Using Proportions and Grids in Logo Design

Mathematically a proportion is defined as a four-term relation among quantities: A is to B as C is to D. In essence, the task of proportional reasoning is to compare the relation between one pair of terms (or quantities) with the relation between the other pair. One of the simplest examples of proportional reasoning occurs in the identification of shapes. Even young children can tell whether two shapes are equally proportioned, in terms of the ratios of their heights to their widths for instance—even if they are very different in overall size.

What Eye-Movements Tell Us About Ratios and Spatial Proportions by Catherine Sophian and Martha E. Crosby

Where do Subcultures go to Die?

Wikipedia’s definition of subculture-

In sociology, anthropology and cultural studies, a subculture is a group of people with a culture (whether distinct or hidden) which differentiates them from the larger culture to which they belong, for example, if a particular subculture is characterized by a systematic opposition to the dominant culture, it may be described as a counterculture.

Commercial sub-cultures are put to pasture in the place where they’ve spent their whole existence trying to avoid — the mainstream. It’s simple inevitability. The mainstream devalues subcultures for it’s own gain by using their appeal to certain markets as a tool to further their own agendas. This is particularly apparent within the advertising and entertainment fields.

The “Going Green” Fad

A great way to sell something is to get people to believe they are doing their part or making a difference by using your product or service. Guilt tactics and peoples gullibility have been in the propagandists arsenal for some time. Whether it’s starving children or drowning polar bears, we fill the coffers of these companies feeling that our contribution is making a change. It seems that with the onset of “climate change,” large companies are milking the Going Green fad for all it’s worth.

Applying Philosophy to Art: Friedrich Nietzsche

Digressions, objections, delight in mockery, carefree mistrust are signs of health; everything unconditional belongs in pathology.

I love this quote by the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (who also sports the meanest moustache) from his book BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL. I agree with the idea that questioning everything, mistrusting authority, and delight in mockery are healthy. Without people with these attributes, who will remind the rest of society about the abuses being placed on them by others? In my opinion, this idea should be applied to art and design as well.

Humans need a reality check every once in a while and art is the best way to convey it to the masses. If you feel a message needs to be heard don’t be afraid to express it through your creations. The prize doesn’t need to be profits or website hits, it could be the betterment of society through the passing of truly meaningful knowledge.

Start Learning from the Masters #1: Massimo Vignelli

I thought I’d share this great free e-book by master-designer Massimo Vignelli. The Vignelli Canon is full of Massimo’s design ideals and theory. It shows how he structures his documents using grids and the process behind some of his creations. He also discusses the unnecessary use of different fonts and a lot about trying to create timelessness, something we should all strive for when designing.

The book is a must read for artists and designers. It’s full of great tips and hopefully will set you on the right path to becoming a better graphic designer. Only we can stop bad design.

You can download the pdf here –The Vignelli Canon