Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Advertising and Networking in Design


Assignment 4

Comparing two sources –a book and a journal- to support the idea that there is a connection between advertising, social networking and design, and how to use these to your advantage as a (interior) designer.

'The Tipping Point' talks about the stickiness of certain epidemics and products; this idea can be applied to design and its image. It's hard to become successful if a company - such as an interior design practice - isn't known to a certain extend, or if a product has not set off a word of mouth epidemic; this un-stickiness becomes a problem. By touching on advertising and social networking we as designers can overcome this problem and learn to be a sticky designer.

Evidence from 'Emotional Design' demonstrates the psychology and science behind the emotional reasons why certain designs actually work. Especially pin pointing the idea that 'attractive things work better' (Norman 2004 p.17); backing up his theory with evidence and research and focusing on three main aspects of design - visceral, behavioural and reflective design.

The use of this research into emotional design for advertisement is also commented on in the book. Advertisement is a clear example of design playing on emotions; initial aesthetics contribute greatly in it, as your first reaction, but it’s the reflective design that sells the product. “Go outside. Get some air. Watch a sunset. Boy, does that get old fast.’ XBOX advertisement (p.40), this tag line for Microsoft’s gaming campaign targets emotional reflection of those who are drawn to games ‘with high visceral arousal’ (Norman 2004 p.40) instead of those who prefer such activities as a watching sunset. What’s suggested here is that it’s not necessary to sell a product that pleases everyone in order for it to be successful. Many products take this idea in their stride, ‘Some magazines even flaunt their specialness, pointing out that they aren’t for everyone, just for the people who match a particular set of interests.’ (Norman 2004 p.41) This statement backs up his opinion however Norman doesn’t give solid evidence supporting whether or not this was Microsoft’s initial intentions of their ad campaign, this would have perhaps supported his own opinion giving it a stronger affect.

However what is established is that a key point in advertising is to find your niche instead of trying to win everyone over. Certain stickiness doesn’t work for everyone.

Further into ‘Emotional Design’ it explains the significance of people’s personal views to how successful a product can be; by trying ‘to promote products through association.’ (p.54) Norman explains how the advertising industry takes this into account working with our opinions, specifically the ones of our self image, (p.53). Products and their advertisements can be developed to provoke a positive self-image by creating an idea that people want to relate to, that they ‘fantasize about’ (p.54). Seeing a positive display of emotion alongside a potential purchase tempts them through correlation to want to have that image of self. Branding plays a big part in building self-image; logos on clothing instantly tell the public what type of person you are. Advertising takes these brands and creates an image of self that people aspire too.

Continuing on branding, advertising can play on logos creating advertising in itself. Norman refers to the Google search engine (p.104) as a ‘playful, fun site’ because it’s simple ability to amuse its user with the additional O’s for every page in the results. Not only does this little advertisement work on the visceral and reflective levels but the product actually works. Norman produces good evidence and a primary source quote from Google to support this subject, “…logo… providing some fun while also being informative” (Google). As research for this particular subject he investigated ‘Emotional Branding’ to examine’ aesthetics, image and advertising.’ (Norman 2004 p.104)

Keeping with the idea of ‘a positive sense of self’ (p.55) examples of how a simple sense of achievement can induce consumers to a product. The Betty Crocker Company attempted to create an easy, delicious and quick to make cake mix, ‘just add water, mix and bake’. (p.55). It figured to be too easy,
“The cake mix was a little too simple. The consumer felt no sense of accomplishment” (Goebert and Rosenthal, 2001), so by figuring out what aspect wasn’t sticking, what feature didn’t meet the consumer’s positive sense of self they managed to create a successful product. Just to feel the emotion of pride and achievement a simple instruction of adding an egg was included so that the customer felt they were completing the task. Norman present this subject with evidence to back it up; referring to quotes from market researchers Bonnie Goebert and Herma Rosenthal, it validates his statement basing it on other people’s observations as well as his own.

