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Promise of empty spaces

Aedel Fakhrie
Md Jayaniman Edrus
Ayesha Erasmus
Sonia Bourdon
Deepa Vijayan
Arjun Khara
Mark William Pl...
I like stories. I feel that stories explain people’s
motivations, and help us to understand what
drives them. I like liste...
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Promise of empty spaces

  1. 1. SPECIAL Thanks TO: Aedel Fakhrie Md Jayaniman Edrus Ayesha Erasmus Sonia Bourdon Deepa Vijayan Arjun Khara Mark William Plunkett Laurine Virgilli
  2. 2. CONTENTCONTENT changing.trends.in.design 7575 design.colors 8787visual.communication.and.selling 9595 appendix 106106 PREFACE 0707 introduction 1515can.i.do.it.myself? XPER INCE 3 1919the.realities.of.starting.off.in.design 2525 tips.for.new.designers 4343what.is.good.design? 6161design.and.business:the.business.card 7171 studio.or.corporate? 5757my.journey.into.the.world.of.design 6565 understanding.this.book 1717
  3. 3. I like stories. I feel that stories explain people’s motivations, and help us to understand what drives them. I like listening to stories, and I es- pecially love telling them. That’s why this book starts with a story. The setting was not a glamorous or dramat- ic one - it was an office space, a bare of- fice space that my colleague and I had vis- ited when we were considering renting it. But empty spaces, as you know, are full of promise. And it was with prom- ise that we regarded the space, considered where to put the furniture, how long the tables should be, and how many people would fit in- side each training room. It is a story that most people will see mirrored in their own lives. When we move into a new home or office, this is one of the first things we do. We consider where to put things, how to make the space work for us, and how it will fit our lifestyle and needs. We want to fill the spaces with something special, utilitarian, and visually pleasing. Most of us, though, don’t actually make the furniture that goes into our homes and offic- es. Graphic design and visual communica- tions are really not that different. There are two aspects to design - the stra- tegic considerations, and the building considerations. The building aspect is like a carpenter’s job - to build the furniture, to varnish the wood, to put pieces together. The ‘builder’ in design will use the tools and techniques in software to create shapes, colors, textures, and words to make a poster, website, or image. The strat- egy, though, is like the job of the interior deco- rator. This requires the ability to understand an aesthetic, to consider motivations, and to make decisions. If you are reading this book, you probably already know how to do the car- penter’s equivalent of design. 07PRE FACE BYStefanovirgilli CHEIF EXECUTIVE OFFICER VOXLAB SINGAPORE
  4. 4. You’re probably fluent in a few, or several, design softwares and have had technical experience in creating visual communica- tion. What I’d like to draw your attention to is the strategy.This is about considering the rea- sons that something looks good, or doesn’t look good. It’s about how to use the tools you already know, to communicate what you want to say. It’s about being a designer - a person who designs, not just a person who builds things using tools. We’re going to explore the essential concepts of design and visual communication - why it works, why it doesn’t, and the logic behind it. This knowledge is far more fundamental than 09 PRE FACE knowing which tool to use to create a certain effect in a given software.To do this, we’re go- ing to go on a journey that passes through the human brain, a journey that takes you years into the past, and that will propel you years into the future. I’m going to tell you of my own story and journey - from my childhood in Italy to my work and life in Asia. It’s a journey that will empower you to become a designer in the truest sense of the word - someone who sees promise in empty spaces, and can create stories within them.
  5. 5. PRE FACEby mark plunkett My journey in the design industry began as an Account Executive in 2001. I moved up as a Junior Designer and then a Senior Design- er and gradually became an Art Director in 2006. Today, I helm the creative team in VOX Lab along with Stefano, for the past three years. In the time that I have worked with him, Stefano has never ceased to amaze me with his dedication in showing up to work everyday and doing what he loves with the same zeal as he had the day before. There are some lessons that you learn in school but it takes a few tries, many in the case of the industry we are in, to grasp that concept. My Italian friend's expertise in design and his spot- on judgement on Colour Management and Typography remain unparalleled and this has helped me pick up a great deal of technical know-how; actually understand things that I already knew. The creative industry is vast and continu- ally expanding and this offers the exposure to learn something new; be it from a major project, new client or a change in an exist- ing piece of work. We see an array of clients coming through our doors, some surpassing us in years of experience and knowledge in the economy. But there is a reason they come to us for their creative requirements; our pro- ficiency in understanding what the industry craves for. This does not come with a certifi- cate from design school but the hunger to know how a need is addressed and wanting to do it better. I urge any young designer to read this book as a guide to keep pushing forward even when that beloved piece was thought of otherwise by the client; to the industry veteran as a re- minder to keep pushing your boundaries as creativity knows no limits and to any other as- piring designer out there on how to see prom- ise in any empty space. CREATIVE DIRECTOR VOXLAB SINGAPORE 11
  6. 6. INTRo- DUCTION 15 This book is about my thoughts on design. Design is an industry that excites me with its possibilities. Yet, it can be frustrating because of the limitations that audiences, clients, and we - as designers - put on ourselves. I didn’t intend to write this book as a textbook or guide. It’s simply a consolidation of insights - of my contribution to design, and of my per- spectives on how this industry has evolved before my eyes. I started in the industry about eighteen years ago. I worked in design in my native country of Italy before moving to Singapore, where I live now. The experiences I have had reflect not only on design and technology, but also on business and culture - and the way these factors inter- mingle when it comes to creating design. I hope to inspire other designers - and non - designers to observe the world through a similar lens, and to understand how design and its corol- laries are changing the way we communi- cate visually.
  7. 7. understanding this book 17 I’ve used examples from my own experiences in this book, because I believe that experi- ences make designers who they are. I’ve also used examples from what I’ve seen around me, and what I observe in my world. As far as possible, I’ve tried to keep technicalities out of it because I don’t want technology to become the focus of design. However, on some occasions, technicalities are requisite - and in these cases, I have kept things as simple as possible. When I refer to the term ‘design’ in this book, I am referring to a variety of design types - not just static de- sign. So I could mean video, animation, web design, or mobile application design - any- thing that is to do with visual communication. The reason for this is that the term ‘designer’ has evolved in many ways over the past decade. For example, at one time, being a designer meant only one or two things. Now, you could be a web designer, or a mobile application designer. You could do front end or back end design. You could be working independently, in an agency, or in a corporate environment. Per- haps you work in advertising only, or in social media only. Even more specifically - you could be creating tablet applications for hospitals. The propensity for design has multiplied to in- clude a huge range of industries and areas, to an extent that has not been observed be- fore. This means that the term ‘design’ also has to expand in the same way. We need to be able to understand ‘design’ in the way that it applies to the world today, because that un- derstanding will shape the way in which we create, buy, sell and use design.
  8. 8. To some people, design is deeply personal. But when it comes to selling a product or com- municating a message, design should be clear. And it’s not always possible to DIY design - especially when you want de- sign with value.A young, gifted designer with a lot of technical knowledge cannot hope to command the rates of a veteran designer - because no matter how talented you are, you cannot become an expert in a month. An experienced and knowledgeable designer with little innate design talent cannot match a designer with all three components. Ten years ago, a startup could decide to cre- ate a website or a business card - and choose to have it done for free with minimal conse- quences. Students, young designers, and even your nephew or niece who dabbles in design software are common sources for free or low-cost design. “It’s just the website,” or “The business card doesn’t have to look that nice,” are common sentiments that accom- pany these projects. can i do it myself? 19 3.Talent Agooddesignercanbring threethings tothetable: 1. Experience 2.Technicalknowledge These are great projects in terms of giving young designers a chance to try out their skills. And, in fact, I recommend that starting designers do all the free work they can lay their hands on, because that is really the only way to get experience and exposure in the industry. You need to try things out with your own hands and experiment to create a frame of refer- ence for yourself.
  9. 9. However, what often happens when the start- up becomes more valuable is that there is suddenly a disparity between the design and the company. When the company starts get- ting more revenue,and the website or business cards are still the ones that you got for free - then you end up with an imbalance between the value of the company and the value of the design. This brings me to my point that design has val- ue.That value is determined by the three com- ponents which I mentioned earlier - experi- ence, technical knowledge, and talent.It then comes down to a simple math- ematical equation - design has higher value when those components represent greater numbers. can i do it myself? 21 This could be expressed in more years of experience,or greater talent,or more technical skills, or fluency in more software, or more pro- jects that the designer has worked on, or more awards that the designer has gotten.The point is that design - and designers - take on greater value when those components take on great- er value.This means that comparing designers according to price becomes a moot point. It’s only natural that an experienced design- er will charge more than a young designer - because there is more value there. And the design itself will become more valuable. It will mean more. It will represent more. It will com- municate more, and there’s a higher chance that it will be more effective than a shot in the dark by a less experienced designer. XPER INCE 3
  10. 10. Serifs are semi-structural details on the ends of some of the strokes that make up letters and symbols. A typeface with serifs is called a serif typeface (or serifed typeface). A type- face without serifs is called sans serif or sans-serif. Design Facts
  11. 11. the realities of starting off indesign 25 Becoming a designer is a process in itself. Many people ask me how I became a de- signer, and how designers get a foothold in the industry. This question is a common one because of the way the industry has evolved. First, there is more competition than ever. There are so many designers, so many softwares, and so many opportunities. Therefore, there are also so many threats to a designer. It is only natural, therefore, for a new designer to look at the industry he or she is stepping into, and ask the question, “How?” When it comes to answering this ques- tion, one of the first things new designers do is something quantifiable, measurable, and - they believe - transferable. They learn software. Then, they try to become very good at the software. Many new de- signers learn it very well. They become fluent in the tools, and know how to apply effects, transform shapes, and animate. They know all about the definitions of software terms and they know how to create a certain look. Then comes the first project, and then the first few projects. Suddenly, the new designer enters a startup phase when his or her work isn’t as good as expected. If this has happened to you - or if it’s still happening to you - rest assured that this is a part of the natural learning progression of design and that it is a necessary part of your experience. Some of the things that you might experience are that you’ll feel that you’re do- ing the right things and moving in the right direction, but some- thing will always be missing.
  12. 12. Bleed refers to the information that etends pass the point where the page will be trimmed,and allows color or images to continue to the very edge of the cutpage. Mainly used for decorative purposes, a die cut can enhance the visual impact of a design through the creation of interesting shapes, apertures or edges. die cut Design Facts
  13. 13. “It’s not quite right,” and “Something is wrong here,” are very common thoughts that you’ll have. You may also find yourself assessing yourself with every design that you do. You may see every piece of design as a reflection of yourself as a designer, or of your design worth. No matter how well you know the soft- ware, and how much expertise you have with the tools, you might not know which ideas to build up. It’s likely that you’ll have an abundance of ideas, but you’ll be unsure of how to express them or which ones to combine in each de- sign. This syndrome often results in staring blankly at the screen, or creat- ing random designs that you’re not a hundred percent satisfied with. You may not have anything to com- pare yourself or your designs with because you haven’t worked on enough projects. the realities of starting off indesign 29 Once again, I urge all new designers to rest assured, because this is a completely natural and normal phase of starting up. This phase of self-assessment and self-critique is part of the process of be- coming a designer - and it’s a necessary one when you’re stepping into the field. It’s hap- pening for a number of reasons. Firstly, it’s likely that you’ve flipped through the pages of a design magazine and seen great design. You might have been inspired by it. Then, you look at the design you’ve just cre- ated and you tend to compare the two. This leads to the second reason- you may be a gifted designer, or have an eye for colour, or you may know the software insideout. And that’s why you wonder. “How come I’m sup- posedly a good designer, but I can’t produce work that I’m happy with?” “How come I have the best tools at my disposal but I can’t create something special?”
  14. 14. As you venture further into the world of being a designer, you’ll find that the tools themselves are not enough. You may find yourself getting frustrated with the software, or just using the same tools again and again to create design. At some point, though, there will be a breakthrough. You will start to envision a project in your head, but you won’t go straight to the tools. You’ll start with the idea, and then use the tools as a means to represent and recreate what you’re imagining. That is the essence of design - to create an idea, not just to use the tools. This is a significant breakthrough for any new designer. However, it comes with its own challenges. the realities of starting off indesign 31 You may have a very clear idea of the design in your mind but when you execute it, you’ll find a disconnection between your vision and the result. This stage disappoints many new designers - you may feel that you’re not good enough at the tools, for example. You may feel anxious - what if the market isn’t ready, or if people don’t accept your idea? What if you’re convinced of the design but the client isn’t?
