I wanted to first learn a bit more about design, so that’s why I opted to do my design blitz later in the week. After reading through and listening to some of the materials provided, I had a better understanding of design concepts and what makes a good design. I tried out some techniques in design assignments this week and I took pictures throughout the week for this blitz. I was at first unsure about where to find these design concepts, but then realized they are everywhere. A lot of artwork jumped out at me as having these design concepts, but I didn’t want to just include pictures of pictures. The following photos are my favorite from this week that I believe best represent four key design concepts.
The first concept I decided to tackle was color. I think this is the easiest concept to understand, but not necessarily to execute. Color theory is something I hadn’t taken much notice of before this week, but after watching videos and reading The Vignelli Canon I came to understand why certain colors look well together, whereas others look fine but there’s something slightly off that you can’t put your finger on, or why some things just look flat out bad. I liked Karen Kavett’s explanation of color theory best because it was easy to understand and she gave relatable examples that I could remember and apply to my work. The example of Youtube thumbnails and the vibrating effect certain colors have next to each other really opened my eyes to a new way of exploring color.
For this concept I took a photo of a piece of art in my house. I could have also used this piece for balance, because of the even sections that create symmetry throughout the piece. I decided to use this for color because I really like the mostly monochromatic color scheme. These colors all work well together because of their cool temperature. Even the yellow sections have a coolness to them. The more neutral dark blue and white sections offset the bright blue and turquoise colors throughout the piece and ensure that even with a lot of patterns, it isn’t overwhelming to look at. The avoidance of complimentary colors here allows the eye to move smoothly across the canvas, instead of dragging around seemingly vibrating edges that complimentary colors create. To me, these colors symbolize the calming effect of blue, rather than the sadness it can sometimes elicit. This color scheme keeps the picture from looking too cluttered, even with all its different patterns. This is one of the best ways to use monochromatic schemes. The use of yellow also serves as a contrast to the blue, and is used sparingly so that it enhances and does not over power the painting.
The second concept I photographed in my blitz was balance. Having been inspired by the balanced aspects of my color piece, I looked for balance all around me. I found it at a craft fair. I found this piece of art at a boardwalk craft fair. I first noticed it because it was very unique; each scene was suspended inside pf a window pane. I first noticed the balance because of the line cutting the window into two halves. This lead me to compare the two halves, and find that however similar they are, they are nonetheless asymmetrical. When I first glanced at this I thought it was symmetrical, so what led me to believe that? Firstly, both sides have a background that is symmetrical. The twigs and flowers give a background that fools the eye into thinking the rest of it is symmetrical. The rest of the design uses the same things to decorate with. Both sides have starfish, shells, and a sand dollar. Because the same things are displayed on each side, it seems that symmetry would follow.
I presume the artist didn’t make the two sides symmetrical because it is more interesting for each side to be slightly different. Arranging the objects from each side differently is the asymmetry in this piece, but it seems symmetrical because of the like objects used. This is the genius in this piece, to me, because it is the illusion of symmetry that pleases the eye, but the absence of it that pleases the mind.
I stumbled across this one. I was sitting in a restaurant with my grandparents and I was seated facing this clock. I had just recently been reading over the different design concepts needed for this design blitz, and typography was fresh in my mind. I was also really intrigued by this old clock, and how the typography added to the antique effect. So as soon as we finished eating I snapped a pic.
The fonts in this clock add to the design of it by being simple, bold, and retro. Even if the clock wasn’t rusty one would know that it was old because of the fonts used. The use of different fonts and font sizes allows the eye to focus on the most important parts, the ones with bold and large font. The words “cool roasted” and “coffee” stand out on purpose by the design, and they are the most important parts to be read. Less important messages are written in smaller and less contrasting fonts and colors. The clear, bold, contrasting words signify their importance and the font encapsulates the era of the clock. Without using different fonts this might be much less interesting to look at, and using different fonts might have made it less retro or harder to read. The typography in this case accomplishes many design goals.
I finished my design blitz by looking around the kitchen My eyes settled on the wine rack and stayed there, not because I wanted a drink, but because the curved metal rack had caught my eye for some reason. As I sat there trying to think of my last design element to use, it hit me. The wine rack is holding your attention because of the way it is designed. Not only does it serve its purpose well, but it looks good doing it. I looked at my notes to figure out which element it was and I decided on rhythm.
Rhythm stands out to me in this piece because of the repetition in each layer of the design. It is sort of a zig-zag pattern, but less with softer edges. The rhythm of this piece works well because the pattern is simple but interesting, and the regular intervals ensure that each opening is the same size. Repetition is necessary for the rack so that it can hold more than one bottle at a time. This is where form and function meet rhythm. Rhythm helps this object to achieve its form and function, while maintaining a pleasing design. This is the feat designers overcome daily: making usable objects that are nice to look at and follow basic design principles.
These pictures can also be found on my Flickr.