P’s everywhere!

Using the template Mariana made, yesterday, we got all of our P’s cut out onto the self adhesive paper! We used the Zund machine in the 3D workshop. As there was a lot of excess space around the three big P’s we filled it in with lots of small ones – that way we can have a box with lots of stickers that people can help themselves to. Everyone loves stickers, right?

Regarding the book

I really like what Aleksandra is doing with the look of the book. Minimalist seems to be the way to go. Do we think we still need to include as much text about our process? I’m not sure if we need the quotes from our research anymore either as it may confuse things.  I think it could be cool reflect our ‘minimalist’ exhibit by having a minimalist book titled ‘P is for…’ made up almost entirely of the different ‘P’ words we have come up with, maybe even one on each page a bit like this?

Also I think I posted about Craig Wards book Popular lies about graphic design way back but I think he does the minimalist look with some really interesting and sophisticated touches. He alternates pages between, white black and dark grey which I think could work nicely. what do you guys think?

Possible Exhibition Text

P is for…

Throughout the painstaking process of providing a response to ‘what is design?’ We found it problematic to produce a definitive piece. In principle design is an ‘ill defined’ phenomenon. In practice it is a multifaceted series of subdisciplines.

Early on, however, we percieved a pattern pertaining to a particular consonant. The letter P.

Design is a process informed by a set of principles. A form of human intelligence that is refined in pursuit of perceived problems. That process manifests in products that people utilise towards practical purposes and personal expression. Philosophically and politically speaking, the positioning of these products over time and their impact on society and can powerfully affect the progress of humanity.

A single letter. It may not be perfect, but when you consider the potential of its permutations, the possibilities are quite profound.

P is for…

We are stripping back even further. We reduced from lots of words with complicated pictures, to simple words, shapes, and colours and now we have gone even further. Michal was able to strip our idea down to one singular letter: ‘P’. One will go on each left hand door. As simple as this may seem, Design has a lot to do with this letter (you could even say it has an inherent ‘P-ness’ – that idea has been dismissed as too vulgar). To accompany this there will be a strong manifesto and a book possibly titled ‘P is for…’ Typography pending – this project will be perfect

While I was on the train home I tried to think of as many design relevant P’s as possible. By no means do we need to include all of these! The final list doesn’t have to be exhaustive and shouldn’t be exhausting.

P is for…



Final Plan

Here are all of our ideas in one place, to make our message as clear as possible. The smaller panels on the left will hopefully go on the panels of the revolving doors. The larger image on the right will be a free-standing sign that will have a mirror in the circle.


Colours vs pictures

I like how the photos look, they look very professional and slick like an advert. If we go with this idea I think an escalator could work for progress, and some kind of shop stairs could work for products. Another option for photos would be to use images of doors, a home front door for process, a shopfront for products and an elevator or spaceship for progress? My concern is that photography might be too specific and could detract from clarity of the statement. If we are trying to do stripped down in terms of type and shape, I think we should reinforce that message with our choice of colour. I think as we have 4 Ps and are using things in their most fundamental form, we could use CMYK. Cyan for process, magenta for products, yellow for progress and black for people. It would work like a contemporary take on the bauhaus use of primary colours and fit well with all our elements. We could even adopt a stripped down ‘pantone-like’ aesthetic like these:


possible addition of CMYK strip  – similar to what you get on print tests:


New Exhibition Text

Here is a redraft of our exhibition text based on our discussions of our new idea, what do you guys think? Looking at it again the name is a bit cheesy…

Implicit Simplicity: Four P’s in a Pod

Each panel of the revolving doors and the adjacent sign raises a possible conclusion to the question ‘What is Design?’ We produced an inquisitive response that engages with four fundamental research considerations: How, What, Why and Who. Each response is contained within a Bauhaus ‘elemental’ geometric shape. We adopted a deliberately stripped down aesthetic out of consideration for clarity of our message and the transitional quality of our location.


Is design how you make it?

Design is a way of thinking, planning and making something. It is a form of human intelligence which is refined and developed in designers in order to approach design problems. We chose the Circle to represent the design process as it is often cyclical.


Is design what you make it? 

All sub-disciplines of design are centred around products. Whether it is a typeface or a tower a design outcome manifests in a product which we can experience as consumers or users. We chose the Square to represent this as it evokes something strong and tangible.


Is design why you make it?

We wanted to highlight the connection between design and social change. Over time, design can radically alter society, the way it looks, thinks, communicates, and expresses itself. The triangle on its side indicates the directionality of progress. ‘Progress’ has two meanings to consider. It can refer simply to movement. However, progress also implies ‘things getting better’. It is important to consider this critically in terms of progress from and progress towards.


… Or is design who you make it for?

