Sunday, February 22, 2009
This is the final product for the userExperience bicycle repair manual. I'm really happy with it, and owe gratitude to Gerg and Shmerg (aka Greg Kaufman and Laura Berglund) for their teammatemanship during this project. I don't think I've ever worked so well with anyone before. I think the project works well as an object and if I had to change anything about it, that would have to be the way the user moves through it. Whenever people looked at it they would open be confused while opening it, but they also weren't reading it, they were just looking at the pictures the the structure of the type so they would not have recieved the que that we added to the copy tricking the user into opening the whole thing rather than just telling them. I know for me when I put things together or follow instructions I always open the whole pamphlet up to see all the steps at once, I think it's harder to understand the portions if you don't understand the whole, it is difficult to make a decision without knowing how that will affect future steps. So, I can't commit myself to opening the quick release skewer without knowing why I'm doing it (lifting out the tire). We talked about color, and how blue makes people feel like they can do it, and the earth tones feel friendly. I think the way the red looks on the lightly tan paper exudes confidence. It tells the user that the makers of the manual are confident and as a result that confidence is transfered to them.
I'm actually liking this one, I think. I talked to Jamie about it and the things I'm going to change about this are, smaller background pattern, I'm going to make it more airy and open, I'm going to edit the copy so that it isn't so misspelled, I'll take the stroke off the images, I'm might try making the shape for them circles, I'm going to unify the color palette (I think colors are a weakness of mine, it seems like some people have their own color palette and usually choose from it, but I don't think I have one of those, and I don't think I want one, I'm want to use all the colors, just better), I'll make the big text bigger, (because if its gonna be big it should be really big).
My problems with this other than aesthetic are that I think people might not see the connection to my collection, but the language that would relate is something familiar to me, it is stark and scientific and military and a lot like other stuff i have worked with. So what I do like about it is that it looks different from anything else I've ever made, I think it works well with the aesthetics of my infographs (which are my favorite part)
Some guidelines that I need to remember to follow for this are that, body copy should be big, objects should never be outlined, and headings should have rule lines. Those are some of the main decisions I've made that I like and need to continue.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
When I made these i still wasn't certain what i should be doing or how these should look. I have been having a really hard time coming up with a language that doesn't overpower the imagery of the collection (which is god awful), and also gives my opinion on the subject matter and what i have been trying to do, and the purpose of starting this collection in the first place. I have decided to revamp the site, but before i show you the visual sampling i did to illustrate what i will be going for i thought you'd like to see a screen shot of the animated MAGNETIC HALBACH ARRAY. it looks cooler in motion, and don't worry the type will look different.
so after looking at my site with fellow classmates i decided that i still don't like anything about it, and jokingly put out the idea that the website should allude to 1972, when the yellow ribbon idea was first conceived in the form of a song. My classmates agreed, partly I'm sure because they just wanted to see something other than what you saw above. Even though i threw the idea out as a joke the more i thought about it the more i liked it, and i think it relates to my subject matter because that would have been a time period where war protest was peaking and also there was a lot of nice gridded swiss style design occurring, it happens that '72 was the year that vignelli designed the new york subway map. i think i'll use the aesthetics of this time period to draw inspiration from.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Okay so these probably don't make tons of sense so I'll show the actual programs tomorrow in class, and show how they work. As ben stiller would say in Heavy Weights, "Uncle Tony's gonna do a little demo."
So far beyond the obvious learnings of the programming software Processing, I would say I've learned to appreciate the unknown. Typically when working I try to predict outcomes, but since this is so new to me my predictions are rarely if ever right when I'm flipping code around, it makes things enjoyable when you don't know what's coming next.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
There are a relatively small number of people working in the field that I have settled on, which is behavioral typography, and the person that I wanted to write about is French, and there was very little information on him, and the information that i did find was all written in French, surprisingly. Don’t those bastards know that we speak American English? So I picked Peter Cho instead. His first website that I found wasn’t so interesting, but I then found another site that had more of his college work on it and one of his typographic experiments using circles and limited interactivity was more intriguing to me. Here it is if your interested.
