1. Choose one of your favorite material possessions. Describe the details of appearance, function, and the relationship between form and function.
One of my favorite possessions is my purse. It is simple in shape, small-ish rectangle bottom and it flares out wider at the top. Two straps at the top of the bag and a zipper. It has no pockets inside, just a wide open space. The outside color is a garnet color, and the inside of the bag is a pale pink. There is a little leather strap looped around one of the main straps with a square at the bottom of the little strap. This square has the shape of spade cut out, a symbol of the purse’s maker, Kate Spade. On the front of the purse on small gold print is the logo of the brand. The bag is made from 100% leather will clean-lined stitching all the way around.
The function of the purse is to carry things around. Like my wallet, keys, a hairbrush, various coupons and random slips of small paper.
To describe the purse’s form and function, I would have to say that the form does limit some of its function. Kate Spade is a well-known purse designer, and the form is very clean and minimalistic. It would function better as an object that holds things if the purse had some internal zippered pockets. But true to the style of Kate Spade, less is more. It’s a bag to be looked at and admired, but it does serve its purposes of carrying things, without sacrificing its iconic look.
2. Locate an item that has gone out of style. How do you know it is out of style? What clues does the object communicate that date it? Why is it outdated? Is it because of its form, function or both?
RIP The Cassette tape.
I know this has gone out of style because music can now be downloaded digitally onto your phone or laptop. It is rare to find a store that still sells cassette tapes or the devices to listen to them on. Long gone are the days of the Sony Walkman. Cars don’t even come with cassette tape players anymore.
I believe that it has become outdated first because of the advent of the CD. No more need to rewind to hear your favorite song or break out the pencil to spin the little tape back into place. According to Wikipedia, most of the major U.S. music companies had discontinued production of cassette tapes by 2003. In the late 1990s or earlier, CD started to decline because of smartphones. We can record and listen to music on our phones and download it onto the cloud to keep forever.
Form and function both contributed to its decline. Tapes were bulky to carry around as with their players. Although, the Discman was equally as bulky. The function no longer services its purpose since the cassette tape was limited to less than 20 songs. Now, your phone alone can play thousands of songs without the hardware or limitations that cassette tapes had to contend with.
3. Find an example of graphic design that communicates really well. What draws your eye first? Make a number list in order of the way your eye travels around the layout. Make a list of the information the design conveys. What emotions does the design produce?
Design to Explain’s Lil Joe Kid’s Toy Shop
This super cute design is perfect to represent a toy store. The font, graphics, and color immediately send the message that it is designed with children in mind. I especially enjoy the flexibility of the little bear. It will look great in different mailing pieces as showcased on the Behance page. The bear can hold different objects that reflect whatever product or message it is trying to convey. The colors of the piece are eye-catching and the small design touches in the lettering give the piece a lot of fun personality.
The order my eye travels around the design
- The typography of “Lil Joe
- The bear
- The assorted toys at the bottom
- The yellow paragraph print
- The “Toys, Games and Bikes” line
The information that the design conveys
- It is a toy store
- It is for kids
- They have stuffed animals
- Probably targeted to the ages of infants to 10
- Great store to buy gifts
- It looks like a high-end store but the copy says “at discount prices”
The design evokes the nostalgia of FAO Schwartz or boutique toy shops. It makes me feel happy. The font, colors, and graphics are fun and happy.