Design Zen

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I must confess, I have never been much of a designer. As a lover of art and student of art history, I can appreciate and enjoy great design. I can identify poor design (like most of us). But skillfully pulling together my own designs? Not my forte. That being said, I absolutely adore the book we are reading in my summer course (Production of Instructional Materials). We are using Presentation Zen Design (2nd Edition) by Garr Reynolds, who makes it incredibly simple to understand the nature of design, why we should use it, and how we can technically employ what the text is conveying.

A little insight from Chapters 1 & 2 that helped shape this blog:

  • “When you’re trying to change the world, there is no excuse for being boring and there is no excuse for poorly designed visuals,” (p. 10). Yes! Thank you for this one statement to whip me into shape.
  • Designing is essentially problem-solving. Your solution should be the clearest and most simple one available. This page keeps a simple line and tagline, with a typical blog style. The words are easy to read visually, and the layout uses clean lines to arrange posts chronologically. This follows the journey in a linear manner. Because these are the first few posts, this template seemed the strongest. As the course moves forward, I am considering shifting to a simpler, photo-driven layout that will link to posts.
  • Typeface conveys personality and mood as much as the words that are written in it. Find one that is concise but attractive. Mixing typefaces can be visually confusing, so choose a few in a font family and play with those.  I chose a template that mixes serif and san serif, but still creates clarity and harmony.

Reynolds, G. (2014). Presentation zen design: A simple visual approach to presenting in today’s world (2nd ed.). New Riders/Pearson.

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