Reading Assignment 3: Exploring Storytelling in Design – Act 3

In this assignment, we’ll be delving into Act 3 of “Design in Storytelling” by Ellen Lupton, a pivotal section that explores the intricate relationship between design and narrative. Our goal is to gain insights into how design principles influence storytelling and how designers make deliberate choices to enhance the overall narrative experience.


  1. Understanding the Impact of Aesthetics: Act 3 emphasizes the importance of aesthetics in design. Your task is to explore how visual appeal contributes to the effectiveness of a narrative. Consider the role of color, imagery, and overall design aesthetics in engaging the audience and conveying the intended message.
  2. Analyzing Layout Decisions: Lupton discusses the significance of layout in storytelling. Investigate how layout choices, such as the arrangement of text and images, influence the reader’s focus and the pacing of the narrative. Discuss specific examples from the text that illustrate the power of layout in shaping the storytelling experience.
  3. Examining Visual Hierarchy: Visual hierarchy is a key concept in Act 3. Explore how designers use variations in size, color, and placement to create a hierarchy of information, guiding the reader’s attention. Provide examples from the text that showcase the effective use of visual hierarchy in storytelling.
  4. Considering Multisensory Elements: Lupton introduces the idea that storytelling extends beyond the visual, encompassing tactile and interactive elements. Investigate how the inclusion of these elements enhances the overall storytelling experience. Discuss specific instances where multisensory elements contribute to the narrative impact.

Summary (300 words): Compose a concise yet comprehensive summary of Act 3, highlighting the key concepts discussed by Ellen Lupton. Discuss the main takeaways regarding aesthetics, layout, visual hierarchy, and multisensory elements in design. Share your insights on how these concepts contribute to effective storytelling, making specific references to examples provided in the text.

This assignment encourages a thoughtful analysis of the intricate interplay between design and storytelling, fostering an appreciation for the deliberate choices made by designers to craft compelling narratives.

Submit your summary in the comment section below.

Due Thursday 12/14

1 comment

  1. In Chapter 3, of Ellen Lupton’s, Design is Storytelling, Lupton focuses on perception, interaction, and emotion, as part of the visual hierarchy of design. Lupton describes perception as a type of alertness in ones mind to particular objects or images of interest. “We tend to see what we are looking for.” is how she describes the experience of perception in her book. As a designer, this information should keep in mind and applied when designing, since visual hierarchy is a “competition for human attention”. However, to know another persons perception is not that easy. Thus Ellen Lupton suggest that design be interactive, using elements that engage the viewer in “visual conflict” and contrast.

    Another aspect in creating visual hierarchy, Lupon speaks of in Design is Storytelling, in is called affordance. Affordance is a plan or path in a design that functions “to trigger the action” of the user. Examples of affordance are “buttons for pushing, menus for scrolling, and pages of a book for flipping, turning, and marking”. In design, this affordance can also be color.

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