Winter Quarter Design Process

What exactly do we need to process?

Critical thinking

Designers have to step out of their comfort zones to think and think again.

How brains work

All the visual organizing we call design is catering to the whims of brains.

The elements and principles of design

Our terms, tools, and graphic raw materials.

Design practices

What do designers do, how do they behave; are they logical, emotional, intuitive, creative...?


Critical thinking

How brains work

  1. Our Brains, and the brains of our audience
  1. Brain function-Left brain and right brain
  1. Personas and stereotypes

The elements and principles of design

From Robin Williams and her Non-designers books:

Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, and Proximity

From Graphic Design Solutions:

Elements: Line, Shape, Figure/Ground, Color, Texture

Principles: Format, Balance, Visual Hierarchy, Emphasis, Rhythm, Unity,

Laws of Perceptual Organization, the Gestalt principles: Similarity, Proximity, Continuity, Closure, Common Fate, Continuing Line.


Scale, proportion, mathematical ratios and proportional systems

Illusion and the manipulation of graphic space: Volume, trompe l’oeil, perspective

Design practices

This is a discussion of roles and titles. Few people can explain what these titles mean:


Interviews stored in our Disciplines/Student Resources/Movies and audio folder.

Zipline’s Shawn Davis-what he looks for in a new designer; as an intern; as an employee?

Our students talked with Paula Scher and Kit Hinricks, both partners in Pentagram.

And, more...browse the folder.

Designers jump back and forth in mind modes:

Filmmaker, the late Hillman Curtis, gives us some of the thought leaders:

Paul Rand Lecture Series at SVA by Steven Heller:

Nigel French’s design overview and grids

A Smashing Magazine series on design:

Well worth two hours of viewing, Paul Boag explains Web Design in 9 short videos:

The movies every designer should watch:

Helvetica, the movie; or 

Everything is a Remix:

Color theory and tools

Style boards and mood boards

Duffy & Partners really does Mood Boards…

this is what Duffy produces

on Duffy Thoughts movie, 3:45 shows mood boards being made

A review of a Duffy talk:!prettyPhoto

another, with a lot of mood board discussion:

another, more philosophy and business:

A How mag article:

A robust 24 tips for mood boards:

Yummygum mood boards.

Web Designer Depot on mood boards

Vanseo design; talking about the client communication process. Mood boards, style tiles, style guides: 

related to above, another Viget Labs page, good examples:

This Smashing Magazine article featured Paul Boag, on working with clients. He linked to and Google Images and  Flickr for mood board resources.

Yummygum has thrown in with more mood boards:


From WebTuts, a nice intro to wireframing:

wireframing tools lists:

Templates for wireframing:


A good intro to Bootstrap for designers:

Sample Menus

An online design service. Has templates to study.

Free templates:

Old InDesign templates in CS4;

templates for sale (don’t buy, look):

Restaurant business and design tips

Menu showcases:

Mobile Navigation

Ethan Marcotte started the responsive movement.

This is the article everyone mentions as the tipping point towards mobile sites.

For the menu project:

Do mind mapping to pick out traits for mood boards.

Have everyone pick or be assigned a trait to gather parts

We will combine and contrast the results, and use them.

Mood boards can be a combination of menu samples and any samples.

This Smashing Magazine article featured Paul Boag, on working with clients. He linked to and Google Images and  Flickr for mood board resources.

Miscellaneous resources

  1. Design history and analysis; Paul Rand Lecture Series by Steven Heller:
  2. Steven’s Daily Heller:

Time machine:

You can find back issues of magazines, and their ads at Google Books. They are not current but can give a look into the past of advertising, and culture.

This is pretty important!

Follow the money - what do designers sell, how do they get paid?

Straight talk about dealing with clients:

The 36Point: Reflex Blue podcast has discussed business reality, in a frank and informal way. Seek out season 3, shows #63-68. Don’t try to freelance without listening to these.

Who and what is happening?

The purpose of Process.

What designers do, think, act like?

Look at the field and resources

Critical thinking


33 meetings

11 weeks for discussion topics:



Web Sites

Studio tours

What do you want to find out?



Steven Heller design

Milton Glaser

What’s in a job title

Millman’s Sinek

Perceptual organization

Hillman Curtis

DTD time management-Boag Time episode