October 30, 2010

Notes and Learnings - Communications models

A Communication Primer

Noise distortions can alter the meaning of a message, but that does not mean that it destroys the message or makes it impossible to understand. In the example the video uses, the words "buy" and "sell" are sent through the transmitter and received on the other end. Even if they words are a bit distorted (like "boy" and "self") the receiver can still understand what the original message was intended on being.

Ways to make sure the right message gets through:
  • redundancy
  • increasing the power of the transmitter
Bits are the units of message that can be sent. Each bit adds possibilities at an exponential rate.

Berlo Model of Communication

The Berlo model of communication is one that is dyadic and focuses on the relationship between the source and the receiver (something other earlier models neglected).

Source is broken into 5 areas:

there are 5 verbal communication skills:
  • encoding - speaking and writing
  • decoding - listening and reading
  • both - thought or reasoning

  • the encoders communication behaviour is effected by his or her knowledge of:
  • their own attitudes
  • the ways in which they can produce or treat messages
  • the kinds of choices they can make about the channels used
  • the subject matter

Social System and Culture
People in differing social classes communicat differently. Social and cultural systems partly determine:
  • the word choices which people make
  • the purposes they have for communicating
  • the meaning they attach to certain words
  • their choice of receivers
  • the channels they use for this or that kind of message
  • attitude towards the subject matter - interest and prejudice
  • attitude toward receiver - pretty much, don't look down on your audience, any opinions you have toward them could be reflected in your work.
The Message portion of a communication model has three components: code, content, and treatment. These all mean that in order to have a successful message, you have to make sure that you choose the most appropriate of each of these components.

Lastly, you must consider the limitations of the channel that you are going to use. There will always be limitations, so as a designer it is important to maximize potential from things such as:
  • what is available
  • how much money can be spent
  • what the sources preferences are
  • which channels are receiver by the most people
  • which channels have the most impact.

Visual Communication From Theory to Practice

Communication as a Process
Concerning the Shannon and Weaver model of communication, there are three levels of the communication problem:

A - Technical - How accurately can we communicate our message? What system should we use to encode and decode the message? Is the system universally compatible or do you need special knowledge to understand it?
The technical level contains things like what media is being designed, and who the target audience is. Designers may or may not be involved in deciding what these elements are.

B - Semantic - How precisely does our choice of language, symbols and codes convey? How much of the message can be lost without losing the meaning of it as well?

C - Effectiveness - Does the message affect behavior the way we want it to? What happens if it fails?
This is all about the feedback, which is what was left out of many off the older communication models. Feedback allows the designer to gauge how effective their work is. If it is not effective, then they go back and modify the original to improve results.

I thought that this was an interesting model since it is a more direct interpretation of how designers translate the communication model.

Noise, Redundancy and Entropy
Noise can be from lots of factors. There can be problems such as misprints, the inability to stand out, or the message is hidden.
Redundancy happens when the decoration in a piece detracts from the visual language that is trying to be conveyed. Redundancy can also add context and aid in understanding though, if done correctly.
Entropy uses technical language, which can add understanding only if you are knowledgeable about the subject. this means that the audience is specializes, much smaller than normal. Because of its specific nature though, one a certain method of entropy is use, it become redundant very quickly.

October 29, 2010

"Test" (edited with more logos explanation)

Original packaging choices:

ACT MOUTHWASH : LOGOS : This product shows a logos appeal because of the diagrammatic list that is on the front center of the package. It lists all the benefits of using the product, logical reasons any person can agree to wanting.
DOVE CHOCOLATE : PATHOS : The chocolates themselves have a lot of emotional connotation. The copy on this package speaks to the audience in an emotional manner ("inspire," "love yourself," "silky smooth") hoping you will make a connection with the inspirational messages from people "just like you."

BUNNY GRAHAMS : ETHOS : Annie's Homegrown is a company with a reputation for well-made, all-natural, kid-friendly foods. This ethical, respectable feeling is upheld by the Whole Wheat Society seal of approval, the 75% organic seal, and the very nature and rendering style of the bunny seal in the logo.
REDESIGN : LOGOS : this design is logos because it is showing the whole-wheat ingredient front and center. It still has a playful air to it, but dominantly speaks to the fact that this food is made with the whole wheat represented by the bunny wheat.

