Monday, March 19, 2007

Lines, Number, image, and geometric shape

Parallelism and multiplying goes hand in hand to give a image, lines, or objects a better depth and extraordinarily visual excitement. Scientist, historians, anthropologist, zoologist, biologist, and artist have been adopting this phenomenon for centuries to give a better understanding of their topics or research. Combining science, math and art to represent any subject matter has always been a better and effective mechanism to create visual expression. As talked in chapter 5 how parallel lines, and number have been used to clarify some of the logic and science law that we still read and follow. Understanding the importance of lines, number and geometric shape is essential to create an outcome that has substantial visual effect.

Before the days when Television weren’t invented, how would people represent the motion? The simple solution was the repetition of the object or image. This repetition theory has made the Mankind easier to explore outer and inner space. Visual interpretation becomes more relaxed to our brain and it can capture the image precisely then memorizing mathematical formula. This system of using multiple images and lines have explains complicated subject matter in a easier way and have given us the insight of our universe which would have taken us years to figure it out on our own.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

BTW i apologize for not being able to post this sooner.


5 and 6

Parallelism is everywhere. Especially evident in todays consumeristic society we see a lot of repetition of the same product over and over again pleading in a sense to its viewer to be commodified. It is so funny how we fall into the trap subconsciously. For instance, I was one of those people who like doing exactly the opposite of the masses. It was very disturbing when I realized I found myself vouching for the product with a familiar brand name over something unfamiliar given the circumstance that it was my first time ever using a product of that kind. This would not make sense to a lot of people and I understand that. I guess there are pros and cons of this just like anything else. But looking at a bigger picture I would say that our very own understanding of everything and anything has been a victim of parallelism.
For example, unless we're in a system that defines good and bad we wouldnt really know the difference. It would just be an act. Parallelism has been used over and over again to keep us under control to help us understand the system that was long here before anyone of us; for better or for the worse.
Multiples really help us understand the best of options that are available to us. With a simple judgement of compare and contrast and a little critical thinking I think we can come to a conclusion as to what best suits us. For instance there are thousands of brands of shampoo available to us but which one do we pick? Well eventually we do make up our mind based on what best fits us or so we think. This is a very good pratice at least I believe it to be. However, I am still unsatisfied because I think that we should have been given that option for everything for example which religion we choose to follow other than the fact that you were just born into it. I understand that this may be a very sensitive subject but if you think about it I think it would work a lot better than the mess we are in today. Ironically but not surprisingly I find parallelism to be guilty for our misfortune.

I really hope that it made sense!!!
: /

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Parallelism is funny. I hope.

On page 87, there is a chart that has an uncanny resemblance to Subi's project. And it's found in a scholarly, highly respected book. So we must all give sincere props to Subi for coming up with an elaborate system that is mirrored by the one in Visual Explanations.

Either that or Subi ripped the idea from the book (just kidding, just kidding, bud!).

I found "parallelism" to be highly, highly intriguing. The difference between time-based and adjacent-in-space comparisons especially picked my brain. Comparisons, parallels that are stacked in time - as demonstrated by the before/after flaps - are much more "magical" than comparisons that are side by side. The role that time plays in the scenario adds an element of suspense; what will appear behind the metaphorical flap?! It also allows the mind a satisfying feeling of nostalgia: "Wow, this new idea reminds me of an older idea... that's neat."

For some reason, time-based comparisons reminded me of comedians. No, no, just hear me out. I saw a comedy show with one awfully unfunny comedian, and one spectacular comedian. And I decided I know what the latter was so much funnier than the crappy comedian... he would tie together his jokes with previous ones. He would transist smoothly. He would open the flap into a new story. Eventually, when we forgot about the old, he would close the flap and "boom," the same joke be even funnier.

Let me speak without metaphor: The comedian would kill us with a joke, which we would eventually forget about, and then make reference to it later, thus picking our brains and providing a satisfying connection in time.

Maybe this makes sense, maybe not. But it's neat that a textbook hinted to something I once considered myself.

Anyway, I think it would be intriguing in my second project to do comparisons that are stacked in time. Maybe a movie with comparisons and narratives.

Or I'll just wear a button-up collar shirt and taped glasses and take pictures of myself.

Interesting or Monotonous

Well i guess the title will tell you a little about how i feel about Tufte's text, and the two chapters. I am simply not entirely sure what to think of the book, at first it was somewhat interesting, giving the reader a sense of accomplishment after finishng a section, however, now while reading - for some reason - i was becoming bored with the subject matter. Chapter 5 was intriguing because i have always been interested in comparing and contrasting things and elements. One thing that is exciting about the book and about this chapter was the use of "pop-out" images, if you will. For example comparing the Cottage Altered piece with a tab that could be pulled back, was exciting, it was somewhat unique way of showing a comparison. Also, with my love for type, was interested in the portions of the chapter involving letterform comparisons, i love anything to do with typography, it rocks! Chapter 6, involving space and time, was equaly as mixed with intrigue and confusion. I have always been a sci-fi nerd, so the things involving space and its effect on things was fun to read and try and understand. However, the chapter began to become monotonous and as equaly uninteresting. I guess, even after my short blurb here, i myself am eqauly as confused, as i was while reading, and while beginning my write-up; but maybe that it what Tufte was after while writing this text, surely he cannot expect everyone to always be intrigued with such over-whelming and deep, sometimes droning information...or can he?

Monday, March 12, 2007

Rated PG

I didn't do it yet.

But here I'm exhibiting honesty... can I have full credit for that? You know, like in the movies where there's a little boy that messes up, but is shown grace and eventually learns his lesson in the end? You know, the movie where there's a montage with piano music playing in the background as the boy puts everything together in his head and turns out to be a better person because of his mistakes...

That's my favorite movie.
But the soundtrack sucks.


I like this book

The first chapter dealt with parallelism, which is connecting two bits of information by a common characteristic. I think this chapter has been my favorite of all the chapter we have read before. My favorite graphs in this chapter were:"Rock 'N Roll is Here to Pay," "The Science of Musical Sound," "Popular Astronomy," and the cosmonauts space map. In fact, the last time I saw the use of the parallelism done for the Astronomy club was for a Simpson's trivia game. Almost every character that had appeared on the Simpson's was on a huge poster, and there was a supplementary sheet with outlines of each character that corresponded to a number and their identity. An interesting aspect that the book pointed out several times, is how many steps it takes to go from a symbol to a number, to another number, to an identity. It's interesting how quickly we breeze through those steps when pouring our eyes over a chart or map.

multiples chapter was informative because it showed what I perceived to be good and bad examples in the chapter. The medical chart on page 111 was extremely difficult to digest for me, because there were two time lines, one vertical and one horizontal. A multiples chart I did find informative was the Pangea continent map. The left examples on that chart use the same grid structure as my constellation map.

Chapters 5/6

Parallelism and multiples enhance design. Multiples and parallelism enhance design.

Two items that are parallel in space and/or time forces one to compare them. The use of flaps in flip parallelism enhances the differences, and I think it was interesting to read that before/after flaps have been used since the early 1800s. Flaps are fun, interactive pieces, but the book stated that comparisons are usually more effective "when information is adjacent in space rather than stacked in time" (page 81). I agree with this because it takes more time and energy to flip a flap open than it takes to look at an image right next to the original. Charts and graphs can be confusing to understand. Codes and keys are sometimes necessary. Visual comparisons in graphs/charts can be misleading if their numbers are represented differently (ex., if one graph goes from 0-60 in increments of 10 and another goes from 0-60 in increments of 2).

Parallelism provides organization and education/learning. Multiples enhance the dimensionality of paper and computer screens--they reinforce the meanings of images and help make distinctions/comparisons. Using parallelism and multiples can clarify information or confuse someone, which is why they enhance design. They bring another element to a design (sometimes the design is supposed to be confusing). They are easy enough to use in today's copy/paste world, and they can add a fun Where's Waldo or I Spy effect. I just played with my nephew this weekend, and we were searching for elements in an I Spy book, which proves that parallelism and multiples are seen in everyday life and work on all ages.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

P 'n M

After reading about parallelism and multiples, I have become more aware of how often these methods are used in information design. These methods are used conventionally and as seen in Tufte's readings, sometimes unconventionally. I have learned that to create an effective parallelism you must think of the images spacially and can be used with time. I compleletly agree that images placed well are much easier to compare and contrast. I found the diagram of patterns of rock music to be quite beautiful. The mound of flowing text and lines created a soothing effect which, can even be compared to some rock music. I was also captivated by the Cyclogram. I enjoyed the human touch in handwriting and the natural human behavior (anticipation/passing of time) that was expressed. The redesign in order to alleviate the passing of time was also interesting. Regarding multiples, I felt that it was pretty self-explanatory after reading of parallelism. Multiples allow for an ease of contrasting and in understanding change.

parallelism and multiples

I thought more about parallel processing done by computers when reading the chapter on parallelism, which is a strategy to process data faster by using multiple computer brains simultaneously. Parallelism itself is a process to analyze, compare, contrast information in a systematic way. It is a way to relate and link information. It can get complex with multiple layers and elements, but it does keep information in an organized space. Another interesting concept was about faulty and inaccurate parallelism in design and language. Disinformation design?

