Friday, October 14, 2011

So here is a simple presentation for one of our scenarios for the Class Crossover educational hub. It's still pretty rough, certainly in presentation, but the look is starting to come together.

CC Scenario 01

Friday, September 23, 2011

Multimedia Experience: Scenarios

So here are 3 scenarios in our class crossover hub community. Those with ipads focus on the students, having replaced weighty text books, and desktops are used for students and teachers to access the community. I'll have to redraw the first 4 wireframes in scenario 1 to be on desktop rather than ipad since they are teacher actions.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Illustration Elective: Star Wars Stamp Series

So this is a project in my illustration elective. Definitely a fun reprieve from other design work.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Design System: Style Sheets

These are a few examples of some finalized logos I've been considering in the rebrand of Kansas City Power and Light. At the moment, I'm considering some of the clean style and colors of the circular mark, but I'm focusing on the shaking hands mark. It's got a lot of presence, and best relates to my community oriented theme for the new identity.

Friday, September 16, 2011

MX: Class Crossover Needs and Solutions

Here is a list of Kelsey and I's needs and solutions based on students in a class crossover online community application. We were asked to think of possible future technologic applications to aid the community and it's students better absorb the content from their curriculums.

Need: Shy student doesn’t like to answer questions in packed classroom.
Solution: Using the online community from home, the student can contribute to their heart’s content, sharing crossover facts, videos, and other media that could relate and assist other students of the community. The student could also option to contribute “anonymously”, where only the teacher could view the students name.

Need: Student would like more group collaboration.
Solution: Students in the community can join a collaborative space. These spaces are online chat rooms with media sharing capabilities. In this case, the students are writing a group paper and can all share and upload information to their “space” to share with each other and view videos and information in real time together. The space would act much like a piece of paper, in that any student could use their tablet to draw and write in the same content space.

Need: Student would like to participate in a study group, but she lives too far to commute to one.
Solution: Using video feeds, a computer could sit in her place with the group, feeding audio and video to the student. The computer could also record the conversations, and assist in any information searching options that could help support the study group.

Need: A certain equation in math class has a student confused.
Solution: Using tablet software, students can write and solve equations together in a collaborative workspace. This process would be recorded so the student could hear their dialogue and watch the process in solving that equation for help in future assignments.

Need: A teacher’s class has been having trouble understanding a recent lesson.
Solution: The class could get on at the same time, and consult an archive of recorded class sections to discuss any confusion. The teacher could also donate her time after school to further the discussion, or listen to recordings of the student discussion to better future lessons. Students digital pens could also record their notes during class, and can upload to the collaborative spaces for other students to read through.

Need: The president of the school board has noticed a drop in the school’s science scores.
Solution: Using the online community, he can visually view the discussion and contribution hot spots in the curriculum, and consult major issues in the students’ learning process.

Need: A parent would like to know which classes their student is taking interest in above the rest.
Solution: The parent can sign in using a parental viewing account, with visual mappings of their son or daughter’s contributions over time.

Need: Student needs help writing a report relating Amelia Earhart and the history of air travel.
Solution: The online community would automatically search video content from sources like national geographic, the history channel, and the science channel, placing related videos as school contributions between class “nodes”. The student could view these videos, and spend less time searching and more time creating those relationships between subject matters. Students could also tag these videos and school contributions to better place them for student viewing.

Need: Student would like to learn facts relatable to classroom subjects as they are out in the world.
Solution: The student could use the online community application on their mobile device, and be notified if any passing landmark or building relates in some way to the classroom content.

Need: School wishes to know which students are having issues with certain subjects.
Solution: A timing device embedded within with online community could measure each student’s time spent in certain subjects online. The students ipad could also track time spent in certain classrooms, during and after class times.

 Need: Schoolbooks are out of date, and there is a budget for new ones.
Solution: With each new version of e-text books, each student’s ipad would update to that new text. The community would receive a notification of this as well.

