Designing with the Teds

To start off this week I watched two, count em, two Ted talks done by designers. Then did a little bit of design practice on Canva to learn about different design rules.

The first of the two was done by Paula Scher  who talked a lot about the difference between serious and solemn “play”. She had some very interesting stories about her different design experiences and all the different fads that she has designed through. All these stories provided ample examples for her to distinguish the types of “play”. The quick version is that when it is considered serious it is something that you start doing enthusiastically, it is new and exciting and has a purpose, solemn is what the work is considered once it is expected or common.  Obviously the preferred state is the serious “play” which is hard to do unless you are starting over with a whole new subject.

The second was done by David Carson who also talks all about his life experience as a designer. His message is very clear, design elements matter just as much as having a design. He shows this through his very first example with the two garage doors that have the same message in two different fonts and discussing which someone would be more drawn to disobey. He also talks about the different trends and fads throughout the years which is definitely easy to see. If you were to put designs from a few years ago and designs from today next to each other you would see some technique differences such as more or bigger words or pictures. He makes another very important point that I believe was closer to the end of the video when he says something about the importance of people and the audience that the designs are geared towards. Even though our new developments and machines make things faster and easier, they make everything the same unless people are there to change it which is a good thing in this case as people get tired of hearing and seeing the same things all the time, we as a human race get to a point where we tune out what we are tired of hearing and seeing.

The Canva tutorials were actually fairly interesting, I did almost all of them just for the sake of seeing what was required of them. However, the things that it talked about and had me practice were fairly basic, such as how to apply filters and how to center words or pictures to make them fit with the rest of the design. While they may be good skills to have, they are things that anyone with any type of an artist eye should be able to handle on their own.

The talks were definitely a fun way to learn about the theories and experiences of the two designers, rather than reading or watching a documentary about it. The Canva tutorials were interesting but I could have done without them.

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