Saturday, March 03, 2007

So...What's Your Story...

One of the best ways to approach any design problem
is to have a story. Why? Well, it helps with several potential design
problems and has the added benefit allowing you to 'talk' about your
work to a teach, professor, client or boss. The story you make up will
enable you to choose important visual elements as well as their
location. One needs to strike a balance of too much vs. too little
imagery. Too much can result in visual clutter and too little can lead
to 'dead spots' on the page (not to be confused with smartly used
negative space).

This was a college project that I enjoyed. Our instructor brought in a CD from one of his friend's bands called Basement Apartment. We listened to the music to get a taste for it (pretty mellow 'college' style music). The title of the single was
Learning to Fall. My story for this was two-fold. The first involved
the packaging...I played off of basement apartment by using a small
fridge to encase the cover. This took care of several areas because I
thought of theCD as parts of the appliance. The back showed the back
and allowed for nesting places for text. The front and inside (which is
the inside of the fridge) allowed for the logo to be placed as a
'product logo'...(if my memory serves correctly we had to design the
logo and I thought it turned out pretty well...but in my old age I
could just be making things up...)

The second part of the story involves the song
title. When I thought of 'learning to fall' I figured there was a kind
of irony to learning to ride a bike without training wheels. Because
there involves a lot of falling (in my case and every other child I've
watched) as opposed to riding in the beginning, I figured that was the
actual objective...learning to take the fall with as little damage as
possible. So I played up the idea of a financially poor little girl in
a city trying to do just that. There is a sense of feeling grown up
when the feat is accomplished (both the safe falling as well as the
actual riding) so I found a dress that is starting to be outgrown and
made a Polaroid image of the girl, bandaged knee, holding a wrench and
training wheel...and of course fridges make great places to
tape 'current' historical events... so it all played together...

The inside booklet was of a brick street (that was composited
together) that had bits of foliage shooting up through the cracks...and
as much as it seems ladies like to grow up and move off to the city
(maybe a bit of a stereotype but it fits the story)...every little girl
in the city would like to have a lot of nice grass to play on...and it
sure makes falling a lot easier...grass between the
there are pictures that were laid out by the child on the alley street
and somehow she ends up in her make-believe the original
picture is now empty and we see her shoes and where she has taken off
her training wheels lying in the grass photos.

Pretty much any type of design can benefit from such planning with a story. Even if the designer is the only person that knows the story, it can lead to a
'deeper' and more visuallyinteresting piece. When a viewer has an emotional reaction to a work they tend to enjoy it more and remember it longer.

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