This assignment is a little jumbled up for me, because I read all about it and actually started collecting images like a month ago, but then I wasn’t able to continue and kind of left it. But I brushed up and I think I’m good. Also I kind of cheated? But I didn’t really, I think I just adapted the assignment to my life. What I mean is, I didn’t stalk around with my camera open ready to snap design pictures all month. I took some stuff from the internet that I saw and thought was appropriate. But I think that’s kind of the same thing. And in a digital age, maybe better, right? Anyway here are my examples.
The first is the drinks menu at Van Gogh’s Ear. I actually took this photo myself, which is why its the only one I linked in the assignment document. I don’t think I stole anything by using online examples of the other design elements, but I’d rather avoid any backlash from somebody else’s stupid, misinformed opinion and just not even put them out there like that. They are still on flickr, but they are labelled clearly as not mine. Any who this is an example of effective (I think) use of typography. Through different size, spacing, color, and style of characters, the board can communicate to customers first that what they’re looking at is the drink menu, then what the individual drinks are called and how much they cost. Finally the note at the bottom, which is partially obscured by those stupid canisters and bottles, gives the reader more information, but it is made clear that it is not part of the beverages list. I think it works pretty well. It could be improved by choosing colors for the list portion that popped a little more from the background and that are more easily distinguishable from each other. Its hard to tell the difference between the white and yellow. Same goes for the announcement at the bottom. Despite the obstruction of view, it would stand out more if it were a bolder color.
Next is this:
This looked like a great example of use of color, or a color splash to me. I don’t remember where I found it or what in the hell it is supposed to mean, but I think for this exercise that that doesn’t really matter that much. In this white and beige environment, the jarring yellow of what looks like chips really stands out. Clearly whatever is going on here is meant to make a statement, and besides the obvious absurdity of the image’s content, the use of color is the strongest device used to that end.
Finally, my favorite:
I found this while I was looking for something else. I met these guys at comic con last year, and they, or one of them did these awesome kind of modernist/minimalist superhero posters. I was looking for this one thing that I thought I remembered seeing at their booth, but I remembered it wrong and I didn’t want to use it for this assignment anymore, so I just kept looking around at their blog and others, and I found this. This image uses a couple things. First, its distinctly minimalist. It uses like 5 colors and very little detail, but conveys a complex scenario. But it also uses symbolism in a great way. I don’t mean symbolism like witchiest being symbolic of McCarthyism, but rather, that little image way on top of the mountain, you can’t see it that well, but you see that bright green body in purple shorts, so you know (if you know) its the Hulk. I don’t remember which page its on or which resource its in, but I distinctly remember a discussion of synecdoche being part of our design elements, and I think that’s what we’re working with here. The figure at the top of the mountain could be even further obscured or distorted, or smaller than it is, and as long as the (right) audience can see clearly that green and purple, we’ll know its the hulk. Similarly in the foreground, all we’ve got are a few differently shaded points. But if you’ve seen them before, you know those are adamantium claws and an aggressive haircut, which again are representative of one guy, and one guy only (RIP. For now). In this way, the designer is using the claws and just part of the top of a head to invoke the Wolverine, which is textbook synecdoche, or the use of one part of a thing to represent the whole, or use of the whole thing to represent a small part. Its one of those weird devices, but can be super effective, as I think it is in this case.