Through the month of September, I designed a tie a day. A day early, below are the results. Click to enlarge and check out some of the details. I prefer minimalist designs, solid colors and a contemporary look. Some designs could have any sort of color variation, so I only did a few and then moved to a different concept. Day 1 is in the top left, then Day 2 through 6 in the top row, etc.
Designing a Photograph: Visual Techniques for Making Your Photographs Work by Bill Smith takes a designer’s view of to a photograph. Visually, what makes something interesting or engaging, and apply it to a photograph. Smith makes the argument of knowing how to pay attention to groups of visuals. These visuals include:
- Figure ground
- selective focus
- similar color
- similar size and shape
- similar texture
- object proximity
The book includes exercises for the reader to perform (shoot in bursts, look at a subject a variety of different ways). Later in the book, Smith details when black and white works better or if color is optimal. Consider contrast and tones and how light affects both.
Images do have f stop and lens information for those curious of technical details.
Designing feels dated, even for 2001, retaining sample images taken with Kodachrome. Kodachrome is dead, and even in 2001 was gasping its final breaths. Ignoring that, applying a designer’s eye to photography can help tremendously with composition and achieving the desired impact.
Logo Design Love: A Guide to Creating Iconic Brand Identities by David Airey is a conceptual how-to book on how to create logos and brand identities.
Numerous examples are provided from big names such as Kellogg and FedEx to small design shops or the Whaling Museum. The examples are explained clearly and concisely, deconstructing the visuals as to how and why they work. The third chapter is key to this approach, detailing the Elements of Iconic Design.
If you’re new to design or own your own company and need help getting a brand identity and logo, this would be a good place to start. The caveat is that it will help if you have an understanding of elements of design or art. E.g. color theory, line, proportion, what conveys what message. Nor is this a tool book. Photoshop and Illustrator are mentioned in passing.
This is an ideas book to showcase the process of taking art and design fundamentals and using them to create a visual identity.