From our three ‘elemental’ shapes we created a human form, to make our concluding point that design is fundamentally a human activity based around human considerations. As Frank Chimero once said, “People ignore design that ignores people.”

Some thoughts on Colour

If we are going to introduce colour and some kind of texture, into each shape I think it could be a sensible choice to link each shape with one of the primary colours. As we are doing a big nod to Bauhaus with our piece we can look to Kandinski on this. He conducted some research into how people perceive form and colour. He predicted that each ‘elemental geometric shape’ would correspond with one of the primary colours. He expected yellow, a “sharp” colour to correspond to the triangle; red, an “earthbound” colour with the square; and blue, a “spiritual” colour with the circle. We could use one of the tones for each of these colours already found in our logo.

more on the new idea

Even thought the tests weren’t perfect, Aleks is going to print the bars and what is design so that we can test if it will work with the animation. If it does work, what do people think of something like this idea for a sign to mark where people should stand? it incorporates the fourth P of people and combines the three shapes to make a human form. It would also tie the sign to the doors – if we go with the new simple version. Or even if we don’t use the animation the sign it could go on the wall above our prototype/ book, without the stand here bit.

I also tried out some of Ian’s suggestions re: different Type (Akzidenz) and posing our points as a question or a statement. I also tried integrating our logo and it’s colour-scheme as it is now entirely relevant.

lets do some more tests when we meet tomorrow.

Redesign Option

Having received some feedback from our tutors we may need to consider changing our design. We were advised to consider how readable the images will be in the context of the door itself and how effectively the images communicate our idea. In line with the recommendations from our tutors Iela, Shalini and I came up with this new possible design. It is very simple, but does actually have quite a lot of depth to it, in terms of engaging with the themes of our course, the Bauhaus principle regarding the three shapes, and the important considerations of ‘how’, ‘what’ and ‘why’ in design. It also makes sense of and links up our three P’s.

It is very different but is quite effective and certainly achievable. what does everyone think?

Ultimate Portable device of the future!

Here is the development of the design of the imaginary device imagined from 1984.

Initial sketches:

Rough collage:

Polished version with CD:

The features it has from the top:

A built in speaker taken from a boom box, instant fax messaging coming out the side (thats from a 80s cash till), a camera lens (from a poloroid camera) which takes pictures, shoots video and makes video calls, It has a solar panel down the side (taken from a calculator), screen for making video calls, watching movies and playing games (the image is of Michal Douglas in ‘Wall St’ – the film which famously showed him on the first mobile phone), a CD drive for playing music, and a games controler functions taken from a Nintendo at the bottom.

in context with different glow options:

I like the blue because it fits with the background but the green seems to fit best with the figure. any thoughts?

Other wise I think it might be done?








Progress on progress

I had a look through some of the photos I took of 80s technology magazines and this one stood out as a good model for the progress panels.

I still need to do the phone but otherwise I think the background is done? I had a go at doing some layout ideas and came up with these versions trying out different ways of incorporating the Design is: progress.

I like the font for the main headline as it closely matches the one from the add – is the underline good? maybe it should go above and below…

The font for Design is: Progress is the font from Bladerunner which fits with the idea of 80s futurism. And I think that placing the text centrally works, sort of reminds me of starwars… is it clear enough? will it read when its on the doors? It could be in a different font to the header maybe…

any thoughts?


torn hole

Here are two versions of the torn hole for the Process panel. The first is a scan:

The second is a photo:

Colours aside (as these can be adjusted) which is better? The photo is more three dimensional and has more of a shadow. I think I like it better.

Shalini and Iella, I will put both of these files in drop box and send you a link. :)

Possible layout proposal for products

Having looked at lots of fashion editorial layouts including Vogue, Love, Lula and POP magazine, I noticed a few features that were quite common. Several used a white border around the image. Frequently text appeared across the bottom so that it didn’t interrupt with the image. Also the backdrops used in the photographs were either a blank studio lit backdrop, or a ‘location’ based image.

I produced a couple of roughs taking these features (consistent backdrop, border, type at the lower edge of page) into account including the Headline: FORM VS FUNCTION? posed as a question with the sub heading / tag line: “whether expressive… or functional, if it’s a product it is design.”

Below gives an idea of how it might look with flourishes/ embellishments.

Any thoughts?

‘What is design?’ or ‘Design is:’

Should the left hand section still say what is design or should it say ‘Design =’ or ‘Design is’.

Just a thought as we aren’t having the animated feature any more. We could mix it up to make it read better with the three ‘P’s.

It could say:

‘Design is’ ‘a Process’

‘Designs are’ ‘Products’

‘is Design’ ‘Progress?’

They are all slightly different but all still answer the central question: What is Design?

Any thoughts?