Review for Exam One, Art 206
Graphic Design, ULM - Mr. Fassett

Advertising/Graphic design
Advertising is controlled identifiable persuasion by means of mass communication. 
Graphic design is the organization of visual communication, not always for persuasive selling.

Applied art is meant to accomplish a purpose beyond the personal esthetic statement of its creator. The creative production as well as the final appearance of fine art and applied art are often identical. The difference is in the intent. 

The fine artist must only satisfy "self" whereas the applied artist must respond to the needs of an external audience. The applied artist may be expected to move millions of people to read a sign, understand a concept or follow a map.

The graphic designer becomes a partner in the communication of a client's ideas, concepts, and information. The designer's role is to effectively and efficiently enhance, clarify, and expedite the visual display of information.

Graphic designers use type, illustration, photography, and symbols to achieve visual solutions that are functional, elegant, simple, and economical to get most people in a target group to respond positively to a specific message.

The principle of harmony is used to promote and maintain a sense of unity among the elements of the design.

Unity in a visual work can be achieved by "proximity," "repetition," or "continuation."Elements that share similarities can also produce a sense of rhythm.

The principle of variety is used to promote and maintain interest in a design. This interest is accomplished through contrast or differences of elements and/or through the use of elaboration or increased complexity of certain elements. Art has the potential to guide the people and values of the culture that has produced it. Art can instruct, remind, and persuade. Art is the sharing of experience, sensation, and reaction through aesthetically coherent composition. Art communicates and extends experience, gives form to feelings, searches for and demonstrates reality.

COMMUNICATION = message conveyance

A model of the communication process.

   SENDER - encode - MEDIUM - decode -  RECEIVER 
                              - FEEDBACK LOOP to sender

Sender must encode the message into the specific medium (vehicle for communication), the receiver must decode the message. In the best situation the sender will realize that the message has been received.

Commonality of reference frame

Perception/reality, very often "the medium is the message."
Essentials prior to communication: Audience analysis/Determine objective.

A focal point (area of emphasis or dominance in a visual work) can be achieved by "contrast," "isolation," or "placement."

Abstraction is the simplification, distortion, exaggeration, or rearrangement of natural objects to meet the needs of artistic organization or expression.

Figurative, representational, non-representational (non-objective).

The design process - brainstorming - Thumbnails, roughs, comps. Thumbnails (generate ideas, establish a visual record) generally seen only by the artist and colleagues, Roughs (provide a somewhat clearer focus of potential solutions) shown to the client to determine viability of direction. Comps (comprehensives), when necessary, are to sell the client on the finished design solution. Comps can also be used by production staff to match color, style, placement, etc.) 

Form follows function - The appearance or structure is determined by the performance objective. Establish function first, then create form to fulfill it.

ART CRITICISM - Inventory, formal analysis, interpretation, judgement.

A quick sequence of critique for design: execution, correct information, parameters followed, appropriate to communication task, well designed, creative.

CREATIVITY: A unique response to stimulus

Creative people:

  • record and report experience in a unique manner.
  • are curious and discerning.
  • have a fluency of ideas, generalize ideas, elaborate on ideas.
  • are not afraid of the unknown.
  • would rather suffer a result of commission rather than omission.
  • resist premature closure.
  • The creative process
    • EXPOSURE: initial stimulus, awareness of a problem or need, exposure to parameters and limitations, exposure to previous solutions, possibly some preparation of media.
    • INCUBATION: subconscious assimilation of stimuli and past experiences.
    • ILLUMINATION: conscious awareness of possible solution or direction toward a solution.
    • EXECUTION: verification of possible solution. Translation from idea to reality.

      The paradox of design/creativity.
    TYPOGRAPHY is the symbols of language uniformly rendered in a composition. Hand wrought lettering is not uniform. Designers use type to attract attention, set a mood, convey information.

    Type selection
     A well chosen type style relates to existing imagery in terms of line, weight, proportion, and balance (it may induce a relationship of harmony or contrast among elements, but it is a controlled relationship). 

    A well chosen type brings an appropriate mood or emotive quality to the communication task as well as acting as a vehicle for conveying clear and legible information.

    The size of the type can be used as a large focal point such as in poster or headline display. The style can be unusual or bold or colorful in contrast with other elements, such as call-out boxes in magazine publication, or paragraph drop caps or initial letters.   

     The style of type and its weight have the same effect on the viewer as the speaker's voice does on the listener. The designer can also use format, symmetry or asymmetry, as visually expressive devices. Line spacing and color can impart a value or texture to text settings. 