Need: Student considers homework to be “busy work”.
Solution: The community could send out location based on-site learning opportunities that relate assignments. The could be lectures, historical sites, museums etc. and propose visits to the students when related assignments pop up. These could also be locations found by other students mobile devices.

Need: Student wishes to discuss a class topic further.
Solution: A database of higher academic experts could volunteer to interact as users in the community and discuss topics with willing students.

Need: Teacher wants to extend lesson based on input of students.
Solution: Intuitive collection program analyzes students’ discussions and determines the best new resources to pull from an online database to aid teacher with new lessons.

Need: Parents are concerned for children’s grades.
Solution: Notifications can be sent to Parent’s mobile devices or computers to notify drops in their child’s grade. They can customize the notifications based on the letter grade or standard they expect their child to live up to.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Visual Advocacy: Scouting and Ivanhoe

So I've teamed up with Raynoldo in persuing Scouting volunteer project opportunities for the Ivanhoe design assistance. While the Girl Scouts don't pursue community volunteer projects to the extent the Boy Scouts of America do, both can contribute to Ivanhoe's recovery. I have emailed the Heartland Area Boy Scout council with an introduction and design intervention project proposal. The BSA can benefit massively from this project, gaining publicity through Ivanhoe's media coverage, and experience unity through inter-troop cooperation and projects. It would be unique for the BSA to focus it's projects in one area, making a huge difference, as opposed to spread out smaller contributions. It is also an Eagle Scouts responsibility to plan and execute a volunteer project of his own for the community, and having opportunities readily available through the Ivanhoe neighborhood council could assist them in quickly finding a project.

On a community  Ivanhoe level, recruitment and involvement could benefit greatly as well. It's been proven that Eagle Scouts are exponentially more likely to be accepted into the work field when compared to other applicants. Here's an article on that subject. But the kids in the Ivanhoe neighborhood are looking for extracurricular activities, and the Boy Scout program and Eagle Scout goal and rank could give them something to do and strive for. It would shape them into leadership material and help them in their job search down the road. When applying to colleges, Eagle Scouts are also eligible for scholarships and more appealing for acceptance.

I've yet to contact the girl scouts, but depending on the BSA's interest and involvement, it might not be necessary. I also will have a better relationship and appeal to the BSA being an Eagle Scout myself.

Boy Scouts (Wiki on overall research.)
Girl Scouts (Wiki on overall research.)

Boy Scouts Volunteering
Eagle Scouts
Girl Scouts Volunteering

Articles on large scale Eagle projects:
1  2  3  4  5

Design Systems: KCP&L Re-branding Presentation


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Visual Advocacy: Ivanhoe Interests

So after the meeting with Ivanhoe last week, we were overloaded with an abundance of design opportunity. How great is that?

So my initial interests were peaked with their boy and girl scouting activities/ groups. The fact that these scouting groups are the most stable and popular groups for younger kids in the area makes this a great outlet for kids to meet each other and do good for the Ivanhoe community as they make their way to Eagle rank. As an eagle scout myself I know just how much community time you spend just in helping others with their projects. Other troops around the KC area might also be a great source of help. It's always difficult figuring out your eagle project, but if a call were to go out for help in Ivanhoe, other troops might be willing to help out the community.

My contact for the Boy Scouts of America would be the location on Holmes (816-942-7757) and the contact for the Girl Scouts Headquarters would be on Blue Parkway(816-358-8750).

The food desert issue is by far the worst, and stands at the front of Ivanhoe needs. Without any grocery stores in the Ivanhoe neighborhood area, they have become isolated, commuting to areas miles away for food that is well out of their price range. They need a store within their area, and one that offers a cheaper food alternative to stores like Sunfresh or Costco. The partnership with UMB could also be highly beneficial to the families in the area. In our last class, we had discussed the possibility of a card only shopping experience, helping to discourage any sort of robbery. Without a cash withdrawal option available at the UMB branch, this is a feasible and practical solution. The store itself could also hold a space for a UMB branch on site, eliminating any drive to and from the bank to the grocery store. 

