A Reflection on Design

When you hear or say the word “design,” what is the first thing that pops into your mind?

Is it clothing design, interior design, graphic design, etc. or something completely different?

This week’s focus was on design and how to implement design in different projects!

I watched two TED talks this week. One was given by Paula Scher. The second was given by David Carson.

Paula Scher is well known for her creation of the Citi Bank logo. She discussed how design is a type of “play” (like children playing, not the show you watch in a theater). She explained how sometimes people can get so bogged down in their work that they forget to have some fun with it to make it their own. After the Citi Bank logo had been published, Scher began to paint! She painted and created a map of the world, but instead of making it an accurate map of where each city/country/state is, she mixed them up!

Source: ArtNet.com

The entire painting is made up of the names of each continent, country, state, city, etc. Another project she worked on was turning buildings into artwork! She decided to cover buildings in different words or phrases to make them her own. She also made sure to talk about how much she hates the font, Helvetica, because it is used in almost everything you see! Textbooks, maps, articles, posts, etc.! So she decided to turn her hatred for this type-face into a design-project! Check out some of her work below!

Source: John Clifford on Core77.com

Cool, right?

I love her artwork! She also included humor into some of her projects, such as this funny bathroom sign:

Source: Society for Experiential Graphic Design

The ways in which she chose to design different elements is pretty amazing, if you ask me. The best part of these examples above is the fact that she had such a fun time creating each one. She turned a passion of hers into her career and also something she is very well-known for. Some of her designs are over-the-top, but still fascinating and fun to look at. I’d love to go to a museum or an exhibition where all of her work is displayed in one place!

David Carson, before becoming a graphic designer, was a sociologist! He was fascinated with how different images/projections made people feel after seeing them. His work differed slightly from Paula Scher in that his work is more minimalist. However, I feel as though both designers are trying to send the same messages: Have fun with it and find the humor in it when you can!

Also, Carson’s designs are slightly more vulgar, but still are sometimes funny. Here are some examples:

Teacher sitting naked on a stack of books.
Source: DesignBoom.com
Don’t Mistake Legibility for Communication.
Source: David Carson Design

Carson, during his TED Talk, also talked about the two images below and how even though one “sign” is missing a letter doesn’t mean that there are two different messages being told, or are there? He then added a funny line when he said, “Which one would you park in front of?”

Source: ProcessandSkills.com

I almost feel as though David Carson is asking his viewers to comprehend his messages and designs in their own minds, without there being a right or wrong answer. That’s one thing that is exciting about design! You can look at an abstract painting or a cloud in the sky, and one person might see an elephant and the other person sees an umbrella!


While discovering more and more about design, I went onto Canva.com and processed through a number of different design tutorials! The seven I went through were:

  1. Tips for Titles
  2. Color Relationships
  3. Marrying Text and Images
  4. Introduction to Infographics
  5. Canva Tips and Tricks
  6. Perfect Presentations
  7. Building a Brand Kit

These are just several of the possible tutorials you can work with on Canva when trying to create your own designs!

Before this class, I had never played around with Canva, except for when I was trying to create a logo for my main domain! I never knew how many options there were! You can make a presentation, infographic, image, etc.! It’s kind of like an amusement park for designers! The possibilities are endless! Unfortunately, I had completed all of my design assignments for this week before I worked with Canva, but the next time I have to create something, I will definitely be using Canva! It’s so user-friendly and fun!

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