Sara’s main focus throughout this lecture was the process behind the design and to counter the ways in which many were taught to research throughout earlier studies. Where you are taught that to progress and further your designs, you should mimic the styles of other artists and insert some of their techniques into your own work. Sara thought to combat this preformed idea of research.
She began explaining design process by simplifying it into three sections; field of study, focus and methodology. From there she further broke down the sections into categories of varying types of research and how to record it.
The first and most important being documentation which includes but isn’t limited to photographing, filming, drawing and writing about the subject matter. Following it was reflection; to annotate, draw, record. In most cases it would be to add reasoning as to why a certain subject was included in the research. Here Sara also added that our annotation should never be an observation of what is there, for example; writing that there is a picture of a cow despite the fact that the reader is perfectly capable of seeing said cow image. We are to annotate what we can not show.
The next step was to accumulate, gather, build up our research but zoning it around the focus of our brief, somewhat around the subject area we wish our final piece to be based in. This way when it comes to the next step (design), the process can be recorded with ease and clarity. Design is both a noun and a verb. To design is to plan, draw plans of, draw, sketch, outline, map out, plot, block out, delineate, draft or depict. Our designs should always be changing and evolving around new ideas or new research; basically we should never go into a project brief with a final piece already in mind. At the start of a project our research can be broad and can even come from non-related industries should it inspire and remain relevant. However as time goes on, our research needs to narrow; like a cone!
Finally she explained blogging. Fortunately, I’m already familiar with blogging and have a variety including one for my personal interests, my artwork, club nights that I run, record labels that I run etc. Years working with Tumblr and Blogspot have taught me simple html coding as well as the benefits of tagging, pages and categorising. However we were to use WordPress instead as it is a more professional and open blogging platform.
Sara explained in brief that our blog is a journal that we are to pour our research, ideas, inspiration and personal thoughts on the project onto. It is to be a personal yet professional representation of us as designers, our design process and the workings of our mind, if you will. This is the final step of our design process due to the fact that everything leading up to this point should be shown on our blogs.
Books to read:
- Visual Research: An intro to research on methodologies in Graphic Design
- Sketchbooks: The hidden art of designers, illustrators & creatives
- Typographic Sketchbooks