My contact for this issue would be a manager within a food franchise, such as Aldi or Constantino's.

The other issue that grabbed my attention was the community garden and farmers market effort. These community gardens are great answers to the food desert issue, and also bring the community together to swap experiences, food, and tips. It brings a healthier diet to an otherwise unhealthy selection of cheap foods at grocery stores currently available to them. Particularly with eating out becoming cheaper, an easy way out. On a family level, it could also serve to bond parents and children, learning important lessons in responsiblity and a better sense of a neighborhood community. A spade in their hand is time better spent than loitering around the plaza or getting in trouble elsewhere.

My contact for this issue would be the community garden coordinator on the Ivanhoe neighborhood council. I've yet to obtain the number, but I'm sure it's listed in the brochures we picked up at the last meeting.  

Monday, August 29, 2011

Multimedia Experience: A Sentence

Our proposed sentence description for the Class Crossover online community:

Class crossover is a predominantly after-school online community through which students of a single school, ages 11-14, can discuss the knowledge they gained with other classmates learning other subjects—breaking the boundaries of traditional education through integrating curriculum adds context and breadth to their education, while promoting participation, analytical thinking, and discussion. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Multimedia Experience: Integrated Curriculum Project

Physical Boundaries
In one school, and at each students home

What’s and who’s involved
Middle/Junior high students

Equipment Involved
home computers
(perhaps) video sharing/camera function
(perhaps) scanner (for sharing notes and documents)
printed media and textbooks
digital-format textbooks?

able to afford OR check out computer/laptop (or tablet?)
all genders and races

Wants and Needs (Individual and Community)
   want to be social
   willing to discuss
   critical thoughts
   draw connections
   desire for in-context subjects
   need for relatability
   need to make links
   long-term retention

message board icons/conventions:
speech bubbles
plus signs
online identity
media references
instant feed?
links (IMG, URL, VIDEO)

Motivations for Participating
part of grade
better retention of knowledge
confidence/empowerment through sharing
ability to discuss, rather than introverted learning
casual setting, comfortable
practical, well-rounded education
keeps kids connected, even outside of school (NO isolation!)

Articles on integrated curriculums:
Why Integrate?: A Case for Collating the Curriculum
Integrating Curriculum: The Importance

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Multimedia Experience: Blog Posts

The Seven Types of Intelligences
This article discussed psychologist Howard Gardner's theory of the seven types of intelligences found in people, particularly children. These dictate the strengths of a child and how best they learn in an educational environment. The theory itself is fairly solid and the seven types are as follows:

  • Linguistic- Children with this kind of intelligence enjoy writing, reading, telling stories or doing crossword puzzles.

  • Logical- Mathematical Children with lots of logical intelligence are interested in patterns, categories and relationships. They are drawn to arithmetic problems, strategy games and experiments.

  • Bodily- Kinesthetic These kids process knowledge through bodily sensations. They are often athletic, dancers or good at crafts such as sewing or woodworking.

  • Spatial- These children think in images and pictures. They may be fascinated with mazes or jigsaw puzzles, or spend free time drawing, building with Legos or daydreaming.

  • Musical- Musical children are always singing or drumming to themselves. They are usually quite aware of sounds others may miss. These kids are often discriminating listeners.

  • Interpersonal- Children who are leaders among their peers, who are good at communicating and who seem to understand others' feelings and motives possess interpersonal intelligence.

  • Intrapersonal- These children may be shy. They are very aware of their own feelings and are self-motivated.

  • Gardner's theory serves as a great basis in understanding that children do learn differently and that the same standardized angle that teaching has adopted won't be effective with every type. However, not every  one lies within a single type of learning, and I find even myself to have learning traits from several types, so I feel this list is better understood as a set of categories that certain aspects of learning can be sorted into.

