Unit 3 – Color Theory

For this weeks blog we are looking at color theory. The book, Graphic Deisgn School, talks about the color terminology such as hue, saturation and tone. How to think about RGB versus CMYK and Pantone colors. It can be hard to get the right color printed and it is therefore important to know how the different color systems work and how the subtractive color (CMYK) works different than Pantone etc. It then talks about color legibility, and what to think about when using color for a purpose. It is important to know the medium and where the colors are going to be looked at/through and to decide how bright of colors and what contrasts you need. For me I find it interesting to read about the color associations, and how one color means something for one culture and another thing for others. Therefore, especially within international designs, it is important to always keep that in mind. It also fascinates me how colors can convey such a different feeling and opinions. Red, orange and yellow are warm colors and gives out feelings toward cheeriness, good health, exciting or aggressiveness. On the other side, blue and green colors gives a cooler feel and can be seen as peace, safety, calmness and depression. Compositions close in value can be seen as hazy, vague or introspective while dark combinations can be seen as night, fear and mysterious. High color are often associated with dynamic and movement. Another really interesting part is how color is such a good tool for giving information, and to organize different datas, and how “psychologists have proved that the color of an object is seen before its shape and details” (Graphic Design School, 96). We can therefore use it for things as direction in big building or to show different train routes on a map.

On the website: https://designschool.canva.com/blog/color-tips/ we can read more about what a designer should do in order to treat colors right, and the article talks about 10 tips in particular: (1) Capture inspiration on-the-go. If you see a photograph or something in your everyday life that you like, sample colors from it and bring in to photoshop where you can make a palett out of it. (2) Use your color wheel. The analogous colors can be seen as your friend, while the complementary colors your lover. (3) Borrow from interior design.  Often many different designers have to work with colors, and Interior designers needs to know how to harmonize spaces using textures, objects and color schemes that blend well together. This could also be used within graphic design, especially the rule they use about having 60% – dominant color, 30% – secondary color, 10% – accent color. (4) Save what works. Save and store color palettes that works for later use. (5) Use the trusty pantone set. It can be very inspiring to step away from the screen for a bit and instead look at a physical color swatch. (6) Bring in colors from nature. Nature has a lot of inspiring and beautiful colors, where color combinations can be endless. (7) Stick to three or four colors. Unless your going for a rainbow design, using more than three or four colors can be too overwhelming. Instead, less color keeps graphics looking clean. (8) Match colors to your topics mood. Remember what your design is for and think about a specific mood that you would like to associate with the activity. (9) Search Pinterest for palettes. Pinterest has an incredible large amount of palettes and is an easy way to find inspiration. (10) Follow sites that are for color lovers. Get inspiration and tips from other designers.

All of these tips are a helpful way to get started with choosing colors, and together with the knowledge about different associations, different systems and how to treat color a designer would be in a much better shape when creating different posters or designs.


Here is a picture showing different suggestions of color palettes used from nature. As mentioned in the text above there are sometimes almost endless combinations and therefore a our environment can be a great place to draw inspiration from. Source: https://designschool.canva.com/blog/color-tips/
This graph is showing different ways colors are associated, especially within marketing. This is an important part to consider when creating design, especially for advertisements and branding. Source: http://louisem.com/6007/the-psychology-of-color

Here is a large picture showing different ways people think about colors, how they most often are used etc. We can see how blue is a favorite, and since it´s associated with trust and peace many companies such as banks etc often uses blue for logos and such. Source: http://visual.ly/what-your-brand-color-says-about-your-business

This is from eye on design, AIGA and I think it shows as a good example of how color conveys different feelings. The design on the bottle is overall similar, but still differs in style and feeling. Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/493425702902875919/


