From design literacy to design dilemma

I never realized there was such a thing as design literacy until I ran into Stephen Heller’s book “Design literacy: understanding graphic design” on the shelf at the library last week. I am finding it really fascinating to begin to understand some of the objects of graphic design. Heller explains things in an easy to understand way and looks at things from the popular to the lesser known. I have read about the peace symbol and about war time propaganda posters. I have flipped through the book and am looking forward to reading about a lot more including Seventeen Magazine – a magazine that I enjoyed perusing as a teen.

It is really funny that I never thought of design being a literacy though I have designed posters for adult programs at work. It is not easy to design things and it was quite fascinating reading the introduction since Heller explains that most designers don’t recognize the value in their older designs as they are not design literate about the history and value these objects have.

Speaking of design I just started a course on design at school today – one of the last few courses left towards completing my degree. The course sounds really fascinating but I have a real dilemma… next week we need to bring in a photo of ourselves with an object we have an affinity towards and I am having a ton of trouble deciding what to choose. I have thought about a photo of myself with the scar dedication in HP, but then when I think about it there are so many other better examples of typography and it seems a poor choice that I have an affinity towards that, but I really did like it when I first saw it. I am also considering my green hat. I love my green hat. But, if I were to bring it in then people may just think that I am too much of a girly-girl or something. Same goes for my little red purse (it may be small, but it is washable and fits nearly everything in it). Maybe I should go really simple and bring in my running shoes or even better – my inline skates – and more especially the new ball bearings just installed… but then people may just think I am a bit weird. Maybe I should bring a Lindt chocolate bar. I really do have an affinity for those… mmm mmm yummy! but then I’d have to share and with so many people in my class there wouldn’t be enough left to satisfy my affinity for it! ๐Ÿ™‚ Does anyone have any ideas or advice for me on this one?


6 responses to “From design literacy to design dilemma

  1. Pingback: From design literacy to design dilemma

  2. Nice post! The only advice I can give is to not worry about what others in the class will think of you. No matter what you choose, people will always come up with some, usually false, mental image. It is a human thing to do. Why fight it?

    Why not choose whatever you like the most? 2 ยข

    PS: I like the hat idea. Simple and elegant.

  3. Sarah MacLean

    I bet a lot of people will bring in books. After all you are in a MLS class. If at least one person does not bring in a book there will be something really strange about your class.

  4. Sarah MacLean

    Oh and why is this website:
    Saying you are Dave Caolo?

  5. hello miss k.j.!

    it’s not so easy to pick just one thing you like! think back to your fonds… what did you put in there that you especially loved? what about a poetry book? (you love shel silverstein… right?) or you could just use one single poem that means a lot to you – take the picture of you reading that poem… or a picture of loved ones – i love pictures of pictures!

    good luck – and please let us know what you end up choosing! (i’m curious now!)
    kl ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. So many responses to this post! Wow! Thank you everyone. As for Dave Caolo – I have no idea who he is and sort of feel cheated that he has attributed my blog post as his.

    The design course has students from library programs, museum studies, IS (technology oriented stream) and students from other faculties attending too. There is a real mixture and I quite like that about this course and so I don’t feel required to bring in a book or talk about design from that perspective which in some ways is refreshing. That said, I definitely like the idea of bringing a book and talking about being drawn to the design of it. I know someone is going to have a picture of themselves with their camera as they love photography. I never thought of the idea of a photo with Shel Silverstein poetry, but that is a thought. Maybe I should look at some of my favourite children’s books and pull something from one of them and not be afraid to look like the total geek that I am. I could wear my green hat in the picture and my inline skates too and that way I am not foregoing anything and celebrating all of my favourite things. Thanks Sarah, Pi and KL! You guys are the best! I will most definitely let you know what I choose.


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