In the subject of different levels of design Norman introduces that advertising performs at visceral or reflective stages. Attractive looking products or advertising campaigns focus of visceral; the aesthetics being the main focus however the reflective level works on one-off experiences, special treatment, ‘exclusiveness’ (p.88) it increases the products appeal; wanting what is hard to get.

This section is very interesting however it seems to need some hard evidence backing up his opinion. Although, the research behind the three levels of design is supported by fellow professors Andrew Ortony and William Revelle (Norman 2004 p.21) giving stronger evidence to his opinion.

Journal article from ‘Applied Arts’ (Sylvain 2008, Reaching Generation Next) supports the subject of advertising within the social networking community, targeting consumers online to make connections between brands and the public. “It has gone from ‘build it and they will come’ to ‘fish where the fish are’”, (Tony Chapman, CEO, Capital C, p.40) indicates that times are changing and ad agencies must adapt to survive. They must find their audience rather than wait till they find them.

This evidence-based article relies on quotes and examples of how these theories are put into practice. Social networking sites such as ‘Facebook, MySpace, Twitter’ (p.40) are described as a ‘second life’ for the youth today indicating that most of their time is spent on these sites. Sylvain provides support for this statement by referring to figures; ‘63 percent of Internet-enabled Canadians aged 18 to 34 visited an online social network’. (Ipsos Reid, 2007) This hard evidence strengthens the article’s reliability on Sylvain’s subject.

With initial proof of rising popularity in networking sites established she continues on and gives evidence of how advertising agencies and networking sites began to work together. Facebook initiated the start of the process, ‘Facebook announced it was opening the door to advertisers,’ (p.42) this allowed advertisers to set up their own pages in order to interact with their chosen demographic. However evidence is presented on how this direction of advertising could be difficult - it is a social site and advertising isn’t initially welcome.
“That community has a fortress around it. And so, it’s getting harder and harder to find a way to get through. The people are there to socialise, not to be sold to. If we’re too aggressive, they’ll find somewhere else to go.” (Chapman, p.42) The evidence does not condemn this use of advertising it just indicates the difficulties ad companies face.

The article goes on to support how ad companies use the networking sites to reach youth on their level. Fun, interactivity, socialising. The example given; Fuel Industries created a website for Nokia that was based on ‘advergaming’ (Burns, M. CEO, Fuel Industries, p.46), it reached the interactive level of youth. In order to promote their current GPS phones the ‘advergame’ allowed the net worker to control a character’s destination while the character was driving. “We immersed players into the brand,” (Burns, p.46) Sylvain includes this statement in order to reinforce the company’s intentions of their success.

Although Sylvain’s opinion on the subject proves to be supportive she does include evidence on areas where this technique has been less successfully. Wal-Mart worked on Facebook to launch a ‘back-to-school music position’ which apparently came across too strong, “like they were trying too hard” (Roach, Jeff, VP, Youthography, p.44). This allows the article to be less biased by offering an alternative view.

The two sources offer valid reasoning and evidence supporting their views and opinions. However the journal seems to show a much more evidence-based approach than ‘Emotional Design’ although it still presents that method. Their content touches on similar points especially on the ‘stickiness’ of products and advertising; what reaches people the most, on either emotion – as Norman presents – or how to approach the best technique to do so– in the case of the journal it would be social networking.

Over all each source supports one another as many of Norman’s ideas are based on public opinion as does the Applied Arts article and together continue the idea that advertising must adapt to the emotions and interests of their potential consumers in order to create a successful design. This concept applies to design practices, product designers, interior designers, all designer for that matter. These sources support the importance of taking advantage of the psychology of emotion when designing and it’s potential in the new world of networking.

