The design process can also be referred to as design methodology. It basically refers to a number of steps that a design can be broken down to from the initial idea or client request to the final printed end piece or manufactured prototype.
There are several trends to create a streamlined step-by-step approach, but it is not chiseled in stone. You can look at my preferred method and modify it for your needs.
I have based mine on my practice, research and education and it is working well for me. A great source of inspiration was the Double Diamond or the 4Ds developed by the British Design Council. The 4Ds stand for discover, define, develop and deliver.
The design process below is particularly suitable to communication design, but works for other design disciplines as well.
Here are the 7 steps:
Project Analysis or Project Considerations
Concept Development with Evaluation
Concept Refinement with Evaluation
Prototyping or Modelmaking
Delivery and Completion
Project Analysis or Project Considerations
The first step is to define the problem or the request for a design. Either you are approached by a client or alternatively you may get your hands on a brief through a competition or by your teacher.
Your first step has to be to analyse what the client needs and define a written brief. So, you need to write a short description that lists, what is required, what materials are needed, who it is for and by when it is needed. So, list the problem and what you need to design as well as dead lines or due dates.
Next you need to create a project plan or action plan. This is a list of each task, with a task description, allocation (who will do the task), due date and a tick box. The allocation column is not necessary if you work on your own and complete all the tasks on by yourself.
You should also include a section on potential problems in this project. This could be a mind map and it should allow you to see any complications early. An example could be the stability of a desk based yearly calendar, or the wear and tear of an exterior.
The research stage is your attempt to learn about the design that you are about to create. You want to research these 3 stages as a minimum: competitors, target audience (or target market) and design and technology.
After establishing what product (or service) you are designing for your client, find 3 or more competitors that offer the same or a similar product or service. It is good to look at a market leader as well as competitors at a similar level to your client. This can start of as a brain storm of all competitors that come to your mind or a search of similar businesses online. You may want to find competitors via an online business directory, e.g.: www.truelocal.com.au or by using Google. If you are not aware of many online business directories try a Google search for ‘business directory’.
You can document your brainstorm in form of a mind map and your research in form of a page including:
short description of the competitor
images of their products
logo of the competitor or product
other aspects of their visual identity (e.g.:colours, fonts, etc.)
Target Audience Research
When you are setting out to understand and define a target audience you are looking to recognise why this group or individual person is seeking out your client’s product or services. By understanding a target audience you understand their needs, desires and interests in a particular product. This is central in designing a product or service. We are trying to understand a target audience by looking at data of that group. These are typical criteria to collect data by:
psychographic (personality-related data: life style choices, hobbies, interests, political agenda, cultural traits)
frequency of use
Below you will be introduced to different tools you can use to collect data:
mind mapping – a good starting point, mind map the various aspects of the target audience
target audience list – filling in a list of criteria related to the target audience
moodboard or visual board – this is fun: put everything related on a sheet of paper or into a digital presentation
character profile – this needs to be representative of a typical person in the target audience, preferably a common personality or a leader, see examples below
Finding information about a target audience might mean to actually listen in on your target audience. You can create specific discussion groups with participants of the correct demographic (age, gender, etc.) and psychographic (interests, political persuasion, etc.) profile. You can search online for chat forums or in the comments to related blogs and Facebook is a powerful resource as well.
Design and Technology Research
Design research is the fun part of our research and is where we want to look at inspiration for our design. This can be
existing products of the type we are about to design as well as
colours suitable to the target audience, product and client business
The technology aspect relates to manufacturing, finishing or prototyping methods used for the product you are designing. It is central to understand the process and materials applied in the making of the product. If you are working on a plastic component to be inserted into a dashboard of a car or yacht you may need to research the plastic manufacturing process (e.g.: injection molding). While if you are designing a pamphlet, you will need to research printing and folding techniques. So ensure to research:
manufacturing and other technology
I like to use Pinterest in my research and highly recommend it as it is a fun site.
A design strategy is a written statement that will help you establish what you are setting out to design. It is your chance to reflect on your analysis and research and now clearly state what your intended design strategy will be. Make sure to relate your strategy to your design ideas and link it to your research and brief.
