Friday, September 14, 2007

Adventures in Mind-Molding

I've assigned my students an on-going project to present at least twice to the class with a little Design Show+Tell. Because most of my life as a designer is absorbing and processing the design around me, I'm trying to teach them the importance of keeping their eyes open - for both the good and the bad - because you never know how, when, where or why inspiration could strike you. So, to set an example, I went first.

I collect random pieces of design for a multitude of reasons: I love the color, I'm drawn to the typography, I'm struck by the composition or juxtoposition with other things, I'm intrigued by the idea, I'm impressed by the concept, I'm taken with the resounding simplicity or I just plain can't stand to live without it. I keep my little trinkets all over the place, surrounding myself with inspirational design both at work and at home. And although I never imagined myself saying this, I have now come to do the same thing on the internet.

As a paper-lover, the world wide web was a challenge for me, at first. You can't feel it or hold it; you can't untie it, unwrap it or unfold it; you can't tilt it in the light and watch the mesmorizing reaction of the inks; you can't smell it; and, perhaps most importantly, you can't pin it on the wall. But little by little, I've started to come around. I still prefer natural fibers over pixels and page-layout over web pages but the connecting power of the internet is undeniable and, through it alone, I have discovered some of my favorite bits of design (not to mention indispensible design tools). So, it was with both paper and pixel in mind that I presented my Show+Tell to class.

Because my example was also to give them ideas about the variety of places to look for design, I made it a 2-parter. On Tuesday, I shared some of my favorite pieces of print design (Illustration, Identity Systems, Publication) and Thursday night I set up the projector (like a real, bonafide teacher would) and showed them my favorite pieces of non-print design.

Possibly the most clever, intelligent, sophisticated and compelling commercial I've ever seen.

Beautiful simplicity, inspirational truths and fun to play with, to boot.

Because every designer feels this way and the first step to recovery (or at least real-world application) is admitting you have a problem (the design disease).

Statistics in use that won't put you to sleep.

Blog on new book cover design.

Blog on new identity design.

The soapbox of graphic designers.

A lesson on iteration.

Color Helper.

Blog on found type, print and stuff.

Watch how the pro's do it.

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