Further research into this subject would lead me to once more read 'The Tipping Point' to reach a more advance understanding of its reference to 'the stickiness factor'. Norman's other books also relate to the subject and reading 'The Design of Everyday Things' would allow me to study the subject further.
Not only does he mention books by himself as a reference to his research but also the book 'Emotional Branding' (Gobe, 2001). This book would allow me to research deeper into the understanding of advertisement's brands and their emotional affect on us.
When Norman refers to the XBOX advertising campaign, I mentioned that more evidence is needed to support his opinion; in order to obtain this a request for an interview with one of Microsoft's advertisement agents who took part in this campaign would be helpful. It would give a primary resource to either support or question Norman's statements.
Reference to researchers Bonnie Goebert and Herma Rosenthal are mentioned, investigating their research and theories would allow broader knowledge of the subject. Also Norman's colleagues, Ortony and Revelle, assisted him in his research so by investigating, 'The cognitive structure of emotions' and 'The role of affect and proto-affect in effective functioning' evidence to support Norman will be obtained.

In order to obtain more evidence supporting Sylavain's subject the article 'Fuelled for success' would be a convincing argument in favour of the company mentioned by Sylavain in her resources (Fuel Industries,p. 46). An interview with Tony Chapman, (CEO of Captial C) would benefit the subject, his opinions are commented on in this article and further knowledge of his views on advertising in networks would be a useful source to obtain.
Experimentation with networking would be a successful source whether it supports or questions the subject. Examples of the current networking status such as Vodafone's ad campaign, 'Josh's Band'; investigating it's use of MySpace to communicate to their demographic. Further research into the subject would highly support Sylavain.

Daniels, C. 2008. Fuelled for success. Applied Arts. 23,2 (Apr) 54-9.

Gladwell, M. 2005. The Tipping Point. New York London: Time Warner Audio Books: Hachette Audio

Gobe, M. 2001. Emotional Branding. The new paradigm for connecting brands to people. New York: Allworth Press

Gobert, B., & Rosenthal, H.M. 2001. Beyond listening: Learning the secret language of focus groups. New York: J.Wiley.

Norman, D. 2004. Emotional Design. New York: Basic Books

Norman, D. 2002. The design of everyday things. New York: Basic Books

Ortony, A., Clore, G. L., & Collins, A. 1988. The cognitive structure of emotions. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Ortony, A., Norman, D., & Revelle, W. 2004. The role of affect and proto-affect in effective functioning. In J.-M. Fellous & M.A Arbib (Eds.), Who needs emotions? The brain meets the machine. New York: Oxford University Press.

Sylavain, L. 2008. Reading Generation Next. Applied Arts. 23,2 (Apr) 40-53.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Tricks of the Trade


In my last lecture I found out the secret of why we always forget the milk! The power of design strikes again! You'll notice next time you go into the supermarket; set yourself a little task and go straight to the milk without picking anything else up. You'll find it takes a lot longer than you think! Just another trick of the trade, making the the customer take a walk through the 'wonderful' deals on in the rest of the store and by the time you get to the milk you're distracted and manage to walk out without the one thing you went in for!

I was a victim of this just today, went in for toothpaste and ended up spending £17! Amazing how well supermarkets are designed, so well that you don't really think they're designed at all!

All the convenient and everyday things are situated at the back of the store; designed so that you are always at risk from new advertisements! The book 'Why We Buy' by Paco Underhill looks into the science of shopping. He talks about how people buy more if they have a basket; how women shop, how men shop; why women are more like to buy things if they can touch it and how if a seat is placed beside the women's changing rooms the male shopping experience just becomes better. It explains the psychology behind it all and how design and psychology work together; it's researched based so the beauty of it all is that we all really do have these shopping traits! Very interesting so check it out.

Monday, 30 November 2009

The 12 Mums of Christmas


I'm taking advantage of my festive mood and blogging about Dundee's Overgate campaign - 'The 12 Mums of Christmas'. I was starting my Christmas shopping the other day when I first noticed the large advert posted along the outside of an unopened shop. I think I must have walked past the ad maybe 5 times just so I could count the 12 mum's and every time it made me smile!

