straight down the line

Week 5: The Design of Noir

2/9/15 – 2/15/15

All work is due by midnight on 2/15/15

Week 5 will be focused on the design of noir. For this week you will be ramping up your command of image editing as well as closely considering design elements such as color, font, iconography, etc. Additionally, you will be required to reflect on questions of copyright as it relates to creative works online.

We’ve put together a page that includes lots of great design resources. You should take a look at it.

  1. Read and Reflect on The Vignelli Canon: A design resource that’s worth looking at is The Vignelli Canon. It’s a short booklet by Massimo Vignelli, who was a superstar in the world of graphic design. The booklet is light on text and heavy on space and imagery, so it’s a quick read. His purpose in writing it was to share his knowledge for the benefit of other designers. As he says, “Creativity needs the support of knowledge to be able to perform at its best.”Vignelli did most of his work in the pre-Internet era, when graphic design meant ink on paper, so some of the information is not so relevant to our online environment, but the principles still stand. So take a look at it, and let us know what you think. Categorize your reflection post under Thoughts/Ideas and tag it “vignelli” (no quotes).

    The Vignelli Canon

  2. Watch some films: Your choice: This week we will be asking you to watch and write about either Billy Wilder’s Double Indemnity (1944), Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1980), or the Coen Brother’s The Big Lebowski (Amazon, $2.99) (1997). Think about the built environment of Los Angeles in the 1940s, the 1990s for Lebowski, or, in the case of Blade Runner, 2019. How does space help frame the design and style of noir in these films? What design elements of noir are not specific to a particular time and place? Categorize this post under “Thoughts and Ideas” and tag it “filmdesign” (no quotes).

    I Can Read Movies cover

  3. Complete a DesignBlitz: To reinforce your understanding, you need to undertake a “Design Blitz.” Carry your camera with you this week and take photos of objects, ads, signs, etc. that illustrate at least four of the ten concepts listed below (one photo per concept). Refer to the DesignBlitz resources on the Design Resource page for more information about each of the concepts.
    • color
    • typography
    • metaphors/symbols
    • minimalism & use of space
    • form/function/message
    • balance
    • rhythm
    • proportion
    • dominance
    • unity

      Share all your photos on Flickr and tag them
      designblitz; also make sure you write up a blog post sharing what you found and tag it “designblitz”.
      When you have completed your Blitz, write a blog post that includes (THAT MEANS EMBED!) the photos and your analysis of the design elements and what makes them effective or not. (You should do this in one single post.)
      PRO TIP: Sometimes we can learn just as much from badly designed things as we can from well-designed things!
  4. Do your DailyCreates: We are going back to 3 TDCs again this week.
  5. Complete at least 12 stars of design assignments:

    The Four Icon Challenge: one of ds106’s most popular design assignments.

    Complete at least 12 stars of Design assignments from the Design category of the Assignment Bank. If you like, you can substitute up to 2 animated GIF assignments (there is a category for these in the Bank, too) for a design assignment. You can find the design assignments here, and the animated GIF assignments here. Also, here’s a tutorial for creating GIFs using GIMP.Six of the twelve stars must be in service of your noir character. A couple of design assignments we recommend are the Four Icons/ One Story and the Minimalist Movie/TV Poster assignments, though neither is required.

    Finally, at least one assignment you complete this week needs to be 4 stars or higher. It’s time to push yourself.

    Each design assignment must be blogged and narrated with your process and thinking! Don’t forget to review Alan’s tips of how to write-up assignments like a pro –some of you have been very light on the write-ups, and that’s not a good thing.

    Minimalist TV/Movie Poster: another popular design assignment

  6. Inform Yourself about Copyright & Creative Commons: This week, we’re asking you to spend sometime thinking about copyright and the Creative Commons initiative that has sprung up as a response to copyright law. In particular, we want you to think about the implications of copyright in a digital age and how you feel about your own sense of “ownership” of your work. You should start making informed decisions about how you choose to license and make your work available — as well as where you find other works to build off of and remix.
  7. (If you’re ready) Submit your assignment ideas and/or write up your tutorials:If you have been coming up with some ideas for assignments, you can start submitting those! Remember, it is a requirement to submit at least 2 assignments and write tutorials for 2 assignments before the end of the semester. If you’re ready to submit ideas, do so now. If you’re ready to write up your tutorials, go ahead and start that this week.

Image Credit: X-Files minimalist poster by ds106 alum Kaileyck

Featured Image Credit: Dortmund-Bövinghausen: Zeche Zollern by wwwuppertal on Flickr (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic)

1 Comment

  1. No wire hangers | on February 18, 2015 at 9:30 am

    […] is in reference to The Vignelli Canon from last week(, where the designer/author makes a […]

Leave a Comment