For my Design Blitz this week I decided to do something a bit different. I have mentioned in previous posts that I do photography and I have a plethora of film and digital prints, so I wanted to hand pick four of my previous photographs to display design elements. And I’ve done just that! The following photographs are ones I picked specifically to demonstrate a handful of the design elements we learned about this week!
This is actually a photo I took a few years ago, but I wanted to include it because I think it is the perfect example of minimalism. This is an art exhibit I got to see at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Gallery in Washington D.C. back in December 2017. Sadly I cannot remember who the artist is and I cannot find any record of this exhibit on the Hirschhorn’s website, so I cannot give credit where credit is due. If anyone reading this is familiar with the artist and this exhibit, please let me know and I will be sure to correct this post. Just know I am not taking credit for this exhibit, only the photo I took of said exhibit.
Since I cannot remember any details from this exhibit, I obviously cannot give the artist’s statement or interpretation. However, I also think the image speaks for itself. The exhibit uses minimalism to give a “read between the lines” effect. I remember you were able to walk into the middle of this room, in-between and around the thin colored “lines” and look around. The entire space was white, save for these lines, which were red and black. While it may not look like much, there was something oddly profound about the use of space. It is the absence and lack or art that makes this, well, art.
I mentioned reading between the lines, which is exactly what I interpreted this exhibit as, then and now. And when you and others you know (or even strangers) stand in the middle of the exhibit, you become the center of attention. You become the part of the art, being what others “read between the lines” to see. But don’t take my word for it! Look at the picture and see for yourself!
Form, Function, Message
This next example is pretty straight forward. Look at the photo and it’s pretty simple to figure out this object’s function. I will say that whoever designed this particular bike rack was a genius. Not only is it pleasant to look at, it tells you what it’s for!
This picture was taken in Farmville, VA while on a trip with my photojournalism class. While I never shared this picture with anyone before now, something then told me to take a picture of this amazing contraption. Farmville is where Longwood University is located, and being a college town means lots of people ride bikes to get around. This bike rack tells you “Hey, store your bike here!” and also functions as a piece of public art! Neat, huh?
In the spirit of fall, I present an image of a sign from the Carter Mountain Orchards. The message is rather simple: go right and you’ll find the Apple Barn. The Apple Barn is, of course, where business transactions take place at Carter Mountain, and where you can buy pre-picked apples. While the sign itself is fairly simple, let’s talk about the overall design.
To start off, the sign is made of wood and roughly painted white. It has a rustic look, which is fitting since Carter Mountain is literally a mountain and there is not much else there besides the orchard. It’s obviously homemade, and not something that was bought or manufactured. However, the text on the sign is very interesting as well. The text is rough, yet legible. It is written in red, which can have many meanings all on its own. In this case, however, we know the text is red because the generic color we associate with apples is red. This is made even more obvious by the apple painted on the side of the sign.
This next photograph is one I picked to represent rhythm. Rhythm is defined by repetition in an image, and you can see the repetition of vertical posts all throughout this photograph. I took this photo in February 2018 at Rudee Inlet in Virginia Beach. I was on a boat when I took this image, heading out of the inlet on a whale watching expedition. I never did see any whales on that trip, but I got some amazing shots like this. Lots of repetitive shots of birds, boats, posts, and resorts along the shoreline.
I have a few other images that are nothing but the same object over and over, however I chose this one because the photograph is broke up a bit by the water and bank. You can see the object I’m focusing on, the posts, on the right side of the image, which is continued on the left and into the background. It is also reflected in the boat’s mast and the vertical lines of the buildings in the distance.
I had a lot of fun with this assignment because it allowed me to break out my old photographs again! Being able to use my own examples instead of rushing around and finding examples that I wouldn’t really be happy with. So, being able to use examples in my own photography was really fun! All of these photographs were all taken on personal and school trips between 2016 and 2018, and I can remember all the details from when they were taken. It really means a lot to me being able to share these, because I love to take photos and share them whenever possible! However, sharing also means getting feedback! I love hearing back from people who see my photographs, so please take the time to tell me what you think! Do you think my examples do a good job at portraying the design principles I chose?