Monday, April 9, 2007


I thought the book made the excellent analogy of collage is to art as confections are to information design. Collages are visually interesting with their many pieces, just like confections are intriguing, using compartments and imagined scenes to arrange and organize information. I liked the similarity this chapter made of confections being like miniature theaters (page 138), because bringing different materials, images, and text together in a confection is like bringing different people together in theater, and one gets information in an interesting way in both situations.

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.

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