I think that last terms constellation study group (Archaeologies of the unseen) made me think a lot more about everything. Most of the time in the lecturers I was totally confused with what exactly the smaller details of the lecture was about but at the same I understood what the overall message of the lecture.
I took a lot from the first few lectures of this study group. It has made me more aware on how someone’s past experiences create the image in their head and they use knowledge they already process to see the image and they aren’t even aware of that they are doing it. I think that in graphic communications this is an important thing to always be aware of how many very different past experiences are and how much this could possibly affect how a person could see a design. I also was made even more aware that the viewer is extremely important (if not the most important aspect) of a design. Without the viewer the piece of design work (no matter if this is a poster, booklet, editorial spread, album cover or animation, ect…) doesn’t exist and if they can’t see the message that is trying to be communicated then in Graphic Design the piece isn’t doing it’s job and needs to be redone. This could be totally different in a different practice, like Fine Art for example having the audience not understand the meaning exactly maybe the point of the piece but with Graphics it’s the total opposite but while still trying not to be too obvious about it, to sort of lead the viewer to it then just confuse them.
I also learnt from this study group how effective it is to include some sort of human characteristics in a design as humans we are always looking for something humanlike in everything we see. We tend to connect more to things that we can relate too or see someone we know or ourselves within an image. Even if this is just a hand or a foot people look at it and subconsciously, in their head, go “I’ve got one of them.” This is likely why a lot, if not most, of adverts include a human or an animation of a human or the shape of one or at least a face and/or talking.
This study group has had me thinking of my MacBook Pro, less as an over priced metal shell that contains circuit boards, L.E.D screen, buttons and the nice apple shaped light on the back, and more as an added part of my hand which is part of my body. In the lecture some people raised that “Graphics doesn’t have tools that really could do this,” I could not disagree more than this, every time a pick up a fineliner it could not make a mark without me extending part of myself into the pen.
I found last term’s study group a lot more interesting than the first terms study group (After Modenism) and I could easily see links to my subject last term were as in After Modenism I struggled and was finding it hard to find any connection to graphics as it was obvoiusly aimed at more of a fine art student. Do no get me wrong I do enjoy looking and finding meaning in it I just thought most of the art movements we looked at it are quite a bit protentus and not my cup of tea. I did enjoy looking at the art movement Fluxus as there was quite a bit of type used in their work. I really loved the design of the fluxus manifesto, it was the contrast in the two typefaces and I am a sucker for white on black.
I found myself drifting of a lot in lectures, not because I found the subject of the lectures boring but because they were so long. I was finding that I was paying attention for the first forty minutes then after that I started to take in less and less information till was taking in no information at all (wasting nearly an hour). This is a problem I have always struggled with due to my dyslexia. It’s not that I don’t try to pay attention it’s that I can’t for two hours. This is has meant that my livescribe pen has been a god send as I have been able to record the audio. Because of this I don’t think that I was able to get as much as I could have if the lectures were split up into two separate hours even with a break in between them.
Our knowledge of the world is mainly gained through sight, to a point where we often use phrases such as “I see what you mean,” and “I am in kept in the dark on that one,” which all focus on sight when there is no sight to be had in that context. So it’s not a surprise that this is (as humans, some other species using smell) to investigate and learn. We teach children what things are by showing them images or the actual thing then telling them what it is called in the parent’s native tongue. Then when teaching them how to read it is the same process but with the word written words. We often see seeing as knowing that every other person is seeing it and that is truth and we don’t see the other senses that way we see them as subjective. Vision is to know the world and taste/touch/smell are considered feeling the world.
With imagery we see what we recognize what we already know and we can link it in our past experiences. We also see words and picture the action/movement connected to the word or image. An example of this is when you see the word “chop” we imagine the movement and the sound that a knife makes. This is mostly from our experiences of chopping and it brings us back to this. It is the same with images we recognize the object or thing as the object this is because we have been taught instinctively to look for things we have had experiences with and even though the image isn’t the object we see the object as the thing rather than a drawing or a photo of it.
What I am taking form this is that a lot of objects in life have some sort of ambiguous quality to it. This could be the cheap wooden veneer, on the wardrobe in my halls room, grain creates a face to some people. Or this could be just my own imagination running away with it’s self as I have seen it everyday and want it to be more than it actually is.
One design I can think of that is full of ambiguity is the cover of The Beatles self titled ninth studio album, which is also known as the White Album due to the original 1968 cover being totally white apart from a issue number stamped on. This is ambiguous due to the fact you would have to know what album it was when flicking though vinyl records in a record shop when it was first realised (of course know it is iconic). But it doesn’t include the album title and the band’s name is so faint on it you would have to be looking for it to be able to find it which in it’s self makes it ambiguous.
Another design that comes to mind is one of the film posters for Harry Potter and “The Deathly Hallows Part 2” where the poster doesn’t even include the film’s or the franchise’s title it just assumes that the viewer recognises the characters on the poster. This is most likely possible due to the film being so highly anticipated due to the series success. Also the film franchise had been going for over a decade by the film’s realise and was so ingrained into people’s lives they could afford to not include the title. Another ambiguous film poster is one for “Batman: The Dark Night Rises” this poster creates the shape of the Batman emblem using the tops of buildings to suggest the shape rather the directly having the shape drawn on or filled in on the poster. It’s an image that people recognise easily and would assume that what it is rather than lead them to the conclusion of the bat image.
In my practice drawing is my first point of call when trying to think up ideas. It helps realise what is in my head visually. This can also explain to others my ideas that I can picture in my head but can’t explain clearly verbally it is always difficult to or even impossible. This also gives the opportunity for feedback straight away from who ever you are showing it too.
Drawing/sketches are also very important when deciding on layouts (this could be for documents, posters or publications like booklets). They can help keep the design consistent with other pages when bringing them into in design. It also quickens the process of creating the layout as you have the considered layouts in front of you on paper rather than having to think as you go along and maybe forgetting what ideas you where thinking of before.
When creating animations drawing is vital in creating storyboards. They often start as rough sketches on scrap paper or post it notes, then the sketches develop into a clearer narrative. These act as a basis to start animating and creating and knowing exactly what comes next in the narrative and keeping on on track with the narrative. Also stop frame animation can be done using hand drawn images which have a certain quality to themselves.
Hand drawings can be used in designs and it gives a more of an organic feel to them even if converted to a vector it still has a form that can’t be mimicked using the tools on an application such as Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop. Where as a digitally drawn image has a cleaner more controlled quality to it than a hand drawn image.