Sunday, February 27, 2011

Journal Entry 4

Bruce Mau is a leading designer in the current world. His studio has many impressive clients and he has written many successful books. The success of his business and his outlook on design act as very inspirational to those who aspire to be successful designers. His manifesto has sparked creativity in many creative minds.

18. Stay up late. This is the mantra I have chosen because I never really looked at staying up late as a positive thing. However, since I have been doing it a lot lately I felt I should embrace it. I'm going to plan on staying up late and look at it not as depriving me of sleep, but as stimulating my productivity (which is usually does).

Journal Entry No. 3/Summary of Article

Stefan Sagmeister seems to have an outlook on design similar to mine.

In his TED lecture, he starts out by explaining his trips to China. He mentions how he was very dependent and superstitious about the design he saw when he got off the plane. If it was good, he would have a good time, if it was bad he would have a bad time.

He then transitioned into talking about a list he made of moments that took his breath away. Making the connection that some of those moments were influenced or directly related to design, he concluded that design can make people happy. He then described a specific memory that he had when design made him happy involving a bike and a walkman. Being happy while designing is also a subject he touched upon.

In his pontification of design, he also realized that the visualization of happiness is easy. He showed many examples of happy faces and other "happy" things. Design that incites is what was in question. He wondered how much design actually incites happy feelings.

As his closing, he showed a series of designs which a direct from a list of things he has learned in life, adding a very wholesome and meaningful message to his lecture.

Stefan Sagmeister is humorous, insightful, charismatic, and good at design. These are all qualities that would make any design speaker "popular". Additionally, he is supporting and covering topics that our society seems to be increasingly interested in. The direction design is moving seems to have much in common with the topics he covers.


Sagmeister's article, How Good is Good?, starts by stating that, "There is nothing inherent in our profession that forces us to support worthy causes." He contemplates the incentive of humans and designers to do "good" things in the world. There are three reasons he gets up in the morning:

1. Strive for Happiness
2. Don't Hurt Anybody
3. Help others achieve the same

With these guidelines in mind, he is careful to design for things that he believes in or supports in some way. Making a conscious effort to do good things in the world, Sagmeister wanted to move from designing "cool" things to significant things.

In a brief chronology of design starting from the 80s, he states that our recent culture leaves room for questioning what design is for and for whom it is being done for. He quotes Victor Papanek when he says that advertising is the phoniest career in existence (which I somewhat agree with). This statement leads into his discussion of bad design and how it makes the world more difficult to live in.

Moving to the better side of design, he questions whether doing good should allow him to have fun and receive good back. He asks if being good must be selfless as he transitions into talking about celebrities and charities. He concludes that perhaps celebrities fund charities to improve their image, or maybe they just realize that fame, money, and success do not bring the satisfaction they expected and thus look for more out of life.

He concludes that design can do many things, such as makes someone feel better or makes the world a safer place. Overall, the issues covered in his writing are very relevant to my life and outlook on design. I really enjoyed reading his article and watching his TED lecture.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Audience Personas

Donald is a 24 year-old graduate from the University of Kansas. He has a degree in psychology and has many books pertaining to the exploration of the human mind. In his free time he plays the bass guitar, checks craig's list for musical equipment, and reads books. He shops at the Merc and usually only buy organic foods. When he isn't reading about psychology he is reading about philosophy or shamanism, as these subject also interest him.

Steve is a 44 year-old appliance store owner with a wife and two children. In his free time he likes to fish and spend time with his family. He shops healthy, and always thinks about nutrition when shopping at Dillon's. He is a big fan of The Doors and has a picture of the entire band hanging in his room. Because of his adoration of The Doors, he looked into the band's name. Leading him to The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley, he gained interest in Huxley's literature.

Bobby is a 23 year-old dancer studying at the University of Colorado in Boulder. She is a quiet and shy girl who is actually very well read. She has an impressing book collection and favors those of philosophy and science. Owning those types of books make her feel more intellectual and wise. Although she collects and sometimes reads the books, she very rarely understands them. She tries to power through the most complex of books only to find her ego boosted by information she does not even understand or use.

Journal Entry 2/14

Dieter Rams- 10 Principles for Good Design

1. Good design is innovative- Expresses that the designer should keep in mind what is happening in his or her surroundings to create a truly innovative design.

2. Makes a product useful- Product should function psychologically and aesthetically.

3. Is aesthetically pleasing- Well executed objects can be beautiful.

4. Makes a product understandable- The product at its best should be self explanatory. Should be easy to comprehend and use.

5. Is unobtrusive- Used like tools, the design should be neutral and restrained. This would prevent it from being distracting

6. Is honest- Does not try to represent or stand for anything other than what it really is.

7. Long Lasting- Should avoid being fashionable for it will be easily out dated or antique.

8. Thorough- Nothing in the design should be left to chance, every part of it should be considered.

9. Environmentally friendly- Conserves resources and minimizes pollution on the environment.

10. As little design as possible- not burdened by non-essentials.

I agree with many of these principles, although I think that there are of course some exceptions to these rules.

Don Norman- 3 Ways Good Design Makes You Happy

Don Norman speaks for about 12 minutes about very important aspects of design. He starts by talking about beauty. He then expresses that he values beauty and functionality. He uses a few examples such as google and an IQ test to illustrate the fact that "Pleasant things work better".
Supported by his examples, he then states that feeling good produces new ideas and makes one more creative. He briefly mentions how humans and animals are naturally attuned to reacting positively to bright colors. He then introduces the 3 aspects of design which are the main focus of his lecture: Visceral, Behavioral, and Reflective. The visceral portion is unconscious is pleased by the aesthetic portion of design. Behavioral parts of design are also unconscious and govern how people react to design. A persons reflective reaction to design is how they look over what is going on. How their superego reacts to what their senses are telling them. Overall, I believe that Don Norman is supporting very good things in design. It is people like him that are taking design in a great direction for the future.

If I could ask him any question, I would ask: "When did you develop these ideas about design and what were some key experiences that facilitated these ideas?"

Monday, February 7, 2011

Typography 2: Journal 2/7

Writer's Toolbox

Mind Map

Mind maps are visual forms to ideas. They give the designer an advantage in a sense that they diagram words in a visual manner to better understand the subject they are working on. It is a way to branch out and discover new ideas. Mind maps are not to be questioned until complete, they are meant to be done quickly and spontaneously. They can help to better organize ideas and manage complex problems. As a designer, this process can be extremely valuable when attempting to produce new ideas.

Concept Map

Different from a mind map in a sense that they focus more on the conceptual relationships and meanings. The relationships between concepts are further studied in this process, which allows the designer to make connections between subjects not previously discovered. TThe mind map uses propositional statements to give logical connections between words and how they are related.

Free Write

Free write is a stream-of-consciousness form of writing which helps the designer emit a steady flow of uninterrupted thought process. The advantage of this form of writing is that the designer is capable of uncovering thoughts he or she could not have through controlled thinking and writing. It is best to write for a relatively long period of time to ensure that many ideas get put on paper.

Word List

Word lists are more structured forms of jotting down ideas. This allows for the designer to put more thought into more powerful word choice. Although the concept of coming up with words is free-flowing, there is still more room for conscious thought than free writing. In this sense, word lists are yet another productive way to kick start the creative process of designing.