    Media Smarts: Kids Learn to Navigate the Multimedia World
    This video was a great listen. It brings to light the issue that children throughout school are typically held to a reading and print based learning system. While this is important, with our digital age today and the vast amounts of media and technology that our kids are exposed to daily, kids need exposure and discussion to the information they recieve over these channels. While it might make things more difficult for the designer, it's important that they learn the process and reasoning behind decisions in the broadcasting process. Newspapers were a great example in sifting through various layers of propaganda and misleading information. As kids grow, particularly with each new generation, they will be exposed to a greater amount of digital-based channels and they need to know how to makes use of them effectively without getting bogged down and confused by media techniques of persuasion.

    Web Squared: Web 2.0 Five Years On
    I thought this article was fantastic. It was great insight into the evolution of the web and it's connection to the mass media and channels that have become so connected with our lives over the last few years. It amazes me that web 2.0 has turned such simple actions such as searching and communicating to each other, into a tool to further tie data together and better help humanity. With a simple twitter post or search over google, someone not only gains results or enjoyment from an action on the web, but help new technology to better and more efficiently help, and in some cases target us.

    While it's true that we are now barraged with wave upon wave of ads that know our interests based on our data contributions to the web, ads are only one of many useful tools in reading trends and actions of mass populations and communities. It's a step in the right direction to speed up and better make sense of our economic condition. With companies like Walmart tracking purchases and translating that digitally to votes on a certain product, products can now be rated without spending the time to sit down and leave a rating or comment. As a collective, today's consumer can make better educated decisions in their purchases by viewing surveyed data from other consumers interested in similar products if not the same ones. The mobile device in particular has become a brilliant evolution in our digital society. With that small screen, a filter in cases of augmented reality, we can take photos of places, scan QR codes, and better attach reality with the digital world.

    This passes over into other devices as well. When sensory technology is present in many products, the mobile device in particular, we become an assistant, part of the digitalization process. Our location, places around us, people we know, and things we are seeing and experiencing can all be recorded, shared, and understood by the web. A foreigner can now step foot into a country they no nothing of, and in seconds retrieve their location, where they need to go, and what they can do around them. Drivers no longer have to know the roads, and digital systems can talk with us and aid us in finding our way as well as avoid accidents and high traffic areas.

    I believe that web 3.0 will certainly spread further into augmented reality territory. The web itself will likely soon exist in physical space through the camera rather than on a fictional page in digital space. I for one am excited to see the bridge and design for the world in front of our eyes. To be completely surrounded by design and information.

    Sunday, April 17, 2011

    Information Architecture: Readings and Solution

    Our final project in Information Architecture has started, and I'm looking forward to the outcome. This will be a new experience for our entire class, as we are designing applications for the iphone operating system. 

    We are beginning with one of the subcultures that our class has researched into. Since I chose the bike commuter subculture for the last User Experience project, I'll be designing for the sustainable DIY subculture. 

    After reviewing the DIY research book, particularly to the task analysis, and reviews, I brainstormed and considered a wide range of topics to gear this new application toward. In the end, I've decided to create an application assisting DIYer's in joining together in collectives and organizations. DIYer's naturally work on an individual basis, but there is a hidden desire to work together, share knowledge, and above all contribute to society. My application will make a community where DIY users can easily group together based on individual interests, skills, location, etc., and help them find opportunities with volunteer organizations such as those assisting with natural disasters and even community issues on a much more localized level. 

    Designing for the iphone has proven to be a difficult and interesting experience thus far. The screen is far smaller than your typical computer screen, and legibility and organization seem to be major concerns. I'm hoping to capitalize on both the gestures used to interact with the iphone interface and icons to help maximize screen real estate. 

    Here are the 5 points I found most interesting from the first 2 readings on the subject of designing for the iphone platform.

    1. Gestures Reading: Supported Gestures
    The 8 listed gestures listed under the table section were a great reference. I haven't had much experience with the iphone, so it's nice to know the simple interface options that bridge hand and software.

    2. Icons Reading: Immediacy
    Icon immediacy is imperative to icon effectiveness. The examples of the brush were great in showing excess detail, and the importance of simplification in form. 

