P1. Introduction and Identifying Communication Design (2/3)

Part 1. Introduction

Hi! My name is Chantal Alano, and I’m a Junior studying Materials Science and Engineering and Biomedical Engineering. I’ve never taken a design course before, but I enjoy bullet journaling/scrapbooking in my free time, which is why I wanted to take this course to learn more about design fundamentals and typography.

I also spent a lot of time during winter break playing guitar and video games, so I like to get out of the house whenever I can now that I’m back in Pittsburgh! I went to the Mattress Factory last semester, and that’s me at one of the exhibits in the picture below.

My visit to the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh!

Part 2. Finding Examples

Effective Example: Tombow Dual Brush Pens Set

I enjoyed how the color palette of the information matched this specific brush set palette, especially how the image choice and colors for the lettering emphasized the nude/neutral tones.

The placement of the descriptions, both in English and French, are organized in a way that’s easy to read, and also maintains the same format across both translations. The font is also kept consistent throughout, which adds to the neat aesthetic of the product.

The images of the brush tips are also simple yet informative, and the specific colors included make it easy for potential consumers to see this selection.

Example of effective design: Tombow Dual Brush Pen Set

Ineffective Example: Apartment AC/heat unit control panel

The first thing drawn to my attention is the placement for the “Summer” and “Winter” labels. While readable and functional, these labels overlap with the “Lennox” and “Closed” labels, which made me wonder why it couldn’t have been placed off to the left side with more empty space. The orange color for the “Summer” label also seemed off-putting, but maybe was done to place emphasis on this season setting.

While it’s not super obvious, the fonts for the season labels also seem to be different than the rest of the setting labels, which made them seem more out of place.

Aside from the text on the information/direction sheet being really faded out, the sheet is placed upside down on the control panel lid, making it very inconvenient to read if needed. The text is also very small and is formatted in large chunks, adding to this inconvenience.

Example of ineffective design: AC/heating unit control panel and info sheet

P2. Form and Composition

Part 1. Sketching thumbnails (2/6)

With this project, the goal is to be able to represent certain adjectives with a display of squares, keeping Gestalt’s principles in mind as we sketch our thumbnails. Gestalt’s principles include similarity, continuation, closure, proximity, figure ground, and symmetry.

In sketch 1 for the “serious” concept, I used the idea of identical stacks of squares positioned symmetrically across the center of the thumbnail. I felt this evoked a sense of order and seriousness with how organized they looked, as well as their adequate proximity to each other. Generally, the thumbnail sketches for “serious” had negative space forming neat shapes, as well as symmetric placement of squares. Contrastingly, the “playful” sketches had more irregular shapes of negative space, as well as varying proximities of each square to its neighbors. Overall, I wanted to show the difference in the sense of order with these sketches.

Thumbnail sketches for playful/serious word pair

In my sketches portraying “noisy”, I drew the squares in sketches 1 and 2 very close to each other, since this proximity created a “bunched group” concept. The concept of a large group of squares with varying sizes created a overwhelming feeling, which I felt evoked similar emotions to a noisy crowd. I think that using a larger number of squares and varying their proximities to each other generally portrays a noisy feeling, with the opposite bring true for “quiet.” In my ideas for “quiet”, I wanted to take advantage of the negative space, making sure it was very open and blank. This creates an empty vibe, similar to what I picture silence to feel like. In the fourth sketch, the contrast between the single square and large pile of squares was created using varying proximity.

Thumbnails for noisy/quiet word pair

With my ideas for the “dangerous” thumbnails, I wanted to portray the squares falling or toppling over in some way. In the second sketch, I varied the similarity of square sizes to create an overall sense of imbalance. The differences in the placement and angles of these squares made very harsh shapes seen in the negative space (ie. jagged lines, sharp spikes).

For “safe”, I wanted to show a sense of security, making stable “towers” that showed balance and emphasized protection. I liked using dissimilar square sizes and placing them close to each other, showing the smaller square being protected by the larger square. Overall, these sketches showed balance and stability.

Thumbnails for dangerous/safe word pair

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