Week 3

Week 3: Design Terminology and the Scope of Design Today

Before I’ve even looked through the resources or the Ideas Wall I wanted to write down the design terminologies I’ve come across already and what I understand about each one. I know there will be more but it surprised me how many I already knew and how interconnected they all are.

What a wonderful combination and collective of fascinating, alternative and thought provoking work. I was hugely surprised at the different categories that I hadn’t even known existed, let alone considered. Perhaps because I’m still a newbie at Graphic Design but some categories did make me stop and wonder what on earth they were all about.

  • Experiential
  • Integrated
  • Illustration
  • Spatial Design
  • Book Design
  • Branding
  • Typography
  • Writing for Design
  • Visual Effects
  • Creativity for Good

There were significant overlaps within the categories (on my next blog I will go through some work I loved and perhaps think they belonged elsewhere too). There were only about 5 categories that I’d written about but they all were very interconnected and flowed within each other. Perhaps, as Jon Forss mentioned, the lines are becoming so blurred now where does one design category start and the other end? Should we be forcing ourselves to fit into categories or should they all be connected so we can decide which one our project fits into? More on that in my next blog but it was definitely food for thought!

I thought long and hard about which design piece I think break moulds and goes above and beyond normal design. I’ve recently been watching Netflix’s Abstract:The Art of Design and it’s such a fantastic way to experience numerous designers within their studios and the work they produce using the world around them. Could I use Es Devlin the amazing stage designer? Could I use McLaren and their new design-rule-book-breaking SpeedTail? Could I use Sam Winston and how he’s tipped the typography rule book upside down?

Of all the new designers I’ve been introduced to, I felt Christoph Niemann deserved a mention here. As I was watching the episode about his work I wrote down “LegoMan” – he breaks images down into simple pixels and uses these for his designs – he uses Lego to create the scene and therefore simplifying the image. He has an absolutely fascinating and refreshing outlook on the world – using the cities he’s lived in as his inspiration. It made me really reflect on how our environment changes the work we create. He believes that he is a designer but uses art, 3D objects, Virtual Reality and digital design in most of his works. He takes one simple object and breaks it down into different shapes – he explained how taking one single topic and “squeezing the hell out of it” means you suddenly have a completely different view on a topic that was perhaps quite simplistic.

His Abstract-O-Meter shows how you can take one single subject like the heart – turn up the realism and it’s suddenly too much, too gory, and doesn’t send across the right message. dial up the abstract and you’re left with basically a pixel. Kind of clear if you know what he’s talking about!

For me, his rule breaking, ground breaking piece of design was for the New Yorker – I think he said it was his 22nd cover and he wanted to incorporate new VR graphics. By constantly reinventing his approach to his work and always changing the work he does, I don’t believe he fits into any one category. He put this perfectly in that “the audience is always changing so I’m always changing”. This front and back cover shows a lady getting on a subway in New York. His intention behind the drawing is for it to seem as if she is coming right at you (or away from you if you look at the back cover). Then, scan over it with a Smart Phone and you’re welcomed into the animated world of New York – using the yellow to highlight the yellow subway lines seen all over the city. I think this is such a different and alternative piece to a magazine that can seem quite simple, albeit with some beautiful covers.


Perhaps not the most ‘out there’ piece of design but I think it’s a wonderful analogy of how going outside your comfort zone or learning something new is so important. In this ever changing world we need to keep on top of the new topics coming to light and the new categories that we think we don’t fit into.

Augmented Book Design

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