  15. 15. An image surrounded by a border that fades at the edges, specifically to highlight or isolate the central portion of an image is called a Vignette. Vector is an image that contains many individual and scalable objects.Vector graphics can be displayed at any size and are resolution independent. Design Facts
  16. 16. Unfortunately, this happens more often than we’d like.A meeting with a client may progress something like this: The client tells you that she doesn’t like the de- sign.You ask why.The client brings up a detail that seems irrelevant.“The text is too small,” she says.“The margin isn’t narrow enough.” So you change the text and the margin, but some- thing still doesn’t add up. The client suggests another change, and you make it.This happens a few more times. You begin to feel like a pair of hands operating the software. The client seems to be holding on to the reins now.You’re not the designer anymore, you’re just the user of the tools. Then you start questioning your worth. “Am I a good designer? I thought it looked nice, but the client didn’t like anything I did.” You question the situation.“I’m not even making any more design decisions. I am just doing what theclient tells me to do.” the realities of starting off indesign 35 These feelings are inevitable, no matter how many courses in design you take, and no mat- ter how expert you are at using the software, and no matter how gifted you are as a design- er. Once in a while, the best thing you can do for yourself is to work up the courage to erase all the files, and start over from the very begin- ning, on a clean slate. That does sound like hard work. In reality, it is hard work. But one of the most valua- ble things a designer can do is to try - again and again - until you get it right. There’s no substitute for amassing experience. The reason I am able to say this is that I went- through the process of trying again and again when I was starting as a designer in Italy. I was creating slides for advertising space in movie theaters - for advertisements to be shown be- fore the movie started.
  17. 17. DUPLEXING DUPLEXING A Process whereby two different materials are bonded together to produce a substrate that has different colors on each side. foldingfolding Single Fold double parallel Fold engineering Fold gate Fold closed gate Fold concertina Fold letter Fold dog th e lazy jumps over br own fox The quick dog th e lazy jumps over br own fox The quick Design Facts
  18. 18. I went through so many sizes, frames, and types of paper - buying them and trashing them again and again. I’ll discuss this more later in this book, but suffice it to say for now that the experience was a very valuable one. Despite using the rather inefficient method of trial and error, I learned a great amount. Trial and error is therefore a val- uable method to learn - you may take longer to get to your goal, but you amass a huge bank of knowledge on the way. the realities of starting off indesign 39 I have seen many young, motivated design- ers fall into the trap of thinking that, by getting a client, they can do whatever they want. This is actually quite far from reality. The first ten design projects you get as a designer may be awkward experiences because of the lack of visual references. New designers working with clients also find that the client - who has little understanding of design - will end up telling the designer what to do. In a situation that quickly becomes characterized by the phrase ‘blind leading the blind’, the designer and client use trail and error to create work. Eventually, both may get to stage where they’re happy with the design, but the design isn’t necessarily solid, and may not have the basis to be accepted globally.
  19. 19. 1. For a designer starting in the field, these challenges are inevitable and are a part of the growing process - so take them in this spirit, and use them to add to your breadth of experiences. 2. Even the most software-proficient designer cannot hope to achieve design mastery without the solid backing of experience - which leads to better conceptualization and better work. Software isn't everything. 3. If you're working with a designer on a pro- ject, remember that hiring a designer isn't about hiring someone to use the tools for you. It's about taking the expert advice of a person who knows what works, and what doesn't. Neither designer nor client may have a con- crete idea of what they are representing in the design. So far, I have exposited on the chal- lenges and difficulties faced by new design- ers. I wish to assure my readers that this sec- tion is not meant to discourage anyone from taking up design as a profession. I simply use these examples to highlight three very impor- tant points: the realities of starting off indesign 41
  20. 20. tips for new designers 43 I run a software training centre in Singapore. We instruct learners on how to use a range of design software. Naturally, many of the peo- ple who come through my doors are aspiring designers. Their reason for coming to learn is that they want to get to know the software. Some are brand new to the field, and they know nothing about the software. They start from the very beginning. Others are more experienced, or self-taught, and they pick up faster. Some are really quite proficient in the software. In my time running this cen- tre, I’ve seen designers in various stages of the process. Instructing these designers, I have found that there are some tips that apply to designers at every stage of learning. The best analogy I can think of is learning an instrument. Take the piano, for example. Learning design is like learning to play piano. You start off playing kids’ tunes and get really good at them. You be- come more familiar with the way your fingers should move. You learn to read the notes and you become more confident. Soon, you can play Christmas carols fluently. In order to get up to each level, you need to push what you’re comfortable with. So you- learn to play progressively difficult pieces. With enough experience, knowledge, and practice (plus talent of course) you get to a higher level in piano playing. Here is where the comparison with design comes in. Playing the piano doesn’t require creating something. In the same way, using software doesn’t require creating something. Creating your own music - or your own design - is a different skill. You won’t be able to cre- ate your own music unless you experiment. You have to move away from the pieces that you know. You need to try your own little tunes - simple at first, but gradu- ally more complicated. You need to play a wider repertoire, listen to more music, and try things out.
