Readings 1.29

Design Elements

Chapter 2

In this chapter, we learn the importance of hue, saturation, value, and temperature. The hue of a color is the identity of the color, it is how our eyes are perceiving the light. The saturation of a color describes the color’s intensity or brightness. The value of a color is the color’s intrinsic lightness or darkness. The temperature of a color is the subjective attribute related to experience, such as describing a color as “warm” or “cold.” In this chapter, we also learn about the relationships among and between these color elements which can evoke different messages, thoughts, and feelings. Who knew color could be so closely related to psychology and hidden meanings?

The Color Wheel

Universal Principles of Design

Red Effects

Red signified richness of meaning and power of influence. The effects of the color of blood and fire are profound. Red effects are a set of behavioral effects triggered by the color red. Red makes women appear more attractive to men, acting like an aphrodisiac. Wearing red apparel confers a small competitive advantage in sports contests. Red appears to impair problem solving and creativity. In design, use red to increase attractiveness, gain a competitive edge, and avoid it in a design studio environment.

Black Effects

Black is not a color, it is the mere absence of light. But from the perspective of what our brains see, black and white are the only true colors. Black also creates behavioral affects. Black is associated with evil and foreboding. Black signals aggression and dominance. Animal shelters say it is much harder to get a black dog adopted. Sports teams wearing black are perceived to be more aggressive and more likely to cheat. Black, glossy products are perceived to be classy. You can use black to increase perceived value in products. You can use black to increase perceived authority and aggressiveness. Sales people should wear bright colors. Black can also clean up messy borders, for example, outlines make designs look more polished.

White Effects

White is associated with moral goodness and security. Sports teams wearing white are perceived to be less aggressive and less likely to cheat. White, glossy products are perceived to have high value and timelessness. You can also use white to increase perceived value in products. It is the color of choice for a minimalist aesthetic. You can also use white to increase perceived approachability and peacefulness. White is also a good way to accent other colors (door trims).

Personal Logo

When I first started on my sketches for my personal logo, I found it very difficult to come up with so many designs. I started drawing and drawing trying to get any idea I could out of my head. I found these sketches sloppy and I was dissatisfied with them. They were a learning process, however. They taught me I needed to take a step back and really think about what I wanted my logo to say about me. I knew I wanted the logo to include my name, either Mollissa, Molly, or my initials. I also knew I wanted my design to be simple. I love black and white and I love when something is aesthetically pleasing to look at without trying too hard. I wanted my logo to embody this. So I began my second round of sketching…

After completing 30 or so sketches, I picked the three I liked the best and iterated upon them to see if there was any thing else I liked more. I played around with the curves, thickness, and space between the letters. This phase really helped me as I figured out different ways I wanted to write “Molly” or draw the “b.”

Refined Sketch 1
Refined Sketch 2
Refined Sketch 3

Pictured below is the final design for my logo. I chose this logo because I believe it really portrayed the simplicity I was looking for. When designing things whether it be a poster or a website, I love using thin text. One of my favorite fonts to use in Illustrator and Photoshop is Avenir Next Ultra Thin. Sometimes this text can be hard to read in paragraphs but I love how it looks in headings and logos. I wanted to imitate something similar to this font in my sketch. Moving forward, if I were to take my logo digital, I would look for a font similar to Avenir Next Ultra Thin, and in a cursive variation for the “b”. Or I would draw it myself with a digital surface and pen.

The Final Logo

Readings 1.23

The Development Cycle

Successful products follow four stages of development: requirements, design, development, and testing. Requirements are gathered through research with a target audience to find out what is required of a product for it to be purchased. Design includes brainstorming how to turn the requirements found into a product or service. Development is actually turning this design into the desired product or service. Testing is the last stage where the product is tested to see if the product meets the requirements in step 1, creating a full circle. The developmental cycle can be linear or iterative. In a linear model, each stage is done only once before moving on to the next. In an iterative model stages are done multiple times to ensure success.

The Shape of Design

Ch 1: How and Why

In this chapter, we learn that in design, you cannot blindly imitate rather than singing a song of your own. As well as you cannot put too much emphasis on how you are creating your work, but why you are creating your work. Why questions inspire us, how enables why motivates. Having writer’s “block” is a result of an imbalanced relationship between how and why. Artwork is special, creating something is a dance of switching contexts, moving from the balcony to the dance floor. This relationship can be addressed in many ways:

how & why,

near & far,

making & thinking,

execution & strategy,

craft & analysis.

The creative process is described as a ladder more than once in these readings, where the top step is the final piece of work and the first step is the blank canvas. You must climb the latter to get to the top and the middle steps are just as important.


