Designers See The World Differently

Every object contains information about itself whether it is about the type of the object, the model or its cultural background (historic, ethnical etc..). Every cultural model, and respectively its object that represents the model’s properties can be analyzed from different points of view. The example of the canon as a cultural program is the most significant example because it is considered to be sacred, meaning it is illuminated by God and it is complete, meaning it covers all the existence of the canon. The first encounters with the canon show that it had different important roles in the life of humankind:
  • crystallization of the culture’s memory;

  • a source of order;
  • an ideal model for constructions;
  • a lifestyle program;

The canon has 3 systemic levels and this is what models the structure of different points of view regarding the object.

The systemic levels of the canon are:
  • a gathering of objects and structures that together form the cultural matter and at this level the canon determines the integrity of the material environment;
  • the conceptual consistency that includes the system of symbols and superior values, referring to the life of humankind and their material world. This level sets the ideabeing the starting point of order;
  • the language of the morphology of the socio-material world as a perfect aesthetical system. This level determines the artistic techniques that can be determined through an analysis of the material environment seen through its system of values;
  • the process of the consumers activities (let’s call it the instrumental position);
  • the orientation of values and significations of the consumer as a member of the society or any other social group (the ideological point of view);
  • the culturally-linguistic point of view;
Of course, every object, as well as all the cultures included in it, involves all the levels described above at the same time. They are inseparable in real life and the designer acknowledges one of these levels as the starting point of a project.

The instrumental point of view of the object
When seeing the object from an instrumental point of view, one has to spot the most important traits of the object, like – comfort, efficiency, user friendliness or the flexibility of its construction. The design solution of an object sets its qualities into information that describes the shape. In the real world though, the designer is offered sections where the possibility to rethink the functionalities of an object is not visible, hence it is not suitable for the given way of life. This kind of situation will ask for a way of thinking that is not trivial because this is when the usual needs of the consumer are destroyed and the designer has to come up with a new social behavior, bringing into the day to day life totally unusual objects.

As a methodic instrument while searching this unusual type of object, is the extendibility of the searching territory by attracting different reality domains. For example while designing an object for home use; one has to take into consideration the prototype of an industrial object, while the industrial object can be associated with an object taken from nature and so on. This is how the routine barriers are broken regarding the traditional set of objects taken from nature. You will have to adapt it to a new environment and the objects that surround it. This process of changing a given object in accordance with a new environment and functionalities is called metonymic and metaphoric morphology.

There are two main things to be considered:
  • in the process of creation of a new functional object that would solve a new issue it is very important to see the imperfections right from the beginning;
  • rationality, being on the right track, intuition and creativity – all of these are design and cultural triggers;

The ideological point of view over an object

This type of vision over the object is dominant when its designer knows that a point of view that is strictly seen as an utility that will not guarantee the best result. In this case, the designer will mostly concentrate on a symbolic signification of the object for the potential client. The object is now seen as a symbol and is expected to meet different socio-cultural values. This point of view is more related to the consumer and his needs, rather than focusing on the object itself. People buy objects because they want to fulfill their needs. For instance they don’t buy a carpet, but the comfort of their home through this carpet. It is then important to know the needs of the future consumer, in order to design objects that would fulfill them whether it’s ethnic, moral, regarding age, occupation or social status.
In this case, in order to obtain a non-trivial result, the so called “theatrical approach” will have to be applied. The object is taken from one environment to another; let’s say we can take an object that is usually used as a household and put it into and exhibit or a stadium, hence totally changing its environment. The object has the complicated role to meet up the growing human needs.
Analyzing and object from this point of view, the designer first tries to come up with a symbolic morphology, hence analyzing the relationships between objects and people. Another analysis method would be allegoric morphology, hence representing certain values specific for a culture (military clothes can for instance represent the military culture). Once the designer finds a good solution to his analysis, he can bring new brilliant ideas to life, having new significations.

