This month’s word is defined as an intense feeling of longing for something, typically something that one has lost or been separated from.
Y E A R N
The last few weeks have been full of up-and-down emotions, as my semester abroad is quickly coming to a close. The countdown to the holidays is also a countdown to flying home. Living abroad has brought so much space and clarity, but I’m ready to get back to Canada and settle into routine. I’m yearning for the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It’s been so wonderful hiding out across the pond, but I’m ready to jump back into it in the new year.
I’ve been writing so many notes since I’ve gotten here — between classes, work, and other projects — that I’ve just started a third notebook. I’ve been loving the practice of writing tangible, physical notes this semester, instead of documenting everything digitally. There’s so much more room to make lists and explore.
For project three, see one of the type explorations from the month of November. #letsstayhome
To see more of the process check out the Instagram highlight.
Find out more about the project from the source, @avibrantmind.
I took this month’s word as literally as possible, by documenting the colours around me as the seasons change.
C H A N G E
The fact that I’m in the UK experiencing the longest autumn of my life has come about because of change. Big changes, because of many small decisions. Change is hard, but it can be so good.
For project two, I used Instagram stories to create photo colour palettes. This was so simple, but the payoff was so good. Now, I can go back to these photos and use colours I pulled from my time in England! Above are my favourites.
This challenge is all about getting back to your roots as an artist. For Ula, the creator of the project, it’s through photography. After much over-thinking on my part, I’ve decided to use it as a way to explore creative mediums. Each month I will be exploring things I’ve been putting off and moving to the end of my to-do lists, while reflecting on the word of the month.
P E R C E I V E
I think a perception I used to have was that I would eventually have time to do everything I want to do. Obviously that’s b.s. — you need to make time for the things that matter to you.
For project one, I created a simple digital collage. I’ve been putting off digital collaging for too long because I LOVE print collages so much and this felt like cheating on the process a little bit.
Re-design Instagram. Sketch the re-design with enough detail that it would be understandable to another person. Why does this design work?
I began with a bit of research (aka scrolling through my insta feed and seeing how other designers had redesigned insta). The above photo shows all of my initial ideation and brainstorming for the sketches below. I aimed to eliminate a few redundancies and features that I personally don't use. I wanted to condense the written content into a single space, but keep the large, full width visuals. I integrated stories into the newsfeed itself and changed the add photo button so there would be an option to add a story or post from the single button. The overall look is the same, with a few less features and clutter within each page.
Re-design the FaceBook feed page. Sketch 3 different re-designs with enough detail that they would be understandable to another person. Why does this design work (focus on design, not on function).
When I looked at redesigning the Facebook app, I wanted to use gestures to navigate between screens. The navigational menu page I designed eliminates much of the repetition and options on the current navigational menu. It also frees up the newsfeed by moving the status update function to the navigational page. The need for a bottom menu bar is also eliminated by adding the menu page.
Sketch 5 different task-ware sites that you think are well designed. Pick 3 screens for each site that show one task from start to finish, and sketch those with enough detail that they would be recognizable to another person. Pick your strongest sketch-set. Why does this design work (focus on design, not on function). Include an image of the sketch sequence, and a screen shot and URL of the original.
Quick Draw really effectively transitions the user through the task steps. There is clear instruction and the concept matches the visual design so well. With the sketched icons and typeface style, it feels like you should add your scribbles to the screen.
Time: Monday, March 19 - 5pm
Place: Last Best, Calgary
I met up with Alyssa and Willis of Hawk Design to talk Information Design, life after graduation, and project management.
It was really interesting to hear about the world of agencies and freelancing, and clients, and digital tools they use in their day-to-day working lives as professionals in the design industry.
Slack, Toggl, Quickbooks, Panda, and Google Drive were notably the most used.
- "You get better at weighing that shit out" (on accepting projects based on time/money/care/purpose)
- "Saying no feels so good"
- "Sometimes you're forced to figure out a good, efficient way" (on their content management system)
- "Nothing takes less than two hours"
- "Lose that invoice guilt"
- "It's all about the scope and schedule"
I always forget how great it is to talk to grads and other creatives working in the industry. The perspective is always so valuable, and I think this is something I need to challenge myself to continue.
Comfort level: 4 → 2
Build a taskware site or app based on your topic. You will come up with a new concept statement, then design to that statement, creating a scenario users might complete. The final design should be thoughtful, appropriate, useful, usable, engaging, compelling, and delightful.
