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16 AUGUST 2016

Jenny Lam: Design, Startups, and Good Luck Charms

"Jenny Lam speaks about the shift from designers who service clients to designers who are makers, leaders, and creators."

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TAGS

2011agency cultureAIGA • Chief Experience Officer (CXO) • client and agencyconference presentation • CreativeMornings • design consultants • design discipline • design entrepreneurship • design professiondigital publishingdisruptive innovatione-publishingebooksJenny Lammakers of thingsOReilly Mediastartupsuser experience design (UX)User-Centred Design (UCD)

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
04 OCTOBER 2013

Meredith Davis: A Call to Action for Design Educators

"I believe that design education, at the most fundamental level, views complexity as a problem to be overcome through reductivist artifacts, not as an inevitable and pervasive attribute of life in the post–industrial community. So if the future is about an ever–expanding web of connectedness, how are we preparing students for meaningful work in this complex world? I'd like to suggest that we're not. Despite the obvious emotional impact of Glaser's poster, he belongs to a generation in which the goal of design was to make things simple. Negroponte, on the other hand, is a technologist for whom the design goal is to render the complex manageable and to make complicated things meaningful.

Almost everything about today's graphic design education is matched to Glaser's worldview. We structure both curricula and projects in craft–based progressions from simple to complex, from the abstract to the contextualized. In typography classes, for example, we begin with the letter, and then advance to the word, sentence, paragraph, and page. Sequences of typography courses are built on this simple to complex progression, when opening InDesign demands that students address the formal and interpretive issues of publication design simultaneously; how do you defer a discussion of leading, of column width, of the modernist preconceptions of software, of language? The only option is default, and what kind of typographic lesson is that?

The reality is that our strategy for teaching typography is residue from how students could comp type in predigital times; by drawing. It is the organizational structure for every type book since James Craig's 1970 Designing with Type, but it holds less relevance for what students need to know about communication in a digital world. Typography today is a complex relational system that depends on the interplay of formal, technological, linguistic, and cultural variables. Yet we persist in teaching this progression of scale, isolating such variables within their own distinct conceptual frameworks and rules.

The same strategy exists for how students progress in other studies of form. Foundation lessons begin with abstraction: point, line, and plane; color wheels; and paper–folding exercises. We defer discussions of meaning and context until later levels of the curriculum and beginning students learn these abstraction principles only through patterns in what makes their teachers smile. Nothing about these studies resembles what students know about in the real world, and as a colleague recently suggested, what the clients of design see in our work. So what if we begin with the familiar and complex?"

(Meredith Davis, 4 April 2008, AIGA Boston Presentation)

Presentation made at W/Here: Contesting Knowledge in the 21st Century, Emily Carr University of Art+Design, Vancouver, Canada, 7–9 December 2011.

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
30 JUNE 2013

The AIGA Design Archives

"AIGA Design Archives is one of the richest online resources available to those who practice, study and appreciate great design. It represents the quality of work being created, as well as shifting aesthetics and sensibilities of the designers of the day. Included in this resource are more than 20,000 selections from AIGA's annual juried design competitions dating from 1924 through the present. In addition, it features special collections of major American design firms and practitioners whose design accomplishments might otherwise not be preserved online or made available to the public. These now include the work of Chermayeff & Geismar (1960–2006), Vignelli Associates (1962–2008), and Push Pin Graphic (1960–2005).

The collection is expected to grow by approximately 300 selections a year. A number of the physical artifacts in the collections are available for research and study at the AIGA Archives at the Denver Art Museum in Colorado and the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia University's Butler Library in New York."

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TAGS

1924AIGA • AIGA Design Archives • American design • American Institute of Graphic Arts • Butler Library • Columbia University • Denver Art Museum • design archive • design collectiondesign firmsgraphic artsgraphic design collection • Ivan Chermayeff • juried design competitionmodern graphic design collectionphysical artefacts • Push Pin Graphic • Rare Book and Manuscript Library • Sagi Haviv • shifting aesthetics • shifting sensibilities • special collections • Tom Geismar • twentieth-century design • Vignelli Associates • visual communication

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
09 MAY 2011

Monkey Magazine: a new publishing vernacular?

"In the future, as depicted in the 2002 film Minority Report, our periodicals will create interactive, hybrid reading/viewing experiences–with built–in sound and motion–based commercials rather than static advertisements, incorporating news footage with pages that dissolve and re–form to reflect breaking stories. Despite minute gestures in that direction, such as the Amazon Kindle and G24, The Guardian's PDF newspaper that's updated throughout the day, that vision of media–if there's really a market for it–is a long way off. ...