Example: ‘I will set out to design a poster for the MUFF (Melbourne Underground Film Festival). I will use vector graphics to show a group of festival goers waiting in a lobby. They will all look eclectic and wear some retro-style clothes. The font needs to work with the MUFF logo. The poster will have a retro appeal, but look contemporary. I want to avoid designing a poster that looks dated. The layout will have a clear visual hierarchy and good use of white space. The colour scheme needs to be decided.’
You see that the design strategy is a method to plan your design, but needs to link your ideas to the brief and research. Your design strategy may be a work in progress and you may not conclude every aspect. It is a bit a cooking recipe for a design. Incorporate problems or difficulties with this project as you may have found in your Project Analysis.
Now you can get creative by developing concepts or ideas. The preferred method is the sketching of thumbnails on paper. Use pencils or fine liners to sketch out your concepts. You need to create a large number of ideas. Do not limit yourself to only your first few ideas, but use brainstorming, mind mapping and other creative thinking tools to come up with creative and unorthodox concepts. I would develop a minimum of 30 thumbnail sketches.
Concept Refinement with Evaluation
Select 3 of the most suitable and promising concepts. You may select them yourself or get the feedback of a colleague or the client. Refine the concepts by exploring variations for layout, fonts, scale, colours and shades, as well as image choices and finishes. Always include a colour scheme (options of colours) and font choices.
Depending on the product you may create 3 mockups to give a feel for the product.
Present your 3 refined concepts to your design team and client for evaluation and feedback. Choose the preferred concept.
You may create a style guide that clearly defines the different aspects of this design (font choices for headers, base text, colour choices, and more)
The evaluation takes your design strategy into account and looks at how well each design has achieved the desired aspects.
Prototype or Modelmaking
Create a to-scale prototype in the correct finish and finalise your design.
Finalise all the paperwork and files. Support your client and other third party companies with the correct information, files and support.
Ensure the manufacturer or printer is completing the job (e.g.: by signing off a test print)
Save all files into correct folders. Store the files.
Finalise all invoicing and payments.
Supply your client with all the correct files and instructions.
When you are creating artwork you will use a variety of design elements. The better your understanding of design elements the easier you will be able to communicate with your graphics.
There are a variety of design elements. On basic terms we are referring to any aspect that contributes to the final graphic. Design elements include:
Dot or Point
We will focus on the Line and the impact a line can have visually, aesthetically and psychologically. Definition: a line is a path with a beginning and an end. It can be defined as the connection between a start point and an end point. Generally a line has one direction, but that direction can be unclear or ambiguous. Lines are 1 dimensional and can vary in style, thickness, direction and length. A line can be real or it can be imaginary or implied. How we understand a line is directly related to our environment and how we understand our environment. A hunter in the stone age needed to read his environment to ensure his survival and successful hunt. Let us look at some lines based on position in detail.
A horizontal line suggests calm and a resting position. Humans and most animals will take a horizontal position when resting . Cows seem to be an exception, they sleep in a standing position. If we relate this to our prehistoric ancestor he would view an animal or a stranger in a resting position as less of a threat. A horizontal line may give the illusion of space. In a landscape the horizontal line goes from left to right and suggests continuation of the landscape to both sides. Vertical lines in repetition emphasise stability. Vertical lines have a relaxing effect.
Vertical lines are less stable and give a sense of height. The higher the vertical line reaches the more it can be read as something powerful, heavenly and beyond our reach. Depending on the object vertical lines can give a feeling of change and growth (eg a forest of tall vertical trunks). In architecture the use of vertical lines can give a sense of height and power. Vertical lines can be perceived as a threat, as in a standing person. Our prehistoric ancestor would view strangers and animals in a standing position as awake and potentially aware of his presence. They may even observe him. Vertical lines in repetition can create a strong rhythm. Vertical lines can be perceived as moody.
A diagonal line suggests movement. Objects in diagonal positions can appear unstable, either they are about to fall (as in the image of a falling tree) or they are in motion (a sprinter). In an image that shows perspective the diagonal lines depict the highest and lowest point of a row objects receding into the horizon. The line seems to commence with the object in front and recedes to the vanishing point on the horizon. Diagonal lines will draw the viewer’s gaze into the image. Diagonal lines are very powerful and seemingly in motion. Diagonal lines in repetition emphasise movement and can create a strong rhythm. Diagonal lines can be related to chaos and instability.
