Monday, September 3, 2012

Our first project

     These past couple weeks in BDS 101 we've already been working on our first project while also studying good design in order to help us understand what is "good design".

Our first project (in my own words): Through the study of good design make a poster featuring a product that exemplifies good design. Feature the product on your poster, rather than typography, and make sure the poster is visually pleasing.

The details: The final poster will be mounted on 1/4" thick foam core board that is 18x24 inches in size. Along the way, use 18x24 newsprint to lay out rough drafts and sketches. The final poster will be created using Adobe InDesign, along with the project's process notebook.

What's a process notebook?: Along with our poster, we will be creating a process notebook to show ups and downs, inspiration, rough drafts, and etc. of our poster along the way. While making my poster I've been saving notes and thumbnail sketches along with taking screen shots of my computer design work to put in my notebook. This way the viewer can look through the book to see the whole process of how I designed my poster. This will also be created in InDesign, which I'm really excited about because I love using the program and already have lots of experience using it.

In order to teach us about good design, we have been watching some videos and reading some articles in and out of class to gain knowledge and inspiration. One of the articles titled "Dieter Rams: Ten Principles for Good Design" can be read here. In case you don't want to read the whole article, however, let me sum it up for you in my notes:
Rams set out 10 principles of good design in the 1970s when noticing that the world around him was an overwhelming amount of colors/sounds/design.
Good design:
1) is innovative: innovative design is always developing
2) makes a product useful
3) is aesthetic: only well executed objects can be beautiful
4) makes a product understandable: it's self-explanatory
5) is unobtrusive: products fulfilling a purpose should be neutral and restrained
6) is honest: does not manipulate consumer
7) is long lasting: unlike fashionable design, it lasts
8) is thorough down to the last detail
9) is environmentally friendly
10) is as little design as possible: concentrate on essential aspects.

I really enjoyed reading this article and looking at design of products rather than just thinking about design in graphics, layouts, clothes, and etc. like I normally do. One thing I disagreed with, however, is #7 that claimed fashionable design isn't long lasting. While I think lots of fashion is trendy and goes out of style quickly, I also think many fashion looks can stand the test of time (with a little twist, sometimes). Not only that, but looks can come back in style proving it to be long lasting in it's own way. Want an example? Chanel's "Little Black Dress"

More information about the LBD can be found here,
which is also where this picture was found.

     While this "Little black dress" started out as an idea from Chanel it ran way past fad and turned iconic. Every woman, and man for that case, knows that a little black dress is always fashionably acceptable, won't be going out of style anytime soon.

     Back to the project, I chose Chacos as my well design object to display on my poster. Why you might ask? Well, even though Chacos are not fashionable whatsoever (in my personal opinion) they are quite useful and fulfill their purpose through their design. While they are expensive (about $100 per pair) their strap has a lifetime warranty. They are really popular at camp (specifically Kanakuk Kamps, where I worked this summer) and rightfully so because you can wear them in and out of the lake as well as on hikes, through the mud, and basically wherever if you're planning on being outdoor-sy. The good design allows you to wear them all these places without worry of getting them dirty because they can be cleaned off easily. The strap keeps them on in any circumstance and the sole is extremely comfortable. Their one flaw, in my opinion, is that they are kind of ugly. But while that's just my opinion, I still find them useful and a good investment. Some pictures displaying my chosen product can be seen below:

I'll keep you updated on how my poster is coming along as well as showing you rough draft examples along the way. The final project is due Tuesday, September 18th.

My friend found this picture of Chacos formed into the greek letters
Chi Omega (the sorority I'm in) and I loved it so much I had to share.

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