Monthly Archives: April 2012

Looking at design decisions, and that designers should think of all elements of design before using a computer to visualise their ideas.

I really want to in some way remind designers during their design process to reflect and check whether they have considered all elements and that if they have, how does that decision impact the piece in a meaningful way (Conscious and valid design decisions with meaning rather than it looks nice).

This process of design, ideas & decision making usually occurs in the initial ideas stage when you are using your sketchbook/note pad/scraps of paper to jot down ideas and why/reasoning. I feel (and i’ve also been told plenty of times before) that you should fully understand and expand ideas and concepts / fully form them before using tools and computers to visualise, as other wise you create something based on looks rather than content.

Stationary is a key part in this process; Pens, pencils, post its, Note books, graph paper, sketchbook, highlighters, tracing paper. All these things help develop ideas and concepts before creating them. Its a physical act with materials. No constraints or restrictions of page sizes and pixels.

I’ve come up with some ideas about the stationary used and how I can use there form to exploit my ideas. More so as using these tools that are used as a reminder to look at all aspects (Just because you have considered one design element does not mean you can neglect the rest)

Back to the pencil – This is usually what people sketch in, quick and easy to use, no mess or smudging and no definitiveness / non permeant : which makes people feel more free to draw anything even if it is a wrong or bad idea. Using the concept of printing on pencils stating the graphic elements : Line, Shape, Colour, Typeface… Each pencil represents the consideration… Perhaps using different coloured pencils to sketch with would make sure that each pencil had been used/thought through.

Post it notes – used a reminders through out my sketchbook, helps me remember things too look at, write about etc Could help designers when considering parts of their design. Each post it having a check list / or area that the designer can write down their reasoning for the design choice.

Sketchbook – VERY TYPICAL; each page reminds them of the questions they should asking themselves as a designer.

Mouse Mat – Perhaps the designer doesn’t become reminded of these issues at the beginning of their idea generation as it maybe overwhelming. But reminding right before they jump on to the computer, the mouse mat would be a perfect place for an intervention that questions the designer whether they have fulfilled the design decisions, and if not then they know to go back to the sketchbook, where as if they have then its fine for them to progress and lest they are aware they have a concept with good considerations.


They are my ideas for now, however I feel that I will have to rush into something as this week I am meant to be producing prototypes for thursday. Tomorrow I will think of 5 more concepts that could help designers make better design decisions and then produce as many prototypes as I can before the crit – not feeling very confident at all.

5 Design Decision styles 

Over the last few years, we’ve been studying the process designers (and their teams) use to make important decisions like these. In the course of our work, we’ve discovered there are five common styles of design that almost every team uses: (1) Unintended, (2) Self, (3) Genius, (4) Activity Focused, and (5) User Focused.

Basics of Design: Layout and Typography for Beginners


Today was our first meeting with a tutor including our presentations, I spoke about my work and how I wanted to look at either a swatch kind of booklet or use pencils to display typefaces which could be used in certain situations.

The feedback that I got seemed that people liked the pencil idea, but they didn’t really know why, perhaps novelty reasons. However others picked up on the idea that it seems as though that idea focuses more so on the fact of using the design process of decision making to be done off screen rather than, deciding once you have (for example) a list of typefaces in front of you.

I believe that a lot of “good looking” design is created mostly with the computer in mind, using the computer to determined the outcome rather than using the computer as a tool to enhance and visualise your ideas/work.

To narrow on my idea of form vs function, designing with form over content, the design issue is more so about people creating work before deciding why and what they want to make.

Q. What aspect of your proposal is informed or conforms to my understsanding of GOOD design?

A. Good design is created without the computer in mind.

Q. What are the issue/s or concern/s you have chosen to deal with?

A. That designers rush though the sketching / ideas process to the computer so that they end up playing with many elements rather than creating something based from ideas

Q. How does your proposal deal/discuss/communicate or overcome any concerning issues I have about graphic design and purpose

A. Myself, I sometimes go straight into the computer and find that I make design decisions based on looks as I have not thought through the possibilities properly in the ideas stage therefor end up styling work rather than making something focused on the content E.g Choosing a typeface while in indesign as I have not thought about needs or purpose before hand, then end up choosing something on looks instead.

Q. Will the artefact inspire, provoke, validate, entertain or provide utility for people?

A. The item I wish to inform people as well as remind them that they can 1) save time by fully thinking through design decisions. 2) That confident and thought through design decisions adds value to the piece, it becomes more honest and more meaning than visuals alone.

Q. Is my proposal relevant for the user/audience

A. My audience will be other designers, therefore I feel they struggle with the same issues as myself.

Looking at some books related to type to get an idea of the categories there are for them or at lest the variety of uses.

Blackletter, Decorative & Display, Ornamental, Sans serif, Script, Serif, Slab serif, Transitional

– Lewis, C., & Walker, P. (1989). Typographic influences on reading. British Journal of Psychology

The persona of a typeface

Choosing the typefaces for a website is important because different typefaces have different personas (Brumberger, 2003a). The persona of a typeface refers to how it is perceived by the reader. For example some typefaces are perceived to be stern where as others are friendly (Brumberger, 2003a) . The shape and weight of a typeface are two of the factors that contribute to its persona (Brumberger, 2003a). The content of a text also has a tone or a persona, and it is important that a typeface appropriately matches the tone of the text. Brumberger’s study, “The rhetoric of typography: The awareness and impact of typeface appropriateness” found that readers indicated it was appropriate to use a typeface with a persona that matched the tone of the text. For example he found “the ‘friendly’ typeface was perceived to be more appropriate for the ‘friendly’ text than for other texts” (2003b, p. 227). If a designer does not match the typeface’s tone with the text’s tone, the reader is aware of the dissonance between the two (Brumberger, 2003b). It should be noted that in Brumberger’s study there were some typefaces that readers felt were all-purpose, and could be used for a wide array of documents (2003b). As a general rule, however, the designer should consider the tone of the content and choose a typeface with a persona that matches.

This information found here