Combined Horizontal and Vertical Lines
The combination of the two lines will combine elements of the horizontal line with the qualities of the vertical line. A grid will look extremely stable and strong. A low and wide object will appear stable. A high object will appear strong and important. The rectilinear nature of the lines suggest a building or object that has been built and is structurally stable.
The lines to this point were related to positioning. The curve is related to the flow of the line. When a line is straight it adds little in the form of character or personality to the line. A straight line looks static and the positioning is the only indicator to the position or level of movement. A curve is very different to that. A curve is energetic and implies change of direction or motion. Gentle curves convey slow, gentle movement and remind us of the sensual qualities of a human body. Gentle curves can have a very pleasing and softening influence on a picture. Like the horizontal line a gentle curve can be relaxing, but it is also stimulating. Sharp curves convey fast, abrupt movements. This can be read as chaos or violent movement, like the struggle for victory between a predator and its prey. Sharp curves and twists can give a composition a chaotic and intense feel.
Continuous lines refer to lines either as a drawn, printed or as the continuation of the edge of a shape or object. We draw our world with the aid of lines, yet in reality there are no lines, but shapes and objects. There are different types of lines distinguishable by their quality: continuous, broken, dotted, thick, thin, hair lines, light, dark, in colour, even, uneven, etc. Every line is treating a subject in a certain way and therefore has a strong impact on the viewer’s emotions and understanding of the work. Lines can add emphasis and give depth to an object. Read more about the quality of lines at a later post.
An implied line may be a connection of objects or the continuation of a rhythm, it can be the continuation of an arrow or pointer or the path of the direction of someone’s eyes looking. It can be a person pointing at something with the index finger.
Implied lines are very powerful tools of the graphic designer. A psychological study conducted by researchers at the universities of Exeter and Lincoln found that biological cues, such as eye-gazing and finger-pointing were far more powerful to the human psyche than text-based (left, right) or icon-based cues (arrows). The reasons for this may lay in the fact that a biological cue relates to how we may read a person and a person’s body language. A person might pass on important cues to us with their body language. Looking at something may be a hint that was not given intentionally by the sender (of the information). Read more at: Psychology Study Points to Giving Arrow the Finger at University of Lincoln site. Gestures are powerful visual cue used in graphic design and were ever-present in art of many epochs. Renaissance painters like Michelangelo or Leonardo da Vinci placed visual cues into their paintings that were an indication of the artist’s views, it could represent criticism or say something about the subject. Leonardo’s Last Supper depicting the Jesus at his last supper with his apostles. Each of the hand gestures represent a message or code. There are many examples of finger-pointing in paintings, Michelangelo’s famous ‘Creation of Adam’ that can be found in the Sistine Chapel shows God reaching out to touch Adam. He seems to point at him with his index finger.
Many paintings show someone pointing towards heaven. This might show the importance of heaven in Christian belief. In Leonardo’s painting of St. John the Baptist it is believed to signify salvation through baptism that John the Baptist represents.
In 1914 a poster design by British designer Alfred Leere featured a picture of the British secretary of state for war, Lord Kitchener, pointing directly at the viewer, above the words “wants you.”
This design carried a powerful message that would stay with the viewer long after seeing the poster. One can only imagine what that poster did to the minds of young men of the early 20th Century. The Leere poster that was released became quite an icon and the concept of the finger pointing at the viewer has been reused in other recruitment posters of WWI and in other designs ever after. The Uncle Sam poster was released in 1916 and became possible more famous in a commercial context.
This concept has been picked up in a more commercial context. Below are two interesting examples from Emily the Strange and a concept for a lipstick advertisement by Samantha Cain.
Applying the eye gaze and pointing finger to a design piece can add a clear flow and focus to your design and assist the Visual Hierarchy and message of your work.
Sharing is the primary productivity benefit of networking. We have to share resources on the network such as printers and file folders in order to be productive. Some of those resources might be shared outside the local network (eg the incoming mail server) but most local network files and hardware are not meant for use outside the organisation and need to be protected. This may also include computerised machine tools used in manufacture and the building air-conditioning and lighting which may be computer controlled.
