COMD3504 - Section OL10 - Spring 2021

Author: Rany Selem

Assignment 11

In Steven Hellers’ short essay underground mainstream, he speaks about the relationship between mainstream and underground design and how it changes over time. I believe that Steven Heller believes it to be a cycle meaning what is now the mainstream will eventually be the underground and something from many things that is ow considered taboo or underground would eventually surface and become mainstream, which is what Steven Heller eluded to in his last paragraph citing his meeting with the designer from the progressive firm in New York and how the guy talked with passion about the design that was considered the mainstream back in the day as rebellious design that he is trying to work toward making the world recognize and use.

I plan to choose the design of apples’ iPhone to be my final project’s focal point. I believe apples iPhone design has followed the contemporary movement since day one with its designs, iPhone has always been a very simple geometric design while having no keys and a flat surface which helps the design a lot so I believe the iPhone design would be considered mainstream today.

The design of the iPhone was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s vision of simple modern homes which Steve Jobs was one of it is inhabitants like he said his appreciation for Eichler-style homes, instilled his passion for making sharply designed products for the mass market. “I love it when you can bring great design and simple capability to something that doesn’t cost much,” he said as he pointed out the clean elegance of the Eichlers. While I don’t believe these house designs were underground they also weren’t mainstream not what everybody wanted or dreamed of but now with the same design, an iPhone is a sign of class and prestige today for people who still care about those kinds of things. The iPhone didn’t shape the mainstream it became the mainstream, today in America whenever I go out and see people using their phones I won’t exaggerate if I said 9 out of 10 would be using an iPhone as I said earlier nowadays an iPhone is a symbol for class and prestige

Isaacson, Walter. “How Steve Jobs’ Love of Simplicity Fueled A Design Revolution.”, Smithsonian Institution, 1 Sept. 2012,

Kifleswing, Kif Legswin. “The IPhone Decade: How Apple’s Phone Created and Destroyed Industries and Changed the World.” CNBC, CNBC, 18 Dec. 2019,

Rabideau, Anthony Karcz. “18 Duvet Covers That Dress Up Your Bed (And Protect Your Down Comforter Too).” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 30 Apr. 2021,

Assignment 9





Combinatory system

Rudimentary system




What is a signified and the process of signification?

What is the roll of The connotators?

Assignment 7

In McLuhan’s and Quentin Fiore’s The Medium is the Massage they focus on sharing with us how did the new media changed the world and still changing it, I think by new media he meant Tv and radio, which made information travel so fast that they described the modern living room at that time as a voting booth, This is an example of how media extends humanity, another example is the comparison they made in the book between the times of George Washington when he once said that Benj. Franklin was In Paris for a year and he hadn’t heard from him so he would send him a letter which compared to our times or the time of the author is crazy now you can reach anybody anywhere multiple times a day.

According to the reading the author believes the technological progress brings despair and anxiety, this is pretty evident throughout the book by the author’s words, and it is also referred to in the second spread by the quote “The major advances in civilization are processes that all but wreck the societies in which they occur.” A.N. Whitehead, I do not agree with the author’s point of view maybe I do not understand it right, but I think he was pointing at the cause the people are trying to approach new problems with old tools, so the problem is in the people, not the technology. Also, today media is an extension of the human body, how many people do you see around that done to have a phone hmmm 0.

Artists and designers can use the media to always change the world for the better, I agree with the author that media can Influence everything in a person’s life so If we control this media, we better make it change humans for the better. I believe a designer’s work is subordinate to the media that transfer it because the media play the role of the container of the work if the work does not fit it doesn’t matter what that piece of work was it would achieve its goal.

Assignment 6

Jan Tschichold wrote about the difference between old typography and New typography implying how old typography prioritized beauty or aesthetics over clarity which New typography is all about the most important thing in type today is clarity. He continues to discuss how hard it is to achieve the degree of logical work we need with a central- axis and I think this quote from him explains it the best “Axial arrangements are illogical because the distance of the stressed, central parts from the beginning and end of the word sequences is not usually equal but constantly varies from line to line.”.

Designing Programmes by Karl Gerstner speaks to what we have been learning since we started the school of design, which is basing our design on a process, this process may change from one designer to another, but it always retains its place as the most important part of the design. Karl Gerstner developed a method that we can use to create our design process based on the scientific method of Fritz Zwicky that was mad for scientists, and I believe that all of us use this process from what we learned at school with our variations to it without realizing we are using this method. I think this method should be taught in the Design principles 1 class, I believe it would offer a great amount of clarity about the design process.

Josef Müller-Brockmann wrote about how important it is to use a mathematical grid while designing anything because it shows the professional and constructive mentality of the designer and I believe It offers a lot to the clarity of a design. He proceeds to speak about the importance of constructive design and how it can influence the taste of society. By the end, he mentions all the benefits of the grid including clarity, organizing attention, and efficiency.

Assignment 4

The authors of these readings looked at their era as the start of the revolution of graphic design and media in general, but they were still worried about the future of typography. Since Johannes Gutenberg, there hasn’t been any change to how the type looks it is all the same. As one of the authors said it created boredom, so he wanted this to change and he believed that to change it we have four ways, I think we still haven’t accomplished the revitalization that he meant for typography, the way that might lead us to have typography that crosses language barriers and relay pure meaning without complications is to create new typography.

We should aim for a future where the world isn’t so divided because if you think about this world, we live on a tiny little fragment in a massive universe, and to accomplish this unity we first need to be able to communicate with each other as one. As designers, we might need to make an optically logical language that would be easy to learn and teach the whole world. In my opinion, to accomplish this we need to go back to glyphs but make them from scratch as logical symbols that don’t need that much knowledge to understand.

Assignment 1b

Designers role in society is to make everything in the surroundings eligible to use and aesthetically pleasing, a designer should always be looking for problems to solve in society and come up with the appropriate solution. What distinguishes the field of design from other creative occupations is that for example and engineer main objective is the functionality of whatever he is designing and an artist is looking for the abstract beasty as referred to in Munari’s Design as art which is to my understanding beauty just for the sake of it there is no function to it but a designer has to combine both function and beauty to successfully accomplish his job.

Technology changed the field of design forever and by technology I don’t just mean computers and social media, no I mean every technological leap that helped open a designers mind to new things that designers back in the day had no access to, social media and the internet in general helped shape the design world into a world of independency, you no longer need a publisher or a place to go to show your work, every design now has a platform. “Digital technology puts creation, production, and distribution into the hands of the designer.”- Helen Armstrong

Designers should concern themselves with unsolvable theoretical questions because they help with creativity and makes you pause to reflect and ask a question and find problems to solve. Designers solve problems by looking at the subject at hand from every position and creating a strategy to solve the problem.