On previous designs of this packaging, I displayed a use of the logos though straightforward representation of the product, another version of the wheat theme that showed the process (wheat in field, then grain that is separated, then the completed cookies), and sort of mathematical equation, showing the combination of wheat and chocolate chips to make a cookie. All of these methods were a very matter-of-fact manner, dealing with the logistic side of persuasion.

REDESIGN : PATHOS : This appeal is achieved by the playful imagery that is speaking to the children that eat this food. It also advertises the opportunity to make the box into a game, appealing to a child's love of fun and interactivity.

Tropicana Reading Response

This article was an interesting insight at an instance where a packaging redesign was not taken well. From the looks for it, it seems like what many of the complaining customers were frustrated with losing the personality that was attached to the earlier packaging. The orange and the straw was something that symbolized freshness, which would speak to both logos (seeing what you get) and ethos, because they are promoting the freshness of their product. But as time went on, customers became so attached to the Tropicana imagery that it became a pathos package too (perhaps they feel nostalgic about it because they grew up with it?).
The customers did not respond well to the solely logos-rebrand (simple sans text with a glass of orange juice on it), and made a big deal about it–in a good way. And the company took note of their customers opinions, and the drop in their sales prices, and brought the old design back.

October 28, 2010

A Useful Chart

I think I prefer the 30 sec or the 45 sec. Yum.

October 26, 2010

Artifact Brainstorming

So after talking with Tyler, I feel like I have a clearer idea of what I want to do for the articfact to go along with my logo build assignment.

Make a website *slideshow.* I'm not sure what these are called, but they are the little parts of websites that only take up a portion of the webpage, and slowly shows different stories, panning or fading between them.
I'll be making 3 or 4 or these, and plopping them into a little simple mock-up website. The emphasis is not on the website.

Some ideas for the themes of these:
  • maps, with houses lighting up as people "sign up"
  • pictures of parents being relaxed (because kids are away with another family)
  • children playing together, going up together (time lapse)
  • car traveling to house
  • facts about parents and children
Continuing to think about this assignment, I am considering a variation of still images an animated ones. I mean, as a whole, it's going to be an animated series, but each individual piece could be still or animated.

Packaging - Almost done

Ethos appeal:
  • resolve the smaller text on the front
  • "Y" in "bunny" is illegible
  • check all the yellows, they do not seem to match
  • tail on back looks like a mushroom
  • change the text on the back so that it makes more sense
  • simplify
  • scissors are illegible
along with other fixin's.

I've actually resolved everything from this packaging, aside from a few things. I still need to add the net wt. (on the other package too). Sean suggests I makes the bunnies brighter. I plan on asking a couple more upperclassmen for advice before finalizing this.

Koenig Layouts : Round 2

Still working the same grid, just making a few tweaks to the grid. After talking with Kidwell, I know I need to continue to make more tweaks. Having a lot of fun with this, so far though.

Design your own font!

Make Your Own Alphabet Contest!

  • Contest: Design Your Own Alphabet!
  • Description: Design your own alphabet (all 26 letters, numbers are optional) and provide a sample of the alphabet letters spelling the name of your font (no length requirement) using your alphabet letters. You may submit digital or hand-drawn designs.
  • Details: What do you need to turn in? Images of all 26 letters. You can combine them into one JPEG (which must be at least 500 pixels wide) or submit a zip file of all 26 letters as separate JPEGS. In addition, you must use your letters to spell the name of your alphabet. There is no length requirement for the name, but be creative and use it as a chance to see what your letters would look like together!
  • Due Date: All entries must be received by 10pm EST November 9th, 2010. (I wanted to make sure everyone has time to dive into this project and design something they really love!)
  • How to Enter: Send your email to SUBMISSIONS AT DESIGNSPONGE DOT COM with the subject line “Alphabet Contest”.
  • What to Include in Your Email: Your full name, phone number and email address (this will only be used to contact you in the event that you are a finalist and for no other purpose). In addition to your contact information, you need to include the 26 alphabet letters and your custom alphabet name spelled in your letters. You can send this as a single JPEG or a zip file of individual files measuring at least 500 pixels wide. Please attach files, do not embed them into the email body.

  • The prizes are money credits to Veer. Sounds fun!

    October 21, 2010

    Initial Koenig Layout

    So here's the first stab at the Koenig page layouts. One text-dominant, the other image-dominant. I wanted to reflect the form of his architecture in the combination of the image and text. Moving forward, I will be using a more complex grid, and will probably be putting text on the page more sparsely, leaving lots of nice pretty white space.

    Newer Logo Build

    Edited Logo Build from Kelsey Anderson on Vimeo.

    Can you spot the differences between the first logo build and this new one? It's just some tiny tweaks. But, I think I'm pretty much done. I would like to consider adding some sound, maybe a little bit of children's laughter at the end, but so far, I'm having trouble finding just the right sound clip. Anywho, it's time to get moving on the next part of the assignment.

    October 19, 2010

    Packaging - Pathos

    For the pathos appeal, I'll be working on an interactive box where a child can cut the Annie's Homegrown mascot, Bernie the Bunny and decorate him with objects found around the house. I wanted to try and keep with the idea that Annie's is all natural, and on the original box they stress recycling the box.

    Again, working in an analog form has been a lot of fun, but along with all the other corrections and refinements I need to make to this package, I would also like to play around the text some more.
    Anyway, I need to first focus on giving Bernie Bunny a purpose. And more more more illustrations.

    Mailer Documentation

    Oops, way over-due, here's the mailer. The two typefaces that I chose were Baskerville and Avenir. I chose to mostly represent them through a more abstract means, with curls for Baskerville and more geometric shapes for Avenir. I also added the birds, each made from one of the typefaces.

    The inside is the portion of the mailer that shows the different typefaces listed out. This is also where I played around with the overlay, as well.

    Logo Build Process

    Ok, so here's the BASIC draft for the 5 second logo build. Now that I have the general motion down, I want to try and make it a little more lively. Right now it's preeeetty dull. I'm thinking by using things like ease and a couple other little tricks, I can keep the same story but add a little snazz.

    Packaging - Logos

    Sketches from the venn diagram:
    I tried to play around with losing the circles, and making the graph out of bunnies. A valiant effort, but not too successful. Bunnies only have so many body parts you can nudge together with adequate space between them to put pictures inside.

    And here are some of the bunny wheats that I drew out before going along with the one that is starred (in the middle). This is the direction that I will be moving forward with.
    I'm really excited to be doing so much analog work for this project, but I realize that I really need to finesse my craft so that it looks like it is made for a child, not by a child.

    Takuya Hosogane


    Vanishing Point from Takuya Hosogane on Vimeo.

    October 15, 2010

    Annie's Bunnies - Repackaging Progress

    Continuing with the research/sketching for the Annie's Bunny grahams! Since all of my stuff seems to have a lot of analog/drawing, I've been looking up lots of pictures as reference. Not gonna lie, it's hard work.
    Some of my image findings. This is probably the worst thing EVER to look up pictures for, every image is linked to a site of more cute, cute, cute pictures! Very distracting!

    So, here are the first round of full-sized ideas. I mostly focused on the logos appeal.

    made with whole wheat - bunny-shaped wheat
    Made with whole wheat - bunny farmer
    Fact listing - eating hay/grass (scrapped) ((still think it's cute, just not the best idea for this project)
    Made with whole wheat - intertwining (too elegant for children's food–scrapped)
    Venn diagram - wheat + chocolate = bunnies
    Here are a few of the materials I was considering using. Since it is all natural, and also it is for kids, I would like to try and keep the packagings at least somewhat hand-crafted. Paper cuttings, drawings, even using textures.

    October 12, 2010

    Logo Build

    After finally working out my logo, and colors; here is the final logo:
    And here's the logo build that I'm moving forward with, followed by the other sketches that I did. This was a little tough, I found, and Ian pointed out during critique, to create things without creating additional meaning. SPECIFICALLY: Two circles combining could be translated as something a bit more intimate than I would like to convey. Also, having the ascender and descender of the P and D grow, at any point, could be considered abstractly sexual. This might just be our young, wild minds going to far, but none the less. I will do my best to make this 100% innocent. No growing, no 'hooking up."