    A font is a collection of all characters of a specific type style (oldstyle roman, transitional roman, modern roman, slab serif, sans serif, etc.). Points (72 points = 1 inch), picas (12 points = 1 pica), (6 picas = 1 inch), ems (a square space the size of the type), 

    Type size (measured from ascender to descender in points), face (light, medium, bold, italic, expanded, condensed), case (upper, lower, small caps), x-height, baseline, format (justified, centered, flush left, flush right), leading (10/12, 9/10, set solid), text/display, run-around.

    The nature of a mark, such as a line or a letterform is dependent on: inter-action of tool and surface, response of the surface to the tool or pigment, speed or technique of execution.

    Advantages of type as a visual solution

    1. concrete presentation of information.
    2. many alternatives for identical information.
    3. color can change without altering message.
    4. immediate understanding by literate audience.
    5. inexpensive
    6. easy to create technically
    7. can be created quickly
    8. many formats are possible

    Style (serifs, stroke weight and angle, proportion and curves influence legibility. Case: lower case is better than caps. Decorative styles, as well as italic, retard legibility. Reversed type is harder to read (sans serif is better here). color, value, size, leading, line length (long and short - hyphenation.) 45 to 65 characters are optimum.

    Short Lines require inordinate hyphenation creating legibility problems and word spacing problems that are aesthetically displeasing. 

    More than 2 adjacent hyphenated lines is poor typography. 

    Hyphenation:If a word is too long to fit specified line length, it can be broken between syllables with a hyphen and continued on the next line.

    Long Lines require more fixation points to view the contents of a line and create opportunity for error when returning to the start of the next line.

    Lists and Tables
    Tabular setting should be simplified when possible and lists should be separated into groups of five or ten.

    line spacing and x-height
    Large x-heights promote legibility of word form, however, they reduce the visual channel created by ascender and descender gaps which may interfere with return line tracking. Additional leading will improve this.

    Kerning reduces the space between letters. Letterspacing increases the space between letters. Too much letterspacing impairs word form recognition by distorting familiar outlines. Too little letterspacing could cause letters to join such as a "cl" combination being perceived as a "d," or "rn" as an "m."

    Too much word spacing can affect visual tracking on the line. Too little word spacing distort individual word form recognition and even join words to create unintended words.

    Proofread and markup using marks such as:
    size and leading, indent, no indent, run-together, transpose, bold, italic, caps, small caps, delete, lowercase, space, line break, no change, flush left, flush right, centered, justified.

    Separating a title from body text.
    Size, style, weight, italic, width, color, format, line space, letterspace, indent, reverse, box, caps, caps & small caps, face (light, medium, bold, shadow, outline, expanded, condensed), underline (EEYUK - well, not an elegant solution) 

    RAM, random access memory, is the working space instantly available to the computer user as soon as the computer is turned on. Applications and documents are stored there while working, as long as computer is on. This is volatile storage, save often to disk.

    ROM, read only memory, can only be read from, and not written to. Built in ROM resides in a chip on the motherboard. It is permanently built in and cannot be changed. CD ROM disks are also read only.

    Virtual memory 
     Virtual is computer jargon for "imaginary" or "conceptual" or something that seems as though it exists, but doesn't. "Virtual memory" uses a portion of the hard drive as though it was actually RAM thereby increasing memory available to the amount of disk space available. It is best to use default settings for amount of memory. Mac OS X will handle all of this for you.

    Save and Save as . . .

          The Save command writes data from RAM to same location, same format, same name as the title bar of the document.

          The Save As . . . command allows you to select the name and location of a file before it is saved. Many applications will also let you save a document in another format

    To retrieve a file from a shared folder.
    Connect to the desireed server. Enter user id and password, if required. Select the appropriate shared folder, it should then appear on the desk top. 

    Avoid opening files across a network
    It is always better to copy the needed files to the desktop rather than opening files in a shared folder.

    • operation speed is increased
    • user conflict is avoided
    • data loss is prevented in case of a network failure.
    Paragraph/character style sheets
    All page make-up applications (QuarkXPress, InDesign) allow for style tagging of paragraphs or selected charcters which can be applied to selected paragraphs. New type specifications can be globally applied to all tagged items by changing style sheet parameters. Though this may seem a redundant procedure for single page layouts such as ad copy, it is a very powerful necessity in the world of publishing. If you change your mind one time on a newsletter with two pages, you will see the value of style sheets.