Project 2.1 Cadek Calendar Inspiration/References

19 Aug

When faced with the problem of visual organization of what I like to call “cold content” (that is, purely factual information), my instinct is to immediately turn to Edward R. Tufte, who we read about last semester in Typography I. A master of informational design, Tufte’s work is always clean and simplistic, providing a straight-forward and beautiful representation of information. The image is small, but this is from his latest collection called Beautiful Evidence. The rest of the collection can be found here.
I am a very visual person, so I like to see my important information laid out in an organized and sensible way. A schedule like this example from blogger MarkItUp allows me to quickly and easily see where and when I need to be. This schedule was obviously created with a calendar program, likely developed for the iPhone. While every detail is not visible, the layout provides a quickly recognizable and readable motif that can be comprehended in a glance. The sheer usability of this layout is definitely worth considering.
Here is a similar design posted on Flickr by a Dutch interaction designer named Kars Alfrink. Even though the schedule is in another language, it is still readable, which speaks volumes about the layout. Color seems to play a much more important role in this work, and even though our assignment is to be done in black and white, I believe it is still relevant to remember that color and tone can be important visual cues.
My first instinct with this project is to set up a layout very similar to these, but the sparseness of the content may take me an entirely different direction. I’m still not sure what that direction is, but I am confident that I will be able to use these examples in a relevant way no matter where I take the problem.
This design for instance, is complex and beautiful. It’s not exactly practical, but I think a happy medium can be met between the two (function and beauty). This, I suppose, is the fundamental goal of design.
Finally, in scouring the internet for inspiration, I came across this gem, which I consider to be the pinnacle of design excellence:
I don’t remember where I found that, but I laughed out loud so hard when I saw it it made my dog jump. I’m sure Trish is very proud of herself.


One Response to “Project 2.1 Cadek Calendar Inspiration/References”

  1. Matt August 23, 2009 at 11:19 am #

    it will be interesting to see how you fall in the spectrum of very visual (but somewhat impractical) and the very practical (but somewhat lifeless). you mention a middle ground, which i think is the right idea, but i’m really interested in the point at which the aesthetic visual actually overcomes the completely practical in terms of usability (e.g., it’s more beautiful so i care more to use it) and in terms of rhetorical value (e.g., it’s about cadek).

    nice posts and observations!

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