What have you learned?
Above all else, knowing the importance of context and target audience, and anchoring my design to these key factors stuck out to me so far. Living and breathing our subject matter was vital in producing a design that accurately portrayed the musician's work. Thinking about where the poster will be placed, to whom it would appeal to, for which musician it was for, were all things I realized I had to consider when designing for the "real world." In class, I tend to create work in my own bubble, creating according to the opinions of fellow designers. These projects in Human-Centered Design challenged me to think about producing work for a company that has its own objectives and requirements. I saw this especially evident during our professional critique with the three outside guests. It was clear that they were coming from a different viewpoint, where legibility for those driving by was of high importance, as was public reception of the poster. Everyone created visually appealing designs, however, what was most important was how well the poster suited the context.
What have been your successes?
Taking on the task of designing for the jazz music genre was in of itself a challenge. Visual depictions of jazz music can very easily turn cliche, as my moodboard was starting to show. With images of the beach, dimly lit cafes, and palm trees, I immediately categorized Earl Klugh as "easy listening," and "blues music." After critique, I realized that I needed to shift gears and think about the unique qualities Klugh had. Though his soundtracks were generally relaxing and calming, they were also a bit "funky" in that it was a fusion of music from Brazil, Argentina, and Spain. I decided that an analog approach would be best, since Klugh's albums sounded organic and simple, and depicted the "funkiness" with my color palette and abstract shapes of the instruments. I know my poster design needs work in terms of how accurately it conveys an overall body of Klugh's music, however, I was happy with the end result of cutting out shapes and placing them in a visually interesting way. This approach of cutting and freely trying different placements was new to me, and definitely something I want to keep experimenting with.
What can you do to improve moving forward?
I need to think more about how design affects people, and designing according to this key element. I realized later that I wasn't designing with the right objective; as Kelly told us to put our designs in context (for example the billboard), I was surprised that I hadn't thought of doing this from the beginning. I need to consider how a person would react if they saw the design on the street or how well the design conveys the subject matter to people within specific contexts. I also want to improve on coming up with more iterations by exploring and risk-taking. Whether it be experimenting digitally or through analogue means, I want to go beyond my comfort level and try things I've never done before.