In an excerpt from Know Your Onions, How to think like a creative, act like a businessman and design like a God, De Soto wisely advises, “The viewer should be motivated to ask themselves these three questions. These questions should underpin the principles of your design: What’s that? Where do I find out more? What do I do now?”
So far, this book has been very practical in giving advice about working on paper first, creative brainstorming, working with printers and clients, setting up documents correctly for printers, etc. I am only halfway through it, but look forward to seeing what else the author will touch on.
The book itself is nicely designed too. The cover is kraft cardboard which makes it feel very approachable and down-to-earth. The orange binding psychologically gears you up for creative thinking, and once inside, the page layout is designed in a way that makes it easy to read and digest the information.
I enjoyed this talk by Frank Chimero and wanted to share it with you. It’s more of a philosophical pep-talk about being independent versus needing our creative community.
Another interesting thing I came across recently, was this article by InvisionApp. It talks about UI mistakes to avoid, i.e.: abusing fonts, too much on the screen, lack of consistency, transferring from iOS to Android 1:1, and poor information hierarchy.
Read it here → http://blog.invisionapp.com/app-ui-design-mistakes/
For design critique this week, I found this little gem. The full magazine is worth checking out. They pair a lot of different typefaces that flow perfectly with the overall style of the magazine. The color palette, typefaces, art/illustrations, and overall art direction is very unified despite the variety.
The screen shot above is a spread that stuck out to me. I’ve been on a constant search for good ways of doing timelines. Displaying a lot of information that has a logical flow can be a bit overwhelming. In this example, I like how they label each box 1–11, as well as alternating colors. The color isn’t too busy, since the peach blends in with the background of the spread. I thought it was interesting how they dealt with the box that had a lot of information, by spreading it across two columns.
I also really like how they styled their running elements in the footer.
Architecture has been a constant in my design studies, and I love how much influence architecture and graphic design have on each other. In an architecture class, I have recently learned about Carlo Scarpa. I illustrated a piece in response to seeing his intersecting circles in a cemetery chapel he designed (you can find it on my Instagram).
Something that is important to me while studying design, is seeing its roots and history. It isn’t just based on modernism from the early 20th century. We have to see the connection to people and cultures way before that.
I’ve been in architecture classes where they make no connections from modern design (Corbusier, Wright, Rietveld, Mies, etc.) to Japan, and I can’t believe it because it has to be so obvious, right? Simplicity, essentialism, geometry, nature inclusion, sliding doors, moveable walls, etc., etc.
And then, I fall upon this quote and it made me so happy. I already loved Scarpa. And now I love him even more.
“In an interview only a month before his final journey to the country [Japan] in 1978, Scarpa said, ‘Yes, I am very much influenced by Japan, and not just because I visited it, but because even before I went there, I admired their essentiality and above all their supreme good taste. What we call good taste is present everywhere in Japan.’”
Quote source: http://www.wallpaper.com/architecture/carlo-scarpa-japanese-influences-explored-at-the-maxxi-foundation-in-rome#mvErbm7vkosLgHTs.99
I’m coming close to finishing up the first part of my design curriculum. At this juncture, I wanted to re-design my résumé, and put into practice what I’ve learned so far. I didn’t really realize how much I’ve progressed until I saw these side-by-side (insert wide-eyed emoji here).
But of course, I realize I can probably do even better, so as one of my mentors suggested, I may re-design this thing once a quarter (or more).
I’m looking forward to my next set of skills to learn. Hopefully I can continue to learn more about typography, grid, and layout as well. I am realizing I’m still pretty bad at identifying typefaces, so I may make myself flash cards and quiz myself. haha keep you posted on that one.
Today I was working on figuring out the best way to handle widows and orphans in typography layout. I found an easy to understand YouTube video: https://youtu.be/OubBFl_dyLM.
Orphan: one liner left at the bottom of the page
Widow: one liner left at the top of the page
Single word below a paragraph is not technically a widow or an orphan, but is regarded as ugly and messy, so avoid it!
The last thumbnail is my personal work to help me put these concepts into practice. It’s always a good reminder to set character and paragraph styles, especially when dealing with large amounts of text, such as in this novel I’ve been writing. It was definitely a good reminder, because once I started implementing the instructions from the video, I was kicking myself that I hadn’t already set up the basic “header, subhead, body, footer.”
Always learning and re-learning. ;-P