Week Two: Ideas, Craft and Content

Updated: Dec 11, 2021

How do you visualise and develop your initial ideas?

Christoph Miller:

  • Two minds are more powerful than one.

  • A "third mind" is created when two minds are put together.

  • Talk, sketch, discuss.

  • Begin with a lot of research through reading, which can trigger images.

  • Visual research: collect references for a variety of things, such as shapes, colours, typography.

  • Sketch before using the computer.

  • Write.

  • Stick to some concepts, some ideas, some frameworks, some methods.

Verònica Fuerte:

  • Make a lot of ideas and select the good ones.

  • The good ideas are made into proposals, and the team collectively picks the best one.

Vince Frost:

  • Sketch out ideas.

  • Write.

  • Play on InDesign.

Sam Bompass:

  • Do a shit ton of research.

  • Go to the library.

  • Visualise creative ideas in the best way you can write, sketch, etc.

  • Don't be afraid to sketch, even if you're not very good.

James Stringer:

  • The concept for Sovereign began as a script.

  • Let ideas come organically.

What are your points of inspiration, theories and reference?

Christoph Miller:

  • Depends on the project.

  • Have a set of references that you can keep coming back to.

  • Inspired by media, art, photography and writing.

  • Interested in how photographs translate concepts into visual shapes and languages.

  • Have broad interests.

  • Be more of a universalist rather than a specialist.

  • Understanding as much as possible is key.

Verònica Fuerte:

  • Influence of the modernist style in '60s and 70's design.

Vince Frost:

  • Inspired by location.

  • Be aware of your surroundings.

  • Question!

  • Inspired by meeting people and walking around a city.

  • Get to really know a project/person.

Sam Bompass:

  • Think of the idea before the brief.

  • Archiving ideas that you believe will become useful.

  • Filter your ideas into a few words.

  • If you like someone's work, get in touch with them.

  • Explain how your ideas can make money!

James Stringer:

  • Inspired by social realist cinema.

Graphic Design: Now in Production / Opening-Day Talk: Already in Progress

  • Modern tools such as print on demand allow for a quicker means of production.

  • Self-publishing = publishing the self.

  • Logos are extremely powerful; if done right, they're easily recognisable.

  • You need to challenge print to compete with online competition.

  • Magazine with a dual purpose creates originality.

  • Blogs require lots of content, whereas magazines need to be heavily edited down.

  • Online (magazine) apps are getting better.

  • Magazines should work with digital.

  • Fil/TV design is about taking a lot of ideas and making them into an icon, creating something memorable.

Design Genius. The Ways and Workings of Creative Thinkers

  • Wander.

  • Takes notes of your environment and the world around you.

  • Be curious.

  • Be aware of happy accidents that might occur and allow mistakes to happen.

  • Randomness is a creative tool, chuck paint against a wall and see where it leads.

  • Remember how to play.

  • Break tasks down.

  • Take a k from creating ideas.

  • Collect things that can be used in alternative ways.

  • Keep it simple.

  • There is more than one way to do something.

Good design is making something intelligible and memorable. Great design is making something memorable and meaningful.

Dieter Rams

Image: https://www.google.com/search?q=dieter+rams&client=safari&channel=iphone_bm&sxsrf=AOaemvIiQqe-uUmMfie0zaYkV8iB48YS2A:1639173381711&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiZk5DZnNr0AhWjslYBHYATChMQ_AUoAXoECAEQAw&biw=1765&bih=1169&dpr=1#imgrc=C8x2HXjiTjlKCM

  • Thinks of the tone of voice you're creating through graphics.

  • Designing with sustainability in mind can lead to reductions in resource consumption.

  • The Dadaist art movement was fuelled by outrage at the carnage of WW1 and aimed to shock people with its irreverence for established norms.

Danyang Ma

Graphic designer Danyang Ma created an algorithm for stand up comedy. She came across the idea of “benign violation”, a mechanism of humour proposed by the Humour Research Lab, which dictates that three conditions must be satisfied for humour to occur. (1) a situation is a violation, (2) the situation is benign, and (3) both perceptions occur simultaneously. For example, play fighting and tickling, which produce laughter in humans (and other primates), are benign violations because they are physically threatening but harmless attacks.

According to the theory, a violation refers to anything that threatens one’s beliefs about how the world should be.

Image: https://humorresearchlab.com/benign-violation-theory/

Image: https://danyangma.com/Algorithm-for-Comedy

Workshop Challenge

  • I was inspired by looking through Dangyang Ma's work and the Benign Violation Theory and want to visualise the theory in my own way whilst also using some of the aesthetics from Dangyang Ma's work, which seems to have a riso quality to it. I dropped by my local riso printing shop yesterday and picked up some colour and paper samples, as well as a couple of other bits that might inspire type choices. I also added in a couple of my bits of work. I like the bold colours, shapes and general style of the flyer on the bottom right at the moment.

  • Following my previous mood board, I began to refine my ideas slightly by looking at alternative Venn diagrams, especially ones that carry the same aesthetic linked with riso printing.

  • During a discussion with Harriet, we came to an idea of visualising comedy as though it was music. This concept would look at jokes as chords, rhythm and symphony.

  • Another idea was to look at synaesthesia and comedy and determine what colours, type, illustrations etc, suited a specific comedy style best.

  • Dadaism has always interested me, and a few of my favourite comedians have been inspired by the Dada movement. I think Dadaism visually captures comedy really well, visualising abstract thinking and thoughts usually associated with comedians and comedy.


Creating the mood boards this week has been fun, and it's such a great exercise to visualise ideas, refine them, and get them out of your head. After creating my brief in week one, I was a little worried that I had set myself a difficult challenge to generate ideas for; however, I now have several ideas in mind. The challenge is now which idea to pick that best answers my brief.


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Humor Research Lab (HuRL). (n.d.). Benign Violation Theory. [online] Available at: https://humorresearchlab.com/benign-violation-theory/ [Accessed 30 Sep. 2021].

danyangma.com. (n.d.). Algorithm for Comedy — Danyang Ma. [online] Available at: https://danyangma.com/Algorithm-for-Comedy [Accessed 30 Sep. 2021].

www.youtube.com. (n.d.). Graphic Design: Now in Production / Opening-Day Talk: Already in Progress. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDbmP21_Rjs&t=3228s [Accessed 7 Oct. 2021].

Ambrose, G. and Harris, P. (2015). Design Genius The Ways and Workings of Creative Thinkers. London Bloomsbury Publishing Plc Fairchild Books.

Mood Board Image References

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