I'm not a mum myself but it still had the desired effect on me, with each character of 'The Mum' you could see how the Overgate was saying it could meet their needs. In my opinion it was a very clever idea - a twist on the traditional '12 days of Christmas'.

Throughout the centre I would occasional see a different 'Mum' character, and as if I was a kid again I'd look forward to seeing another of those 12 characters. It's a great advertising technique, putting emotion into the design will create a memory; reflective design; it gets the message through effectively and quite simply, pleasing.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Christmas Spirit


I'm a sucker for Christmas! Like most people are at this time of year; whether it's for the time off work, seeing your distant relatives or if your just in it for the presents! We're all guilty off it, I mean who wouldn't welcome an over sized, perfectly wrapped gift with a huge grin and a rush of excitement?

I'd like to think that I love Christmas for it's atmosphere, its generosity and it's ability to just make me smile but sometimes I think, would it still feel the same if receiving presents was a thing of the past? Would I still have a smile on my face if I never received an unexpected gift that I secretly wanted but was unsure to ask for? Or would I still feel the loving atmosphere if there wasn't presents to give and receive? There has been a worry that we are all becoming too materialised at Christmas time, it's all about the consumption of products, but without this would Christmas still be the Christmas we know?
I do hate to say this as I don't want to sound materialistic but I suppose its the world we've been brought up in? Sometimes I think nothing of it and see no harm in it but when I hear of the accidents due to "Black Friday" it does make me think. I had maybe heard of Black Friday once or twice before our lecture a week or so ago and had not known much about it. In the lecture we were told that the Guardian reported there was a fatality in Wal-Mart because of the "out-of control" crowd built up in the store causing a stampede due to the Black Friday sale. They actually broke down the door so that they could shop for the best bargains! That's the greedy side of Christmas, it's hard to accept that it's all part of the spirit of Christmas when it goes to those extremes. Still I'm sure it's many people's defense.

I think though that everyone, deep down, still knows the meaning of Christmas even if its shown in less conventional ways. But it always makes you smile when you see someones face light up because you got the present right, or the over indulgent feeling your get after the Christmas roast, somehow knowing that you still have room for one more chipolata and even when your embarrassing relatives suggest a game of Charades - you love it really!

It's all part of it and I put my hands up and admit, I'll be starting my indulgence tomorrow! (1st Dec) - you can't forget the advent calender craze!

Monday, 23 November 2009

Social Networking


The world in which we call 'social networking' seems to be growing more and more into our lives, whether this is a positive thing is up to you to decide but you can't disagree that an epidemic has spread.

Social networking is one of the best ways for word of mouth to start. Millions and millions of people log on to blogs and networking sites everyday such as Facebook and Twitter, each browsing their own interests, perhaps coming across something that catches their eye, they post it as a blog and suddenly 50 or more people know about it.

Advertisers have caught on to this growing fanatic and know that this is one way you can reach the public. But instead of just posting a blog about their latest product or deals many have came up with more innovative approaches.

The first time that Tmobile's adverts emerged on TV they perhaps didn't know that it would soon take them into the networking community. If you remember their adverts that asked passers by on the street what they would do if they had free texts for life, and one guy suggested that he'd text everyone he knew get them all together and have a massive jam. This guy was Josh Ward and T-mobile suggested that if he did create a 'super band' that they would like to follow him around and see how it goes. So it started! Josh set up a networking site on myspace. Allowed people to join him online and join the band, everyone told their friends to get online and join Josh's band. He posted a song that people could learn to sing or play on their instrument, he set up dates for tours around Britain and he managed to create this 'super band' that was once a just a suggestion on the advert for T-mobile...

...and now i am goin to partake in the act we call word of mouth by telling you to follow Josh's Band and see how he gets on!...

