changed the format to just one map to a series of illustrations that would lead you from sculpture to sculpture.
here is a copy of the final, with an added introduction, more full colored illustration, and more refined typography.
the final map:
and a little of the process of drawing these:
I learned a lot about the project of this project. staying on track is always a tricky business for a mind that likes to wander. Never the less I was able to develop this little way-finding map for the event at the Nelson-Atkins. the map gives a visual experience for the kids that use it, guiding them from sculpture to sculpture. its like playing i spy or working a little puzzle. quite fun.
The illustrative approach I think is a good one. I have never before implemented directly any drawings into my design work before. However many drawings I did, I enjoyed doing them all, and solving the problem of clarifying the map that the user would have a good experience.
Naturally, design for children should delight, inform, and satisfy. It should not be dumbed down, simplified, or be terribly condescending. I got the impression from this that a child should be challenged and have something that they can aspire to. A child can easily tell when you are trying too hard to get them to do something. if they see this, they may easily become disinterested. As we all know, children are makers and doers. They like to explore, touch, taste, smell, feel. A design should therefore facilitate such preferences so that the child may have an enjoyable, engaging and educational experience. With my map I think I was able to find a way for the children to have an engaging experience without it being too demanding. They are able to explore a little with it, but it won't be a complete free-for all as they will still have a fun task to achieve.
More Principles of Map Design, John Krygier:
According to Krygier, when making a map, the audience (for which you are creating tailored information) should immediately be able to understand how to use a map. One should consider basic design principles and use hierarchy to show more to less important information. In my map, the main and most important info was showing the 5 special sculptures. In addition, I snuck in some facts so that the kids can learn about each sculpture. and hopefully they will ask the parents about some of the things, because they will have their own map which gives them more info to share with their kids. Krygier says that your map should not have too much information — less is more. But you should be sure to only include the most important info. My map is simple enough for the children to follow without much confusion, but it is not too easy to follow so they have to really think about what they are doing and where they are to go next.
Play as Research, Eric Zimmerman:
Zimmerman stresses the research of design research. With research you can learn more than just what visual language the user prefers, you can also learn about what they do, what their preferences are in certain circumstances. But you need to engage the a representative of your user-feedback to get some direct feedback with your design artifact. User testing is a very important and invaluable practice when doing design research. I found that having an actual child test my map was very helpful. She pointed out things that I never would have noticed. Such as the color of the sculptures in the picture did not match the sculpture and were therefore misleading, and she unexpectedly took a detour by rolling down the hill on the way. That kind of thing.
(FYI, I have compiled some of my process posts in one blog post)
As always, i begin with my brainstorming. And to be honest I often have a disorganized way of recording thoughts as they sporadically come to me, so if there's one thing I learned, it is to perfect my thought process when working on a project.
my work space
As stated in a previous blog post, my question was concerned with looking at the foreground and background of the a letter, and seeing how those interact. this is an example of that. Other examples can be seen in the film reel on this blog post.
these are most of the letterforms that I made to work with earlier on in my project. you'll see 'em in action in the vid just below. (and the metal letters I used in the video after that)
this shows my earlier projects. they concern the the letterform and show how the foreground and background interact with one another, thus changing the letterform with the motion which at times blends the letters.
So then I changed the tracks a little bit, and no longer was looking at the relationship between the foreground and the background per se. In my wanderings during my expererimentation, I became to notice that the putting the text in motion started to distort and blur the lettering. So that's why I started to pursue how motion could distort the letterforms. THATS why I went that direction.
here are some early results from what I got from my little kinetic toy:
and here is the toy itself: see it in action in the vid below.
So the following film shows how started playing with that motion:
THEN I had to think of how I could present my type, and all the different ways to manipulate type in one cohesive presentation.
So I came up with the concept of using onomatopoeic phrases on little shapes which were then put into motion. Each shape is made out of cut metal (so they could fit better on the machines that I made (which you see in the video)) and then I applied the printed text.
here is another of the machines i have been using: It's just a little motor that I rigged up with a battery and a stand.
things got a little messy when in enthusiastic experimentation mode:
my metal cutter was a big help. I used metal letters, because the sheet metal could be bent around and still hold place so i could play with it more than what i could do with paper.
I printed all my text from an illustrator file. After assembling them, I filmed all motion sequences in for my final presentation. To see the final, please go to the next blog post.
INTERESTING THINGS THAT I LEARNED;
here was something interesting that I learned:
for this designalogue band, I had 'design' with yellow on one side, and 'alogue' with purple on the other. With the motion, I tried to get it so you could read both sides. it didn't work very well so instead I made another sign (3 images below) with the whole word. And that I think yielded interesting results with the distortion of the lettering.