DES2104 – Wk 10 Lecture


This week we’re looking at aspects of document design that we’ll need to consider for our Nutrition Curriculum project. In particular, we were introduced to the ’10 Principles of using Type’ by Erik Spiekermann & EM Ginger (1993, as cited in Medley, 2013). Rather than list all of them verbatim, there were a few that I thought to be specifically relevant to my plans for my document, namely:

6. Keep to ‘invisible’ fonts for body copy

As this document is supposed to be used in a teaching context, it will likely contain a lot of information. It would be best to stick to an ‘invisible’ font, which is in essence something familiar that is not overly decorative or complicated. Maybe something like Arial, Times New Roman or Gill Sans?

7. Keep the noise down in the background

While I want the design to be interesting and engaging, I will have to be mindful not to make it difficult to read. I will need to find a way to make it interesting, without distracting students from the text or making it hard to see. Which also links to…

10. Contrast of at least 70% is best for legibility

In order to break up the content and make it interesting (without being too noisey) it will probably be worth having some solid coloured backgrounds for some of the pages. Whichever colours I use, I will have to be mindful that they can be read whether printed greyscale or in colour; thus keeping the contrast of at least 70% will be pretty important. This may also relate to the colours of the BG and font in terms of visual contrast for students who are colourblind. Might look into that as well.

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DES2104 – Wk 9 Lecture

The lecture for week 9 introduced us to our next assessment; designing a faux school document for the new national curriculum on nutrition. As the curriculum will be developed for all levels of schooling, it was important to take into account the audience of our illustrations and document design.

Staff from the Child Health Promotion Research Centre came to give us some insight on the new National Curriculum, as well as outline the types of concepts students will be covering at each year level. The overarching aspects are that…

Food literacy involves having awareness and knowledge of the dietary guidelines for good health, as well as skills in:

  • menu planning, budgeting
  • label reading, food selection and shopping
  • food storage, food preparation and cooking
  • food safety and
  • determining appropriate portion size

(Waters, Miller & Baker, 2013)

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DES2104 – Wk 7 Lecture

This week we started looking at Editorial Illustrations, which started with a brief history of illustrations, and the use of pictures in design. An understanding of this history will allow us to better communicate our design reasoning with clients, as well as aid us in our quest for design inspiration.

Some of the points discussed in the lecture were:

  • Editorial illustration is an approach to visual communication that is older than Graphic Design, and has different motivations.
  • Graphic design is generally regarded to have started with the ‘art poster’, a medium created with pen and brush, then copied with lithography or serigraph.
  • As well as rivalry occurring between the worlds of graphic design and editorial illustrations, photography also weighs into the mix of mediums competing for space.
  • Photography allows for replication (just as lithography did) but also took less time to to capture images.
  • Following the rise of photography and apparent objectivity of the photograph, painting/drawing was able to diverge and become more ‘animated’ and abstract.
Illustrations by René Gruau

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DES2104 – Wk 6 Lecture

Week 6 was all about colour, which is good. I like colours 😀

Unfortunately one of the problems about colours when it comes to creating on a screen to be printed out is that “we work in opposite colour systems” (Medley, 2013). When we’re working on a monitor we’re looking at additive colours (the RGB gamut), and yet when we print things out it’s through subtractive colours (the CMYK gamut).

When working between these two formats, it is important to be aware that significant differences can occur as not all the same types of colours are represented. Thankfully if you have a great need to print a colour that’s unavailable in the CMYK gamut, it is possible to have a specific type mixed for you; in Australia these are generally referred to as ‘Pantone‘ colours in relation to the brand, but are also called ‘Pre Mixed Colours’ / Spot colours / Solid Colours. But then to make the job of getting the ‘right’ colour even more complex, these two formats still cannot fully represent the range of colours we can see in the real world. Gah!


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DES2104 – Wk 5 Lecture

Week 5 was on typography, a very important subject that was unable to learn as I missed the lecture (You will this round alarm clock!) D:

Things I have discerned thus far from the Lecture slides:

  • Much like with image sets, the elements of a typeface need to be notably linked with aspects like angles and line width;
  • There is a system behind the heights of letters, this is referred to as the x-height. Will have to investigate this further;

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DES2104 – Wk 4 Lecture

Week 4 in Vector Illustrations focused on the infographs, which are excellent ways of displaying concepts you would not be able to show with photographs or other forms of art.

When trying to create ‘information graphics’ it’s important to consider the hierarchy of information; you need to take into account things like the direction people read in, and what elements catch the eye first. This point reminded me of an old anecdote I’ve heard:

A British detergent brand decided to expand the reach of their product, and started selling and advertising worldwide. Everything was going well, except the detergent just wasn’t selling in the Middle East. It took them a while to figure out the problem, and it turns out it all came down to their printed ad. The advertisement was a series of images read left to right, that depicted clothes getting cleaner thanks to their product; however, Arabic languages are read from right to left, so instead their campaign made it appear as though the detergent made clothes dirtier!

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DES2104 – Wk 3 Lecture

One of the reasons illustrations can be so useful in conveying meaning is because unlike photographs, they provide information without being too specific. By moving away from the more concrete images on the Realism Continuum (i.e. photos) concepts can be brought down to their most relevant components, without the distraction of background elements or irrelevant details.

In week 3 of Vector we looked at Isotypes “International System of TYpographic Picture Education“, which are a way of showing the connection between information through pictures. Some aspects of Isotypes to keep in mind when using them to depict information:

  • They’re used to visually educate;
  • Differences in amounts are generally represented by repeating the same symbol, rather than increasing its size;
  • Colours and shapes can be used to represent connection (with colour being the dominant connection);
  • For the sake of clarity, they’re rarely shown in a perspective view.

(Neurath, 2010; Medley, 2013)

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