Unit 3 – Typography

This week we are looking at typography: its anatomy, styles and what to think about when choosing and using it. To start, Graphic Design School by David Dabner gives as a look at typography and why it is important to know the anatomy and some history. Some of those things are to help see the differences between what´s good or bad, what´s working and not working in different situations. These would be things like x-heights, serif versus san-serif, descender and ascender and the different classifications etc. After looking at all of these, it´s good to think about when you would use what style and why. Is it a display or body text? Is it for publication or book?
Another important part to think about when it comes to typography can be to consider emphasis and hierarchy, and how to convey the right feel, and show the important words, by the use of multiple elements such as contrast and position, the weight of the font, contrast between size and weight as well as typestyle. Before starting on the designs, it´s therefore important to consider what it is that you want to convey and how that´s best done.
Looking more into how text works for products we can read online, at fonts.com (http://www.fonts.com/content/learning/fontology/level-2/text-typography/text-emphasis),that text emphasis is a valuable technique, especially to help the reader see special words and key phrases. Before deciding which form of emphasis would work best for a specific usage, it´s good to consider whether one wants to create a soft emphasis or a strong one. When that´s decided, some things to decide between according to the article is: Italics or obliques, Bold (weight contrast), All caps, Type size and style as well as color or tint.
I also found an article, (http://www.creativebloq.com/typography/give-your-brand-personality-31514414), talking about typography used for logos, and the importance of using the right type that fits the company´s personality. Type can sometimes be overlooked at as tool but actually plays a big role. The article talks about how people are starting to find more unique formed type, creating their own to fit their style and to be original. It also talks about how a font needs to work as a unity and fit multiple purposes, and then states that “When creating new typefaces for brands, the conversations between brand and typographer need to be extremely thorough in order to achieve the right personality and an appropriate tone of voice” (creativebloq).
We can therefore learn that typography itself is important to know as a designer, not only what looks good or not but why and when to use what, what the different options are and what they all convey. Anatomy, classes and more importantly the spacing is a big part of it and will affect the end result.

A Peek Inside The Prettiest Nail Salon You’ve Ever Seen

Here is an example where multiple emphasis of the text are being used. The color, size and weight are all different, but there´s still unity with the font style which creates a balance still.

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This logo is using font as a main tool, however they have changed the K to give a personality and to make it more original. They are also using different weights to help emphasize the Kay, and create a more interesting style.


This poster is using a more settle difference in size, but also adding bolder text as well us underlining som things, to help with the emphasis and focal points. They are also using a letter as an abstract object.

This picture are using text as an image. The text itself reads hide, and then the letter are hiding in under the ground, creating a deeper visual meaning to it.

This picture are using fonts to finish the picture, and therefore in a way also using text as a meaning to show a message stronger.

Unit 2 – Vis Com 2

For this week we are looking at Unit 2. To start with it talks about different principles and basic compositions such as negative and positive space, symmetry versus asymmetry etc. It then goes on to talk more about layouts. How the grid system is important and how it works as well as looking at designing magazine layouts, pace and contrast, size and format and branding. For me, I´m finding an interest in the magazine layouts as well as branding. For magazine layouts not only is it important to look at the layout itself using grid and structure, but also to consider symmetry versus asymmetrical styles, pace and contrasting different elements. It´s interesting to read about the fact that few things are actually design to be a stand alone pieces – especially when it comes to branding. Logos and campaigns have to belong together, they have to have common design elements that both binds and identifies them. This happens through coordinating a design strategy that is flexible and allows for changes and variations while still being consistent. This could through keeping designs the same with the ability to change its colors, images and titles but still keep the same elements in type, size etc. In our text book Graphic Design School we can read how “Well thought-out extended systems are the building blocks for complex design projects” (53), meaning that when creating a Corporate identity it is important to think about design and extension of brand that can be used over and over again on multiple applications.

When working on designing a layout it´simportant to think about contrast. Contrast is as we know an important part of the composition, and it needs to be thought about more  than just as light and dark color values. All elements of contrast should work together in a layout or design to create a well-designed and well-tohught design. On the site http://blog.digitaltutors.com/just-black-white-using-contrast-get-attention-graphic-designs/ we can learn more about these different ways of looking at contrast. Not only within color, but with size in text, typography, shape etc. It also doesn´t have to be screaming with contrast, but it could be settle and still make a big difference.

When looking at branding it is also good to think about what it actually means to work with brand identity, and on the website https://creativemarket.com/blog/2013/07/23/designing-a-brand-identity we can find out that “A Brand (or Branding) refers to the perceived image and subsequent emotional response to a company, its products and services…An Identity describes the visual devices used to represent the company” (creativemarket.com). It therefore is essential that the branding communicates what the company stands as well as important to look at what the company are trying to sell and how.
Further down we can see some examples and tips on how to work on branding projects, and “The identity system usually starts after the logo is complete. The purpose of the identity system is to form a systematic visual language around the logo — one that compliments the design thinking of the logo and offers a family of useful, flexible elements that will help to design marketing and business collateral” (creativemarket.com). When designing brand identity for businesses it can be helpful to start with a logo, and from there on work with the font, color and elements used to create a whole set of brand.


