Inspiration from Graphic Design

After going to the Graphic Design — Now in Production (sponsored by the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum on Governer’s Island in New York), I’ve been really wanting to get back into Graphic Design.

My wife mentioned “because I don’t know how to use any graphic design programs, I wasn’t inspired because I don’t think myself as an artist. I did really enjoy a lot of it.

I really liked a lot of the graphic design (infographics) that was data-driven, like showing the details about the United States. There was a piece that titled “making mountains our of mole hills”, that discussed the amount of press related to current issues (SARS, Bird Flu, Y2K).  In the Leadership Summit from Willow Creek, they discussed finding your own passion. She noted how she felt empowered to create random art, like the artwork where someone placed a large piece of paper on top of open markers.

She mentioned the piece where someone created a design guide, explaining about the details…of the designer himself. Whereas most design guides discuss how to arrange the logo, what colors can be used- the designer chose to show himself in “bold” (when he weighed more), and how the “logo” can be arranged to other logos, such as his girlfriend.

I think for me the most inspirational point was seeing an exhibit where a graphic design firm turned on a TV showing commercials and analyzed the subtitles. Taking the subtitles, they created an exhibit with a live graphic design display using the text from the ad’s subtitles.

I also got inspired when there was several Japanese ladies who were looking at the exhibits. There was a Posterwall that was display live updated posted- I chose to post a tweet with an image of myself! It displayed after about 2 minutes. Later, I met 4 japanese ladies who were looking at the exhibits. I asked them if they wanted to be on the posterwall and they agreed! I shot a photo of them, posted it to twitter, tagged with #posterwall, and then after about 30 seconds it showed up on the live updating wall!! The 60-something japanese tourists freaked out! I got a photo of them posing next to their photo.

I still keep coming back to beauty; what can I do to improve the world through visual, graphic communication, intelligence or ideation? I’m not sure. I know I need to continue to be wary of thinking I can create beauty by thinking about it. I must repeat to myself I must practice creating beauty. Graphic Design programs, paintbrushes and even spraycans are all just tools to be used!