  21. 21. g u t t e r The Silver of a binding Margin. The gutter is often nicked during binding, which means that anything printed at this extreme edge of the page may not be visible. UPPER CASE. lower case. this is this is
  22. 22. You need to be unafraid that it doesn’t sound nice from the beginning. Practising scales and playing the same pieces over and over will not get you to this stage no matter how much time and effort you invest in it. If you play scales for ten hours, you’ll get really good at scales but not at much else. This experimentation is essential for anyone who wants to create. Design is very similar. If you only learn with examples you find in books, you won’t ever get to be a great de- signer. I advocate that designers move away from what they are used to. Create work that’s out of your industry - do things that your clients won’t require. Make a video for a bike race, for example. The reason is that you need to chal- lenge what is familiar. You need to try things with your hands and your mind that you have never tried before. This exploration is what cre- ates great design. I also encourage the idea of get- ting influenced by design. This doesn’t mean being a copycat - it means that you see what you like, and work towards it. Many de- signers starting off in the industry buy several issues of design magazines, and read several tips for new designers 47 design websites. This is a great idea to keep you inspired, but if you really want to improve your own design, try this: buy a magazine and flip through it until you find something you like. Tear it out. Stick it on your wall or keep it with you. Do this until that particular style of design has become a part of your routine. Once you master that style, repeat the process. Remember, if the design is featured in a magazine, it means that the designer has expertise. If it worked for that designer, it might work for you. Consider this question, “Why is that design on a design magazine, while mine isn’t?” Obviously, there is a gap between your de- sign and that design. By keeping that design with you as a frame of reference, you’ll be able to work your way up to it. This reference is cru- cial, and only comes with repetitive prac- tice, no matter how many design courses you’ve attended. You NeedThis! 100%PureIdeas Brain’sYour Quench Thirst
  23. 23. Once again, I would like to emphasize that you don’t need to copy. What you need to do is get inspired by comparing yourself to a standard, and then working towards that standard. You’re not looking to replicate someone else’s design. You’re trying to reach someone else’s standard of design. A question many designers ask me is, “Does all this hard work pay off?” You may be asking that very question as you read about the amount of effort design takes. The answer is yes, mostly, but it depends very much on your definition of a payout. I’ve seen ‘celebrity’ designers spend- ing up to 6 months on a single, super-cool info- graphic, which they then propose to other com- panies (or get contacted for). The amount they make selling a single infographic pays them back for the 6 months they invest. That’s great money and if that is your idea of a payout, it’s very much possible. What is certain is that this isn’t going to happen overnight though. At first, when you start as a designer, you’ll need to do some work for free. I mentioned this before and I will reiterate this point - working for free is a great opportunity for a new designer. TIPS FOR NEW DESIGNERS 49 The more work you do for free at first, the more you’ll make in the future. Free work means more to put into your port- folio. It means more contacts, networks, and experience. It means that you get to experiment and create things of your own - with much less in terms of expecta- tions and pressure from clients. When you move on in the world of design, you’ll find the disparity between experienced and less-experienced designers. Sometimes, pricing gets in the way - by creating competition that shouldn’t exist. For example, when I was in Italy creating business cards, I priced my services at 98 Euro for a box of 100 cards. This included de- sign and printing of those cards. One day, a customer told me that he was going somewhere else because they were charging 90 Euro for the same thing I was doing. That translated into an 8 Euro savings for him. But it also meant that if I considered my work bet- ter than my competitor’s, I was worth only 8 Euro more. My design expertise and my talent was worth 8 Euro more compared to someone else’s.It’s hard to put a price on your expertise, and even hard- er when that price is low. This is what happens when very competitive rates affect designers.
  24. 24. Kerning -7 -3 -3 Kerning without kerning with kerning Kerning is the manual or automated removal of space between letters to improve the visual look of type. Leading Leading Leading is the space between lines of type measured from baseline to baseline.
  25. 25. These revelations show that competition based on price can’t get you the best design. A designer offers the three things I mentioned earlier - experience, knowledge of the tools, and talent. So if you’re paying less for one designer com- pared to another one, you’re giving up one or more of those three things. A designer could go his or her entire life making business cards or letterhead- and never increase prices more than what is necessary to adjust for inflation. Conversely, a designer could in- crease his or her price with eve- ry project because of the depth and breadth of experience. A stu- dent’s work is cheaper than a veteran design- er’s - but that’s because the veteran designer has more experience. TIPS FOR NEW DESIGNERS 53 This is why I would like to reiterate my point - that design does have value - it’s not just a drawing or a collection of shapes. The more experience, knowledge, and talent a design- er has, the more his or her design is worth. This comes down to the same essential point I made earlier. Design has value. If you’re a designer, you’ll have seen by now how much effort goes into creating that value. If you’re someone who purchases design by paying a designer, this section would have explained to you why you pay a certain amount. If a price that you’re quoted seems low now, you’ll know that it’s because some part of the process that I just mentioned didn’t quite pan out the way it should have.
  26. 26. OVERPRINTOVERPRINTOVERPRINT OVERPRINTOVERPRINTOVERPRINTOverprinting adds texture to a design. Interesting type effects can be obtained through overprinting.
  27. 27. studio or corporate? 57 I’d like to address the inevitable decision that every designer has to make when starting off in the industry - take that design job at a cor- porate company, or work in a design studio. Most designers will pick the design studio. It seems more cutting-edge, more creative. But remember that design studios and creative agencies work with hierarchies. Your freedom as a junior designer is limited to what the Creative Director’s vision is. In an agency or a studio, there are very few people with the auton- omy to create and conceptual- ize. This is a reality of working in a design studio, because practically, there can only be one or two people holding on to the reins of a design. Most junior designs in creative agen- cies end up doing rather than creating. Being a graphic designer looks very differ- ent from the creative end of the table, com- pared to the executing end of the table. Junior designers end up on the executing end - they can only do, or watch, or learn, and put in the necessary time to get the necessary experience. Eventually, a junior designer can rise to the creative end of the table - but that takes time, effort, and experience. Until then, you have to resign yourself to the fact that you’ll be work- ing on someone else’s direction. Working in an agency does have its plus points too - there is the exposure to great design, the options available to you, and the opportunity to learn from excellent designers, to name a few. I think that most designers already know what these plus points are, because most de- signers look to agencies first, before any oth- er segment of the industry, when looking for a job. So I’m going to present an alternative point of view - the advantages of working in a cor- porate setting. I am not endorsing either set- ting, but I am presenting an alternative point of view so that designers can consider all the options before making a decision that suits their situation and needs the best.
  28. 28. studio or corporate? 59 Corporates actually provide a great context to be a budding designer. The corporate en- vironment requires a lot of design. Collaterals have to be created; marketing material has to be published. Let’s say you work in a pharma- ceutical firm as a junior designer. You know you won’t be doing cutting-edge design work for a range of products - it will be pharmaceuticals, day in and day out. How- ever, you’ll get more freedom. You’ll express your creativity much more. You’ll get a better pay, and you’ll have more room to grow. From a business point of view, you’ll be able to grow as a design leader and work your way up to managing a team of designers. You can expand your creativity, practise, and even make a few mistakes along the way. These same mistakes could cost you your job in a design studio or agency, but they might even go unnoticed in a corporate. It’s likely that you’ll be one of the most proficient de- signers in that organization, so you’ll get a lot more credit and autonomy than you would in a studio setting. The corporate environment provides budding designers with a great opportunity to experiment and create with relative autonomy while earn- ing a decent salary. In general, it also provides a greater measure of security than a studio setting. It’s a good deal for someone trying to break into the field.
  29. 29. Good design is something that you perceive. This perception comes with experience, knowl- edge, and an eye for detail. I ran a class in de- signing presentations - and one of my students showed me a slide with three lines of text. The text was center-aligned with high leading. At a glance, I was able to see how it would have looked better. I suggested applying a left alignment, and making the lines closer to one another. Together with the student, I identified one key word per line of text and made it bold. I also suggested capitalizing the first letter and putting a full-stop at the end. what is good design? 61 When I made these suggestions, I did not make them as part of an academic,analytical process. I did not refer to a design concept or a design tool. It was an almost instinctive reac- tion to design. How was I able to tell, straight away, what the solution for this issue would be? It was be- cause I have had several examples to use as reference. This comes from experience and from having a good idea of what design is, rather than just knowing about the tools that create design. Reference gives you comfort and support. Good design isn’t just knowing what looks good - it’s about knowing the difference be- tween what looks good and what doesn’t look good, as well as why.
