Design Thoughts

Out of everything we have read for this class, I have enjoyed A Kid’s Guide to Graphic Design the most. I found it the most well written, the easiest to understand, and the most intriguing.

Within the first few sentences, my mind was forced to think about things I didn’t think about before. Everything I own was designed. I don’t know why this was so mind-blowing, but it was. I obviously knew that my clothes were designed by someone, but I hadn’t thought about my computer and tv, my blankets and pillows, my dresser and bookshelf, even my house! I always thought of those things as something that was built. I had never thought about the stylistic aspects each creator had planned out for these things.

The article then goes on to discuss ideas from Chip Kidd’s book. The idea of how not everything is made by nature. “Whether you realize it or not, most of the decisions you make, every day, are by design.” I did not realize it for some odd reason and it’s really opened my mind. Milk cartons are designed, street signs are, the interiors of books even. These are things I knew were created, but never thought of the designing that might have gone into it.

Discussing color has always been one of my favorite ways to convey emotions and, apparently, it’s a way to convey emotion or express something in design. Cooler colors, like greys, blues, purples, and greens, are used to convey “chillier,” aspects of nature. Whereas warmer colors, like reds, yellows, and oranges, are used to convey more “fiery,” emotions. This is all things I logically knew. Primary colors and what they can mean is something I learned in elementary school. I used colors to convey emotions in pictures and art. Kidd brings a more grown-up point of view to it.

The article begins discussing graphic design and bringing in what was discussed above to the art being shown. Images of a Bob Dylan poster are shown, the colors used are reminiscent of the more psychedelic days in which he was popular. The use of color in the poster allowed for it to convey a message within the art itself.

This leads us to the next aspect of the article; how design can be used to tell a story to the viewer. Everything from symmetry and asymmetry, to simplicity or complexity of design, can lay out a story about what the art and design are trying to tell a person.

Simply put, while his book and these ideas are usually things shown and taught to children, it can also be really useful to adults. I mean, even I took from this. These are all ideas I have been taught in my elementary and middle school days, but have never thought about since. In reality, these simple design aspects are all around us.

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