TCP/IP is the modern network topology. A key feature of the protocol is that different types of traffic (eg Email, web, telephone) are sent to different ‘ports’. There are 65535 Ports available of which the first 1024 are reserved. Of these 1024 reserved ports, only the first 256 are in common use. That means there are tens of thousands of potential gateways into your network that are not in active use. From a security point of view, these open ports are like open doors to a building, with one important difference. Although they are open, there may not be anything on the other side of the door (an empty room). However, Trojans exploit these ports for communication and open ports are a leading cause of the spread of DDOS and other security threats. The primary function provided by all Firewall services is to control the range of open ports. Only those ports intended to be available for use should be open on the firewall. (Note: KANGAN does not seem to apply this restriction.)
It is necessary to protect the interface between the local network and the internet by the use of a Firewall. A Firewall will allow management of what links (protocols/ports) are available between the local network and the internet. For example, it would be possible to only allow Email traffic.
A Firewall may either be software running on the gateway or most likely today an Appliance that sits between the Gateway and the Internet. The advantage of an Appliance is that it is purpose built for managing security risks.
Weak passwords are the single most common cause of security failure.
Ensure that personal computer protocols and preferences follow security protocols. (Too many uses of the word protocol here and with different nuances of meaning).
As the risk of an unexpected new threat is always there, it is essential that there are rules for how information about the internal network is managed. These include, establishing minimum password lengths and types, where business files are saved and how or if visitors are allowed any computer access.
Ensure that all staff understand security issues and in particular the role of HTTPS in creating secure data links; how to handle suspicious email and what to do if they suspect their computer is infected by a virus or otherwise compromised.
Ensure that processes exist to install and maintain Antivirus on all workstations.
Induction program for new staff on computer security and use procedures.
Disable Control Protocol
Disable control protocol or internet protocol bindings for file and printer sharing. (This is not relevant to modern Windows releases which implement security over file and printer access on the TCP/IP network.)
When a computer is directly connected to the internet, (e.g. at Home) shared printers and shared files are exposed to the internet and this can be exploited, particularly if passwords on the files/printers do not exist or are weak. At home, disabling file and printer sharing would prevent sharing of things such as iTunes on the local network. The better strategy is to make sure you have very strong passwords on the printer and file shares.
Do not disable or uninstall File and Printer sharing on a Business network. Disabling this will mean that the network cannot operate effectively in sharing data and services, which is its main purpose. In commercial environments (e.g. Kangan), TCP/IP is usually the only network protocol in use and the gateway server/appliance is the first level of defence against outside access. Most modern networks store shared files only on the server with robust security measures controlled by the server software.
NETBIOS and TCP/IP
Ensure that network basic input/output system (NETBIOS) over TCP/IP is disabled.
NETBIOS is a network Applications Programming Interface (API) that was used prior to Windows 2000 / XP to identify the individual computers on the network. Essentially it was the means by which data was directed across the network, by applications, to the computer that required it. It is not really a network protocol as such, more like a utility that software can implement to communicate between machines. It is not secure as it was developed in the context that the network was ‘trusted’ and only local (not internet exposed). NETBIOS is easily exploited to gain unauthorised access.
NETBIOS exists by default in all Windows releases using TCP/IP, including Windows 8. NETBIOS should not be implemented on any current systems and must be disabled.
You can disable NETBIOS using Group Policy on the Server or by individually disabling under Control Panel/ Local Network Connections / TCP/IP Advanced Settings / WINS
When Windows 2000 / XP first came out, NETBIOS was required to allow for some applications to work across networks that also had Windows98 machines. Those applications and services that depend on NetBIOS over TCP/IP no longer function once NetBIOS over TCP/IP is disabled.
Please download the assessment task here (on Wednesday) and upload to MyKangan.
Please leave your feedback in form of a comment. Your feedback and suggestions will help me to make this blog more user friendly. Thanks!
Select a tutorial from below, complete it, add meta-data to the PSD file. Save as a JPEG and email a copy to me(with all relevant meta-data).
Lines in Photoshop
As we saw last week working with lines can be a lot of fun and create very dynamic results. Photoshop has many interesting options on using lines. Particularly the many effects that are part of Photoshop can lead to stunning results.
Luminescent Lines – this tutorial from a great Photoshop tutorial site – PSD Learning – looks at customising brush dynamics. Fun to do and an interesting start: use a photo to create a suprisingly abstract and attractive background. A good tutorial to try on your own.
