We’ve wrapped up our week on visual storytelling and continue looking at the visual form of media, but now with a perspective on visual design. It’s not always clear where the line is between design and visual, but ds106 design storytelling assignments generally involve more creating and modifying in graphics software programs, with a focus on key characteristics of color, form, shape, typography, spacing etc.
You’ll spend some time this week noticing about the way the things around you are designed, as well as creating some of your own designs.
In this TEDxPhoenix talk, designer and artist Kelli Anderson shows us how she deploys a sense of “disruptive wonder” in her creative work.
What do We Mean When We Say Design?
What is design? It is behind everything you see, use– anything we see around us indicates a deliberate act of design. Here are a few examples:
For a visual feast of one aspect of design, watch this short video that demonstrates elements of symmetry in many ways (shape, function, motion, color).
Review this collaborative document of design concepts, the linked resources, and examples cited by previous ds106 students. The goal here is for you to develop an appreciation and awareness of the elements of design including:
- minimalism & use of space
After reading and reviewing document, you should be able to provide a basic explanation of each of these concepts and be able to identify them out in the world.
To reinforce your understanding of design, you will undertake a “Design Safari” challenge. Carry your camera with you this week and take photos of objects, ads, signs, etc. that demonstrate some of these elements. Try to find strong examples of at least three of the design principles listed above (use as a reference the design elements document). Think about what kind of mood, motif, genre they might suggest.
For this week you need to complete design assignments from the Assignment Bank.
Each assignment blog post should include:
- Write about thinking behind the assignment, the inspiration, what it means to you. What is it’s story? Think of this as similar to the extras on a DVD, the “making of” material.
- The design image you produced for the assignment embedded into your blog post.
- Share your process. What tools did you use? What techniques? Think of this as information that would help someone else doing the same assignment.
- To have your work connected back to the assignment, your blog post must include the two tags for the assignment, one will be Visual Assignments and the other will have a name like Visual Assignments324. Look for the Tags entry box on the right side of the WordPress editor, below the Categories.
If you do this correctly, your own example will be added to the assignment within an hour of your publishing your blog post.
Below is a list of assignments I recommend you choose from (but feel free to select from the other Design Assignments).
- One Story / Four Icons Reduce a movie or novel to four symbols that represent major plot points. Make it hard to guess, and do not give it away on your blog. Think about how to use simple symbols as metaphors (a good source of these icons is the Noun Project).
- Six Word Memoir Do a combination of a story in six words designed into a poster http://assignments.ds106.us/assignments/six-word-memoir/
- Minimalist TV/Movie Poster Design the essence of a show or movie through minimalist design/iconography. http://assignments.ds106.us/assignments/minimalist-tvmovie-poster/
- Create a READ Poster Create a design that promotes the act of reading, using the motif and style of another era. http://assignments.ds106.us/assignments/create-a-read-poster/
- Word represent a word visual by designing the letters that spell it into a design http://assignments.ds106.us/assignments/word/
- DS106 Propaganda Posters Design a poster that promotes DS106, using the vintage era look ofr World War II posters. http://assignments.ds106.us/assignments/ds106-propaganda-posters/
- The Ultimate Merger What happens when unlikely brands collide and merge? http://assignments.ds106.us/assignments/the-ultimate-merger/
- Motivational Poster After being mocked online with “Demotivational posters” see if you can design a poster back in the original purpose, to inspire. http://assignments.ds106.us/assignments/motivational-poster/
- Computer Books for Kids Create a book cover for kids about a computer concept http://assignments.ds106.us/assignments/computer-books-for-kids/
- Truthful Movie Poster What of movie posters told you everything about a movie? Design one. http://assignments.ds106.us/assignments/truthful-movie-poster/
- Venn Pop Culture Create a visual analysis of movie characters http://assignments.ds106.us/assignments/venn-pop-culture/
Bookmark and model the criteria for blogging assignments like a champ (you get a rubric too if you are In It For a Grade).
Ongoing: Storified and Non Storified Content
Again, this is a weekly assignment! As we started in week 1 as you go about this week, look for something that might be a potential topic for your “storifying” final project. This could ba a set of instructions, a piece of media, an object, that perhaps lacks a “hook” of interest or something that connects to the experience of a character who might need to do/use said item. All you need to do is to write about it, why it attracted your attention, and possible ideas for introducing story elements.
This is brainstorming only; but after week 7 you will have at least 6 possible topics for your final project.
Ongoing: Giving and Reflecting on Peer Feedback
You have gotten comments and will get more from your instructor, but it’s important as a community to comment on your classmates work, incorporate, and reflect on that feedback. Because reading all of the other blogs is a lot to ask, for the first two weeks GMU students are put smaller groups of 3-4 students, to have a reasonable number of blogs to review this week.
Now that you have experienced how commenting works, choose at least 4 blog posts from other GMU students to give feedback to. Find ones to comment on:
- Recent GMU Student Posts (or take a randomly generated one)
- Recent Open DS106 Participant Posts (or take a randomly generated one)
You will likely find that the more constructive comments you give, that in you return you will get that back, and maybe more.
Weekly Summary Checklist
Your summary blog post for this week should include and link to the following required items. Remember, I am also looking for more that a list of what you did; take some time to reflect on what you learned or discovered this week. Write what you struggled with.
- Design Safari A blog post that includes at least three images that demonstrate different design principles. Discuss the use of the elements and its effectiveness. Link to relevant resources to help someone understand the element or consider linking to other examples from the design document as comparison.
- Design Assignments: You should link to and discuss the posts for the two ds106 design assignments completed. Each post should be put in categories that you made for your site, and should also include the tags specific to each assignment. Be sure that your assignment blog posts contain the elements out line in the ds106 Handbook.
- To Be Storified Example Write a blog post that includes another potential topic subject for your final project.
- Giving and Getting Comment Feedback A summary of what you saw in other blogs that was helpful,a nd what constructive feedback you got from others.