Visual Order - Courework of Students in Visual Communication

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  • 1. RATIONALIZING DESIGN SENSITIVITY PARTA teaching method in Graphic DesignCreating visual order with single subject VISUAL ORDER 01 Industrial Design Centre Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Powai, Mumbai - 400 076, INDIA Prof. Mandar Rane Visual Communication Industrial Design Centre, IITB
  • 2. What is Order? Order is an arrangement. Elements come together in a space. Elements interact with the space to create an arrangement. All arrangements create forms.
  • 3. Why the book? Aim of the book About the book. Assignments in foundation courses of design The aim of the book is not to prove that visual The book focuses on learning creation of institutes are commonly criticized as adher- design principles form the basis of arrange- Visual Order (hierarchy). Visual Order is ing to a more of artistic bent and a complete ments. There are many excellent books addressed in the context of relationships lack of methodical and scientific approach. who have demonstrated and defined these between elements that coexists in a two- This issue continues to be debated and leads principles quite elaborately. The attempt is dimensional space. The objective is to to dominance of one kind of approach over to find a method to encourage and engage, internalize an experience by self-creation the other. Most of the time, the discourse attempts towards exploration of learning of the required Visual Order; a planned is predominantly about which approach is arrangements in collaboration, rather than arrangement which facilitates easy visual more effective for modern graphic design in isolation in front of a computer. perception of the communicated message. education, rather than suggesting empiri- cal methods to create newer paradigms of To explain students the act of making con- When one meditates, one experiences design teaching. scious decisions while creating an arrange- meditation for the self. This experience of ment rather than random. meditation can only be told to somebody In the pursuit to bridge the gap between with help of an analogy. If somebody has both the approaches this book proposes a To instill objectivity and anticipation during to experience the experienced, it can only method towards criteria based education in creation. To validate the anticipated by test- be internalized by doing (i.e. Meditating). If Graphic Design. It means design of a teach- ing it with the audience or viewers. ‘doing’ is bound by limitation of time, then ing method which is goal oriented (to foster for quick understanding the act is imitated vertical thinking), as well as, open-ended; To allow comprehension of the fact that with help of analogies. Analogies help us to free for exploration (encourage lateral think- all visual decisions rendered by a graphic understand the reality through something ing). designer while arrangement of elements else. Thus, to begin the process of learning, (in this case, type/letterforms) within a two an experiment was formulated to understand dimensional space are not just intuitive visual design principles through creation of and imaginary. In fact, these decisions are analogies. These analogies were further also objective, rationale and dictated by the mapped to actual (real-world) design tasks need of the message to be communicated. through comparisons and initiated discus- To create the necessary awareness that if sions by the instructor. The experiment was these decisions are misunderstood then conducted over a span of four to five years they get labelled as whimsical and irrational, across various design institutes and has by novices designers attempting to discern manifest itself into a teaching method docu- the principles of visual design. mented in this book titled, Visual Order.C.
  • 4. The picture of the elephant god Ganesha’s” procession, has elements arranged along a linear path. It directs the attention of the viewer – person viewing the picture, along an invisible guideline captured by the photographer. The child looks at the idol of the Lord Ganesha and the line of sight traces up pointing to the people on the top of the terrace building, watching the procession. The ability of the photographer to see this composition/arrangement and freeze the moment to create a memorable picture; an arrangement captured through the lens of the camera by the intelligent eye of the photog- rapher defines the creation of Visual Order. To be able to learn to see. To learn seeing!D.
  • 5. PART 1IntroductionTool versus the task ...........................................................................1Visual order - The teaching method .................................................3Choice of subjects ...............................................................................5Task Sheet - Visual questionnaire....................................................9TASK 01.Task 01 - Objective ............................................................................11Single subject - Visual order: Increasing emphasis .....................13Single subject - Analysis..................................................................21Example 1. Picture equivalent - Typographic Translations .......23Example 1. Analysis .........................................................................35Example 2. Picture equivalent - Typographic Translations.......37Example 2. Analysis .........................................................................49Conclusion .........................................................................................51Examples from workshops ..............................................................56
  • 6. Tool versus the task! Analog versus Digital. In most of the earlier traditional practices, ‘not knowing’ never dominated the domain of ‘tools’, but always focused on the ‘task’. With new tools for execution, maximum effort is spent on understanding/struggling with the tool rather than involving oneself within the depths of the task. The task as a result, only travels the extent of the novice’s knowledge about the tool. Therefore the objective of the task is dictated by the tool, making the exploration limited and learning distorted. The objective of book is to introduce a method to encourage collaborative environments for learning, where physical participation, dia- logue and involvement with a purpose (task) are of prime concern. This experiment is an attempt to balance the future of design edu- cation, namely traditional and modern ideas, through recognizing and associating rational thinking with exploration and creativity. Understanding the problem in all these aspects, the challenge was to come up with a teaching method which allows the creative freedom to explore, but also validates this freedom by objectivity and rationality.1. Part 1. Experimenting with single subjects
  • 7. the problem!
  • 8. About the method: In the course Visual Order, students attempt visual solutions to a given set of task based questionnaire (Task sheet). The visual solutions created by the students form analogies to explain design decisions which dictate arrangement of elements in visual design. The page on the right displays the assignment format describing each task the students have to perform, step by step. The picture is one of the task (visual solution) performed by the students. As we proceed we will discuss the assignment in detail.3. Part 1. Experimenting with single subjects
  • 9. rar- l hie d isua us v t han bvio righ an o er. (See s hoo t/ ld form ge th c lass s) shou s tand to f the (s till they nts o nd white . ll as de to s tude a fr ame we n ma ining blac k fin e d rough gy w he e ma c ts in a pre d e analo a chy, p). R ubje nt th an er, to es hin s ta v id e s e ll as corn h thes ra , w it ains con h pro a s w ues in grap ame m w hic d e s ig n , s photo digit al c spac e, re is e, ro is e a the xerc ra p h ic d mic ent w w ith e or p le e in g ro an as signm ts). It fram . a sim O rd e r’ ma c n This e rciseIt ’s is u a l tand . For this e s tud e l e ex ders it y c as enta out th 04 to ‘V le to un nsitiv this rem Ta s k na n se ., in n inc as ratio de sig ts (i.e ve a res, phic e s ubje c ts ha featu bjec ic al gra thre e su p hy s Ta s k 0 3 at th their n e e d s sary th n to ce latio is ne nc e in re 02 d if fere Ta s k 01 Ta s k - n fig um a the h hould elow nts s ots b at s tude e latt er, he d th bjec t. T ls th on to tr y to e su leve relati s hould res t ith t... ith th inte e, in e re w teres ot w mbolize fram o, o n ges tu te In r sy each s k 02. S each ys to sh oo c t: Crea c ti ng o ure, a te in ta s in a subje of a tt ra us ual tr y to cre ing fr om progres ew w s ting th a One wer is un a te e gin n tal Find n tere e p o c ause it i.e . B men jec t. re in e rea ns : Th e to c re d ve incre gle sub an d mo ues till w mea res t (b s ay o t an achie in h e re te c an s ho fas more s contin re s t r) in e, w e ents he elp o ake it roces In te (use re c is stud t and the h , to m rp ne’s be p om e bje c e. am e imila ing o or to in with, s ingle) s u fr am the fr vious. S hold ing) s ting exc it eg (s for re the p . or is”. To b ith a an in tere subjec t p ha s 1, w re s t/ sk 0 4 sk 0 a te c t the te ta 07 “em e ta to c re e or dire