Design Reflection

I really appreciated how the Stranger Things article discussed the typographer Ed Benguist.  I was incredibly impressed that he was responsible for the logo for Planet of the Apes, in addition to major logos for The New York Times and Sports Illustrated.  Its amazing how many specialized individuals are connected to major films and publications.  As such, I feel that recognizing their work is very important.  I also liked how the article discussed how design can be connected to memory.  The typography used in Stranger Things was meant to evoke memories of a particular selection of novels from the childhood of the target audience.   This was a great way to emotionally engage prospective viewers with a strategic dosage of nostalgia.

This connection to meaning is reiterated in The Vignelli Canon article.  He reiterates many different points, but I believe it is this emphasis on meaning one that stuck out to me the most.  His reiteration of the fact that vulgar design can essentially be equated to pollution was especially striking.  I also appreciated his argument that design must be understood if is to succeed.  If it does not communicate, it has essentially failed its purpose.  To achieve this understanding and meaning, one requires attention to detail, in addition to strong and impactful design.  He argues that change for the sake of change is unnecessary.  Often a logo is connected to a history.  Change should really be connected to deepening a meaning, not a shallow marketing ploy.

Interestingly, he connected the advent of computers in the design industry as a type of pollution, seeming to see this democratization as a lowering of industry standards.  Honestly I feel like this perspective is somewhat elitist.  While he may be correct that this trend may lower the overall quality, the quantity of work being produced must also mean more quality work exists.  As such, I don’t see how this is necessarily a bad thing.  Different maybe, but not a net negative.  As a final note, this article taught me what justified text is (this always confused me)!

The overall emphasis on this connection to meaning and emotion is also seen in Title Design: The Making of Movie Titles.  For instance, I loved seeing the alternate design for Star Wars, but I immediately thought to myself, “Nope, that’s not right.”  That emotional reaction reiterates the importance of meaning in design.  I connect the traditional Star Wars design to childhood memories and nostalgia, and alternate designs, in my mind, are simply not representative of the true Star Wars.  Overall it is this connection to emotion, meaning, and memory that seems to be the central takeaway from these resources.