What I found most significant about this past week’s lecture was that “Design is contextual and powerful”. As we learned, design is reflecting and shaping the culture it lives in, or the audience/culture the design is targeting.
I took from that notion that in order to produce effective deign work, one must be able to understand where that design is coming from. Who are the people? What do they need to know? What will they most likely react to?
News design has the power to change how people feel about their culture. I think people communicate better through visual aides more so than with writing. Because with writing you have to paint a picture for the reader and hope that what is written is by is envisioned “correctly. But with news design, the reader has to take whatever visual element is given to them and sometimes that means that a message is understood more quickly.
When I think about context in news design I never thought beyond just how things were arranged on a page. It’s interesting to see that design elements are a lot like writing in that there has to be background understanding of a subject and EVERYTHING has to be purposeful. You can’t throw things randomly on a page and expect someone else to figure out your made up confusion.
But I wonder how to get to that level of clarity with design when you have no sense of creativity. Yes simple ideas work but how simple is too simple? Do you need to be a “master of design” in order to be an effective designer?
The biggest asset to any journalist, be they design oriented or not, is to think about the message that is sent. If you always consider the message that the design is meant to explain than it should be less likely that there will be random placements of any ideas.
Because random is NOT different, it’s confusing.