Workshop – Critical Design Thinking

Hopefully I will be better at posting my posts in the new year, because I’m feeling it’s going a bit to slow with making fresh posts at the moment. But as the blog starts to take more shape, I start to enjoy making the posts more and more. On that site-note I can say, that I enjoyed this week even more than I’m starting to like writing these posts. It was a week with tasks that forced us to start thinking about what we are doing, and what we want to do with our work. So it was not just to make some work, but actually make work that was well thought.

Sara began by talking about different things to consider within making design and illustrations. It is much a like what we learn in CCS, but much more fun, as it doesn’t have this whole academic level pushed upon, but instead is focused on yourself and what you want to do with your design, and especially, what your thoughts behind your design is. One of the things Sara enhanced a lot herself was, what you want to do with your design, do you want it to take on the political things thats going on? Is there certain companies you don’t want to work for? What is your ethics when it comes to making design for certain customers or organizations?

I often look on the site called Behance to see what other creative people do. And while I was working on the project “Thinking it & Saying it” I stumbled upon Jim Tsinganos. An illustrator that actually does all the things Sara has talked about.


Sooo, what do I want to do with my design? 

I want to make design, which I can be proud of and would love to do. I have a tattoo with a quote which goes “Be true to yourself and the family name you bear.” That quote is something I will always look to follow with everything I do, and that is the same with graphic design. I understand all the issues that is going on in everyday life, and that you have to be aware of these. But for me, graphic design is about enjoying myself and do the style of graphic design I love to do. So my ethics towards graphic design doesn’t lay within what type of company it is or what their ethics is. I won’t say yes to a toy company because it’s eco friendly etc. or say no because of the opposite, I would say no, because it is design I wouldn’t enjoy making. I wouldn’t say no to designing a label for a vodka brand because they possibly deliver alcohol to alcoholics, (and, if you want to make an strong statement, kills relations within families, because their parents may be alcoholics), instead I would say yes, because it would be a job I would love to do, and would be very proud of when it is in the stores.

So maybe a company presents some different political ideas than I do, but I won’t let that come in to my decisions within graphic design, because with graphic design, I want to make design I love, and be true to myself and the work I’m gonna be making.

My sketchbook with all the drawings for the first task

First task: Visually answer five questions from a worksheet

Sara handed us a worksheet with a lot of questions, that we should take in consideration on a following visit to The Design Museum. From that list we had to illustrate the answer to five of the questions in a visual way. The five questions I chose was:

Which kind of communication are information and which are propaganda? – How do emotions take shape? – What does criticism have to teach us? – What do we take for granted? – What do we assume about what we see?

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A real challenge, because I where forced to think in a new and different way. I found it a bit hard in the beginning, but as I started to get my head around it, it sort of came quiet naturally for me. I loved the task and the way you had to think to complete it. I have described my idea and how I’ve tried to illustrate the answer under every image.


Second task: Thinking it & saying it

For the second day, we where handed the task “Thinking it & saying it.” The brief was to make a front- and back page + a inside A5 page for a fanzine. Again the task forced us to do a lot of thinking in regard of what we want to do with our design, and how we will communicate it. It had to be clever, interact with current topics in society, funny, and made so it will attract and interest people.


I’m not gonna go more into deep with this project, as I’ve posted it in a separate post. The only thing I’m gonna say is that I chose to work with topic/pillar “Ethics,” and the title for my design will be “Your mind is dirty”. If you wanna read more about it, then you can do so here.

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