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A notable theme in Jay-Z’s book Decoded is objectivity, defined as “a focus on external reality.” In fact, this objectivity is a major difference between graphic design and traditional forms of fine art, which can be subjective without contest.
Our messages must give people what they need in a way they didn’t expect, while looking holistically at the client’s message. As designers, do we resist the urge to take a message at face value? Or simply absorb and move on, cranking out a predictable solution?
Though very different than graphic design, the music industry is deeply rooted in story telling. There are many supporting elements in this niche of the arts, but while comparing and contrasting the process, I think Jay-Z’s book deserves some
attention. His popularity and persona have been at the forefront of the rap scene for decades, and the release of his book is another way of gaining access to his charisma. Check out page 57 for the real story behind "99 Problems" - pretty interesting.
DESIGN READING: Joshua Foer’s book Moonwalking with Einstein describes his stumble into the weird world of memory mastery. What began as a casual interest rapidly sucks him into an existential crisis. The more intrigued he becomes, the more stumped he is: “I didn’t have a clue how my own memory worked,” he says. Foer finds himself shadowing memory champions and chatting with neuroscientists, who, eager to persuade, turn him into the subject of numerous psychological and intellectual tests. He hears repeatedly, “Anyone can do it. It’s memorization. It just takes practice.” So he dives in, emerging one year later in the finals of the USA Memory Championship.What I found most interesting about Moonwalking with Einstein is how quickly we all dismiss our “half functioning” memory. I wonder what our profession would look like if we began to explore the full capacity of our memories, especially since a designer’s work is always referential. Are we aware of these points of inspiration? What role does memory play in the design process? And if “our memories are indeed improvable,” should we be spending more time on improvement?
I haven't yet read Moonwalking with Einstein, but has certainly been on my radar out of curiosity. To your question, 'do we dismiss our "half functioning" memory?,' I'd say not necessarily (at least that's my view, judging from the context of your description
having not read the book yet). Process in itself seems like an exercise in memory, a system in which we retain information, project to project, through a method of repetitive storage. We know where to look for the information we need, even though that aspect
is constantly in flux. I would say that we're mostly unaware of it from that point of view though.
It is almost like, what most consider to be on the border of "compulsive disorder" like actions and behavior are efforts in the exercise of memory. When something is out of order, it generates an impulse of acknowledgement, that impulse is almost an alert like
signal signifying you are forgetting something or something isn't right—missing information, or a gap in the research. I'm often surprised how, especially when discussing revisions of a complex piece, I'm able to visually remember a minute aspect of it pulled
from obscurity by the other person reviewing it. Even pulling obscure things from conversations that suddenly become applicable. Memory can be fascinating.
My question, with all of the self-improvement, happiness, process and productivity focused blogs, books, and conferences making waves throughout of our creative communities, do you think that maybe we are in fact collectively spending time towards improvement
as you mentioned?
Also, do you recommend the book overall?
Great point about process. I agree that for the most part, we're unaware of our memory being used, so it's a little tricky to evaluate performance. This is why magnifying its role may be an interesting and worthwhile exercise.
I think the different types of blogs you brought up definitely contribute to the improvement of our field overall. But I wonder if we're spreading ourselves too thin...going a mile wide, but only an inch deep, so to speak? There's no question that opportunities
for growth abound, and being a "generalist" designer comes with seasons of experience.
Overall, yeah - the book is pretty good. It reads a little verbose, and there are lots of people and concepts who appear. I also read it sporadically on the train, which isn't the best environment. But really fascinating to lean about this tiny subculture
that values the discipline of the mind so highly.
I am a senior design student graduating in May, and for my final portfolio class, the professor is requiring us to print 100 letterhead and 100 envelopes of our identity for the final project.
We, as a class, find this to be excessive, and wanted to get the feedback of the professional design community.
Is 100 of each excessive, since as emerging designers we are most likely to change out identity in a short timeframe, or should we just suck it up and waste the paper and money?
What is the general opinion of fiverr?
I'm a student designer. What is the average time that you spend researching/sketching for logo concepts?
Roy Andersson is a Swedish filmmaker best known for his immaculately crafted commercials and short films. His most recent film, A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting On Existence, won the Golden Lion for best film at the Venice Film Festival. Much of the work Andersson produces is made within Studio...
Presenting Sponsor: Adobe
Woods once dreamed of playing in the NBA, but instead the 6' 10“ designer has reached new heights through his work for clients and teaching inner-city kids about the potential for design as a career.
Section: Inspiration -
DesignEd K12, Design Journeys, branding, graphic design, mentoring, diversity, education, design educators, students
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Upstate New York
Design InternMagnani Caruso Dutton
New York, New YorkApril 30 2015
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