My favorite challenge is symbol design, and it also becomes a way to teach many design principles at the introductory level. Articulation of form, software mechanics of the pen tool, gestalt principles, balance of weight, contrast of line against shape, how visual tone and voice can connote meaning and nuance, how differently people interpret abstraction—countless possible teaching moments. The design process is also easy to see in this design project, how research can get you beyond the cliché; how hundred of ideas can boil down to a few that feel original and right; how presentation can make or break connections to your idea, and how user testing can help persuade a client beyond personal predispositions. This is incorporated into the sophomore Art 223 course, and is reiterated when other branding elements are needed in later levels.
The tension curve drawing style keeps the contour flowing and full of contrast and tension so that every segment of line carries information, but also controls the positive and negative spaces to keep activity going and reduce monotony.
This was the user study phase of a client identity project in the intro class. The bottom right symbol was selected by the client, and was refined to the symbol that can be seen on their website, www.appalachianstewards.org.
Th junior level develops design thinking through theories and methodologies that inform the design process. Semiotics help develop ideas and create a wholistic view of the problem. skills and details that go with the territory of digital manipulation of imagery and typographic syntax are also part of this course. Ethnography techniques, visual metaphor, analytical aproaches, wit, social psychology, wordplay, meta concepts add to the fun. It's all about adding effectiveness and surprise to the design.
Thes two projects were site-specific design created for the college demographic. The newspaper>maché>blooming tree speaks of the ecosystem of recycling. The fabric cigarette sleeves that slipped over concrete pylons that were a barrier for cars on a pedestrian walkway sported silkscreened labels that read "75% of people aged 18-24 would not kiss someone who had just smoked a cigarette." She was looking for a deterrent for young smokers who flet the cancer threat was too far away to worry about.