Saturday, April 30, 2011

Journal Entry 13

Larry Lessig: How creativity is being strangled by the law

Larry Lessig proves a very relevant point after a long build up in his lecture. He starts out by describing the beginnings of user generated content and one man's fear that technology would consume creativity. One fact that I did not know about was that the original law of the "land" protected any piece of land from trespassers from above and below. Lessig then described that this law lacked common sense one airplanes were invented because airplanes would "trespass" over land quite often.

Next, he describes how the development of the broadcasting system gave businesses control over the creative outlets of the masses. It capitalized on creative people who were creating for things for the love and not for the money. Lessig then shows several examples of videos that were created using gathered video material, arguing that this form of creation was being limited by the law. According to common sense, the law system would govern most creative outlets that technology allows because technically mostly everything recreated is "copying". This action of copying, by law, is protected by the copyright laws. Lessig's argument was that this fact greatly limited the technological creativity of the future generations.

He concluded that if society did two things this problem could be solved.

1. Allow artists choose the level at which their work will be available for use (much like the options given on behance).

2. Had business and government accept the artists choice of their work and implement this change into law.

In conclusion, I felt that Lessig made a very valid point that is greatly significant to me as a young designer. The subject of creativity being limited by law was very clear in his speech, and incites deep thought and preparation for action from me.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Journal Entry 12

Hillman Curtis Artist Series Films: Are Awesome.

I thoroughly enjoyed the directing and editing work that was done on these films. Aside from that, the information was also very thought-provoking.

Paula Scher was a lively speaker. She first discussed some of her designs such as the Jazz logo. The client wanted the logo to be syncopated and reflect jazz musicians themselves. She made the "a" in the logo boldly different fro the rest of the letters to reflect the boldness of some jazz musicians. She then discussed the New York Public Theater identity and how loud, urban, and visual it was. In it's Noise Funk series, the typography was made to look like it was making noise (which it did). Very refreshing to see such lively type.

She states that she operates very strongly with her instincts, and that her creation process is very intuitive. Her work is done in "bold strokes" without a lot of process. This I found ironic because as a student I am more or less being strayed away from such a working style. I do find that there is a balance between the two patterns. She ended with a discussing how learned how to "illustrate with type" greatly influenced her career early on. Sometimes I feel like illustrating with type is something that clicks with me. I would ask her if I could see some of her drawings or illustrations, those might be interesting.

David Carson's work was very inspiring. The few works that were shown at the beginning of the video were very interesting to me particularly because I enjoyed their darker and eerie nature. He opened by discussing how his lack of training was helpful in allowing him to put more of his personality into his work. He was very self indulgent in his work, which I am very much inspired by. He argues that as design gets more computerized, it is increasingly important for us to put more of our personality into our work (I agree). I can definitely see what he means by this when looking at his work. Another good point he made was that a good starting point in design is to simply interpret what you are designing.

Lawrence Weiner came off as a profoundly wise man when he opened with "How the hell do you know how the universe is supposed to work?" His down to earth philosophy was very refreshing to experience. He seems to understand quite a lot about how society works. He discusses how he tries to set up a pattern to help people figure out where they are and then where they can move from where they are. I deeply appreciate this man's intention to help people with design. Also, I found it humorous that he detests Helvetica because of how authoritative it is. I can see what he means in that regard. I would have a lot of questions to ask Lawrence, like where did he start out in his career?

Speech Project: Video vs. Print

We are making the change from print to motion on our speech, and the audience experience could potentially change dramatically. Motion is modern, it associated with the technological advances of our age. Print has been around for quite awhile, and I think that people approach it slightly less expectation for excitement (compared to motion). With that said, moving into motion will open up some new doors for engaging an audience.

In print, the viewer can gaze at a page, go back a few pages, stop, inspect something, skip pages, and so on. In motion, the creator controls the flow. The viewer's brain either interprets the information the information fast enough or doesn't have time to. Substance might be missed by the viewer if they blink. Sound and music can be added to motion. This could make it slightly less personal, but also more exciting. With all this said, the switch from print to motion graphics expands some horizons but contracts others.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Journal Entry 11

Design Matters
Debbie Millman is partner and president of the design division of Sterling Brands, a leading brand identity firm. She is president of AIGA, and chair of the School of Visual Arts' master's program in Branding. She is a contributing editor to Print magazine and host of the podcast "Design Matters." She wrote How To Think Like A Great Graphic Designer, The Essential Principles of Graphic Design, and Look Both Ways: Illustrated Essays on the Intersection of Life and Design.

Design Matters: John Maeda

John Maeda (born 1966 in Seattle, Washington) is a computer scientist and graphic designer , university professor, and author. His work in design and technology explores the area where the two fields merge. He is the current President of the Rhode Island School of Design At RISD, Maeda seeks to champion the necessary role that artists and designers play in the 21st century creative economy.

In his interview, he talks about his parents and how he was raised. He first realized that he needed to become and artist when he was a junior at MIT. He would make icons in his classes and receive praise for such things. He then realized that he would be much better off in art school. He found a book written by Paul Rand and become inspired to achieve such great heights in design.

I was interested in his discussion of his approach to design. The way he was hooked onto design is much more technologically based compared to how I was. I was turned onto graphic design from more of an artistic stand-point, so I found this interview very intriguing.

Journal Entry 10

The first video that I watched was 'The State of the Planet'. This video conveyed a somewhat large amount of information at a paced and understandable fashion. It followed the trend of quickly moving text to the center of the screen in a bouncy and synchronized fashion. This style could possibly be an essential building block to creating a comprehensible motion graphic video.

