

A good sight for any with a knack for creativity wishing to do something meaningful.

Reading Response: Problem Solved Ch 2. The Astonish Me Problem

I couldn't get the categories to work, so here's the reading response to "Problem Solved Ch 2. The Astonish Me Problem."

--> but now I have; didn't see the box-to-be-checked under "categories."

As the first line says, "sometime plain old flat, straight and normal just doesn't get people to sit up and take notice," the chapter sets the framework for any outsider or amateur designer to world of attention getting which is a designer's realm of play.

The book (I'm guessing) and chapter is rife and abundant in good examples of vibrant and pop images that flow and offer a more engaging medium other than the text. If your visual, like myself, this helps profoundly. As you read a paragraph or two there's a pic-- BAM, right there to help guide your flow from top to bottom and also offers a visual means for understanding what has been said.

Other than the eye candy, the hierarchy of text is simple enough. Talking about base elements to design, do's and dont's, pros and cons, this is a good introductory piece that (I think) all designers should sit down and at the very minimum skim through.

The page / section that I thought to be the most interesting was page 6 where it talked about Dutch furniture manufacturer Artifort. They advertise their products in cut out, amoeba-like styles to get that "it's hip, it's now" feel across to the customer. Hell, "art" is in the company name. Running three lines in entirety, this brief look into Dutch pop culture is a snapshot of the grander pop culture. Design is all about making your product look the best and be the best...hence profit can be made ( Setp 1. Good Design, Step 2. ???, Step 3. Make Profit).

Loud, colorful, and yet informative, "The Astonish Me Problem" was an entertaining read.

What I hope to gain out of Graphic Design 1

First and foremost the ability and resources to make myself a better designer and all around artist. Perhaps they can be counted as the same.

The small and manageable class size is a very nice factor in that it allows for an easy and open environment to work in. The professor can give more attention to student, say what is good/bad more often, help can be granted easier, and also offers a more personal setting for the overall class.

I have the foundations a designer needs to be adequate enough to succeed. I just want to fine tune and starting building up the more intricate abilities. Get an "eye" for that good design. Have it come freely instead of a push-pull process which I have sometimes had to deal with on certain projects.

An "A" wouldn't hurt either. Well, in the sense of reaping the benefits, but the means to the ends might be a little burdening. That's usually the case though.

CG Society: An online community of digital artists.

I often like to look around on this website. It focuses on a digital medium but covers all areas of art, and notably, design.

Offering professional and amateur works, browsing the portfolio tab allows you to see the other members of CGSociety's art.

http://www.cgsociety.org/ -- for the basic webpage

http://portfolio.cgsociety.org/ -- to see community's art

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