Nevertheless, something ... is now available weekly from Dennis Publishing, the company that gave the world The Week, Maxim and several other British 'lad magazines' as well as launched their American spin–offs. Monkey is proportioned like a glossy, has an interface that mimics the turning of pages and even has a magazine–like layout: margins, a basic two–column grid, images combined with text and print–like pacing. The difference is that Monkey's text sparkles (literally, if not figuratively), dances and slides onto the page. Many of the photos will turn into movies or slideshows (some rather naughty) when clicked, and on some spreads users can shuffle page elements, substituting one image for another. The format also changes to serve its content. A small mini–magazine with short reviews is digitally 'stitched' into the 'middle' of each issue. Additionally, most advertisements come alive, thanks either to Flash, streaming video or some combination, showing previews of movies or commercials for products framed by the equivalent of a full–page ad.

To be sure, Monkey does nothing that isn't done on other websites, and it has formal predecessors for its page interface–the arty This Is a Magazine, for one, and the webified versions of print glossies from Zinio for another. But unlike the wider web–which has evolved its own vocabulary and conventions for storytelling–and other web magazine predecessors–for which the turn–the–page interface seems a formal conceit–Monkey truly blends old and new media design conventions in a way that is both appalling and appealing."

(Jandos Rothstein, 29 January 2008)

Fig.1 Monkey Magazine, 2011. Dennis Publishing, Issue 183, pp.8,9.

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Adobe FlashAIGAAmazon Kindleanimated presentationcelebritycontent formconventions • Dennis Publishing • design aestheticsdesign conventionsdesign for the screendesign vocabulary • digitally stitched • e-zine • ezine • formal conceit • G24 • hybridhybrid experiencehybrid forms • lads mag • magazinemagazine layout • Maxim (magazine) • mens magazine • mini-magazine • Minority Report • Monkey Magazine • motion-based commercials • multimedianaughtynew medianews footagenewspaper • page interface • page metaphorpaginationpastiche • PDF newspaper • pin-upprediction • print glossies • print-like • publishingreading experience • screen dissolve • sexslide showstorytellingstreaming videoThe Guardian • The Week (magazine) • This Is a Magazine • triviaturn-the-page interfaceuser experience design (UX)vernacularviewing experiencevisual communicationvisual languagevisual vernacularweb designweb magazineweb vernacularwebified • webzine • Zinio (magazine)

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
08 MAY 2011

Inconsistent design curricula and inexperienced guidance counsellors

"The vicissitudes of the market rarely dictate how many students will enroll in any given year because students' rationale for choosing a design major is not entirely pragmatic. They go to art and design schools to follow a 'creative' path, even though it may be a vague one. They could be 'natural–born artists' encouraged by family and friends to follow their muse, or they might be academically poor 'underachievers' for whom liberal arts holds little promise. Those enrolled in state or private universities or colleges majoring in graphic design may do so by default. Some enroll in fine arts programs because they love to paint, but they compromise (sometimes at the insistence of their parents) by entering communication arts programs. They may even concentrate on painting or printmaking as a minor, but graphic design is their degree goal because employment is necessary.

Despite increased visibility and recognition in the press, however, most students actually know very little about graphic design other than it pays better than fine art. A New York City high school guidance counselor consulted for this article admitted that she routinely sends her art students to art schools for 'general art' rather than focused design because she does not understand the distinction. 'I believe the student will figure out their major once in a program,' she says. But inconsistent design curricula adds to confusion, and when counselors and students are not familiar with the field itself, they cannot make informed decisions about which schools to attend, some of which are much more professionally oriented than others. Some entry requirements will only favor students who exhibit quantifiable potential, though considerably more have rather lenient enrollment policies, presuming that if a student can make a competent photograph or an imaginative collage, they can also be a graphic designer."

(Steven Heller, 08 September 2005)

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academic scholarshipadmissions criteriaAIGAart and design schoolsart schoolsart studentscompromise • confusion • creative career • curriculum definition • design curriculadesign disciplineemployment • enrolment policies • entry requirements • fine art • general art • graphic designgraphic designer • guidance counsellors • high schoolinconsistencyliberal artsmarket forces • muse • NASAD • National Association of Schools of Art and Design • obfuscatepaintingpragmatismprintmaking • professional orientation • Steven Heller • student enrolment • university enrolmentvisibility and recognitionvisual communication

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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