25.2.09

My Name is John Daker

video

Thanks to Eleanor in our Motion class for this hilarious type poem.

24.2.09

Board Game Bits















This e-store has a lot of random little pieces for board games and stuff.

and it compares everything to the size of a penny.

and it's the slowest website I've been on for a while.

21.2.09

TO THEM COMPOSING MOTION POEMS

I donated $5 just because I know what it took to make such a long 'motion poem.'

I know Love Day was a week ago, but why not spread Valentine's joy all year long?

it's a new book

and it's about being a designer—both as a student and professionally. and the title is never sleep. how.....appropriate.

20.2.09

"PAUL RAND!" - Rory

"OH SHUT UP!" - Adrian

14.2.09

old school cooties

did anyone end up choosing cootie for their redesign? I happened across this old game of it.

13.2.09

use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without....and recycle.

Remember that one time when I said that my cousin started a recycling business? Well, it's true. And if any of you want to recycle they do it all around Provo, and it's cheap. (I think it's under 40 bucks for the whole semester for an entire apt) They come pick it up every saturday, and you don't even have to sort your recyclables. They do it for you.

Their email is onemanstrashprovo@gmail.com

12.2.09

QUOTE OF THE DAY

Someone can edit & change this post if I get it wrong...

"They're like,
'let's talk about
private parts.
Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!' "

-Colin

*You might have needed to have been there.

11.2.09

Universal Design Principles — Do they exist?

The more that I think about design, the more relative it seems to me.

One may say that functionality is a universal design principle, but functionality is relative according to the user of design. Functionality simply means that something has use. In print design, every line, scratch, and pixel (even evil embellishment) is performing some function by reflecting light into our eyes which our brain interprets as a thought or feeling.

What someone really means when they say that good design is functional, is that the thing designed is performing the right functions. But, it seems that the concept of “the right functions” is too subjective to be meaningful. People are diverse in their preferences about how they want things to function. Some people get great pleasure from garden gnomes and cat calendars and would be bored to death with Vignelli calendars (although I personally prefer the Vignelli Calendar). The concept of the right functions seems as valid as the concept of “the right flavors” in food. Nepali cuisine only has the “right flavors” for those who have a preference for Nepali. Saying that one type of food is designed better than another is nonsense.

In my last post, I wrote about purpose, which I would say is a valid and universal principle as far as I understand. I would say that something is well designed if it accomplishes the defined goal of the producer. As I was thinking about this subject I found this quote from Milton Glaser:
“There is a certain arrogance in the idea that one can develop a universal methodology that works in every case for every person. It doesn’t make any sense. I have never been able to simply subscribe to the idea that any one principle, such as simplicity or reductiveness, can be universally applied to every problem. Life and people are too complicated. I must admit to one belief about design: first, you have to accomplish the intended task. Then, if you are lucky and talented, you may also create something extraordinary that goes beyond the objective task.”
So what is the point: the point is that universal design principles seem illusive and what most designers think are universal principles are probably their own subjective preferences and opinions about what is good and what is bad design. I wonder if anyone is as liberal as me in the class.

5.2.09

Design vs. Embellishment

Massimo Vignelli said that design is not an embellishment but and integral part of the production process.
Massimo Vignelli’s definition, if taken in a narrow literal sense, contradicts itself because design and embellishment can be the same thing.

Design is an integral part of the production process because it accomplishes some defined goal of the producer.
Embellishment is an integral part of the production process because it accomplishes some defined goal of the producer.
One purpose of many producers is to produce a product that will sell. For example, color is an embellishment and according to Principles in Advertising, the right color can influence up to 60% of the sale. Therefore, embellishment is an integral part of the production process because it accomplishes the defined goal of the producer which was to create a sale.

Another example is one that we used in class. Calendars with pictures can be well designed because they meet the purpose of providing art and a scheduling function. The embellishment of the pictures is perfectly functional to those who have a preference for picture calendars. It is an art piece and communicates to them in a personalized way especially if they are a cat lover and have a cat calendar. Massimo Vignelli’s calendars have a much more limited function because it only focuses on 1 purpose. There isn’t even space to write things for each day in the calendar. If good design is a Vignelli Calendar and bad design is a picture calendar, then one must conclude that one of the most important necessary factors of good design is simplicity. But, isn't simplicity just a devise to accomplish the end purpose just as embellishment is a different devise to accomplish an end purpose?

So what is the difference between design and embellishment? Design is perhaps the overarching process of preparing a product(whether it be a house or a magazine) to fulfill a defined purpose. Embellishment is one device among many used in design which is 1 part of fulfilling a defined purpose. Embellishment must have design, but design might not have embellishment. (of course, one must be careful how to define embellishment because each serif on each letter is an embellishment and therefore no embellishment would mean no graphic design at all.) “Mere embellishment” it would seem to me is the use of devices without a clearly defined or misguided purpose. If something is over-decorated it is not because embellishment is inherently bad, but because it is incorrectly used, unnecessary, and/or distracting to the main purpose.

Any thoughts?