Sunday, April 29, 2007

Designing information at the very basic level is what we should seek to achieve as graphic designers. The more words we use to describe something the better information we get about it. If the system is not self explanatory or is confusing it's likely to lose attention of a potential audience. Some people have a short attention span and tend to get diverted when there is a lot of information put forth while others seek for more elaborate explanation. So as a designer what would be the most ideal way to design information such that everyone is happy and satisfied. Should we as designers accept the conventions and work accordingly or as artists thinkin outside the box and come up with a novelty? Looking at the examples in the book most of the posters did make sense to me or atleast after the book explained it. We are here to make information visually interesting by creating confections regardless of what it is. Although most of us may just end up working 9-5 in front of the computer I really hope that the confections we create as an attempt to most probably sell a'product'be created for a good cause. We are the future of capitalism.

Monday, April 9, 2007

I like this little blog.

I'm gonna miss it. It's fun.


"Ideally, structures that organize information should be transparent, straightforward, obvious, natural, ordinary, conventional - with no need for hesitation or question on the part of the reader."

When I stumbled across this passage early into the chapter, I couldn't help but think "boo-yah." And I never use the term "boo-yah," so this is pretty huge. If you go back to my very first post on this blog, you'll realize that this is an issue that has been nagging at me for the entire semester. What is our role as system designers? Is information design about inventing new, exciting ways to classify information in an attempt to capture an audience's attention to otherwise dull subject matter? Or are we simply to use existing, ever-too-familiar methods of classification to present information with extreme clarity? Just look at these past two sentences for example: I could have shortened them. I could have made them more direct and precise. I could have made them more understandable. But I chose to add small flourishes and rhetoric to add a heightened interest. However, this heightened interest is only accessible to those with a deeper level of education. Not someone with, say, a fifth-grade english background. Though they always win "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader," so who knows?

The Myth of Depth, by Mark Tansey, seems to divert slightly from pure information design into fine art theory; reminiscent of the stuff we discussed in Critical Frameworks, as well as the book "Ways of Seeing." I want that painting on my wall.

Babar is fantastic, by the way. I couldn't think of a more delightful way to end this intriguing textbook. Later.


Reading Response

This chapter was interesting. I uses very clear examples and metapohrs to define what designers do. Tufte uses candy as one example of a confection. Confections, as Tufte defines, are a collection of graphic images, and sometimes text that create a clear message or story. He uses candy as an example. Candy is delicious and often the packaging reflects that. When is the last time you saw a piece of candy wrapped in an unattractive, ugly, disfigurd package. You dont! You see bright colors, clean wrapping, and inviting texture. Designers, in comparison, create visual "dishes." We try to create visualy pleasing combinations of text and graphics to give a message, often selling something. So Tufte defining designers as creators of confection is right on the money. Overall the chapter wasn't very helpful, but gave me a few other perspectives on design.

Confectioneers in the Webworld

Confections and compartments. The first thing that Salman Rushdie's quote at the beginning of the chapter made me think of was the interface for Macromedia's Flash program. It was difficult for me to fully grasp the timeline aspect of Flash because there are so many layers that embed themselves into other layers, creating a dense strata of information that seems at times completely astounding. In the same vein, confectionary illustrations are sometimes so information-rich and context specific that, unless one understands the iconography, the implied language of the scene, a lot gets missed.

In this way, I am also reminded of the poetry that was written by the likes of T.S.Elliott, Keats, Yeats, and so many others who wrote, not for the masses, but rather made the assumption that their reader would be educated: would understand Latin, Greek mythology, Biblical references, the lives of the martyrs... In some ways, I think that it's harder to create a sophisticated 'confection' these days, though at the same time, it's easier through web-based technology, so long as the icongraphy is pop-culture based rather than based on an ideal classical education.

we all create confections

As a designer we create confections everday by using our design knowlege to relay messeages through out media. It was intresting to read that as designers we do create these things called confections. But after reading the section it was clear that every design we create we are making a confections by trying to tell our story in the design.

chapter 7 reaction

I feel that the anology of confections in relation to visual design is very relivant. To make confections pleasing to the consumer is basically the purpose of design also. I have previously made connection with design and confection any other time in my life. I have in the past used confections for art works but never thought of the similarites to them with my design work.