What Were We Thinking? One Year Later

It’s hard to believe but it’s been one year since we launched this blog. Yes, over 100 posts. Now is a good time to step back and look at what we’ve accomplished.

Cover of the textbook "Design: A Beginner's Handbook"

A little over a year ago we published our book Design: A Beginner’s Handbook. Several years earlier we began the discussions about what we thought an entry level art and design textbook should contain. In our years of university teaching we’d come across numerous textbooks but none of them adequately addressed the needs we saw in our classes.

Most books were just too expensive. Art students already spend large sums of money on supplies and expecting them to pay $150 for a textbook was something we couldn’t support.

In addition, the textbooks actually contained too much information for a studio based class. The essential information needed to successfully complete hands-on design exercises was mixed with supplementary resources in a way that confused and distracted students. The structure of the books caused the “core” design ideas to be lost, or at the very least hidden.

We wanted an inexpensive book that would clearly present the elements and principles of design in an accessible manner. We wanted a book that required no prior experience in the arts, one that taught how to see and think visually and that could be used by students and the general public.

We decided that the best way to accomplish these goals was to use digital technologies – an ebook and the integration of social media. In the book itself we would concentrate on design in the world, avoiding art examples. We would train readers to find and understand elements such as line and shape in their daily encounters. We’d exploit the ubiquity of cellphone cameras as part of this training.

All the supplemental information would be clearly separated from these core ideas. We decided to use Pinterest, Facebook and a Blog to highlight art world examples of the elements and principles covered in the book.  Pinterest would contain a separate board for each of the elements and principles of design. Facebook would be used as a forum for reader input and periodic updates containing useful information. And finally, the blog would…

Yes, what would the blog do and what has it done?

In the next post we’ll answer these questions.

This entry was posted in Design in the World, Elements and Principles, Facebook, Pinterest and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *