Sunday, April 29, 2007
Monday, April 9, 2007
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.
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.
A couple of things I took note of, include that speech alone is sometimes inefficient in communicating. The addition of visuals and words make for a much easier understanding.
I was most drawn to; I believe it was called the Constructor. I thought the combination of 3D and 2D worked and blended together beautifully with interesting concepts behind it. I also took note of the text referring to bad confection ties closely with bad concepts.
The idea of confection to me was one of surrealism and seems to establish unreal worlds. This makes for interesting visuals in combination with real facts. I also enjoyed the diagram of the taproot with the different compartments making a very pleasing design.
This chapter really made sense in why confections are used and how they can be very successful. We all want our pieces to stand out to people and make them memorable for someone. Information design doesn't have to be straightforward and cut-and-dry. When images and text enhance each other, and the confection is visually interesting, people will spend more time with a piece, thus making it more memorable. I thought it was interesting to learn that 17th-century law students used confections in their memorization, because (as the book mentions on page 125) recall is enhanced by allegory and bizarre situations. I find myself doing a version of this when trying to memorize art history. I also have used confections in other situations: using compartments for the poster project in this class, as well as making a collage of different parts of people's faces and making them as one face in my Critical Frameworks class. People tend to have a short attention span, so making a confection in information design helps people stay interested, since that makes the viewer in control of what he/she wants to view at what point (rather than giving the person step-by-step direction and not letting him/her view anything else at one time--as pointed out in the book). Confections give people options, and people like to know they have options.
Variety of candies and likewise variety of design.
Candies are tempting from how they are designed and packaged and it fulfills the crave most of the times. They portray the meaning of successful visualization. They convey a clear message to the audience, confections as tufte calls them, the same when designers create something using text, graphics and more and are successfully able to convey and communicate.
The varieties of candies and confectioners can be compared with the variety of designs and designers. Just like some of us like jelly beans and gummy bears, while some only like m&m and skitties ... some of us like minimal, some vibrant, some "GRUNGY", some corporate and so on ...
It amazing how designers can relate to anything and everything and with a lot of sense.
Now looking back at this reading, I think it’s sort of funny. Whoever thought graphic designers are confection makers? It really gives new lightings to our profession and makes us think differently—almost conventionally weird. As confection makers—I mean graphic designers, we use both text and graphic to convey a clear message to the viewers of what we want to sell.
It is the same as a piece of candy, it has to look good for people to buy and taste, and if they like what they see, of course the candy shop are going to profit from it. At the same time, it demands us to create something unique, something that have not already been in the candy store.
Sunday, April 8, 2007
Then when Tufte started explaining how computers can quickly assemble confections by combining text and image together I realized that what Graphic Designers create can be considered confections. When we mix text and image together in posters, newsletters, brochures, websites, etc. we are using visual confections to relay a message to our viewers in a more appealing way. Therefore, our goal as Graphic Designers is to successfully create visual confections so they are easily understood and interpreted correctly by our targeted audiences.