All About Color

This is an exploration for VisCom 2 of Chapter 4 from Graphic Design School: The Principles and Practice of Graphic Design by David Dabner, Sandra Stewart and Eric Zempol.


 

Color is the designer’s most versatile tool for informing the viewer rapidly.

Wielding it correctly and efficiently requires technical and emotional knowledge that can be challenging to muster.

There are many ways to illustrate the pieces of information that differentiate colors. I will be using a model that imagines color space (the imaginary manifestation of humanly observable colors) as a large cylinder.

Color space, as illustrated by a cylindrical model. Retrieved from Wikipedia.

Color space, as illustrated by a cylindrical model. Retrieved from Wikipedia.

An individual color can be thought of as a point inside of this three dimensional cylinder. Each coordinate that describes the location of this point refers to hue, tone/value, and saturation. Hue describes a color’s visible wavelength, and is represented as the circular rotation of the cylinder: As you go around the cylinder clockwise or counter-clockwise, you shift from one end of the rainbow to the other. Tone/value is represented as the tall axis of the cylinder: At the top, colors turn to pure white. At the bottom, they are pure blacks. Saturation is represented as nearness to the center of the cylinder: At the center, colors lack all saturation/intensity and become grays. At the exterior, near the curved surface of the cylinder, colors are at their most intense levels of purity.

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The Start of the Design Process

This is an exploration for VisCom 2 of Chapter 1 from Graphic Design School: The Principles and Practice of Graphic Design by David Dabner, Sandra Stewart and Eric Zempol.


 

Like any craft or profession, graphic design makes use of knowledge and research.

However, contrary to what many may think, graphic design demands more than just the knowledge of making things look presentable and orderly- it requires a myriad of skills. Let’s take a look at beginning section of the design process in order to understand some of the skills that are necessary for a successful designer.

All design work is crafted with an audience in mind, and you can best orient yourself with audiences of all kinds by being open to all ideas. Constant observation and input from all types of media is best, and most would say necessary.

There are several methods to researching and processing content. Observation of both primary and secondary sources is essential: For a graphic designer, primary sources include all sorts of art, media, and installation work that inspires and delights. Secondary sources for designers include commentaries or anthologies on design, museums, and other kinds of modern outlets, like blogs or forums.

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Crafting a WordPress theme from a starter template

I’ve begun working with Bones, a starter WordPress theme for developers by Eddie Machado. The documentation on it is great, and it’s helping me wrap my head around Sass, a CSS precompiler. I’ve always been interested in crafting my own theme. Having my own theme allows me to take control of my site and solidify my role as my own developer and designer- it’s one more step on the road to taking control of all of the content that represents me.

Regular programming should continue soon- blogs for my second round of VisCom classes will be incoming. I look forward to making that content work on my site as I continue to tweak the Bones theme.