Thursday, 12 August 2010
This great infographic by Toby Bradbury from Mrlerone.com has encapsulated Monday (09 Aug 2010) Newsnight's much heated debate on infographics shown on BBC2. The show featured journalist and designer, David McCandless (who also blogs about infographics), and infamous graphic designer of our times, Neville Brody. Watch all the design fuss from Newsnight infographics debate, visit the BBC iPlayer here (segment starts from about 26 mins in).
General consent is that this debate is pointless (see Creative Review Blog), I think both are too extreme from the spectrum. I am a graphic designer and I love infographics, having said that. I both agree and disagree with Brody and McCandless. There's absolutely nothing wrong with McCandless' finding from India, the bus maps which in this case to simplify complicated bus routes for people (if they have access to these maps).
I agree with Brody that when something is too overly designed to the point of losing the message, that defeats the origin and purpose of Graphic Design/Visual Communication. After all, in my opinion (see Staystylish.com click on "Manifesto"), Graphic Design is about marrying function and aesthetic, creating a system of design through thoughts, integrating design with technology, and utilizing technology to communicate. We are often too mesmerised by the new technology and let it overshadow the initial message we wanted to communicate, which is in the case with McCandless triangle diagram. Brody was right, it did not provoke any feelings. It was just "pretty" information presentation. McCandless might have presented his findings clearly but it wasn't communicating the "message".
I think Toby Bradbury has clearly mocked this Newsnight debate, read his tiny by line beneath the little colour cubes: "Just ignore this bit, it's just pretty colours. Everyone loves that s***. I can say that each colour represents a type of word. Would that be enough reason? Okay, that's it. In fact, no. The colours denote "trends" in the conversation, read by some system I'll never explain to anyone."
Wednesday, 11 August 2010
Photo from www.designsoftheyear.com
I was at the Design Museum this past weekend for the Brit Insurance Designs of the Year 2010 exhibition. This exhibition was worth a see, there are lots of inspiring ideas from architecture, fashion, furniture, graphic, interactive, product and transport designs including this year's winner Min-Kyu Choi with his Folding Plug.
The museum was also showing Sustainable Futures that showcases the changing role of the designer and reveals how design can make a difference. There were a few good ideas but I didn't feel this exhibition was very comprehensive as it focused mostly on environmental design. The food/ecology section was interesting but wasn't ground breaking.
Recently, my very good friend Heather from Backyard Farms Toronto has send me this post from Design*Sponge and I thought New York's Window Farms was much smarter, accessible and easier to build one yourself. Window Farms are vertical hydroponic vegetable gardens growing from recycled materials (such as water bottles), clay pellets, and equipment that can easily be purchased inexpensively from any local hardware store. There are kits available from the Window Farms website but unfortunately not for sale internationally. Good news is there are tutorials on how to build one from scratch in their Community section of their website.
Photo from WindowFarms Flickr
Last year, I've turned my bathroom into a greenhouse (unfortunately there was an aphids plague and killed all my plants). This year I've started a mini window still garden – basil, thyme, chilli, sage, lemon, parsley and tomatoes. I'm inspired and intrigued to build a Window Farm. It is a great alternative to curtains or to block that ugly view from your window and also grow your own fresh herbs and vegetables.
Monday, 9 August 2010
At last, my online portfolio is now ready. Please check out www.staystylish.com.
I'm an experienced graphic designer based in London, UK looking for a permanent full-time position with a creative firm. I am an Associate of Ontario College of Art & Design with over 10 years industry experience in the UK and Canada, specialising in graphic design, branding, print, packaging, advertising and web design.
If you know anyone who may be interested or is looking for someone with passion for creative designs, please pass this along. I will be happy to send my CV and portfolio upon request.