Let’s talk Logo assignment
Overview of some material from the readings
For today I want you to tell us all your name and your
Things to check:
1)Are you on the blogroll?
2)Is it clear to you what is going on?
3)Will you have two blog entries by 11:59 pm
Some quick Visual fun
Take a look at the next few slides and tell me what’s
going on here. Look carefully. Sometimes you might
need to squint.
These illusions depend on
intricate line work, very
specific color and contrast
choices, the mind’s desire
to complete shapes and
patterns and the fact that
our eyes jitter a bit
If you squint hard and look
at each of these images,
they WILL become still. But
not for long.
This doesn’t pulse like the last one, but I
wanted to give you another cool visual
design trick here. On the next slide, you’ll see
two dots (and a weird image, and a white
space). Stare at the dot in the middle of the
image for 30 seconds, then shift your gaze to
the other dot.
And now that logo assignment
As you know, on February 24th, you will be turning in your
first major assignment for class: a new mascot and logo
design for the Washington Redskins football team.
I want to give you some time today to think about that
assignment. But first… here’s the actual task, laid out in front
For the final submission, you should send me
a completed, colored logo with a written memo of
approximately 500 words explaining your choices.
You will also submit with this project a shorter, 200
word or less, cover letter to the team “selling” your
new logo and mascot.
…you really want to think about is why the current logo is
problematic. So here are a few looks at the main logo, the
logo in action, and some of the Redskins secondary logos.
I am sure some of you might not find the Redskins logo, or
the old Miami Redskins logo, all that problematic. What I
would urge you to do in this situation is to submerge yourself
in the rhetorical nature of the occasion. Some people will not
be offended, of course. This is almost universally true of
anything you might do; there will be some who don’t think
it’s a big deal. But when designing a mascot and logo, it’s
important to think about the ENTIRE audience. Why, then, is
the Redskin a problem?
A word on methods…
There are a number of ways to make your own logo. If
you have the artistic skills, your best bet will be to
draw or otherwise generate your own. We will talk a
bit more about that as class moves along. But another
thing you might do is collect elements from elsewhere
and sort of “kitbash” them, in the DIY sense, or
“Voltron” it, so to speak.
… I want us to engage the readings and really sort of grapple
with them, but as you might guess, if we tried to grapple with
every part of all five of those readings we’d end up sitting here
a long, long time grappling with a big ol’ bunch of ideas.
So I’m going to suggest a strategy– pull key ideas and illustrate
how they work/see if we can convert them to a sort of tool, or
a roadmap, if you will, to understanding visual rhetoric.
Something like this:
Barthes challenges us thusly:
“Now even– and above all if– the image is in a certain manner the
limit of meaning, it permits the consideration of a veritable ontology
of the process of signification. How does meaning get into the image?
Where does it end? And if it ends, what is there beyond?”
.. Images carry meaning. But how’d the meaning GET
there, Barthes asks us to consider.
Kress tells us:
“The approach from Social Semiotics not only draws attention
to the many kinds of meanings which are at issue in design,
but the “social” in “Social Semiotics” draws attention to the
fact that meanings always relate to specific societies and their
cultures, and to the meanings of the members of those
These images have meaning…
…because we know them.
They emerge from our culture and are reinforced by our culture.
That isn’t this, is it? =
Or is it?
Benjamin, who I promise is not the bad guy from Apt Pupil even if
he looks like him, reminds us:
“In principle a work of art has always been reproducible. Manmade artifacts could always be imitated by men. Replicas were
made by pupils in practice of their craft, by masters for diffusing
their works, and, ﬁnally, by third parties in the pursuit of gain.”
Wysocki reminds us:
“Because we have all grown up in densely visually constructed
environments, usually with little overt instruction or awareness of
how the construction takes place, it is easy to think of the visual
elements of texts as simply happening or appearing…as though…
television sitcoms were the result of a camera crew following a
typical family through their day.”
This remind you of your friends
And these are just normal people
enjoying normal products
What Wysocki would ask us to do
..ask why. Think about why those images are chosen.
And maybe more importantly… why don’t people
think about it/why isn’t it sort of a big deal to most
Now it’s your turn
Break into five groups. That should mean 5 per group.
Once you’re grouped, from my podium going clockwise around the
Group 1: Kress
Group 2: Barthes
Group 3: Wysocki, Eyes
Group 4: Benjamin
Group 5: Wysocki, Meaning of Texts
Pick between no less than 1 and no more than 3 main ideas, support
them with source quotes, and find examples for discussion. As you
finish, email me your materials: firstname.lastname@example.org
As you think about next week…
DO NOT FORGET THE IN-DESIGN TUTORIAL!
DON’T FORGET IT!
For Wednesday, read:
Read for class: Williams Chapters 4 & 5: repetition &
contrast; Golombisky & Hagen Chapters 1-3, and
Missy is Missing