In this video, we learn the importance of replacing theory and conjecture with real-world testing. This new concept speeds on iteration, in turn speeding up learning. The phrase fail fast, fail often is based on this philosophy. Iteration is repeating the developmental cycle, with each repetition building on the last (and learning something new), until the final, desired result is achieved. This process involves dead ends and failures but you have to have perseverance. An important principle of iteration is Gall’s Law, which states that all complex systems that work evolved from simpler systems that worked. Start simple, then move towards complexity because the long way is the short way to get there.

Design Analysis Assignment

The Logo I chose to analyze for this week’s assignment is the Supreme Logo. This logo is iconic, it is so relevant in our generation and all over the place. I wanted to dig deeper and figure out what makes this distinctive red box logo so special.

The Original Supreme Logo is the one we all know and recognize. Supreme is a streetwear clothing brand established in New York City in 1994. Since then it has grown into a brand that celebrities and college kids alike sport. Supreme’s Logo is used all over advertising. The brand even did a collaboration with Louis Vuitton where products sold out in a matter of seconds.

I chose the Supreme Logo when I saw this statistic. I thought it was very interesting they have the highest Instagram like/follower ratio of all modern fashion companies. I wanted to dig deeper into what about this certain company captures its millennial/generation z audience so much. As a marketing major, I knew it had to do with the company’s branding and the way they have positioned themselves over the years.
Here I have identified the grid system used to design the Supreme Logo. This grid system is simple, but it works. The grid clearly helps align the logo to create a perfectly rectangle look. There is the same amount of space on the top and bottom of the red square, just as there is the same amount of space on the right and left side creating a symmetrical look. The red box is the first thing your eye is drawn to, which signals it is the most important thing for the reader to see.
The font used in the Supreme Logo is Futura, Heavy Obilique. Futura was a font invented to capture the modernism of its time. It is closely linked to equality, democratization, globalism and even socialism. The logo is based heavily on Barbara Kruger’s propaganda work.
The colors used in the Supreme Logo are simple, yet bold. They are powerful colors that are recognizable at first sight. We learned in class that red is supposed to ignite feelings within a consumer, it is a powerful color. It creates excitement. I believe Supreme had this in mind when they chose this color for their logo. They also stuck with a white for their second color, just to show how important the red was. The white creates negative space so the eye does not get distracted while reading the company name.

Readings 1.16

An Introduction to Graphic Design

“Graphic Designers are the visual ambassadors of ideas: their role is to translate, communicate-and occasionally even agitate- by rendering thinking as form, process and experience.”

William Drenttel and Jessica Helfand

Graphic Design can go well, but it can also go poorly (a.k.a the butterfly ballot). Graphic Design done right produces an identity that is simple, but never boring; flexible but never chaotic; playful and iterative- and always recognizable. Graphic Design done wrong includes a bad identity that is unrecognizable, too complex, and ugly. This first reading was quite interesting as it included some quick facts on graphic design that I never knew before. Most surprisingly that the person who designed the Nike swoosh was in college and only paid $35. This reading also included a helpful glossary that I can future reference for help on terms I am not familiar with and a list of graphic design books for those of us who like to read and dig deeper into the topic.

What is Design?

Design is NOT just about making things look good. Design is a verb because it is a process. There are many types of design. For example, communications design is a way to explain difficult concepts in a creative way. Packaging design is a way to attract consumers while getting the product’s message across in a simplistic way. Branding is a type of design, it helps to create an identity. Industrial and product design finds new solutions to every day problems by asking, testing, and listening as our needs are always changing. Design is EVERYWHERE. Most importantly, it is the relationship between man made things and people.

The Perfection of the Paper Clip

The paper clip was invented in 1899, but the simple, even balance design of steel that combines strength and flexibility hasn’t changed in over 100 years. The paper clip was the best solution to an old problem: if people wanted to reuse the paper they were attaching they did not want a hole where a pin would leave. Alas, the paper clip was invented which allowed paper to safely nestle in between its loops. The paperclip is the epitome of the disposable, yet extremely practical, manufactured object. Paper clips can also be torn apart and used for other things, such as picking locks or hacking into phones. The design is genius. It is Interchangeable and consistent. While I believe the design of the paper clip will continue to stick around, it is also evolving into the digital space. When you open up Microsoft Word, you are greeted by a paper clip friend and when you add an attachment to an email you click on a digital paper clip. It is a beautiful design, recognizable across the world and for centuries to come.

From left; the Fay clip, the Wright clip, the Niagara clip, the Common-Sense and Hold-Fast clips. Patent images via