Anthony Delbrun for February 4th

Before reading the passage by Helen Armstrong, “Introduction: Revisiting the Avant-Garde from Graphic Design Theory: Readings from the Field” I told myself, what is the point in theory in graphic design anyway? I mean isn’t the whole point of graphic design creating things about communication messages? So, what theories are there to make in graphic design and why some people make them? After reading the passage I could see what they were talking about. The part where they explain that design is a social activity is true. When we create our designs I think we want to gain recognition from the public eye such as, “Hey, this is such and such work!” Other times well-known publishers might want to use your designs as inspiration or showing-off in their exhibitions or what have you. I know if I create a design I want to share with others to see. However, the part where it says design is visible yet invisible, unacknowledged and unnoticeable I don’t think it’s true. Often times whenever I’m outside going somewhere some people take time out of their day and notice and acknowledge the designs that are out in public. For example, people going to museums or exhibitions it shows design is not invisible, unacknowledged and unnoticeable.

Another part I loved about the passage is when they mentioned El Lissitzky had an influence on people in the 20th century. Here in the 21st century his designs have influenced some people I know. My high school art teacher became an art teacher due to being inspired by El Lissitzky’s work. She read his books, visit museums that show cased his art and she even once tried imitating his art style. One part that got me most was, “Designers read about design in order to stimulate growth and change in their own work.” I can relate to that 100%. When I first started drawing my art style was out of proportion. I didn’t necessarily just read about design to change my art style but mainly looked at other designer’s art style for inspiration. My art work has improved over the years because of that method.

Now that I have read “Counting Sheep, Period Styles, Language of Dreams and Language of Vision from Design Writing Research: Writing on Graphic Design” by Ellen Lupton & J. Abbott Miller my head hurts after reading period styles. I like how they explain there are numerous ways to count and write down numbers. Another thing that interested me was the way they executed symbols for some words such as showing foot prints instead of saying the word footprint. For the Period Styles the way the wording wasn’t spaced out and all capitals made my brain hurt. For Modern Hieroglyphs, like with the beginning part of this passage I love how they executed symbols for some words. What facts or details from these texts provoke ideas for developing new design strategies? Well, this is a theory but I think it comes down to how people do certain things differently and study each other is how developing new design strategies come to play.

Alexis Vega Velez – February 4th

In order to go more in depth in graphic design, everyone starts at the basics to understand what has been done. This helps to send us on a path to understand the best ways to do things and what could possibly be done better. It also gives us the advantage to not make the same mistakes without having a better outcome. It was interesting to read in the excerpt from Design writing research, “Writing commonly described as an inferior, secondary copy of the immediate, intuitive spoken word;” This makes sense in the way that if you can not do the basic, which would be speaking, then what are you going to write down? Since we have turned into a technology filled world, we are forgetting how to do basic things because we rely on technology to do it for us.

Us as designers, have to understand the long line of where we came from. To know the long line of why we are taught what we are taught today. All art from before our time still exists today. If we understand what they did, then we can use it as a reference to bring back in a variety of ways. we don’t doubt the skills that are being taught to us. As stated in Helen Armstrong’s Graphic Design Theory: Reading from the field, “As graphic Design took shape as a profession, the ideal of objectivity replaced that of subjectivity.” Which is why teachers are teaching graphic designers how to think with hard facts but convey emotion for the consumers without taking into account our personal feelings.

I thought it was absolutely genius, within the excerpt Design writing research, to explain the change in writing over time meanwhile the passage itself is being depicted in that manner. The physical appearance of the chapter itself expressed to me that you do not need both a picture and writing to express something but actually unity them together.

Adaptability is important. It can benefit you to possibly get a job. Rather than giving that job to others that were taught to be working robots of limitations. It is key to always be aware of what is going on today and tomorrow at the same time. If you adapt to the world around you, you understand the peoples interests and the way they speak so that you can communicate on their level depending on your target audience. This provokes ideas for developing new design strategies because it gives us more freedom to communication informally and have fun.

Assignment for February 4

Our first reading assignment consists of a few short pieces, which can be found via the links below. Your response should be 3-4 paragraphs, which may be typed or written directly in your research journal, but you must (1) create a new post containing your response and (2) bring a hard copy of your response to class next week.

To create a new post you’ll need to join the group. You can do this by clicking the “Join Now” button on the course profile. Please do this sooner than later to ensure that there are no issues in creating your first post.

Here are the readings:

Helen Armstrong, Introduction: Revisiting the Avant-Garde from Graphic Design Theory: Readings from the FieldArmstrongIntro

Ellen Lupton & J. Abbott Miller, Counting Sheep, Period Styles, Language of Dreams and Language of Vision from Design Writing Research: Writing on Graphic DesignLuptonMillerDesignWritingResearch

Here are the questions to which you should respond:
Our first readings by Helen Armstrong, Ellen Lupton and J. Abbott Miller consider developments in graphic communication from ancient and recent history. Why are rudimentary communication methods relevant for contemporary information systems? Why should contemporary designers concern themselves with archaic writing, counting, or printing techniques? What facts or details from these texts provoke ideas for developing new design strategies?

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or issues. You can send a message through OpenLab or email me: