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May 25, 2013 / becca shayne

literacy in design

This post has been in draft for three weeks because I wanted to make sure I included all the content I’ve been thinking about lately. I’ve been reading a lot about design recently, in addition to looking at it and making it. I wanted to collect a few articles that I thought were worth reading.

I’ve just been given the great honor and opportunity to contribute to Medium. It took me three weeks but I finally sat down to put all my ideas on paper. They still look like this (below) so when I type and publish it, I’ll let you know.

becca sketch

Medium is a place for high quality writing. There are no extraneous details or ads, there are very few images, and the topics are very thought provoking. I’m going to write about design or technology or both. My first article is about keeping a sketchbook. You’ve seen mine before, and you know how important to me it is.

Check here periodically for articles, though I’ll post here too.

These are just a few of the articles that I read recently that made an impact on me. Take some time when you have it to read them. Some of them made some really valid points. I haven’t done much design reading since I graduated, and granted, I didn’t have much time to read at RISD anyway, because the work was so intensive. For some of these, I included quotes that resonate with me, for others, just the links, but that doesn’t make them any less important. The order has nothing to do with hierarchy.

  1. When Good Design Isn’t Enough

    written by Johnnie Manzari for Medium.

  2. Graphic Design Criticism as a Spectator Sport

    written by Michael Bierut, of Pentagram, for The Design Observer.

    “Everyone wants to stand out, or else what’s the point? But this isn’t true. Most people don’t want to stand out. They want to fit in. More precisely, they want to fit in with the people they like, or want to be like.”

  3. Brilliant Words Of Advice From 14 Great Graphic Designers

    “I read once about the concepts of a lateral idea and the vertical idea. If you dig a hole and it’s in the wrong place, digging it deeper isn’t going to help. The lateral idea is when you skip over and dig someplace else.”
    — Seymour Chwast

    “One of the things I have observed, looking back historically, is how elegant a seventeenth-century book looks. One of the reasons it looks so elegant is because of the restrictions: there was only one typeface available, there weren’t that many fonts, and virtually all you could do was play with sizes, italics, and so forth.”
    — Colin Forbes

    “My work is play. And I play when I design. I even looked it up in the dictionary, to make sure that I actually do that, and the definition of “play,” number one, was “engaging in a childlike activity or endeavor,” and number two was “gambling.” And I realize I do both when I’m designing.”
    — Paula Scher

    Side note, these quotes are actually a book (part of which is pictured above). The article links to the purchasing site.

  4. Lessons in Creativity

    by Paul Jarvis for Medium

  5. Dieter Rams’ speech

    from Vitsœ

Happy reading!

One Comment

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  1. Rob Goldman / May 27 2013 1:42 PM

    I think I am one of your biggest fans. I forwarded your posts and sites to Kevin Schwall and Mike Hartley

    Robert A. Goldman, Esq. Goldman & Associates, Attorneys at Law 100 Larkspur Landing Circle, Suite 112 Larkspur, CA 94939 (415) 461-1490 telephone (415) 461-1497 facsimile

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