The cultural-linguistic point of view over the object

This point of view specifies that one object is no longer related to other object hence replacing one another. In this situation the object is related to the used language and to the designer’s techniques. If the designer is smart enough and sensible to certain trends from different art spheres, then the stylistic point of view will certainly be reflected in his designed projects. All the different traits and skills met in arts, painting or architecture help the designer achieve his goals and in a way marks his artistic career. It is important to mention that in arts, any events that happen will finally come to an end from an aesthetic point of view. It is practically impossible to create an innovative object in an environment that is aesthetically outdated.
The search for the right communication and language in the designing process is important and should take place at all times. In order to master the cultural-linguistic point of view, it is necessary to have an artistic taste developed in the first place, as well as the ability to work with color, texture and other elements in order to blend them perfectly. Another important thing is to have a certain style and respect its boundaries. In case the designer decides to ignore the rules and the stereotypes linked with a style he has chosen, he will first have to think of a way to do it gracefully so that the designed object will not risk failure. This innovative object is then considered to be an artistic technique that makes it special and original.
In order to design a totally new and innovative object, the designer uses the so-called homonyms and synonyms’ technique:
  • the homonyms technique focuses on the object on a cultural background where the object has its own linguistic traits. The cultural-linguistic environment chooses the objects and their purpose, hence building a relationship between form and significance;
  • the synonyms technique reflects the interior of the cultural background and the object can be seen from a stylistic point of view. The designer will pick the most optimal solution in order to design the object;
While examining the designed object from a cultural-linguistic point of view, the designer should never ignore the ideological point of view as well as the instrumental proprieties of an object.
These three points of view over the object make the designer choose the one that would dominate the creation of an object:
  • the instrumental coherence of the object
  • the cultural significance of the object
  • the expressivity of the used language
In the process of choosing the right point of view, the designer will first have to choose the object he is going to design, hence making the designer predict what kind of object he will have more success with.
The object soon to be designed will have to have the following:
  • is easy to be integrated in the actual cultural ensemble
  • keeps the symbols and values that the human have in this certain period of time
  • tells the people about itself through a morphologic language

Three different points of view of the designer over the object

Three different points of view of the designer over the object

Hence the object is represented through these three points of view of the canon, following the objective rule of the creation of objects that exist nowadays.
Inspired from I. A. Rozenson


Retro Poster Vector Illustration

A great inspirational collection of poster designs. The posters are all great vector illustration posters, a trend which I predict being more popular through out 2012. 

1. РОБОТЫ – Comrades of Steelcomradesofsteel 20 Beautiful Retro Poster Vector Illustration

2. Vote

vote 20 Beautiful Retro Poster Vector Illustration

3. Retro Poster in Photoshopabdzretro 20 Beautiful Retro Poster Vector Illustration

4. TutsPlus 2010 Commemorative poster2010odesy 20 Beautiful Retro Poster Vector Illustration

sleepers 20 Beautiful Retro Poster Vector Illustration
happyholidays 20 Beautiful Retro Poster Vector Illustration
captinamerica 20 Beautiful Retro Poster Vector Illustration
10. IRobot
  irobot 20 Beautiful Retro Poster Vector Illustration
12. Superman
 superman 20 Beautiful Retro Poster Vector Illustration
13. Robin
robin 20 Beautiful Retro Poster Vector Illustration
la 20 Beautiful Retro Poster Vector Illustration
studio 20 Beautiful Retro Poster Vector Illustration
18. Andy Lund
 andylund 20 Beautiful Retro Poster Vector Illustration
exploreuniverse 20 Beautiful Retro Poster Vector Illustration
cultureclub 20 Beautiful Retro Poster Vector Illustration


For Web Designers of 2012

5 New Things for Web Designers of 2012
It's an interesting and inspiring time to be a web designer considering that we're at the beginning of a technological boom. Technology is evolving at such a crazy pace that web designers may begin to feel overwhelmed or frustrated. Things aren't slowing down either. 2012 will continue to introduce significant change to websites, the Internet, and the devices that we use to access them. Today, I'm going to make your design life a little bit easier by going over the new web design trends of 2012. You'll also find that I have provided helpful tools and useful resources to help get you started.

1. Web Fonts Have Arrived

Web fonts, or web typography, simply refers to the use of fonts on the World Wide Web. In the past, typography implemented on websites has been generally limited to just a few standard font faces and styles. In 2011 we started noticing more and more the use of handwritten fonts in website design. 2012 is going to explode with the creative use of website fonts by utilizing web-based font replacement technology.

Adobe Typekit
Adobe Typekit - The easiest way to use real fonts on your website.

Google Web Fonts
Google Web Fonts - Hundreds of free, open-source fonts optimized for the web.

Fontdeck - The professional web font solution. Web Fonts Web Fonts - Add great looking fonts to your website in a few easy steps.

WebINK - WebINK is a service that lets you put professional-quality fonts on your web site.

Typecast - Design with web fonts, in the browser.