The Hidden Cost of War

-Uses text which stacks on one another at the beginning of the video, utilizing scale and color to add emphasis to certain words. The rest of the video communicated it's information mostly with vector graphics in the form of info graphics.

Waste In Space

An info graphic which combines photography with vector graphics. It uses an asymmetrical structure, combining sans serif typography with clearn and understandable vector images. The result is a substantially effective delivery of information.

Why Is It So Hard to Quite Smoking?

A medical infographic. This graphic has a very simple format, it maintains a clean feel while emphasizing certain elements through color. The minimalist use of color allowed the designer to have much more control over which pieces of information were emphasized.

Journal Entry 9

Jacob Trollback: Designer as Author

Listening to Trollback's lecture, he made many important points.

-The first point he made was that motion emphasizes storytelling in a more natural and inherent way as opposed to print.

-One should design things that make sense to them, and design that works for them. What a design is saying is much more important than what it looks like.

-Practicing self determination to satisfy yourself via design helps you develop and express your ideas with more impact.

-Argues that Bach's Partitas music is much like Helvetica.

-Claims that discussions and advertising don't work very effectively to make an impact. Pleas do not work. Emotional messages can work universally, therefore comedy is a fairly effective means of conveying a message. Emotional work is very individual, which makes it hard for emotional messages to reach a wide audience.

-The human mind uses imagination all the time and for mostly all forms of thinking.

-All we have is creativity, love, and violence.

-Explains that when taking inspiration from other forms of art or design, one should think of what values and emotions they would be transferring form the inspiration.

Journal Entry 6

Thirty Conversations On Design:

The videos I watched were of Agustin Garza, Gong Szeto, Jake McCabe, Khoi Vinh, and Tony Hawk.

Each designer had a very different source of inspiration which they talked about. Gong Szeto showed a very specific example of good map making, and stressed how good relay of critical information will be increasingly important in our future. Garza showed a carved Mexican statue, which was different from most of the others. He, along with McCabe, believe that more of a focus on sustainability should be implemented for the future of design. This does seem to be a very important issue and responsibility amongst designers right now. McCabe mentioned that it is our responsibility as designers to pay attention to important concepts such as sustainability, because it is within our power to make a social change in that respect. Khoi Vinh mentioned that design has an identity crisis, and that we should work on extricating the old reputation of design (strictly marketing and advertising based) and move to a more genuinely beneficial identity.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence

Who is speaking?

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Why was/is the speech important to society?

It is a genuine plea for peace heard by one of the most influential public speakers ever.

Why do you feel it is important or interesting?

The Vietnam war was unjust, and established the U.S. as a terrible force in the eyes of the Vietnamese. Because Dr. MLK Jr. publicly protested this war as well as touching the souls of all who listened to him, this speech is important to mankind.

What is the emotion, mood, tone, personality, feeling of the speech?

Concerned, loving, caring, empathetic, hopeful, sensitive.

What is the intonation, emphasis, what is loud, stressed, or soft. Where are the pauses?

The pauses and emphasis are after he states a particularly serious and important line. He begins to get louder near the end.

What do you FEEL should be loud or soft, long pause or rushed?

"Destroy, Wealthy, and Hell should be loud. To create rhythm, some ends of sentences should be softer and slower.

Is there a call to action? When listening to it what are key/emphasized words?

The call to action is the powerful message behind this anti-war speech which goes deeper than just "No more war". Words that should be emphasized are "Enemy, Brutalized, Destroy, Death, Stop, Now, Child of God, and Hell.

How does it make you feel?

Sorrowful for the lives lost in such a horrible manipulation of human lives. Empowerment to stand for the MLK Jr. was supporting with this speech.

How do you imagine the audience felt?

Revitalized, empowered, inspired, sorrowful, mournful, guilty.

Could there be another interpretation of the speech?

Perhaps it could be interpreted as having more religious or self-righteous intentions , but it is a pretty clear speech.

Write/find a short bio of the person giving the speech.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African American civil rights movement. He is best known for being an iconic figure in the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world, using nonviolent methods following the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. King is often presented as a heroic leader in the history of modern American liberalism.
A Baptist minister, King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, serving as its first president. King's efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech. There, he expanded American values to include the vision of a color blind society, and established his reputation as one of the greatest orators in American history.
In 1964, King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end racial segregation and racial discrimination through civil disobedience and other nonviolent means. By the time of his death in 1968, he had refocused his efforts on ending poverty and stopping the Vietnam War.
King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 and Congressional Gold Medal in 2004; Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established as a U.S. federal holiday in 1986.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Journal Entry 8

Jessica Helfand's article, Type Means Never Having To Say You're Sorry, really opened my eyes to the seriousness of choosing a font based on its relevance to the message it portrays. On some occasion, Futura would seem appropriate to use. On most, based on this article, it might be better to consider an alternative typeface. Eurostile, Gotham, and DIN all have similar characteristics to Futura and might be more effective in most cases. Even DIN Schrift has versatility while still maintaining a sleek and geometric aesthetic. As alluring and sexy Futura is, it does seem to be over used. Based on this article and a little research I believe I will be able to better apply more appropriate fonts instead of it... although it looks nice.

The other article I read was Ten Graphic Design Paradoxes, by Adrian Shaughnessy. There is a lot of useful information packed in this article. The first rule he lists about, "theres no such thing as bad clients" I can see being very true. I have not had extensive influence in this subject. However, from what I have learned in my Graphic Design courses and from my one Illustration course under Barry Fitzgerald, I can partially see the light that this paradox holds. Another rule that I found particularly important is for designers to have their own beliefs and ethics. Only in this way can we produce truly meaningful work.