    3. Icons Reading: Standard Icons
    I thought this section was the most helpful of my listed 5. Knowing what icons are used across the iphone platform is infinitely helpful. It was also interesting hearing that they are used in many different situations.

    4. Icons Reading: Cohesiveness
    Cohesiveness is a design essential. You don't want a finalized design solution to seem pieced together and mismatched. The series of balls was a great example in following a similar theme as well.

    5. Gestures Reading: Custom Gesture Tips
    The custom gestures section shared some great information on capitalizing on the iphones touch interactive features. It also never occurred to me that fingers of the user do cover a good portion of the screen space. It's important to consider that in the design.

    Monday, April 11, 2011

    Information Architecture: Aperture

    So today is my critique for my Aperture camera collection website. It's currently up on our schools server for you to look at too; just click the link below!

    Wednesday, April 6, 2011

    Hey Weight Weenie: After Critique

    So the critique went fairly well. I'm definitely happy with the end result of the weight weenie campaign, and look forward to using it as a portfolio piece. It's been a great insight into another design system that is applicable to society, and a great new exploration into the worlds of design research and the study and targeting of a particular subculture. I'll be sure to use the design research skills we've learned in future work.

    On another note, there are a few things that can always be improved. The U-lock section of the campaign still needs work. The chain pattern isn't working well with the audience either, and I think I need to re-evaluated designing for the bike rack. I've considered designing something that wraps around the bar of the bike rack rather than existing on a u-lock that might be missed or torn off. And although it might have been out of my budget and time constraints, I would like to explore different materials for printing and design as well. Should I have designed the wrap that would attach to a bike rack's main bar, paper would have been flimsy and unpractical when it rains. Some sort of plastic or signage material would be interesting to look into, and might spark some research on my part into the world of industrial and package design.

    The rest of the campaign however turned out great. I'm pleased with the patterns and the fact that it is guerilla advertising that penetrates and resounds within the subculture is fantastic. It's always a great thing to design something that will be kept as opposed to thrown away. The idea of collectibility is also something new to my work, and designing in a series certainly lends to that desire to trade and gather these different patterns and statements. The bandanas in particular were my favorite part of the project. I've never used textile products in my designs, so it was great to include that, and using them as a highly visual form of advertising, completely devoid of text was a great learning experience as well. Design that functions in that way is very interesting and powerful stuff, and lends to the underground and unknown secrets of a subculture.

    Below is a scribd file of my presentation at critique, plus the font that wasn't on my presentation computer. I've certainly learned the importance of using fonts available across multiple systems.

    Hey Weight Weenie Presentation

    Type 4: Question Exploration

    So I've been doing some simple exploration into my chosen question from last class; How can the shapes of a modular typeface shift and interact with one another? Since then I've used simple cellophane, dry erase markers, and good ol' illustrator to help expand on my thoughts.

    This first round is an exploration into layers, and how the shifting of layers containing half of a letter's modular shapes affect legibility when moved closer and farther to and from the human eye. I noticed that with perspective, the shapes needed to be far smaller when closer to the human eye to appear the same size as the ones in the farthest layer. It's interesting to see the difference in scale between the layers placed side by side. This idea has been played with already, but I would like to have the typically straight on reading angle become an angled view through parallel layers, or even angle layers in space. I like the idea of taking type out of the usual single plane reading experience. In some of them such as this 3 and S, I placed the layers at an angle to each other. The 3 is at a 45 degree angle to the farthest layer, and I had to slightly adjust the angle of the lines in the closer layer to fit the perspective. The closest sheet for the S was bent in a curve, so the shapes needed to be rounded slightly, so their flat edges appeared straight.

    Pardon the poorly drawn shapes, dry erase marker isn't a very precise tool. The first is a B, the next is a lowercase e, the next is an S, and the final letter is a lowercase a.

    Next, I focused on the idea of modular shapes and the grid. I am interested in the idea of a typeface generator, similar, but different than the popular rubix cube generator below. So my idea (just a possibility) is to use the tiles of a sliding puzzle, but rather than having the tiles form an image like they typically would, they would simply hold the modular shapes. The user can then slide the modular shapes around in relation to each other and create multiple letterforms. I would love to have this make prints as well.

