Resnik’s Design for Communication

The most surprising thing I learned from the article was the need to follow a general outline for coming up with a good design.  Normally, I associate visual design with pure intuition and no pragmatic approach for it because I think it takes out the creativity.

Now that I read the article and thought about it, it has become apparent that though intuition is a major part of design, purpose and focusing on the purpose is also important, especially in a professional context, in which one’s asked to design for an audience.

I find “The Design Process” to be very similar to “The Scientific Method” with emphasis on research, brainstorming, and critique (analysis in the scientific world).  Additionally, I found “thought mapping” to be new and helpful as I always used to just list words down, but without their connections to one another, which masks my train of thought.


Identifying communication design

Good Design:  My Sketchbook

I liked the design of the sketchbook the moment I saw it.  The coloring of white on grey is very high contrast, yet easy on the eyes.  The front cover’s word, “TRANSFORM”, is split into two lines taking up just enough space to seem neither crowded nor empty.  In addition, the “TRANS” and “FORM” are directly on top of each other with no space in between to give the notion of actually transformed by a translation.  On the flip side of the cover, design tried to mimic the space usage of the front.  But because the number of words increased and size decreased for the same san serif font, the words are interestingly of background color, but surrounded by a white rectangle for each line.  This makes the smaller words seem to add up to the area occupied by the word “TRANSFORM” on the front while also preserving the ratio of white area to entire background.

Bad Design:

My housemate showed me this site, and I absolutely hated it.  The background consists of the same tiled image, which is true for all links on the site and looked extremely repetitive and unwholesome.  In addition, because of the random background images, all foreground content had to be put within colored textboxes for easy reading, but completely separates the entire website as though the foreground didn’t belong to the site at all.  In addition, all elements were boxy with sharp edges everywhere, giving a sense of incompleteness.  Though the contrast of each foreground element was good compared to the background underneath it, depending on the background, there were too many foreground colors for compensating the different parts of the background.  This makes the site extremely hard on the eyes.