Adrian Frutiger Spread
Final spread layout preview.
Final spread layout preview.
The icons are done! It’s been a lot of technical work to get everything working the way it should, but I am fairly pleased with the outcome. I have learnt a lot about the processes of icon creation, and even file organisation.
In terms of progress, it was a very interesting task. The most valuable technical element that I learnt from this process was the processes required to turn a complex line/path drawing into a single colour compound shape. Also, overall, the requirements to simplify - the Synecdoche; for example, at certain sizes I left the external oblique muscles (boxer’s muscles) in the icon, but removed them when the body was zoomed out too much (see Core vs. Chest). To understand this a bit more, check out my last blog post quoting Jonathon Ive about simplicty in design.
In a way the requirement to simplify could be seen as an issue which I had to overcome. Technically, however, the most prevalent issue was to do with the preparation of the compound paths; in some stages, and depending on how the lines and paths were created for certain icons, creating a merged icon and turning it into a single coloured object (compound shape) caused extra layers to be created, filling in the negative space. This was rectified by cleaning up path anchors, deleting those additional created layers, or simplifying the grouping/layer organisation.
Usually concepts change throughout the design process to cater for problems or a renewed requirement. For this project, the concept has remained to be identical to the original. To view the original concept, check out the first post on this project.
Ultimately, the icons are made to be a hybrid between infographics which are used on existing gym equipment, and wayfinding icons. The idea of simplifying and merging these two into one, gives the observer a more immediate visual to help him/her understand what the equipment or gym area will target in terms of bodybuilding. To achieve this, the icons will be placed on the equipment itself, and on walls of the dedicated rooms for certain exercises (Leg exercise room, Olympic exercise room and so on).
To conclude, I just want to say; get your technical aspects in order before your start! Organise your files, set them up properly, make yourself checklists, and ALWAYS make sure your project is being made in a mode that suits its final use (e.g. print vs. web). Doing these things early on will save you a lot of time at the end!
Now into something else!
"To be truly simple, you have to go really deep. For example, to have no screws on something, you can end up having a product that is so convoluted and so complex. The better way is to go deeper with the simplicity, to understand everything about it and how it’s manufactured. You have to deeply understand the essence of a product in order to be able to get rid of the parts that are not essential. To be truly simple, you have to go really deep. For example, to have no screws on something, you can end up having a product that is so convoluted and so complex. The better way is to go deeper with the simplicity, to understand everything about it and how it’s manufactured. You have to deeply understand the essence of a product in order to be able to get rid of the parts that are not essential."
- Jonathan Ive
Design has rules, and yes, rules are sometimes meant to be broken, but you have to have a fundamental understanding of those rules to be able to break them. Knowing exactly what you’re doing and not doing is key to good design.
So I have to make a quick 5 minute presentation on De Stijl (The Style); Each student in my group has to create a very quick presentation just to generate some class inspiration for our next major brief. Turns out De Stijl, the topic I have been assigned, is incredibly interesting and has already really inspired me!
This post is a brief insight to the first few rough page layouts I have created for the presentation, which took me about half an hour in total; it’s always great to feel inspired immediately! The inspiration for each page came from different classic De Stijl designs that I found in some books. Mind you, the presentation is yet to be edited according to certain De Stijl rules, which I haven’t had the time to properly study yet. This preview is simply to show you how inspiration works, and how useful it is to just get what’s in your head onto screen/paper immediately, even if they aren’t exactly accurate yet! As a designer you need to remind yourself that every single idea is worth having and noting; don’t ever discard creative ideas as bad ideas. The conceptualisation process is incredibly important. What I have found to be interesting is that the design process is never the same; yes it’s great if you give yourself steps, but sometimes the complete opposite will work for you.
I’ll leave you with my final thought: Design the way you design. Stop restricting yourself to someone else’s processes; you’re only limiting your own style. After all, it’s the end result that matters most!
Now it’s time to do some research!
Enjoy your day!
After a few weeks of no updates on this project, the gym signage icons are close to completion. As I said in the last post, there is now an additional requirement to create an ideogram as part of the collection. The updated list of icons has become:
Recommendations were made to reduce the amount of detail in some designs, looking specifically at the detail in the abdominal region. As you can see in the second set, second image from the left, the abdominals have been simplified in comparison to the first two icons in the first set. This type of adjustment will be made to all icons. Simplify where necessary: Less is More (view my post about minimalism quotes here).
Applying the Grid
The application of the grid became incredibly useful, and the body elements worked well with the Fibonacci sequence employed. An example how how the body parts are split into three areas as the Core icon; The first third line sits at the collarbone, and the second underneath the armpit. The overall hip width matches the central thirds lines, and the arms utilise the space outside of those areas.
Final tweaking is necessary, and the finals will be done by next week. Stay tuned for next week’s post!