    October 10, 2010

    Revised Logo? Perhaps

    So, the first logo that I made was pretty awful. I don't really want to do a several-weel-long project on a terrible logo. So, I've redone it!
    I'm not sure if I want to have the "Playdates" text along the bottom. I keep changing it around, then deleting it altogether, and I'm not sure at all. Here are some color variations:
    I really like the idea of venn-diagrams lately. Out of all of these color choices, I'm most drawn to the 5th one, with the pale orange and blue. But I do want to avoid having a color scheme that avoids leaning towards 'boy' colors or 'girl' colors, and also avoiding having one 'boy' and 'girl.' More variations to be done.

    October 8, 2010

    People Centered Design

    Mike McCoy's lunch lecture was an interesting exploration into the way that we as designers come up with the designs we make, from bouncing them around in our heads, to putting them down in some physical form, to the final presentation to the audience (the people).
    One thing that I really go a lot out of was the portion of his lecture where he talked about quickly producing your rough ideas. Getting ideas out into the open is something that is essential to our process. Group brainstorming (with the sticky-note method) or some sort of comprehensive mind-mapping.
    Also, bringing some quick, easy to use, easy to modify materials to help present your idea is essential for revising successfully. The example that McCoy used was cardboard and duct tape. If you make a box to a client, take it to them, and they say the size isn't right, then you have to go back to your studio to make changes. But if you came with the supplies, you could quickly produce a makeshift object that still conveys the idea.

    Use this check-list -
    • actors
    • activities
    • artifacts
    • atmosphere
    Design is a zoom lens.

    On creating ideas:
    • looking
    • asking
    • envisioning
    • trying
    • short looping process

    F+S - Packaging

    From my packaging folder - I'll try to find the sources, but some of these are from a while ago.

    Logos - instructions on the front of the package! For noodles, I think?

    Pathos - These little chocolates appeal to my feelings by showing themselves as little button-eyes of cute animals! "Daaaaw" factor!
    Ethos - This says it is Swiss. These pictures look very Swiss. The imagery leads me to trust that it is authentic, and telling the truth. Plus, anything in a collectable tin box has authority, they're just too cool.

    Rendering Possibilities

    Together with Vi!

    • photography
    • vector/digital
    • text-dominate
    • hand-drawn
    • limited color palette
    • white space/informative images
    • simple type
    • symmetry
    • bold/clear (easy to read)
    • formal looking
    • handcrafted
    • fun, bold colors
    • image dominant
    • dramatic lighting
    • water color
    • crafty supplies
    • expressive type
    • interactivity
    • active imagery
    • minimal type
    • vector shape
    • clean typography/formal
    • simple color palette
    • serifs (time-appropriate)
    • grid system
    • hyperbole/allegory/parody
    • all natural materials
    • collage
    • vector/photo combos

    Packaging Concepts

    Annie's Chocolate Chip Bunny Grahams

    First, here's my logos approaches:

    #1 - facts listed
    With this version, I'm going to be listing many good reasons why it would be beneficial for you to purchase bunny grahams. In this example, I've got the facts listed at the bottom, in the form of blades of grass. I like the idea of created an environment for these graham bunnies.
    #2 - Made with Whole Grains
    For this concept, I'm playing around with the image of wheat to show that this snack is in fact, made from whole grains. I need to play with scale some more, and ways to integrate the type, lots of other things. But this is the idea that I have the most iterations on so far.
    #3 - Venn Diagram / math-related
    This is one I'm really excited to play around with some more. whole grain + chocolate chips = bunny grahams!
    And for pathos:

    #1 - huge bunny character face
    This would be pathos by making it interactive. I've begun experimenting with some materials for this, and I'm looking at things like kids snacks and cereal boxes for ideas.
    #2 - Theater/puppet show?
    This might be too similar to the idea above, if I don't play it off right. This plays off of the kids imagination, and has to do with childplay.
    #3 - Terrified Bunnies
    This is pretty self-explanatory.