here’s the design reflection

This week we got a bit of a look into the world of designing and it was honestly kinda wild to see how much thought goes into even the simplest book covers or movie posters.

Reading the article, A Kid’s Guide to Graphic Design Article by Iconic Designer Chip Kidd which discusses Chipp Kidd’s nonfiction children’s book about graphic design, we’re introduced to a few major topics. “Whether you realize it or not, most of the decisions you make, every day, are by design” and “Everything that is not made by nature is designed by someone.” These two statements from the book really stood out to me as this is an aspect of design I had never really considered before. When most people think of design we usually imagine logos, billboards, ads, etc., but to see that so many other things are designed by someone truly does shape our understanding of the world around us.

The rest of the book strives to explain design not in boring jargon and over-complicated explanations of simple concepts but instead makes them easy to understand by having each page feature fun examples of the concepts he explains which makes it a fun read for kids.

One of the most interesting discussions the book brings up that I had never known was happening in the design community was whether art and design are vastly different or the same. Apparently, most graphic designers argue that art and design are different though Kidd argues that this idea is wrong. “Graphic design needs your willing mental participation, even if it’s subconscious. Graphic design is message-sending into the brain. It is a cerebral experience, not a physical one. Architecture wants you to walk through it. Industrial design takes your hand (or other body parts) to appreciate it. Fashion makes you put it on. But Graphic design is purely a head trip, from your eyes to your mind.” And after reading this I completely agree with Kidd. Design, whether graphic or physical, is an art form that requires coordination and intends to convey some sort of message to its viewer.

The Between The Lines: Chip Kidd interview and the TED Talk Chip Kidd: Designing books is no laughing matter. OK, it is both discuss the thought that goes into designing book covers which I found very interesting. This job’s main goals are to attract readers and create a book cover that is a distillation of the story because book jackets must work on their own without explanation. To do this we must ask ‘What do the stories look like?’ because these covers are here to give potential readers a first impression which brings form to content without treating them like they’re dumb. The book designer’s responsibility is to the reader, the publisher, and the author most importantly which is completed by balancing arts, commerce, and design.

Watching The Art of Movie Posters and How Stranger Things got its retro title sequence both seemed to take concepts discussed in the previous articles and videos and put them into action which was cool to see the real-life examples we see in the media all the time. The main things used to convey certain themes in these media are: the usage of colors with universal meanings, typography, spacing of text, utilizing negative space, as well as reusing notable elements from other things to convey either a homage or a different time being played.

After looking at all these videos and articles I definitely feel like I not only have a better understanding of designs used to promote media, but also design that permeates in all of our lives which absolutely makes me rethink a lot of things in the world around me.


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