    So here, we see a lowercase g on the left, and an upper case E on the right. The color is just to show the letterforms, although they could be printed different colors or something.

    Finally, I've been messing with the idea of taking a word, then using the same pieces for each letter, make a new word of the same length that's related. So for example, I've chosen test and quiz. The letter t in test is made with the same pieces making the letter q in quiz. It's interesting to overlap them in transparency to see the similarities and differences in modular form. In this shift between words, the user is forced to make certain design decisions to keep legibility. This is particularly because the user might not have the shapes or the number of certain shapes they would prefer, and have to use what they have. In typography, letterforms are noticeably different from one another, and often by overlapping them, we see their differences. By using the same moveable parts, we can really study the differences and similarities in the letterforms that make a word.

    I'm also very interested in the idea of creating a very organic typeface that mimics hand drawn qualities, but still using modularity. I haven't tested this yet, but will update when I do. I'm not sure if I'll forsake the grid or stick to it. I think that creating organic form can be done by using a grid however, and I'm up to the challenge.

    Wednesday, March 30, 2011

    Type 4: Some Type Questions

    These are some in class questions I am considering exploring in my upcoming Modular Fragmentation experiments for the Atypeical symposium. 
    1. Can a typeface function when it's spread across multiple planes?
    2. Do said planes affect visibility of layers in the back?
    3. How does color affect transparent shapes?
    4. How can overlapping fields of transparent color produce a typeface when combined?
    5. How can the shapes of a modular typeface shift and interact with one another?
    6. How does the viewing angle affect legibility of typography existing on multiple planes?
    7. Can negative space be used as a modular element?
    8. How does scale of modular shapes affect the typeface?
    9. How can the audience participate in the creation of a modular typeface?
    10. How can the audience alter or change an existing modular typeface?
    The 5th question in bold, is the question I'm going to pursue for now, attempting to find answers and exploration will be the focus for my experimentation for the next week or so. I will post some examples of my experimentations as I go.

    Tuesday, March 22, 2011

    Type 4: Experimental Type Reading

    Experimental Typography. Whatever that means.
    This reading was quite an insight in the term "experimentation". I've never really stopped to consider just how much design relies on that word, and to just what extent experimentation actually occurs in the design process. This article discussed experimentation's scientific roots as a term, and related that to the percieved definitions we designers attach to it. From the designers that were surveyed, it seems most consider experimentation to represent new or groundbreaking outcomes that haven't been seen or done before. Of course part of me wants to admit that just about everything has been done, but with new technologies making their debut each year, designers have an every increasing platform for our own "experiments". Experimental typography in particular seems a science in itself. Linguistics and the symbols that make a language possible are a system, and for the typography that works with that system to stray and take on new forms and meaning is an experimentation, scientific or not.

    The act of process is the origin for experimentation. As a designer, I love process. It is just important to me as the ending product, and there are infinite possibilities in reaching a final design solution. Typography is no different. It can be created in many ways, read in many ways, not read at all in many ways. The article briefly covers a few opinions that don't accept projects that have been done in the past to be experimental. I disagree with them. While it's true that a completely new process is experimental, each person has their own design experience to flesh out. What one person has done thousands of times is something completely new to another, and that process can always be done in a different way.

    The Typographic Experiment, From Futurism to Fuse
    This reading was a bit hard to sift through, but has some great discussion on the experiments occuring in typography today and in the past. Typography is more than just letterforms. The space, materials, the language itself, and many other elements all influence the readers experience. When a designer steps into that relationship and alters the text, it creates something unique that stands out from the typical typographic rectangle on a white page. Language and communication is broad, and a letterform not only has form, but a sound and other meanings society pins onto them. A group of letterforms interact with eachother, holding encoded messages we have learned to understand. If our symposium is going to hold a wide range of type experiments, we would be wise as designers to look past the simple fact that letters are shapes, and dig deep into just what a letter is and how it works when altered.