  30. 30. Text block The pages that contain the content of a publica- tion. Endpapaers The heavy cartridge paper at the paper at the front and back of a book that join the text block to a hard- back binding. Spine The backbone of a book, which is formed by the bound sections. Flaps The part of the cover that wraps around inside the book. Head and tail bans Pieces of cloth tape that cover the top and bottom of the spine to protect it and add a decorative touch.
  31. 31. My own journey into - and through - the world of design has seen many change in the way design is created and approached. When I started in design, it was 1998. I was living in my hometown, in Italy. I worked in a real estate agency, creating advertisements for proper- ties using MS Publisher. My initial job descrip- tion was to show apartments, but I didn’t like it. Instead, I stayed in the office, making ads. That was my first attempt as a designer. I learned how to use the software that was available at the time, which was of course much more limited than what we have today. As my design experiences grew, I started to create advertisements for newspapers and stores. It was especially fun to do festive themes like Christmas or Valentine’s Day, be- cause it gave me opportunities to do some- thing different and to experiment. It was here that I first realized the value of experimenta- tion when creating design. It gives you the chance to do something that’s different from the usual. MY JOURNEY INTO THE WORLD OF DESIGN. 65 I also had opportunities to work with SMEs - and there were many SMEs in the town where I lived. For example, I would make business cards, letterheads and envelopes. For a start- ing designer, that kind of work was great be- cause it gave me the opportunity to carry on a little more. I saw is as having a car with an empty fuel tank - and every cli- ent gives you an additional litre of fuel. Of course, you can’t make a living out of something like this - so the patterns had to change. I had to start doing something more permanent, something where I could grow more.
  32. 32. MY JOURNEY INTO THE WORLD OF DESIGN. 67 At that time, my dad bought a cinema theater in our hometown. He would show slides before the film started - slides that people could use to advertise their products, services, or stores. My job was then to sell ad space and ad de- signs on those slides to clients who wanted to advertise their services. At first, I hired a de- signer and handled just the sales. But eventually, I started to do the design my- self. I took pictures from magazines, cut them out, composited them to A4 size, scanned the A4 paper to a transparency, bought a frame, mounted the transparency on the frame, and put it in the machine. It was a long process and, as I mentioned earlier in this book, a valuable one. I would test paper sample af- ter paper sample. I learnt that rough paper would cause ink to stick when it was photo- copied, so I bought smoother paper. I bought and trashed a large number of frames and sheets of paper. However, this trail and error experience was great for me because I could learn so much through each version. Soon, started getting jobs doing the same thing for other cinemas. I also came to a realization that selling was an important part of what I was doing. So I exper- imented with selling across other platforms. When I was in my teens, I was a radio DJ in my local radio station. The producers asked me if I wanted to sell commercial air space, which I did. Eventually, I started creating and execut- ing the commercials myself. I would also pro- mote clubs - and earn up to 2000 lire per ticket in commission. I managed to get in a great deal of busi- ness for local clubs - unprecedented num- bers - which gave me an insight into how to sell something. When combined with design principles, sales princi- ples work particularly well to create effective visual commu- nication. Although I didn’t know it at the time, this was where I was heading.
  33. 33. MY JOURNEY INTO THE WORLD OF DESIGN. 69 At the time that I had to stop work to enter compulsory military service in Italy, I was sell- ing ad space for my dad’s cinema, another cinema, and 2 radio channels - plus club pro- motion. That was good money for a kid my age. After military service, though, I lost con- tact with most of my associates and went into other jobs - sales, and insurance. This is the stage where, like all designers, I had to make a choice. Design is a full-time career. Icould not hope to become good at it by do- ing it part-time. In fact, fourteen years after I started, I met a person who told me that he was getting a full-time job in banking, and would pursue a design career part time. I think that, while praise-worthy, it’s a hard thing to do. That would mean 8 hours of his day work- ing with numbers, 8 hours or so sleeping, and the rest of the time commuting, eating, and doing other activities. That would mean get- ting less than two hours a day doing design or getting educated in design. For me, design is all-consuming, and it’s not just a part of my day - it is my day.
  34. 34. One of the things I have learned about doing business in Asia is that the business card is a very important part of any negotiation. As opposed to the United States or Europe, where people some- times don’t even bother exchanging cards, it’s common in Asia to start every meeting by exchanging business cards. Practically, communication and technology has evolved to an extent that you’d think that it makes more sense to bring a single busi- ness card and have everyone take photos of it on their cell phones. Or, you could save the information on your cell phone - or con- nect straight away on Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn. A business card is static - it doesn’t change when your employment details change, or when your contact details change. DESIGN AND BUSINESS: THE BUSINESS CARD 71 But you can update your online profiles when- ever you want. You can send out an email to all your contact telling them about your new email address. You can’t do that with a business card. So- practically, the business card seems like an anachronism in a business climate like Asia, which is normally associated with high-tech and cutting-edge advancements. However, business card design in Asia is extremelycrea- tive and people put a lot of money and effort into it. I once got a business card from some- one, designed like a $50 bill - but with his face on it. This is just one example of the very crea- tive business cards I’ve seen.
  35. 35. There are designers in their late teens, straight out of a design course, who have much bet- ter business cards than I do. There’s a lot of effort put into business cards in Asia, perhaps more so than many other aspects of the busi- ness’s first impression. Even in the Asian context, though, branding is catching on more - and the need to brand much more than the business card is catch- ing on. People understand that you can now make videos introducing yourself, or use so- cial media. People animate what they do, or use infographics to represent the concepts that they’re standing for. DESIGN AND BUSINESS: THE BUSINESS CARD 73 What does this mean for the business card in Asia? Advancements in design technology are rendering the business card almost obsolete, but business culture continues to being the business card to the forefront of negotiations. It remains to be seen what will happen, but it does reveal that things are changing and that a successful designer has to be ahead of these changes if he or she is to benefit from them.