Here is a fun example of branding, where the Logo-type is used on all applications, the color scheme is the same which gives it all a unity but at the same time they are using different photographs to get variation and to make it work for different medium.
Source: http://www.aldenchong.com/moodboard/


A second example that are using unity well to communicate a brand identity. The text works as their logo and seems to be based out of that, with the pictures of the fruits as the second object to brand. Even though the fruit keeps changing, it has the same feel and therefore works as something recognizable within the identity.
source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/562527809687524047/

This poster is using a good example of contrast between colors, as well as type and size. It has an asymmetry and uses multiple directions for the text which keeps the viewer interested. source: https://www.behance.net/gallery/25110179/Poster-by-Xavier-Esclusa-M32-Hairdressers-

Here we can see an example using contrast between photography and graphics. It is more settle but still creates an interesting difference. It also plays with the negative and positive space a little bit, using the black and white. Especially on the lower picture. The big numbers also adds contrast, as well using the same style of black and white and graphics helps with keeping the unity between all of the pieces. source: https://pinthemall.net/pin/52e7ac7826718/


Vis Com 2 – Unit 1

For this week, we are looking at the introduction and Unit 1 in the book Graphic Design School. The book, starts by talking about  Design principals as well as researching and why it´s important. How a Designer today needs to not only be able to do research and have the skills to organize, but also needs to understand context and be interested in how the world works etc.  In the beginning of Unit 1 we can read how research should be different and personal for each project, but that it is also important to constantly collect research and information. Not only from doing the research but also to record and think about information we come across in everyday life. It´s important to broaden our views and therefore look into multiple sources as well as multiple topics.

Linear reasoning and lateral research are two concepts to think about when starting a project. Linear reasoning is a strategic thought process, following step-by-step logic and lateral thinking is a form of research where the creative forms of thinking are emphasized (14), and these two are both useful but for different topics or different people. One might start using lateral thinking to get ideas and then move on to a linear reasoning.

Explorational Drawing and Visualizing ideas are two important concepts made in the beginning of the process. After working on projects I really agree on the value this has and even though the sketches are rough and not detailed, it is helpful to brainstorm ideas and to put different elements together.
Scheduling, organizing and finalizing are things that easily can be underestimated by designers. The design process is a given thing that people remembers to spend time on, but it is also a big part to clients to work within time frames and keeping things organized. Putting up timelines, working with decisions in macro and micro scale – begin with big decisions and then move on to details.

Outside research:

“The most elegant solution presents itself when you approach the problem sideways, rather than answering it head-on. Though the question is presented as a binary choice—one option or the other—when you disregard the assumption that you must act immediately, the “best” answer becomes obvious (99u.com). Ways helping one to creatively think lateral can be to think about the assumptions and then ask yourself what the normal instinct to a problem would be – and then think of that option as what if it is something not to do. Then think of ways to change the question/problem, try a new perspective and think about it from backwards by asking a question that starts with a solution.
It is hard to do this, to think in another way. But many times it´s not until assumptions are broken that breakthroughs happens. People think beyond the rules that sometimes might not even be rules but only simply conventions. People often overthink the straight forward solutions.

When looking at why it´s important to create explorational drawings in the beginning of a project, we can see how “It gives you more freedom to illustrate what’s in your mind on paper than on a computer. By means of drawing rough lines and shapes, you begin to use that spark of creativity within you to come up with interesting concepts that can be the initial foundation of your next awesome design work” (ucreative.com). On the same site I  found some good examples on why it´s important to keep up with doing it:

  • it can be done anywhere, which makes designers less dependent on having to come up with ideas at one spot. Having an idea on the bus, sketch it down etc.
  • When meeting clients it can be a great tool to show working process without having to commit to a specific design right away.
  • You are not limiting yourself with one way of thinking about your idea.
  • Practicing drawing skills might give you new skills, or improve your skills.


An example of how an explorational drawing might look like.Starting with the basics of the body shape, then adding legs, arms and lastly looking at more details such as style, clothing and hair etc. This way the person drawing could explore multiple figures.
Source: http://www.ucreative.com/articles/the-importance-of-sketching-in-creating-a-     successful-design-work/

Here is a good example of a way to think about the sketching. Starting with research, moving on to doodling down ideas and some solutions before looking at more of the actual design and lastly looking at details.

This poster, especially the top part, makes a good distinction of differences between the symbols, icons etc.
Source: https://www.behance.net/gallery/21918705/Semiotics-and-Symbolism-Infographic

I like how this shows a process as a building monument. Starting with concepts maps: Looking up research. Then working on rough sketches: Wireframes and storyboards. There after going in to looking at prototypes and details before having the product.
Source: https://issuu.com/khanjy/docs/uxpin_guide_to_uxdesign_process_and

http://www.ucreative.com/articles/the-importance-of-sketching-in-creating-a-     successful-design-work/