Looking & Seeing

We share our foundation lecture with the graphic design students. It makes me really glad I didn’t choose graphic design. Images are boring.

The topic for the day was ‘what constitutes visually interesting material?’ and tried to get us to look outside of the box to find traditionally boring or ugly things, focus on them and find what was in fact visually interesting about them. It’s a fair introduction, but seems to give more excuses for things being ugly than it does instruction on how to make things pretty.

Nonetheless, I’ve expanded my visual vocabulary to include the following concepts: negative space, interplay between lines + solid shapes, direction, directional changes, contrast between activity on one side and lack of activity on another, short lines, long lines, curved lines, circles, many vs. few, many dots create a series of lines, tonal value, geometrical contrasts, playfulness, juxtaposition, connections, metaphor, contradictions that create new meanings…

In short, he doesn’t want thoughtful explanations as to why I find things visually attractive or why they were designed that way, he wants very specific descriptions of exactly what the visuals are composed of. This gives me a new direction for my journal entries at the very least.

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