2. The Rise of Clould Technology

Cloud technology, or cloud computing, is Internet-based computing whereby shared resources are provided to computers and other devices on-demand. 2011 was an exciting year for the cloud in that it changed the way that web designers work and collaborate. With more designers starting to accept the idea of using web-based services instead of traditional services, the sky is the limit! 2012 will raise more awareness while catapulting cloud technology to the next level, especially with the launch of iCloud.

Apple iCloud
Apple iCloud - This is the cloud the way it should be: automatic and effortless.

Dropbox - Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily.

Microsoft Cloud
Microsoft Cloud - The most comprehensive solutions for the cloud. On earth.

JustCloud - Professional cloud storage from JustCloud is simple, fast and unlimited.

3. UX Design Jumps The Line

User experience (UX) design is simply the focus of designing a website to be user friendly by utilizing flexible design that's accessible on all devices. Without users, a website doesn't exist. That's why UX design has jumped to the front of the line in the web design community. In 2011, popular phrases such as mobile firstresponsive design and adaptive design shook up the industry. All three of these practices, among others, are standard attributes of UX design. 2012 will continue to make leaps and bounds for user experience while making design more accessible than ever before. Experts may even go as far as stating that 2012 will be the year of UX design.

Axure - Axure RP gives you the wireframing, prototyping and specification tools needed to make informed design choices, persuade any skeptics, get your design built to spec... and maybe win a few fans along the way.

QuirkTools Screenfly
QuirkTools Screenfly - Test your website at different screen resolutions.

Adaptive Images
Adaptive Images - Adaptive Images detects your visitor's screen size and automatically creates, caches, and delivers device appropriate re-scaled versions of your web page's embeded HTML images.

Responsive Web Design Sketch Sheets
Responsive Web Design Sketch Sheets - To help think through layouts for various devices.

ResponsivePX - Find that tricky breakpoint.

4. HTML5 & CSS3 Are Paving The Way

HTML and CSS are basic coding elements of a website or web application. Now that HTML5 and CSS3 have been unpackaged and utilized, further experimentation and innovation appears to be promising. Although coding isn't a primary responsibility, or a job duty of a web designer, having the knowledge and understanding of both HTML and CSS is good to know. 2012 will prove that HTML5 and CSS3 are the future of the web and shouldn't be taken lightly.

Adobe Edge
Adobe Edge - Create animated web content using HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript with ease, power and precision.

HTML5 Doctor
HTML5 Doctor - Helping you implement HTML5 today.

The HTML5 Test
The HTML5 Test - How well does your browser support HTML5?

Initializr - Initializr is an HTML5 templates generator.

CSS3 Generator
CSS3 Generator - Border Radius, Box Shadow, Text Shadow , RGBA, @Font Face, Multiple Columns, Box Resize, Box Sizing, Outline, Transitions, Transform, Selectors and Gradients.

CSS Patterns Gallery
CSS Patterns Gallery - The patterns themselves should work on Firefox 3.6+, Chrome, Safari 5.1, Opera 11.10+ and IE10+.

PrefixMyCSS - Prefix your CSS3 code. Instantly!

5. Social Media is Just Getting Started

The Social Media industry displayed exceptional growth in 2011. We witnessed the exciting launch ofGoogle+ and the redesigns of both Facebook and Twitter. The importance of Social Media for web designers doesn't need much explaining. Social sites provide designers with fast, simple access to the latest design news and technological developments. 2012 will continue to garner lots of attention towards Social Media while will decreasing the gap between websites and social platforms.

Google+ - Real life sharing, rethought for the web.

TweetDeck - TweetDeck is an app that brings more flexibility and insight to power users.

HootSuite - The leading social media dashboard to manage and measure your social networks.

More 2012 Web Design Predictions:

  • Seasoned design professionals will migrate towards entrepreneurship and designer co-founded startups.
  • Monthly subscriptions for both physical and web-based designer tools will blow up.
  • Websites will become incredibly simpler, or minimalistic in nature to focus more on user experience.
  • Increased HTML, CSS and JavaScript innovation will lead the industry back to what Flash websites originally offered.
  • The overdue demise of Internet Explorer! Yes, I know that won't happen, but it's nice to dream!

Wrapping It Up

Everything changes. The Internet and technology as we know it today will be different tomorrow, that's just how things are. As we continue to move forward, web fontsthe cloudUX designcoding andSocial Media will become a part of every web designer's arsenal. The growing understanding that design can make or break a website or product will show that designers are an essential ingredient of a successful business module. So what do you think? Feel free to share your thoughts or predictions for 2012 in a comment below!

Tom McCracken
Published on January 19, 2012