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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?
While the entertainment world is buzzing about last night’s multi-celebrity selfie, data viz fans have been drooling over Selfiecity, an exploratory tool for examining selfie behavior across five global cities.
Presenting Sponsor: Adobe
Through her work for clients in business, nonprofit and government, design strategist Sylvia Harris has dedicated her practice to ensuring that public information systems are accessible to everyone.
Section: Inspiration -
information design, government, nonprofit, service design, diversity
In this session, learn how Kuhlmann Leavitt, Inc. renovated a 1920s building and turned it into a
solar powered, geo-thermal, rain garden adorned, responsible studio haven.
Part-time Contract DesignerFirstFuel Software, Inc.
Lexington, MassachusettsJanuary 21 2014
Did you miss mad typographic scientist Ozed Ezer at AIGA/NY's event at MAD? See his mind- (and flesh) bending work here.
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