COMD3503Spring2019 Topics in Graphic Design

Farhana Yasmin
TGD 3503
Essay #1

The expectation for this course was exceeded when I had walked into the class. As an aspiring graphic designer, I was absolutely enthralled about learning of all the tips and tricks on what it takes to be a professional graphic designer. Once the professor had gone over what we would be doing, I won’t lie, I was terrified. The announcement of ten essays in the course of just a few weeks sounded stressful, but once broken into detail sounded less scary. Essays don’t always mean research papers, but a way to reflect on a topic. Such as I am going to do in this essay. My reflection of day one of this course will be a positive one.

The video we had first seen about doodling was a refresher. I’ve never put much thought into why teachers dislike when students in their class doodle. I like to doodle, and I’m sure every single person that sat in our classroom does as well. In my opinion, doodling is a way of relieving stress. When I get a sudden idea or need to take a mental break, my fingers move on their own and I’m drawing little doodles on top of my book. After watching the video, I learned that doodling was an art form, we doodle to express ourselves. Our culture deems verbal information much more important than doodles. The definition of doodling today is along the lines of “dilly-dallying”, and it had always been thought of negatively in the past as well. And thanks to that video I learned something interesting, that doodling is one of our native instincts that we’ve been practicing ever since we were babies.

Another video was played in class. This video was by speaker Chip Kidd, who had explained Clarity and Mystery in design with real life examples, ones that we all could relate to being from a urban city. I thought the video was an amazing thing to be shown and wondered why I had never seen it before. I learned about unnecessary mystery in one’s design. Chip Kidd used real life examples to break these styles down. When it came to explaining clarity in design, he brought up the subway signs in New York City, and how the words written on the signs are clear and the person reading knows exactly what it says. It’s explained that if there was unnecessary mystery hidden behind the subway signs, everything would be aloof, people wouldn’t know where to go or what to do. Kidd brings up graffiti as well. He places graffiti in the mystery category. Everyone knows that graffiti on the walls around our urban city isn’t meant to be read clearly. Mystery is abstract, it attracts the audience. It needs to be broken down because it is much more complicated than clarity in design. I learned about un-useful mystery and un-useful clarity. To my understanding of that video, Mystery in design is used to attract. It is alluring to the audience, whereas Clarity is simple, it is clear to the audience. Un-useful mystery on the other hand, is when the designer mixes up clarity and mystery, or when the designer uses mystery in the wrong place. Un-useful clarity sends an unbearable message to the audience. The difference between these two techniques are clear after explained, but using it becomes tricky because if you overuse them or don’t use them enough in your own designs then you might confuse the audience.

One thing that I found helpful in the duration of the class was that, the professor asked us if we had any question to ask her, a professional in the field. We asked a few questions, and she broke it down. If not all, most of us in the class are in a place between student and professional. We all are trying to figure out how to take a stand in the fields we want a career in. Many of us are doing commission work or have an internship where we gain experience. I believe having a little experience is very important because then we would know what to expect when we look for jobs. When it comes to finding a job. I learned that there are so many things I need to learn still. I didn’t have any question at the time, but now I think I do. If I were to ask the professor one question I had now, it would be; how did she get potential employers to notice her work? How can you identify that one “wow” piece in your portfolio that would get the attention of others?

My current portfolio doesn’t seem to be any special, and during the first class, the professor had gone over how self-doubt stops us from striving towards our goals. But I can’t help but compare it to other portfolios. Hopefully throughout the class, I will be able to find those solid works that I can include in my final portfolio.

Parent: Essay

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