  36. 36. CHANGING TRENDS IN DESIGN 75 When I first started in design, there were very few tools available to the designer. It was hard to decide what you wanted to do. Now, tools are available to do just about anything you want.I re- member not having any afford- able video animation tools at that time. I could only animate geometric shapes and text - even with the more costly animations software. Our options for design were Corel, Photopaint, and Photoshop. At this early stage, it was imperative that you had good material to work with, but content was much harder to come by. When I sit in front of a browser now, I type the search term ‘landscape’ into Google and find millions of image results in varying resolutions. When I first started, Altavista would have given me about a thousand photos - most of which were too small. The process was therefore much longer. I would take photographs on film, get them developed, scan them, and then start work. It would take a lot more time and money that it takes now. It could take you a few days before your photo was ready to be worked on. Even when we got digital cameras, the resolutions were less than 1 megapixel and file size was a major concern. By the time I got to the fun part - taking texts and shapes and applying effects to them - I had to go through a tedious process. So it was important to be motivated - you needed to be able to stick it out, to spend the time needed, and to invest the money neces- sary. Technology at our current stage has greatly lessened the deterrents to becoming a designer because of the speed and ease at which we can work.
  37. 37. CHANGING TRENDS IN DESIGN 77 One of the most significant trends in design software today is our move away from tool- based software to feature-based software. Ten years ago, I would have approached web design by thinking to myself, “What tools do I need in this website?” Now, I ask myself, “What features do I want in this website?” This gives more choice to designers in terms of strategy and approach.Visual language and visual code has the potential to change rapidly with technologi- cal advancements. For example, we’ve spent years seeing the logo on the top left of a website, the regis- tration form on the right, and the drop-down menu on top. As more people begin browsing websites with tablets and not computers, it’s nec- essary to rethink the way that people interact with websites. The mouse gives you three options - don’t click, click, or hover. A tablet only gives you two - touch or don’t touch. This has a pro- found effect on how people browse the web. And when one media changes - in this case, the web - other media platforms are bound to change. Tablets, for example, have not only affected how consumers view the web but also how business is sought and created. Portability means that a startup doesn’t have to show clients a slide presentation in a boardroom anymore. If you’re a startup, you can publish your own videos on your website - with narra- tion, animation, live-action, or infographics representing your business concepts. These are viewable on tablets as well as comput- ers. Web media changes have thus cascad- ed across the industry to affect other media like video. Video software itself has been the topic of much debate. Apple’s Final Cut Pro X, when it was released, was mocked because compet- itors thought it wasn’t professional anymore. It was simplified, with many panels removed - panels that the developers felt were not rel- evant anymore. Those who worked in the in- dustry for decades felt that the software had lost something - there was no more control of every detail.
  38. 38. CHANGING TRENDS IN DESIGN 79 It’s necessary to change with the trends, and even industry giants have realized that they need to be quick to understand this. Tradition- al software has always been produced with a massive investment, and then sold to a per- son with a single license. Once this license is sold, it’s done - and the consumer won’t buy another license until you release a new version. Software companies have long released improvement after im- provement in different versions to consumers. However, some software does reach the end of the tunnel - it becomes perfect and you can’t add to it anymore. This happened to Photoshop CS3, and there was little else that could be done to improve the software. So, there are repackaged versions for niche markets - Photoshop Touch, Photoshop Express, Photoshop Elements.This also chang- es the way that people consume software. It’s not necessary to purchase expensive soft- ware for a single license anymore. There is great software available for reason- able prices, with several licenses. Software developers are also giving consumers the op- tion to subscribe rather than pay a one-time charge - so that it gives you the greater flexibility of being able to pick and choose what you want in terms of features and usability. Some software companies are even letting consumers use the software for free on- line, and only pay per export.
  39. 39. CHANGING TRENDS IN DESIGN 81 It’s said that a successful software today is the software that has several lawsuits against it, claiming that the code was stolen. This should provide the understanding that software is be- coming a highly competitive field, and there are numerous applications and services coming out at all price ranges. The flexibility is tremendous and the market is varied. This means that it’s essential to embrace many technologies and tie them together with the principles of design, picking and choosing the best tools from each software - rather than claiming proficiency in a single software. When people ask me, “Can you make a web- site with a shopping cart on Adobe Dream- weaver?” I respond with, “Can you write Ro- meo and Juliet with MS Word?” Technically, the answer to both is yes. But can you conceptualize? Can you use the tools to create ideas? That’s what’s important. The market treasures technical knowledge, but neglects conceptualization. That’s why a bundle of experience makes a design - and a designer - more valuable. This also means that there will be less of an industry standard. More competition means that more softwares are emerging and there is no single software that a designer can learn and use his or her entire career. This means that the theory of design becomes crucial. It’s not enough to know how to operate the software. Transferable skills will become paramount because a young designer could be very skilled at a software - but if his or her first job is in a company that doesn’t have the software, those skills become useless. Eventually, and ideally, this will lead to a situ- ation where there is less piracy but also more fragmentation. Performance may get affect- ed when using web-based software for exam- ple, working on a 300kb file on a web-based design software is going to be a slow process. So hardware will need to keep up to meet in- creasing software demands. In some cases, though, hardware has led the way. Consider the iPad, which was mocked when it was first released. Consumers complained about the lack of a USB port. But Apple has overcome its critics with panache. When the iPad was first released, it was amid cries of complaint that it has no USB ports. But it seems that Apple had predicted the online sharing trend. Today, I share hundreds of documents via Dropbox or Google docs, and hardly any via a USB flash drive. And with file compression, it’s hardly an issue.
  40. 40. Sephia SephiaA dark-brown ink or pigment produced from cuttlefish that is particularly associated with illustrations and photographs of the ninetheenth and early twentieth centuries.A sephia tint can now be easily applied digitally using filter to produce images that convey a historic or nostalgic feel.
  41. 41. CHANGING TRENDS IN DESIGN 85 What does this mean for the future of the graphic designer? Well, first of all it means that the term ‘graphic designer’ has become as generic as ‘doctor’. Just as there is heart surgery, sports medicine, medical research, rural medicine, and scores more, there are several types of designers. You could specialize in typography, layout, color. Or in web, or mobile, or print. Designers are increasingly under pressure to understand two very specific and complementary roles - co- ordination and specialization. About ten years ago, a web specialization meant just a few things. Now, web specializa- tion has several different meanings. Design has increased in complexity - and with it, the designer has become a complex role that’s difficult to frame. Business-wise, this means that design is definitely becoming a more valuable industry. Simple websites don’t cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, but this doesn’t mean that you should get your neph- ew to create an HTML website for your company, for free. If a company makes sev- eral millions a year but their web presence costs them very little, there is an imbalance that needs to be addressed. They need design with value, as I mentioned earlier in this book. The stakes for de- signers are now higher because there is more competition and there are more skills to potentially learn. However, the equa- tion remains the same - experience, techni- cal knowledge and talent. These three com- ponents make up value no matter what the platform and no matter where in the world the designer is working.
