Seeing Ourselves

After looking over this reading a couple times, I found myself struggling to be able to summarize this reading in just one phrase or sentence, which is something I usually like to try and do after each reading we have. I ultimately decided that the best way to describe the reading was something like “By using ourselves as subconscious guides, the design principles we use can often reflect the physical properties us as human have.” Wysocki seems to have that same thought process, and I would hope so as her writing is what my phrase was created from. Wysocki stats the reading, and goes pretty long length wise into the reading, talking about a ad found in the New York Times that features a column of text and a column of advertisement on each side. The advertisement on the right of the text turns out to be the focus of the reading and when you see it its no surprise why. The ad features a side view of woman wearing nothing but thigh high boots and are sleeves. Wysocki argues that the contrast of the woman, who seems to be much lighter than the background behind her, and the specific area of her body that is lit up the most (the lower area) are indeed evident of CRAP design principles, but that the values WIlliams uses for describing the ad are not specific and can cause people who are trying to learn about visual design to be misguided.

The idea that teaching the visual aspects of text can be counter intuitive to new students was something Wysocki said that I found interesting. Wysocki says that these approaches can’t account for a lot of what is going on in the advertisement with the woman, because the fact that an actual person is in the design makes the design principles less effective. Wysocki basically says that the fact that and actual body is involved in the ad, the other design elements like the text become backdrops for the ad, when they should be at least on the same level of focus as the image. I think the main point that Wysocki is trying to get across here is that having something we can relate to so much, specifically a person, in combination with text in a manner like this is a very ineffective way to have something visually designed.

It can be hard to design things away from what we know, this car having a design that looks like a face shows how familiar things can be inserted into everyday objects.

What changes could have been made to the ad to create a bigger emphasis on the information, and are these changes worth making when the ad captures so much attention already?


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