C O N C E P T S T A T E M E N T : minimizing waste? you've got it in the bag.
Build a brochureware site based on the topic you have chosen and researched. You will come up with an appropriate and interesting concept statement, then design to that statement, using the one-page design site format. The final design should be thoughtful, appropriate, useful, usable, engaging, compelling, and delightful.
C O N C E P T S T A T E M E N T : a brighter way to look at your trash.
Sketch 5 different brochure-ware sites (one-page designs) that you think are well designed. Sketch them with enough detail that they would be recognizable to another person. Pick your strongest sketch. Why does this design work (focus on design, not on function). Include an image of the sketch, and a screen shot and URL of the original.
The Cafe Frida website works so well because of it's simplicity. It shows info about the cafe, its suppliers, its location, and menu. It does all this, while incorporating these beautiful flower illustrations into a parallax scrolling style.
Time: Friday, March 2 - 7pm
Place: Esker Foundation Contemporary Art Gallery, Calgary
Last Friday, the Esker Foundation hosted "Unpleasant Design and its Discontents with Selena Savić". Unpleasant designs are created to control behaviour, but do not address the problem, simply prevents it from happening in a very specific context/place. She focused on four main identifiers of unpleasant design:
- it displaces the problem.
- it targets a specific group.
- it appears where universal accessibility is expected.
- it's non-negotiable.
The online world is still relatively hard to define because of the blurred line between private and public. She talked about silent agents that appear in both public space online and in real life, and the way the rules are controlled in these environments.
It was very interesting to hear her speak about this topic, and due to the controversial nature of this topic, I found it hard to identify whether she was a fan of unpleasant design or against it.
Comfort level: 4 → 3
Time: Wednesday, February 28 - 6pm
Place: Mount Royal University, Calgary
The "Making Fancy Type" workshop was facilitated by Ben Kunz as a part of the Maker Night Series. Through the course of the event we discussed the different elements of type, a brief history, and both analog and digital methods. There was a juxtaposition created between our sketches and experimentation with pen and paper and the sample cards laid out, many created with digital tools.
Comfort level: 3 → 2
R E A D I N G B R E A K A C T I V I T Y : Choose a handful of apps that you use quite often and like the design of.
5. Car 2 Go
Time: Friday, February 2 - 8pm
Place: Glenbow Museum, Calgary
The new Frida Kahlo exhibit stretches through 2 sections of the second floor, displaying a curated selection from her collection of photographs.
Interaction design combines elements of text, visuals, space, time, and behaviour. Museum exhibits are a great example of this in the physical world.
The exhibition used colour to denote hierarchy and flow through the space. Photographs were all framed and hung at eye level, with note cards below with descriptions. The movement through the space was loose but structured, showing the sequence to follow but also allowing people to explore.
I have been wary of attending an event at the Glenbow before due to how popular they are. The launch party event was very crowded, as I expected, but it actually ended up adding to the experience.
Comfort level: 4 → 2
S T E P F I V E : Brainstorm potential stories that could be told about your collection. Construct 10 unique concept statements. Choose one to move forward.
Less is more... or is it?
"Trash human": not just hip slang
Life and/or trash
"trash": adj. hip slang for useless; noun: a big problem
2018: people identify as "trash" and produce a lot of it too
You either believe waste is careless or you couldn't care less
Life in plastic, not so fantastic
The big ugly truth about big ugly piles of trash
When your waste weighs more than you
A brighter way to look at your trash
Here's a gold star for all the trash you've made
Listen up, before you throw even more trash out
Waste is what you do best!
Sketch 10 different interactive visualizations that you think are well designed. Sketch a meaningful, high-data page with enough detail that it would be recognizable to another person. Pick your favourite and explain the design works (focus on design, not on function). Include an image of each sketch, and a screen shot of the original.
HISTOGRAPHY.io is an interactive visualization showing every historic event in Wikipedia as a dot. There are two views, each with their own colour scheme, but the sidebar remains consistent. There is a fair amount of whitespace throughout the design. A serif and sans serif font are paired on this display, and a sense of hierarchy is established by their different uses. When the mouse rolls over a dot, it enlarges showing an image and text box beneath with a description and the year. Overall, the design works because it allows all the elements to breathe and uses a simple colour and typography system.
S T E P F O U R : Create a digital, image-based moodboard of the results from previous week’s research.
O B S E R V A T I O N S :
1. lots of whitespace
2. an array of colours
3. lots of contrast