This technique whether deliberate or not was a result of word of mouth because of the the media frenzy we live in. It shows how much potential the Internet provides in order to advertise yourself as well as products, which leads me on to one person who takes great advantage of this service. Johanna Basford.

Johanna is an artist/ illustrate/ print maker that designs hand drawn patterns and motifs all in black and white. Her work is intricate and very beautiful, you can see how much effort she puts in it; however to broaden her clientele she joined Twitter and created a fantastic networking way to do so. She had the idea of the Twitter Picture, it involved people suggesting lots of different thing for her to draw within a certain time limit - was about 3 days - and in the end she produced a fantastic print and huge recognition! She planned to sell 100 limited edition prints of the Twitter Picture and gave 25% off to those who had a suggestion drawn into it. What better way to entice buyers, they were a part of the design and would want to show it off, plus a discount! Bonus! She managed to advertise herself aswell as producing a profit, took a simple idea and the help of networking and she created a success.

It's encouraging to see the possibilities of networking approached in such a creative way. I think that there is still a lot of potential surrounding this world of networking that can help designers and those who are still students broaden their horizons pushing a little further every time so that we don't end up going backwards and misssing this opportunity.

Or maybe not? You might think that Bebo, Facebook, Myspace and Twitter are taking over our lives and eventually people will only communicate through the net, by leaving a comment on your blog. Lets hope we use it sensibly!

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Annotated Bibliography


Assignment 3


COLLINS, Dan. 2007-2008. Social Networking for Learning Communities. Fate in Review. 29 27-39.

In this article, the potential of social networking for the 'foundation art studio' and how to make use of it is discussed. Explaining how the Internet and many of its features such as blogs can open up and highlight successful ways of networking. It strongly encourages the idea of social networking as it has its advantages to the art and design community.

FOGG, B.J. 2009. The Rules of Persuasion. RSA Journal. 155 (5538 June) 24-29.

In this journal article it highlights the idea that technology, such as social- networking, is becoming more and more persuasive. With this it allows you to pin point certain aspects of say your business, find out what is preventing it from growing and then apply your persuasion to the networking community.

GEER, J. G. GEER, J. H. 2003. Remembering Attack ADS. Political Behaviour. 25 69-95.

This article explores the reasons why certain methods of advertisement sticks more than others. Its takes a more political route into campaigning but explores the same principles as design advertising would. It talks about aggressive advertisement versus positive advertisement; comparing the success of each and whether one produces a better success than the other.

LOVETT, G. 2009. Google urges colleges to exploit digital design and social networking. Design Week. 24 (17) 4.

This journal article looks at research into social networking between colleges and universities. It will allow you to see at what research has already been looked at, in this case, research into finding ways of communicating with different audiences in a network of people. It talks about using networking sites, such as Facebook, to their full potential in order to network successfully.

NORMAN, D. 2004. Emotional Design. New York: Basic Books

This book explores the meaning of designs, how attractive things are perhaps better things. The idea that new things are not necessary a better design and that people respond better to designs that don't complicate our emotions. Good design is design that we can easily relate to.

SYLAVAIN, L. 2008. Reading Generation Next. Applied Arts. 23 (Mar-Apr) 40-53.

This article relates a lot to the idea that advertising has to be stick in order for it to work. It explores the idea that the world is changing and so are generations so ad companies must adapt. Finding ways to connect to their audience, primarily the younger generation, such as becoming a part of the social network that is taking over the Internet. This is how this generation communicates so getting on the same wave lengths is a start to getting through to their audience. Techniques develop once this fundamental idea is met such and interaction with the sites and networks which encourages word of mouth which then makes it successful and sticky!

Design Websites

Society of British Interior Designers

Industrial Design Today

New Designers Website

WIRED Magazine

Wallpaper Website

Studio Unbound Twitter page

Other Websites

BBC News

Red Jotter

Science News from New Scientist

YouTube - Always finding something interesting on there.