    What did you think of these readings?
    I thought both of these readings related to our current point in the symposium process, and were a great introduction to the possibilities of working with letterforms and the written language. I'll certainly keep them as a reference for later typographic work.

    Does their definition of "experimental" match what you previously thought of the term?
    Yes and no. While I do agree that experimentation is primarily the process of design, I don't believe it has to be new. It boils down to the experience and learning something you haven't done yourself. Learning first hand is always better than simply reading about someone else's work on the subject, and there's always the possibilities of new variables when you experiment yourself.

    Is it really useful to experiment if it doesn't have real application?
    Definitely. Experimentation above all is a learning process. The experience of doing something new might be a bit intimidating, but we learn from doing more than seeing. While there is a lot to gain from analyzing the finished product, how we arrive at those finished products is the real story.

    User Experience: Reading Responses

    As we proceed forward in our subcultural awareness campaigns, we've been asked to read through 4 different readings and relate them to our current project. I'll start with the reading in Megg's Type and Image, under the "Audience" section. 

    In this section, Megg discusses the necessity and problems that come with using pictographs, ideograms, and petroglyphs. In the process of using these each viewer, or the audience, has a different perception of the visual language being used. This perception is formed by many things, including their culture, age, gender, location, and past experiences. As a dominantly visual art, graphic design faces this problem at every turn, and is very much intwined with  it. Our current project is specifically designed for a particular subculture; in my case, it's the bike commuter subculture. By using our past research guides and techniques, we've discovered a wide range of visual and verbal language and signifiers that they identify with. These function in a similar if not identical way to Megg's mentioned pictographs, ideograms, and petroglyphs. However, since our audience is not near as broad and their perceptions, though still remaining different, will be within a similar mindset. The bike commuting community all share a graphic landscape and way of communicating and acting in society and it's my job to design for that community to illeviate any communication noise that would step between them and the design's message for my campaign. By using the audiences visual and verbal language, a designer can get his or her message across much more effectively. 

    The next reading was  Graphic design in a Multicultural World by Katherine McCoy from How Magazine.  Katherine McCoy begins her discussion by bringing the idea of mass design to light. With computers doing much of the older design work and methods, universal design is slowly dying out. In today's society, mass communication and technologies have begun to globalize information and mix culture. Communities have as a result, split into smaller groups and subcultures. This not only pertains to the civilian, but corporations as well, as they shrink and better tailor there business strategies to a particular audience, location, or culture.  These subcultures form a sense of pride and create a visual landscape around them. As mentioned in my response to Megg's section, the visual and verbal language these people adopt is an essential element in tailoring any design to a particular subculture. This creates design from the inside, and the audience is much more likely to listen to someone that understands them as a subculture. The bike commuter subculture for example would rather be exposed to design from other bike commuters or a company that has tailored their product to their needs and style. A universal corporation or group's design on the other hand would likely be disregarded altogether since they are outsiders, and their design won't utilize the right channels to target that subculture. This is where design research comes in. Today's designers absolutely must be able to employ a wide range of research techniques so that we understand the receiving end of our design on a much more balanced level to the sender's role. Particularly in corporate design when we work for a particular client, we often focus too much on the sender's role in the designs outcome when it should be the receiver or audience that should always come first. The location, the visual and verbal language, the channels, the style, the rhetorical tropes in play, and any symbolism and imagery must all be considered when addressing a particular audience. Otherwise, the design isn't speaking or coming across well with the user.