  42. 42. design Colors 87 I have chosen to address the issue of color be- cause I believe that it’s an integral part of de- sign. Color ‘disorders’ can also cause some of the greatest challenges to a designer. Color cast, for example, is the worst enemy of the photographer or visual artist. I see it as a virus which needs to be cured by us, the doctors who have to discern the best approach to take in order to eradi- cate it. To understand how to cure color cast, we first need to understand its ‘pathology’. Color cast is an unwanted overall spread color that influences our perception of an image. The influence of color cast can be at an emotional level because it affects the way in which the viewer perceives an image. However, color cast also affects us at a light perception level. Because color cast creates a veil over the picture, we don’t see the actual picture in terms of color and luminosity. Color cast affects light first, then color - which means that a picture with color cast will look darker than it should be. It will be perceived as duller, meaning that there is a lack of contrast in the picture. This is because color cast makes light areas darker, and shadows brighter. In practice, stop color cast before it even starts by trying to prevent it in the photography pro- cess! You can use white-point calibration to help prevent color cast. Open up a tone chart in the screen of your camera, and use this chart to calibrate the camera. The tone chart includes gray, black, and white colors. The white point is used to calibrate the camera’s white balance. The light cast on the tone chart reflects the light on the white point according to the light of the environment. Calibrating the camera with the tone chart means that the extra light found on the white will be subtracted. For example, if the camera finds extra cyan, it will compensate by add- ing some red (red being the opposite of cyan, which I will discuss in more detail later). Despite preventative measures such as white- point calibration, color cast is still experienced because the color cast may be generated within the camera and within the sensor. This means that you will not discover the color cast until after you have clicked the photo. spot the colorcast?
  43. 43. So how do we go about treating a photograph which is suffering from color cast? Like any good medical professional, I con- ducted an experiment on this virus.When I was living in Italy, I surveyed a group of 600 photog- raphers by showing them a picture with color cast. I asked them to identify the color cast on the picture. Most of them reported 2 or 3 color casts - meaning that they would say, “It looks yellowish, reddish, and magenta-ish,” or “it looks like a mixture of yellow and red.” Then, I fixed the picture. Without touching color at all, I adjusted the contrast on the picture and then showed it to my 600 test subjects again. This time, almost everyone reported a single color cast. My findings revealed that contrast is the first and most important element that deceives our perceptions of a picture. Color is the sec- ond element, after contrast. That’s why we re- fer to it as color cast (in the singular), and not color casts (plural). The treatment process for color cast must begin by setting contrast ac- curately. Set contrast so that the bright tones don’t hit the 255rgb ceiling, and darken the dark tones without going to 0. Once that’s done, you need to prescribe the picture its ap- propriate medication. To understand which medicine is appropriate for which picture, consider this arrangement of colors: design colors 89 R (Red) (cyan) C G (Green) (magenta) M B (Blue) (yellow) Y The medicine for a red color cast is the hue which is directly opposite it - cyan. A ma- genta color cast requires a green cure, and so on. Stop and Think Based on what you see in the chart, what do you think is the best cure for a yellow color cast? Or a blue color cast? Think of some ex- amples of photos you have worked on in the past, and consider how you can apply this chart to those photos. Sometimes, though, it can be hard to determine what exactly the color cast is. This is because we perceive blue and cyan to be very similar, just as we perceive green and yellow, and red and ma- genta to be similar. So how do we figure out which color cast it is? Simply put, we work on the luminosity component of the color cast. RGB colors are always brighter than CMYK colors because of the physical components of these hues.
  44. 44. RGB colors are additive - this means that the more you add color, the brighter the color becomes. CMYK is subtractive, which means that the more you subtract, the brigher it becomes. If this seems difficult to understand, here’s a simplified explanation: RGB colors are colors of light, and CMYK colors are colors of pigment. The more red you add, the more light you are adding. This means that a red color cast (additional red in the picture) will have more light - and therefore, it will look brighter. The more magenta you add, the more pig- ment you are adding - it’s like applying sev- eral layers of paint on a sheet of white pa- per. Just as the paint darkens when you add more layers, the picture will darken with a magenta color cast because you are adding more magenta. So a ‘reddish’ color cast could be a red or a magenta, but when you look at its luminos- ity, you can identify which one it is. A darker color cast means magenta, and a brighter color cast means ted. Once you’ve identi- fied that the virus is magenta, you know the cure - green. design Colors 91 Similarly, if the color cast is ‘bluish’ and too bright, you will know that it is blue (because RGB colors are brighter). Therefore, the cure will be yellow. To understand the way in which the human brain functions, try this experiment. You will need your computer, Photoshop or any other suitable software, and a willing hu- man participant to test your experiment on. In Photoshop or any other suitable software, create a red square. Then, copy it and place the identical square beside the first square. Take the second square and keep the same color but subtract 10% blue or 10% green. Ask your human test subject to see if he or she perceives any difference in color. Most of the time, the answer will be no. Then, send your participant away and take away 10% luminosity from the second square. When he or she returns, ask if there is a dif- ference between the two squares. This time, most answers will be yes. This shows that the human brain is more perceptive to a bright- ness change than to a hue or color change. + + ++ ---- --
  45. 45. visual communication and selling 95 There is a common misconception in the way peo- ple use visual communication to sell something: As long as it’s memorable, it’s a good design. I’d like to challenge this misconception with an anecdote about a TV commercial that I once saw in Italy. It was for a brand of mineral water which didn’t have much sodium in it. The premise was that sodium caused water retention, and led to cellulite - but this mineral water, having low sodium, would not contrib- ute to cellulite. The commercial was an animation of a par- ticle of sodium floating in the water, lament- ing in a high-pitched singing voice about how she was all alone because the water didn’t have any other sodium molecules. I remember being highly irritated by this commercial, and I expressed my opinion to an acquaintance. “Well, at least it’s catchy,” my acquaintance told me. “It sticks. Hate it or love it, you’ll re- member it - just like you’re remembering it now.” “Perhaps so,” I told the lady. “But can you tell me what brand of water it is?” She replied - with the wrong brand. A memorable design doesn’t mean it’s effec- tive. This was years ago in Italy, but I see many contemporary examples. One of the most current examples that comes to mind is the Chrysler commercial during the 2012 Super- Bowl. Starring Clint Eastwood, this commercial starts with 1 minute and 50 seconds of stun- ning visuals. However, only the last 10 seconds contain a message supporting the brand. I know where this is coming from, because I’ve had clients tell me things like, “Use bright col- ours so that people will notice our ad first!”
