Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A Story Without Words

A photo exercise in telling a story with only 5 photos. What's the story?

(c) Kirk Lunsford 2016

Friday, September 9, 2016

Graphic Design is WAY More Complex Than Just CARP

This week in INTE 6710 "Creative Designs," our class dove into understanding CARP, or contrast, alignment, repetition, and proximity. There are many other deeply embedded meanings in simple graphics that evoke responses in the viewer, even if subconscious or subliminal. There's color, gestalt, symmetry, asymmetry, texture, scale, etc. All these things we pretty much take for granted in the modern era where we are bombarded with imagery, mostly well done thanks to capitalism. Embedded in the psyche of each person living in the modern world is the "taste" or ability to discern what looks good or what looks bad. Just like listening to music, there are rules to be followed and we all know it when we hear a good tune versus a bad one. We may not be able to describe why the music, or the image or design is out tune, but we know a bad design when we see one.

In order to describe visual design to make what works and what does not clear, people living in the modern era should develop some sense of vocabulary and knowledge of these graphic design terms. In fact, anyone who chooses to post original visual works, pictures, videos, drawings, logos, etc. is a media producer. And media producers (anyone) in the modern era has more power than ever to let their voice be heard by what is seen, heard, and distributed across vast networks around the world. This inspires me and amazes me everyday, and is a strong focus in my work.

Last year, about this time, I created a Google + page for Designing To Learn, a brand I came up with while in graduate school, to focus on digital and design literacy. I still use this Google + page with my students both online and face to face. There are tons of valuable resources out there to help us understand design and what makes us "tick" and what "sticks." Today I would like to share that resource as well as a few others that may help us better understand some design terms and theories to help us make an info-graphic in INTE 6710.

Check out the Google + page for Designing to Learn

Three sources to begin to understand design terms and theory:

50 Design Terms Explained Simply For Non-Designers

Simplicity, Symmetry and More: Gestalt Theory And The Design Principles It Gave Birth To

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Designing With CARP in Mind: Analysis of an Example Info-graphic

INTE 6710 Journal Entry 3

Figure 1
For this journal entry, I wanted to look at an example of a successful info-graphic, somewhat related to the subject matter I chose to explore for an info-graphic of my own. I discovered an info-graphic on Pinterest to create awareness and "call to action" World Backup Day 2012. The Pinterest link can be found here and the website link for the original showing of the info-graphic found here. I applied the CARP principles, or contrast, alignment, repetition, and proximity. I "marked up" the info-graphic to indicate where we can see CARP. I then broke the info-graphic out into segments to call attention to how each principle was applied.

Fig 1: At the top of the info-graphic we can see alignment and proximity work together to create a text title unit for the info-graphic. This is the largest text on the graphic. Interestingly, in the top corner a logo breaks the alignment and expands off the page. This creates interest and the arrow pointing to "UP" draws the eye in there. This is an example of "breaking the rules" to call attention to something. Indeed just the application of CARP is not enough. Every now and then the rules can be broken to create something dynamic.

Figure 2

Fig 2: Contrast, repetition, and alignment work together to create an array of graphics to demonstrate the differences between frequency of back-ups as people choose to do this daily, weekly, or monthly. The use of these principles in this way quickly communicates the concept: people don't back up enough.

Figure 3

Fig 3: This image shows three different groupings of images and text where principles are applied. We can see contrast and repetition working well to show the scale of the different terms we use to describe memory. Alignment and repetition are used again with the bar graph to show the passage of time and amount of data created per each year. Alignment is very important here to create a fair representation per each bar. Below the bar graph, a collection of graphics showing envelopes, documents, movies, etc. create a proximity grouping to show a unit meaning all types of data.

Figure 4

Fig4: Repetition of the arrows and the piggy bank graphic, as well as the use of scale, are used to demonstrate the difference in amount of money it would take to back up data in 2005 compared to 2011. Contrast and color was used to draw attention to "FOOL" and create emphasis there in efforts to "call to action." That it would be foolish to not backup your data.

The complete info-graphic for viewing without interruption.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Keep Calm and "Sticky" Like a Boss

INTE 6710 Journal Entry 2

After the "SUCCES" exercise this week, inspired by The "SUCCES" checklist, by Chip & Dan Heath, or "Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, and Story,  I was able to narrow down the catch phrase for the infographic to be "Keep calm and save on (the right way!)," or "Save like a boss avoid data loss."

The first phrase, "Keep calm..." seems somewhat trending in social media. Interestingly, the term originated from British propaganda during the beginning of the second world war (hence the crown) often seen. The original phrase was "Keep calm and carry on." The wikipedia entry and original poster can be seen here: KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON. To get some idea of how this propaganda phrase has exploded in social media, just check out this Pinterest search on the phrase.

The second phrase, "Save like a boss avoid data loss," is catchy, leet, and rhythmic. There are some "sticky" components embedded and "like a boss..." is trendy. This phrase can be seen on social media as caption for thousands of memes. To get an idea, here's what came up on Pinterest for "Like a boss." For this expression, "Like a boss," we turn to Urban Dictionary to help figure out the origin and meaning. For everyone's viewing pleasure, I've included the "Like a Boss" SNL skit as seen on YouTube. It's the clean version because the uncensored is really NSFW!

With the ties to social media and culture, as well as humor appropriate for college-aged or adult students I think the "Like a boss" phrase has some potential given the audience. It adds a humor element to an already possibly stressful environment, the computer lab. Similarly, "Keep calm..." also acts to subdue, or remind students to chill out and get it done right. I'm excited to explore both ideas some more before moving into more detail.

"Made To Stick, Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die." Heath, Chip; Heath Dan. Random House 2007-2008.