Thursday Nov. 5th + Tuesday Nov. 10th

Thanks for your presentations today. Great stuff.
We will finish up with José, Josh, Raeanne, Alec, and Alex next time.
Thank you for sharing your self-portraits and collections.
I have emailed you each notes with my observations from your self-portraits… add this to the mass of materials you have gathered on the subject so far and use it for #2.

1. Identity systems: gather visual research

As a way to understand the elements that can create an identity system, please start a Pinterest board for this (or if you are not using Pinterest, a folder, etc.)

Identity systems are a kit of parts: elements at play are color, materials, typography, hierarchy, marks and pattern. They must work well at small and large sizes and communicate at their most reduced forms.

I suggested restaurants as a source of inspiration because they often have many parts and deal with scale small to large (matchbook, menu, signage) — as you gather visual research: observe what connects these disparate elements and what makes each part unique to itself?

Start here:
Russ & Daughters  & their site & on Under Consideration
Wo Hing General Store by Manual Creative
Pablo & Rusty’s coffee shop by Manual Creative

WORK Architecture identity by Project Projects (dynamic / moving identity)
Identity systems by Wolff Olins for AOL (visual language system)
Identity systems by Wolff Olins for NYC Tourism (crazy scale moves here)

Identities from the designers you researched and/or designers you saw in presentations today (Milton Glaser, Paul Rand, Stefan Sagmeister, Debbie Millman, Michael Bierut, Seymore Chwast, Keetra Dean Dixon, Wolff Olins, etc.)

The Art of the Menu from Under Consideration

2. Sketches for your identity system:
Continue to sketch in note book, bring 6 from your notebook into the computer, these can be fast + loose. These are a mark that could represent you on your suite of materials. A logo, if you will. With or without language/name next to it. Consider incorporating the notes from my email re: your object self-portrait.

3. Alternative Business Cards
Make 10 (at least! 20 is totally fine, too…) sketches for what your alternative business card could be. (due Thursday, Nov. 5th). Trimmed, cut to size. Use crop marks! Use bleeds if you have things that bleed. Make lots of stuff quickly. Don’t over-think. These will be created with letterpress, but a polymer plate so you can use any typeface…

Methodologies we have tried for revealing identity (for your reference/future reference):
1. Primary research: the interview
2. Language: lists of words and mind maps
3. Image-to word: Image associations from the previous content (like a mind map or list, but images, colors, associations)
4. Word-to-image: Free sketching — making forms freely and loosely based on your experience so far (at least 20 sketches in your notebook)
5. Self-portrait through objects: by using objects to represent yourself, either symbolically or literally/associatively, you may unveil an aspect of your personality that you would not have arrived at in a more direct way (i.e. from the interview or the language area of your brain)


1. Field work, part 2 (1-3 hours)

Bring at least 4 pieces of writing to class. They should stem from your field work, but don’t have to be a direct connection (i.e. if you researched Keetra Dean Dixon it could be an article or interview about her collaborator-husband, J. Keller, or it could be something else she has made reference to, a work that has inspired her, etc.)

Pieces of writing may be:
—interview / transcript
—other things… song lyrics, speeches, manifestos, this is pretty open… they can be short or long

Identify threads (themes) in the writing. For example:
— a way of working
—an attitude, outlook, ethos
—an observation about their body of work
—aim also for conceptual or thematic threads in the work or way of working
—what did you notice? what stood out to you? what made you think?

Where to find design articles, some ideas:
1. the library
2. our class Drop Box folder has a bunch of things…
3. Design Observer
4. Print Magazine
5. Design Matters with Debbie Millman (interviews)
6. Interviews:
How to Think Like A Great Graphic Designer
Kern & Burn
7. Videos and Ted Talks
Creative Mornings videos (you can search by name/talk)

This came up in my feed and is pretty great for everyone to watch!

If you are stymied on a subject area ask me…

Have notes on what themes you observed and be able to speak about these themes to a group in a succinct way (i.e. quick summary of the writing & what the themes are). Bring your pieces of writing to class (because I may wish to speed-read them!)