  46. 46. visual communication and selling 97 What they miss is that visual communication should operate on three levels: 1. Stop 2. Hold 3. Sell People focus a lot on the ‘Stop’ part. They want audiences to stop, and look. But when the message tries to hold audiences and ex- plain the reasoning of the design to them, it fails. I received an email recently about a talk I gave on visual communication. The sender thanked me for my insights, then told me that he was having trouble making his presenta- tion look attractive. “I think if I knew anima- tion, it would look more attractive,” he wrote. This misconception needs to be addressed. More is not merrier in design; you can’t fo- cus on ‘Stop’ and expect the product to sell. You can’t have a pink background but not justify it. This is why I encourage the stop-hold-sell model to be a more holistic concept. Inte- grate them all - consider how ‘Stop’ affects ‘Hold’ or how ‘Hold’ affects ‘Sell’. Don’t involve elements of design for the sake of involving them. Create bridges instead of adding de- sign elements. Naturally, I encounter opposition - even from clients - who don’t grasp this concept. When I first started in design, I couldn’t help it and I took what I got. I am now fortunate to be able to tell clients that I am the architect of this de- sign - not a contractor. I prefer to plan and build, rather than build someone else’s plan. This gives design a much more integrated, ho- listic and effective feel. STEPS TO VISUAL COMMUNICATION A ‘GREAT’ SELL!HOLD.STOP! FIRST NEXT LAST
  47. 47. Design Facts
  48. 48. I believe that design should inspire rather than make a hard sell. There should be less focus on the product that the design is selling and more focus on people using the product. I’ve seen my share of before-after commu- nication: the user is portrayed in dull tones, looking sad in the ‘before’ picture - and in the ‘after’ picture, the colours are dynamic and the user’s life is better. I think that audiences are too used to that - it doesn’t work anymore. People want to see benefits - what they can get out of a product - and they want the design to communicate that. ‘Clean’ and ‘simple’ are two words that I hear most commonly in client briefings. But clean and simple are given. I don’t think that anyone really wants a messy, cluttered and complicated design. However, clients con- tinue to emphasize clean and simple as if it’s something new and cutting-edge. In reality, clean and simple is the only way to go if you want to create effective visual com- munication.Unfortunately, clean and simple is mistaken for cheap. Look at Giorgio Armani’s website, for example - it’s simple but I can guarantee you it is not a cheap design. visual communication and selling 101 Look at any number of minimalist designers. Keeping things clean and simple doesn’t mean that you remove value. The number of design elements on a website doesn’t trans- late into the cost of the website. Design is a holistic process - value is created in the mes- sage that it is communicating, not in the num- ber of visual elements you see. Achieving the stop-hold-sell model is much more important than creating several design elements. The value of the design is in its abil- ity to create this stop-holdsell process and to make it effective. Therefore, a ‘simple’ design isn’t a cheap design.
  49. 49. Illustrations &Artdirection by photography, design&layout by
  50. 50. appendix106 Elements Used In This Book History Class - A brief description of the historical context of the principle, to understand how and why that principle was developed. Science 101 - An explanation of the science behind the idea, for more in-depth knowledge. In Practice - Provides a strategy that the reader can apply to his or her design work immediately. Stop And Think - A point in the chapter for the reader to stop and consider the implications of the topic to his or her practical experience. Try It Now - A simple exercise that the reader can try then and there with a piece of paper and a pencil. The Visual Dictionary Of Graphic Design - A guide to the many and varied terms used frequently within graphic design. 1.You’re Exactly My Type: Typography for Clear Design Visual Examples 1.Advertisements for fake products with typefaces that reinforce or contradict the copy. 2. Use of typography to create meaning. Topics in this chapter 1. How alignment and justification affect meaning and visual impact. 2. How theories of semiotics form the basis of typography. 3.The stories of fonts - their histories and applications. 4. How to decide which typeface to use in which situation. 2.A Place For Everything And Everything In Its Place: Layout Matters! Visual Examples 1.A layout of a city - like a Google maps view - with everything in its place: explain good city planning vs bad city planning. 2. Layout of an apartment or a living room. Topics in this chapter 1. Layout is basically mathematical because it is about proportion - but how does the mathematical translate into the visual? 2. Seeing things from a reader’s or viewer’s perspective - how does this translate into layout? How can a designer step into a viewer’s place? 3.Why are proportions important when designing something, even if you can identify the object when its proportions are skewed? Is design just about identification? What about the communicative function? 3.What You Don’t See: Negative Space Creates Meaning Visual Examples 1. Rubin’s vase 2. Spaces Between Moth Topics in this chapter 1. Negative space may make for a fun optical illusion, but how can it create significance to design? 2. How much negative space to use, when to use it, and where? 3. Negative space used unnecessarily - how does it impact design? 4.Visuals Can Hack Your Brain: How The Brain Processes Images Visual Examples 1.Visual Perceptions and Gestalt Images 2. Symbols and their perceptions Topics in this chapter 1. How are images processed by the brain? 2.What practical design applications come from this knowledge? 5.The Rainbow Connection: Making The Links Between Color And Meaning Visual Examples 1.Why mood rings were so popular 2.Why we see color first, before anything else BLUE Topics in this chapter 1.What does color mean in terms of optics - how do we perceive color and wavelengths? 2. How does color affect the message of your design and communication? 3. Using, over-using, and under-using color in design - what do you need to know? 6.The Great Design Quiz Topics in this chapter 1.Quiz to identify the common misconceptions that the reader may have, with an explanation of each misconception, and the correct principle with each answer.
  51. 51. In his debut book, Stefano Virgilli pens down his experiences, in both Italy and Singapore, from his decade long journey in the Design industry. He addresses issues relevant to designers at any stage in their career, whether they are starting out or are industry veterans. So no matter what kind of a designer you are, this book encourages you to open up your visual spectrum so that you can understand that empty space of yours. Empty spaces represent a lot of things; fresh beginnings,clarity,possibilities and most of all prom- ise.They carry the potential to turn into anything that one wants them to be.All that one needs is a vision and the determination to keep striving towards it. However, when it comes to creative industries like Design,change is constant and this can throw a lot of designers off-track.They key is to keep an open mind and welcome these changes.This helps you in expanding your creative horizons and evolving that vision into perhaps something better.