LIFE Website

Friday, 6 November 2009

Ambigious Furniture?


Is a chair really a chair if you use it to stand on to change a light bulb or is a coffee table still a coffee table if you use it to rest your feet on? Does a piece of furniture become something different when it's function changes?

I'm currently exploring this idea of mis-use of furniture and how people really use there chairs and tables or any other piece of furniture. Anything from using a chair as a place to dump your clothes, how you physically sit on your chair, to perhaps using your bed as a trampoline! These ideas and insights into people's relationships with furniture will be interesting research for my project to design a piece of furniture and produce a finished piece.

Love this simple design by Philippe Malouin - The Hanger Chair, shows the subversion of furniture.

The Attitude Chair by Deger Cengiz is just another way to express how people really use their furniture - its quirky yet simple. Smart design.

The Todd Stool by Llot Llov, you know how hanging clothes up can be a pain, make use of your laziness and just dump them in the Todd stool making a comfy cushion! Clever!

This ones just in for fun! The Constant Shaker by Alice Wang is part of the range of Chairs for the Dysfunctional. It counts your loss of calories as you fidget, Brilliant!

So if anyone has any comments or photos of how they use there furniture, that may be useful to me, would be much appreciated!

Tuesday, 3 November 2009



As our first project in second year we got to experience working as a group, this experience is the start to understanding the real world of design as we will find ourselves in many situations where we must learn to work as a team. In other words I found it very beneficial!

We were to design an exhibition space in the DCA Centrespace based on Juteopolis. Verdant Works were involved and although they are an exhibition of this topic we were to come up with a designers take on the theme.

We worked together to research the themes of Juteopolis (the history of the Jute industry in Dundee) and found that the interesting facts all seemed to point at the idea of connections in the industry. Everyone was connected and knew each other because of the jute. Families lived in close quarters, literally living on top of one another in the tenements. Neighbours became your family and your co-workers your best friends.

We took this idea and developed it further. The was an average number of people that stayed in one house - 8 - and at that there was sometimes only one room! This brought us to the idea of there being 8 objects in the room that connect to each other in some way. Over lapping and occupying each others space as it represents that idea in the tenements.

As part of the brief we were design the exhibition so that it travels and is sustainable as Jute is a sustainable material. So our 8 object became cubes of different sizes representing rooms, and each were constructed out of flat-pack cardboard. This made the cubes lightweight and easier to transport as some of the cubes reached 3000mm x 3000mm.

Each cubed displayed a different element of connection between the people of Juteopolis. Some had coloured jute attached from one to another and showed elements of weaving, as the connections between the people weaved in and out of different families. One box showed a projection of a workers hands signaling the "sign language" that they had for the noisy mills. This showed the connection between the workers as it was like having there own secret language.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

The Stickiness Factor and IED


Assignment 2

Brainstorming session...

This allowed myself and the group to discuss and share ideas and theories on the chapters context and relationship to Design, more importantly Interior design. I found that the discussion allowed us all to explore different ideas and sections of the book that perhaps we didn't feel were relevant but now do. It was interesting seeing how the two subjects interlinked and putting the book theories to practise.

Individual research...

I found the most interesting connections between the two subjects to mainly be how you or your business can be made "sticky". Through advertisement, research and networking Interior designers and, or their businesses can be sticky, but remembering that if its a bad design it won't be sticky, it's got to be wanted and needed! Stickiness can be reached on an advertising and social networking level; I found that logos, brands and networking sites have a lot of potential to help businesses become sticky. If research is done on what's sticky and what's not, designers can take advantage of the results and become contagious.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Bad Designers?


Are biologist or environmentalists better designers than we students at DOJ? Are they more visually literate than designers "think" they are? Are those that solve world problems, research into cancer cures or try to make the environment greener, the real creative people of our society?