Abstract Background – this is a more basic tutorial from YourPhotoshopGuide. It is good to introduce the Lens Flare filter and makes good use of the Free Transform and copy layer options.
Wavy Blackberry Style Wallpaper – this is a great tutorial from psdtuts+. It consists of 16 steps, but the result is convincing and you will learn a few good techniques on how to work with gradients and how to add depth to your work.
Lines Tutorial – follow the in-class instructions to create an image like the one below. I basically used the Brush tool and drew straight lines. Next I multiplied layers (Ctrl+J) and changed the layer blending mode.
I added a photo, in the example a photo of Grace Kelly and masked selections.
Video games use game mechanics as well, but besides the core mechanics they are more related to aspect of digital technology.
Find an extensive list of game mechanics at Wikipedia.
We can and should list game mechanics to be able to select what game mechanics we like, but at the end of the day we need to be able to apply game mechanics to a game. This need to happen in the context of the game’s overall purpose. We will read this post: Game Mechanics and Gamification by Andrzej Marczewski on Gamasutra together to get a better idea about how to apply game mechanics.
Brainstorm Game Mechanics
We will do a brainstorm in class for potential game mechanics for the ABC learning game for children (assessment).
Look at this list of Motivators and Supporters (as found on Gamasutra’s post Game Mechanics and Gamification – link is above):
Customisation Choice Freedom
Giving / Altruism Narrative Greater Meaning
Suggest similar users Cooperative “play”
Points Badges Achievements
Peer review / feedback / grading systems Boasting / Bragging system Competitive “play”
Lose Points Lose Status Game Over
Exclusive / Unique Rewards Reward Schedules
Real Games Quiz’s Competitions
Use 3 motivators from the list above and brainstorm game mechanics for the e-game for your assignment (prep-children recognising letters of the alphabet).
List the factors:
Desired Behaviour (eg blow away sand to reveal a letter – find the same letter in a list of letters and click on it)
Motivation (Mastery: Learning the letters of the alphabet; Status: receiving a badge, star, completing a level)
Supporters (for mastery: being able to read; for status: having your score displayed, completing a series – eg a series of green frogs)
We will look at lines today with fresh eyes (I hope). Line can be defined as having a starting point and an end point and the connection between the two is what the line actually is.
Lines are quite an amazing tool for many creators: when drawing the caricaturist uses lines to create his mean contortions to display a fatter, bolder, thinner, long nosed, big mouthed version of his subject. A writer uses lines to create text filled with meaning.
A graph shows the changes in the economy and an arrow points at something.
Lines can be a powerful tool of expression and we will start today’s class with a blank sheet of paper and a pencil.
Draw 5 lines to express 5 concepts, themes or emotions. Below are examples:
anything that you come up with …
What is a line?
A line is a fundamental design and art element. We describe the world around us with line drawings. We draw the contour or outline of objects and shapes that we see around us to define them on a sheet of paper, a canvas or other 2D platform. This was already established by our forefathers who used the walls of caves as their canvas to depict the world around them.
Work by Egon Schiele, found at Mom.org
The illustration is by Viennese artist Egon Schiele (pronounced: Sheelah) and you notice how lines are used to display the outlines and expression of a man. The lines do not exist as such in life, a person does not have a contour line around them and their eyes are not two curved lines either.
So, lines are used as a form of expression. Lines are borrowed in drawings to create shapes and outlines.
The function of a line in design (and art) goes beyond that though.
First and foremost in an abstract sense a line is something that we perceive more than view. It gives us a sense of direction. In this sense lines seem to always have one or more directions.
The lines in the image above seem to move from left to right if you are of a culture that reads from left to right.
Lines can be looked at by characteristics:
Lines can be looked at by their basic application:
Outline describes the outer boundary of a two-dimensional shape.
Contour is the use of line to define the edge of an object and emphasize the volume or mass of the form.
Gestural lines are quick marks that capture the impression of a pose or movement.
Implied lines are suggested or broken lines that are completed with your imagination through the concept of closure. An arrow is used to suggest a direction or path for the eye to follow.
Calligraphy is beautiful, expressive marks. An expressive stroke freely uses the characteristics of line to convey emotion to the viewer, much like an individual’s handwriting changes with different moods.