The chapter on multiples was more interesting and easier to understand, understandable illustrations and text. A very useful tool in differentiation, comparison between similars and in depicting change or a sense of motion over time. Also a very bold way to organize information. The chapter reminded me about the first project ( i think it was Heather's) on sandals and how the concept of multiples was used. That justified a whole lot of diagrams that were present in the book. Knowingly or unknowingly, the way that the sandals were classified with respect to coherent features (yet different) is definitely a "multiples" concept.

"Integration of multiple elements into a common field"

Parallelism & Multiples

After reading Chapter 5 on Parallelism I realized that there are parallels all around us. They can be seen in sculpture, science, music, typography, shapes, numbers, pictures, diagrams, etc. Parallels are used to help people learn. They help people analyze, compare and contrast things. Also, parallels create organization, rhythm and balance. As human beings, when things are organized they help people learn more easily because things are orderly and easy to follow.

Similarly, in Chapter 6, Tufte discusses how multiples depict direct comparisons and help viewers analyze and differentiate between things. The advantage to multiples is that it can portray movement when drawn out. For example, when viewing a card trick on paper the hand gestures change in each step along with the card positions, which ultimately displays motion. In this case, space replaces time. On the other hand, the disadvantage to multiples, if displayed incorrectly, can project false groupings. For example, if there are ten images of different landscapes placed next to each other and eight are colored and two are in black and white, your eyes would automatically want to compare the two b&w images to each other, when in reality all the images are supposed to be compared/contrast to each other. It is obvious that multiples are very versatile and helpful when it comes to learning.

Overall, parallelism and multiples are used to create organization in order to help viewers learn, analyze and compare things in their daily lives.

Review of Chapters 5 & 6

Chapters 5 & 6 were helpful by telling you how to execute your ideas so that it can relate to your audience. Reading about parallelism was interesting because there are so many different items that when creating you think of and then there are the little details that come up later on. You are building a connection and when something is created, there are numerous interpretations of what people would think about when they notice. Is the design noticeable? Is it readable? There are so many questions that need to be answered it really gets you to start thinking.

I enjoyed the subliminal message in chapter 6 about multiples and how to keep using them. The first page, each paragraph started with the work "multiples" to get it to stick in your head. It worked for me with the repetition. They also make a good point about good design. On page 115 the author stated, "Good design should take into account how, when, and where the information is used. Just as underwater books should minimize page-turning, cookbooks should lie flat on the counter, directional guides should enable glancing back and forth between the road and the instructions (short lines of type, with content-based linebreaks, will help), maps for piloting aircraft at night should allow for reading by dim light, and charts for recording space-flight data (such as the cyclogram) should fold compactly." They summed it up about design in two sentences. This really got me to starting thinking more and more.

Ch. 5 & 6

The main purpose of information design is to give the information. I find it interesting that information can be presented to a viewer in a comprehensible way, but there might be other ways of making its design more efficient, easier to intake, understand and memorize. Using parallelisms and multiples are two of those better ways. They allow the viewer to compare two or more things to each other; and that is how a human mind knows the world - through comparison. Comparison opens the doors to little things that otherwise could be left unnoticed. Parallelisms and multiples also help express such things as motion and time sequence that are hard to show on a flat 2-d surface. It is important to notice that some tricks make certain information designs work better, as Tufte pointed out the schedule for the people on the spaceship works better when folded, while an underwater guide to differentiation of fish works better on a single sheet, no flapping pages.
In information design the clarity of the system, effectiveness of its construction is most important and can be achieved through different techniques.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Upon reading chapters 5/6, it came to my attention that repetition was the key to defining differences between similar objects. If you were to date someone and they had a twin, how would you tell them apart? If you can’t, it would not be good. Luckily by focusing on all the similar features, the differences will spring right out at you. This same concept can be held true for graphic designs and illustrations.
The other important ideas of comprehension and retention made perfect sense. They go hand in hand. If one cannot comprehend an idea, then they will surely not retain it. For instance if you ever watch any drama show (or anything on the CW for that matter) at the beginning of each episode they will do a recap of what’s been going on so far in the show. Later at the end they will show the preview which helps review the episode you just watched. Contemplating this reading, I think it gives me some idea for my next project.