If we designers learn more about the world we live in design can become more than just a "nice" thing to look at - it can become innovative! Working with "non-designers" can widen our knowledge of the world and what people really need. A chair that's designer decided sleek and stylish are what the modern world needs did not think of the whole picture. Ok maybe one day it will be viewed through a glass case in a museum for its "chic" design but is that the real purpose of a chair - to be looked at? No. What about those who have been injured or those with mobile difficulty will they find the need for a hard plastic chair that's purpose is to simply look pretty?

I'm not trying to say that design shouldn't look good but instead it should be brought together with purpose to start to change the world. We have been placed in a great situation to bring together elements of design and innovation, we can think bigger and start to be truly creative. Designs can be more simple than you think to solve problems, remember we are not the scientists of today but that doesn't stop us working with them and bringing our creativity together with theirs.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

The Tipping Point


Assignment 1

I've recently read a book called the 'Tipping Point' by Malcom Gladwell; it takes you through the moments that cause the 'tipping point'; epidemics that at one point cross a line and spread rapidly into our lives.
He details every aspect of this idea thoroughly and repeatedly to reinforce the points he makes, I found this very useful as you begin to understand it more and more as the book progresses. I found myself getting so into it that I too was making everyday situations compare to the 'tipping point'. The subject made you think, thus teaching you the fundamentals to then continue to learn.

The Stickiness Factor is one of the three rules of epidemics and part of the book which I found most interesting. I think it was the subjects and examples Galdwell used; Sesame Street - I could relate to it, understand the concept so much more just because it was put into a language I once new. Basing the stickiness factor on kids TV programmes(Blue's Clue's, Sesame Street), for me, helped learning about the subject easier as I remembered the show and could put his reaserch into practise.
Not only did this chapter explain the stickiness factor, but it brought in elements of human behaviour into it which are so relevant to figuring out the stickiness of a product, advertisement or TV show.

The Mind map exercise broke down the book and also helped you memorise its context much more as you went over it in your head just to complete the map. Completed it also stands for future study notes and a starting point to begin looking into 'The Tipping Point' in so much more detail.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Visual Communication


Familiarity is easier to accept.

When designing something do you automatically think it’s got to be new, exciting and never done before? Will this idea always produce a great design or will creating something so new be too unpredictable for what the world is used to?
Redundancy is the key to communicate clearly; a higher degree of redundancy is easier to understand. We are used to a traffic signal at red to mean STOP. If a new law was introduced that changed this colour to purple would the world find it easy to understand or would it cause an extreme increase in accidents?
If new design is introduced it must have a familiar degree of redundancy for it to be a good design. Most new design are entropic, these messages don’t travel very well and tend to close the channel of communication until we get used to them. Modern art was entropic and still can be, when it was first introduced no one really understood it, but now there are modern art museums everywhere – the world seems to ‘get it’ now.

A lot of designs are produced to create a meaning, an advertisement, but technically mean nothing at all. It is what the viewer, user or reader interprets the message as. Red is the colour of love, passion, hate, danger, warning, death; or does is simple mean nothing – it is just a colour. We simply associate red with love and love with a rose because it’s what we know; when all a rose is, is a flower. Connotations of the design are what makes it appealing; how the design does this is all down to its context. The meaning is created by the receiver not the sender.

Thursday, 24 September 2009


Made a mini website over the summer of my 1st year work check it out;

First Blog

#1 .

Fiona here. First blog - many more to come (hopefully). Just editing my profile, clearly not finished.
If you've read the small amount I've managed to write you'll know that i'm a 2nd year in IED; currently doing a project on Juteopolis, city of Jute! It's an exhibition design project, get to work in a group this year which is different but great to bounce ideas around. Working with clients this time, alot more realistic which I'm liking; Brian from Verdent Works and Louise a designer.
Got design studies aswell this year which is NOT learning about famous old painters, liking that idea, plus we've to bring a packet of opal fruits (starburst) in next lecture, hmmmm?

Reading the Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell right now so my next post will probably be based on that!