Unit 6: Grand Designs

This Unit is about design. It’s not always clear where the line is between design and visual, but ds106 design storytelling assignments involve more creating and modifying in graphics software programs, and focus on key characteristics such as colour, form, shape and typography.

You’ll spend some time this Unit thinking about the way the world around you is designed, as well as creating some of your own design ideas.

Some Inspiration

Ira Glass on the secret of success in creative work, animated  using kinetic typography.

By Design

Design is everywhere you look- anything we create or manufacture has key design elements.

Design Safari

Review this assignment document and examine the design concepts, the linked resource, and examples cited by previous ds106 students. The goal here is for you to develop a deeper, more nuanced understanding of the basic elements of design including colour, typography, metaphors/symbols, minimalism & use of space, form/function/message , balance, rhythm, proportion, dominance and unity.

After reading and reviewing the assignment document, you should be able to provide a basic explanation of each of these concepts.

To reinforce your understanding, undertake a ‘Design Safari’. Carry your camera with you this Unit and take photos of objects, ads, signs, and so on, that illustrate one of these concepts.

Provide an example of at least four of the design concepts mentioned above. Share all your photos on Flickr and tag them designblitz.

In addition, add a link to your Flickr photos by editing the assignment document within the proper concept areas, under the heading ‘Found Examples’.  Make sure you identify yourself by name or Twitter handle.

When you have completed your Safari, write a champion blog post that embeds the photos and your analysis of the design elements and what makes them effective or not.

Design Assignments

In this Unit challenge yourself to complete 10 stars worth of design assignments from the Assignment Bank. To make sure you get a fair exposure to design elements, try to do different types of assignments. Some suggestions are given below. Do the work that is most interesting to you, do not be driven just by the stars.

Suggestions for Design Assignments

Visual thinking and symbols: One Story / Four Icons (**) Reduce a movie or novel to four symbols that represent the major plot points. Make it hard to guess, and do not give it away on your blog.

Re-editing existing content to change the meaning or making something new that visually represents an idea:

Six Word Memoir (***) A combination of a story in six words designed into a poster.

ds106 Propaganda Posters (***) redesign posters from the World War 2 era to have a message that promotes ds106.

Minimalist TV/Movie Poster (***) Design the essence of the story through minimalist design/iconography.

Remember that each assignment should be its own blog post, properly described, linked, and tagged according to the criteria for writing up assignments.


Unit 6 Summary

During this Unit you should have:

Thought about design and what makes good design

Completed a blog post about the Design Safari task

Completed 10 stars worth of Design Assignments and created a blog post for each assignment following the criteria used by ‘blogging champions’.


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