    Next was an article named Local Lingo by Alice Twemlow from AIGA Voice. Design research is the overall subject of this article. It covers ground I haven't been exposed to however, in that it discusses the need for a designer to immerse themselves in the location. With global travel available and widely used, graphic designers are now employed by companies all over the world, many of them overseas at other branches of their design company or working in the field of a design target location. Design research can only get you so far over the computer. A designer's research techniques should not be restricted to only books and online material. There has to be a connection and experience on a personal level, and that means that for the best design solution for a particular audience or subculture, the designer needs to visit the target location and experience it for themselves. Alice Twemlow mentions that "the climate, materials and physical constraints of a particular region" are all necessary to understanding how the targeted subculture works, acts, thinks, and communicates. By following the subculture and participating in their activities we can better construct our prototypes and discover areas that need to be worked on. Through task analysis, we can also find problem areas within that subculture that could be solved through tailored design solutions. 

    The final article was Pop Artist by Linda Tischler from Fast Company. This article covered David Butler's new design systems for the Coke corporation. Linda Tischler reviewed the companies decision for a new system of machines to distribute coke worldwide, and the use of a modular design system from Butler. It was an interesting insight into designing for a company with so much change, yet so little. While Coke's product remains the same, their logo has undergone minor refinements throughout the years, and their product design has gone through major design shifts. Butler began by looking through thousands of past coke designs so as to understand where the designs started. In this way Butler placed himself inside the companies design roots so he could understand how the company started and gauge what has already been done in the company's past. Butler has employed a massive system of systems. The new coke machines that will soon be used in resteraunts and other locations around the globe will use a new interface, allowing the user to interact with a screen. Language, product, and occasion have all become selection options on these new dispensors, and the machine prints a wide variety of designs from around the world (over 8,400 so far and climbing).  Coke also has the ability to upload new designs to the machines very quickly and can use these new designs to better appeal to customers on a local and cultural level. My interest however comes from the machines ability to record user information. It keeps records of product choice and popularity, times of purchase, and much more. This helps Coke to better observe buyer trends and patterns and can better tailor their product's application. In a way, their machines are doing a basic form of design research constantly throughout the day. Butler has made a great use of new technologies in todays digital landscape, a bold move that graphic design has supported from the beginning. I hope that Butler's machines go over well, and will strive to adapt my future design to new platforms as well.

    Monday, March 21, 2011

    Type 4: Found Type Experimentation

    Here are a few things I ran across on spring break. Some of them show trends that have been reoccurant in the typographic field, but most are things I found interesting.

    Friday, March 11, 2011

    User Experience: Tags and Cards

    So the books have been completed for our subcultures. From here we have moved into eachother's subcultures if we desire, or we can stick with our own and we are making public service campaigns to appeal to members in these subcultures. I decided to move into the bike commuter subculture, and I'm working on a campaign covering various aspects of bike commuter safety.

    This is my first round of designed artifacts for the project. I am using 2 channels. This channel is a tag that could be placed around a bike frame or bike rack, and would be passed out by someone, targetting bike parking sites. These tags use a statistic on the back relating to the safety subject that is reflected, no pun intended, in the pattern on the flip side.

    So when coming out to see their bike, they find a tag, and are confronted with a pattern or statistic first. This one reads: "Using bike reflectors at night decreases your chances of an accident by 60%. Over 60 million people use them worldwide. See the Pattern?"The tagline at the end then ask them to realize that if they are not part of the "pattern" or statistic, that they clearly should be. This also makes a design pun on the flip side's object pattern.

    This pattern is a simple and refers to an object of safety. In this tag's case, it is the reflector.

    For the next channel, I have designed spoke cards. Spoke cards are a widely used graphic element among the bike commuter subculture. Essentially these are card sized pieces or design which could be anything from band advertising, to pattern, or advertising they like, anything really. So these cards are handed out in a similar fashion as the tags at bike parking sites, and are tucked into the spokes of the wheel. In this way, it appears that the design is coming from inside the subculture, and is more likely to be accepted positively.

    The first tag is a folding functional reflector option. I would like to see this used for the other safety options as well. I've also considered the idea of designing only for the Weight Weenies of the bike commuter subculture. A Weight Weenie is a bicyclist that will sacrifice anything and everything to make their bike as light as possible. This includes brakes, lights, reflectors, helmets, and the purchase of expensive ultralight materials if only for an ounces difference.