For this project, list 10 adjectives that describe you. Start sketching out those adjectives in very simple forms. Think about how icons or pictographs are designed today. From that, start whittling it down. Consider which adjectives would work together as a system to describe you clearly in visual terms.
The band Yacht uses semiotics, system of signs/symbols, to create their insignia.
Here are some student examples. Remember, just because it’s an example doesn’t mean it’s the right solution.
When developing a compelling concept for the World Record project, here are a few things to keep in mind.
RESEARCH / GO BEYOND THE WEB!
The Internet is a great source, but sometimes going to a library, bookstore, or even asking other people questions about world records might bring about some interesting finds. You need to find facts that have been documented as being true. Steer clear of lies.
MEDIUM / MATERIALS
The medium you choose can either hinder or help you delivering your message. Think about how these materials relate to your record. Will they be the most effective?
SCALE / SIZE
Pay attention to how your record is worded. If size is part of it, remember to use scale when designing. Making objects smaller or larger can really help define what your record is.
ACTION / WHAT IS HAPPENING?
What is taking place in the record? What did the person do? Consider these questions when you portray the action taking place. Think about all the ways actions are conveyed in film, photographs, drawings, paintings, etc. Apply these to your solution.
STYLE / USE YOUR STRENGTHS
Maybe you are better at illustrating than type setting. Perhaps you prefer collage over painting. You might even enjoy printmaking. Whatever your strengths are, use them for this project! You will be experimenting and developing a style long after graduating, so why not start now.
NO PHOTOGRAPHS (Well, unless…)
Photographs depict records all the time. Go beyond what is expected! Unless you go out and take the photos yourself, do not use stock images for this. Think outside the box and develop a solid concept. You can use images for collaging and source materials when drawing, painting, etc.
Infographics are a great way to organize information or research in a graphic manner. Start looking at infographics online or in print and see how designers convey/organize their information to create something that is visually compelling.
This assignment is about visually representing or interpreting a world record of your choosing. You will begin by researching the world record and dealing with facts, actions, phenomena, achievements, etc. After compiling a list of interests, you’ll begin sketching possible solutions.
Do not simply document the record, because photography already does that. Your job is to develop a clever conceptual approach to depict these facts in a compelling manner. You should be able to view the final solution and know the world goal being communicated. There is NO RESTRICTION on media for the solution to this problem. One of the goals of this assignment is to start developing and experimenting with your own visual style, so you can play to your strengths.
Here are some examples worth viewing!
Notice how the microphone (an inorganic object) functions as the flower (organic).
Here the paint brush (inorganic) becomes part of the tree (organic).
In this example, the fork (inorganic) becomes part of the tree (organic).
Think about forms/shapes and how the can be combined together to make a logo.
In this project, you will create a synergistic object that is strong, graphic and logo-like in it’s nature. Your solution must also be in black and white. Use the techniques you have applied in past projects to arrive at your final solution (examples: mind mapping, word lists, metaphors, etc.).
Before you start sketching, devise a list of three organic and inorganic subjects. An example of this would be ORGANIC: flower, snake, carrot/INORGANIC: broom, lightswitch, chair. When you have devised your list either give me a copy in class or e-mail it to me.
After you have finalized your list, draw a combination for each pair of organic/inorganic subjects. For instance, combine flower with broom, flower with lightswitch, flower with chair and so forth. There should be multiple versions of each combination. When sketching, think about the shape/form of the objects and how they relate to one another. Could certain aspects of a flower be the brush part of a broom? How is a flower’s shape like a lightswitch? Could a flower be turned into a chair? Go over every possibility imaginable. Some will work and others won’t. That’s just part of the process.
We will discuss your sketches/lists in class, and from there, your peers will help you decide which is the strongest. Don’t forget that this is supposed to function like a logo. Keep it simple and visually strong!
Here are some examples of past students’ work. DO NOT DUPLICATE THESE! Use your own brain!
Master the Metaphor -
A great article on developing visual metaphors that you can read here.
How to Fuse
Get in the habit of looking for pairs in whatever design problem you’re working on; push two things together into one image. For example, if you’re selling a home-security system, you could begin with the image of a lock or barbed wire or an armed guard and combine it with a house.
The power of graphic fusion comes from combining two cliches, symbols or aspects of a situation into one new image. Think in terms of either addition (adding something to an image) or substitution (replacing part of an image with something else).
Here are some examples of addition:
• For the book “Mechanism of Mind,” the cover image features a big wind-up key on the back of Rodin’s “The Thinker.”
• A photograph for a magazine article about genetically engineered foods shows a tomato that’s been sliced, then stitched back up.
• A poster for a Lincoln, NE, marathon simply shows a black stovepipe hat whose brim is mottled with the white grime of dried sweat. (The fitting headline reads, “The Lincoln Marathon. One score and 6.2 miles. May 7, 2000.”)
And examples of substitution:
• A holiday mailer promoting “PEACE” substitutes a wishbone for the letter A.
• Milton Glaser’s famous poster of Bob Dylan replaces his hair with curly rainbows of color.
• For the American Institute of Architects’ proposed headquarters in New York City, the campaign’s symbol is a key, where the jagged negative space of the key’s teeth has been replaced by the similarly jagged shape of the city’s skyline.
This article will also be important as we start our next assignment, so be sure to read over it.
With this assignment, you are thinking about an object conceptually. How can you visually represent three of the following objects without literally depicting them?
You might want to approach this metaphorically. Metaphors use two things that we normally don’t see in context of each other. Hence, they stand out in our minds. In fact, the more unrelated the subjects, the better the metaphor. However, one cannot simply select two objects and put them together. That can work, but in order to create a strong effect it is important to select subjects that already carry strong meaning (via invertco). You will need to search for imagery to complete the metaphor. Be sure the images are high-resolution (200 to 300 dpi).
Below are examples of visual metaphors.
I’ll leave you with this quote.
The greatest thing by far is to be a master of metaphor. It is the one thing that cannot be learned from others; it is also a sign of genius, since a good metaphor implies an eye for resemblance. - Aristotle
This is the class blog for ART 2219 Visual Thinking. Here, you will find information regarding class tutorials, projects deadlines and other things worth reading.
This blog also serves as an inspiration station for your class. Click on the “Submit your finds!” link above, and submit images, links and words that you finding exciting in regards to making and thinking. Feel free to ask questions as well.
See you in class!