Analytical line is a formal use of line. Analytical line is closer to geometry with its use of precise and controlled marks. A grid is a very popular analytical use of visual line as a way to organize a design. The Golden Section is an example of the traditional use of analytical classical line, which uses calculated implied lines to bring unity to the structure of a painting composition.
Modeling line is used to create the illusion of volume in drawing. Hatching is the use of parallel lines to suggest value change. Parallel lines on another angle can be added to create cross-hatching to build up a gradation and more value in areas of a drawing.
Directional lines suggest movement or a path of vision and have specific connotations associated with them for example: Vertical lines suggest power and authority; horizontal lines suggest peace and tranquility. Together they give a feeling of calm and stability. Diagonal lines suggest tension; curved lines are graceful and fluid. Together they create a feeling of stress and movement. Linear perspective can be applied to drawing to create the illusion of depth on a two-dimensional surface. (Source: http://www.onlineartcenter.com/line.html)
Lines in Design
Look at the example below of lines in design from a Google search:
Lines Google Image Search
Click on the image above and save 5 -10 images to inspire you to create a Photoshop generated image that displays lines as a rhythmic component.
Before you save the file and email it to me, make sure to include the Meta Data.
Below is an example of a Photoshop generated study incorporating a portrait of the US-American actress Grace Kelly (image can be found at: GettingCheeky) with straight lines at different angles and a wallpaper found on FreeFever.com.
Please leave your feedback in form of a comment. Your feedback and suggestions will help me to make this blog more user friendly. Thanks!
Illustrator unknown – found at: Ephemera – World of Rare Books
Couple found at http://frenchbydesign.blogspot.com.au
Swiss travel poster from 1934 by Herbert Matter – Source: http://swisstype.wordpress.com/work/
I Want You – Emily Strange, The lovable Emily Strange came to life in 1991, designed by Nathan Carrico for Santa Cruz Skateboards. She is referred to as a counterculture icon. I would just call her a sceptic. Image found at: Kollectable Kaos
Illustration: Jamie McKelvie – Suburban Glamour Comic Series
Photo by Seemann on morgueFile.com
Some of us have there most enjoyable moments in nature at the beach, Photo by rivediamoci on morgueFiles
From ‘Henri’s Walk to Paris’ 1962 – children’s book by Saul Bass Found at: Brainpickings.org
The Face by drfranken found on ChromoArt.de
Image Source: www.photoshopessentials.com
Milk Poster – Swiss International Style Reference – by Annabel Stephen Salip
Multimedia Production Cycle – This image is under the Creative Common Agreement, you can use it but will need to reference this site: www.classoffederico.wordpress.com
Poppies – Vector art Federico Viola based on photo by hotblack from morgueFile
Jenga, photo courtesy of: Design-Crit.com
Light Streaks – Courtesy of: PhotoshopEssentials
Based on image by hotblack on morgueFile.com – F.Viola
Good Morning! Photo: wallyir, from: morgueFile.com
Colourful Table of Content – Ribbons in Primary Colours – found at: LifeBlue.com
Photo by clarita on morgueFile
Leonardo’s St. John the Baptist, Louvre, Paris, Image: courtesy of A World History of Art – www.all-art.org
Screenshot – 82 Everyone is a Marketer by Seth Godin from What’s Your Story by Joyce Hostyn
Illustration by Gary Neill found on P.A.P.-Blog – http://garyneill.com/ http://garyneill.tumblr.com/
Work by Jo W
The swirls in the image are made up of numerous lines. Courtesy of: www.openprocessing.org
The gentle curve of the river and the light green tones of the grass give this image a calming feel. The montains and the clouds have a less calming effect. Image: courtesy of Icon Photography School – http://www.photographyicon.com/line/
Photo by hotblack on morgueFile.com
Study – Lines and Grace Kelly – by Federico Viola photo: courtesy of GettingCheeky.com and curved lines wallpaper: courtesy of FreeFever.com
Photo Montage by SGlider12 on Webdesign.org – Click image for great Gimp tutorial
Text and Shapes – This design lends itself to an interactive use – found at: Smashing Magazine (click image for inspiring article on table of content design)
Photo by clarita on www.morguefile.com
Italian movie poster found on Abduzeedo.com
Text and Shapes – This design lends itself to an interactive use – found at: Klafferty.com