Peter Cho was valedictorian of Santa Rosa High School in California, went on to further his education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and received a bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, Design, and Computation, with minors in architecture and music. Then he continued and got his master of science degree in the media arts and sciences. His humor is really dry and nerdy. He is a korean american and only kinda speaks Korean. So that is the low down on who he is, and from the sounds of his resume he is crazy into programming and technology of all kinds, and has a bunch of arthritic little fingers in all manner of screen based pies.
I was able to find the abstract for his thesis work at MIT, and it is as follows:
“This thesis research explores the prospect of typographic forms, based on custom computational models, which can be faithfully realized only in a three-dimensional, interactive environment. These new models allow for manipulation of letterform attributes including visual display, scale, two-dimensional structure and three-dimensional sculptural form. In this research, each computational model must accommodate the variation in letter shapes, while trying to balance functional flexibility with the beauty and legibility of fine typography. In most cases, this thesis work approaches typography at the level of a single letter, looking at ways we can build living, expressive textual environments on the computer display.”
So basically what he is saying is that he wants to create 3D interactive environments that allow the user to manipulate the structure of the letter on the micro level of the single letterform. Why? Well, I asked myself that same question, and apparently so did Peter (yeah, we are on a first name basis with each other and golf on Sundays). He believes that print design is where it is today because it has a deep and rich vernacular tradition of the visual arts on which it relies. He feels that media design lacks this tradition, and thus has to draw from other media to compensate. His work is an attempt at exploring the crossroads of these things in search of a meeting place.
I find this assertion strange and intriguing. If you will allow me, I’d like to think on that for the next couple lines that follow. So if we consider the history of visual art as cursory as my knowledge is we can say that the first bits of “art” were things that we all learned about in Art I & II like the Woman of Willendorf and the Lascaux Caves, crude tech, crude drawings. Fast forward, and we have more advanced materials pigments are being made there are plaster paintings oils, tempra, more advanced carving tools, etc. fast-forward again and people figure out how to reproduce images, with things like block printing, lithographs, etchings, and all the other various printing methods that have been created. Then movable type, then the cameras. All the while as tech was advancing so were things relating to optics and the studies of perspective. So maybe some of this is a little out of order, but it basically works to illustrate my point. So all these things were created to make this easier typically but were not necessarily synonymous with art, as the people of the time considered it. Only in the future have we given that austere label to the visual detritus of the past. (and I mean that in the nicest way) So, maybe that is what is happening, yeah the computer does other things and wasn’t made to make art, but we do make art with it. So I think to say that the computers relation to the traditions of visual art is any different than block printing’s, sounds strange to me. I would agree that, of all the innovations through time that computers mark the largest jump from one media to the other. So maybe their is something there.
The he had a quote from April Greiman which I found intriguing because it relates directly to my approach to this project is,
“What I really miss now, are the great accidents that happened when I first started working on the Macintosh four years ago...I’d use the wrong keyboard command or the mouse would get stuck, and these things would start happening, opening a whole new road of possibilities that hadn’t been heavily trod upon by other designers.”
I’m just fiddling about and changing things and just sort of seeing what will happen. I’m hoping that the small changes have big results. Whooo!, or as a whale would say, “Vouwump, Vouwump. OOOOORRRYYYEEEEEE.”
Friday, February 13, 2009
okay, I don't know. I'm not enjoying where this is going, I want to redo it again. I like this better, but... I don't know I liked my previous directions better. (the refrigerator or the folders) It made sense to me and people would get it as they explore the website, but the images of the collection and the form of the site were competing. Now i think i have eliminated the competition and simplified everything, I think the hierarchy and composition are better, contrast can probably be pushed, maybe not with color, i don't want any competition, but with scale. I like the wording in the title, and throughout the site for that matter, but I think the aesthetic of the title needs work. I'm also still not sold on the infograph that remains at the top of the page and plots the locations of acquisition as the magnets are searched through. I like the elimination of the state of missouri, and focusing just on the cities, but it needs something else. I don't know. This is hard.
"We choose to go to the moon... We choose to go to the moon not because it is easy, but because it is hard."
-John F. Kennedy