2D: “Typographic Portrait” Process Part 2


Whilst researching on reference artists, I came across David Carson’s TED talk on “Design and Discovery” that he gave in 2009. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFpANOqSdi8)

The whole talk was around 25 minutes, but I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it. He was extremely funny and insightful.

One thing I wanted to share from his talk was when he talked about the power of emotion in design. I feel like he explained this in a really simple and concise way when he showed two pictures of ‘warnings’ spray painted onto two doors.

Here’s an extract of his transcript:

“I’m a big believer in the emotion of design, and the message that’s sent before somebody begins to read, before they get the rest of the information; what is the emotional response they get to the product, to the story, to the painting — whatever it is. That area of design interests me the most, and I think this for me is a real clear, very simplified version of what I’m talking about.These are a couple of garage doors painted identical, situated next to each other. So, here’s the first door.

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 9.53.29 PMYou know, you get the message. You know, it’s pretty clear. Take a look at the second door and see if there’s any different message.

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 9.54.49 PM O.K., which one would you park in front of? (Laughter) Same color, same message, same words. The only thing that’s different is the expression that the individual door-owner here put into the piece — and, again, which is the psycho-killer here? (Laughter) Yet it doesn’t say that; it doesn’t need to say that. I would probably park in front of the other one.”



After watching just this part, I was taken aback by how the same message simply written in a different way could have such a discrepancy in affecting the viewer. I realised that there emotion is truly powerful in design- I just need to know how to express it. I’m am hoping (and will be consciously trying my best) to evoke this kind of emotion in all my work so that I can effectively relay my message and more importantly, make an impact on the viewer. But it will be a challenge to channel my emotions into my designs and choosing the best way to express myself.


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