ate in Ta s k ute th e s ture oos to cre is sh- e xe c g to ch e aim is ut a free re a c ts o are re. Th the pic tu ents es tu e, when Stud ed g 06 quir e fra m Ta s k the re sis in th a e mp h ith cts w bje t 2 su n to latio 05 Shoo er in re Ta s k ord rsed latte r reve s bject er t 2 su rd Shoo efined o pred N with c ts . ubje s bject ce the s de ove t 2 su b oth ce Shoo l import an qua l to nc e /pre ft be e ce o equa rder. .. mine referen with ed o ould t pro lp ribed efin the ld ge isua de s c Pred t an d shou the v e order oot su c ts: n to s ubje e th e firs c us s e d re latio ing to th hou ld s h es Two hoos e dis e r of c cord d en ts s ot th to c w 06, a ); s tu s ho n ne ha s ub je c ts c orn n d er, i.e., so lu tio sk , o re e s nd .2 & no fined ord s ulting t ha ct a the x t ta m the th top righ le s ubje , we e re ther e ne re s pre -d ere the w he In th bje c t fro (or s ee d e mid al fea tu er wh find ow s t su in g th ner, ll las t ginn , s k ip ysic th the o ld ser to sk 07 fo e be ean s in ph ong and an u ta rder. in th g e). It m two. So s tr s hou with ed. T he ed o very dents ance, v vers this pa othe r c t as t. Stu rt ac hie ith the re e the ne subje n th e firs ual impo a w s c h o o h a ve o r tha q n to only e a ke ith e how ld 05 w hot), is s wou ratively w in task s pa c ts wa s c om ubje (tha t sh - t the s ame rac tion s hoo e fr e att 10 w he n th or th Ta s k i.e., tion atten user, 09 Ta s k 08 Ta s k pre cts: Subje a fem Ten be ould bje ct sh of the su (One er d ord 07 ) efine and task pred 6 cts: sk 0 subje to ta T hree d similar te e execu (to b
  • 10. Choice of subjects For the experiment, we choose three students from the class. Page on the right displays the group of chosen students who will participate as subjects to execute the given tasks (Questionnaire). As shown in the picture on the right, these students should form an obvious visual hierarchy, i.e., the height of the subjects should increase or decrease gradually, when they are made to stand together. One of them taller, one medium and the last one shorter. Physically the difference amongst the subjects should be obvious, but gradual. Choice of subjects with stark differences should be avoided Picture of the chosen group: or one particular subject might become Rahul, Kshitij & Navendu (Left to right) unique. This has to be strictly adhered to while choosing the subjects to conduct the experiment successfully. For the tasks which we conducted we chose two sets of groups with three students in each group. On the right hand page is the first group and on the next page is the sec- ond group of students who participated in the experiment.5. Part 1. Experimenting with single subjects
  • 11. First Group - Choice of subjects to form a hierarchy
  • 12. Presented here is the second group of stu- dents with an obvious visual hierarchy. Second Group: Picture of the chosen group Abhishek, Manshu, Dinesh (left to right)7. Part 1. Experimenting with single subjects
  • 13. Second Group - Choice of subjects to form a hierarchy
  • 14. Task sheet - Visual questionnaire Once we decide our subjects, rest of the class is given a task sheet as shown on the right hand page. The class will shoot black and white pictures of the chosen subjects as per the task defined in the task sheet. These pic- tures have to be shot against an empty back- ground and this is compulsory. To shoot the pictures a digital camera should be used and the preview on the screen should be set to black and white. Each task will be explained as we proceed further.9. Part 1. Experimenting with single subjects
  • 15. One subject: Create Interest... Task 01Two subjects: Predefined order... Task 02 Task 03 Task 04 Shoot 2 subjects Shoot 2 subjects with Shoot 2 subjects with predefined order reversed order in relation to the latter with equal importance Three subjects: predefined order Ten Subjects: predefined order (to be executed similar to task 06 and task 07) (One of the subject should be a female and she will be no.1 in order) Task 05 Task 06 Task 7
  • 16. The page on the right displays Task01 men- Task 01: In this task we shoot four black and tioned in the task sheet. For the first task you white pictures of a single subject in a pre- can choose any One subject out of the three defined format (landscape) against an empty shown in the picture on the left. background. Shoot these four photographs with incremental interest. It means that when all four pictures are shot and displayed together, if you compare the first and the second picture of the same subject then… a. The second picture of the subject should be more interesting than the first, b. The third picture should be more interesting than the second. c. And the fourth picture should be more interesting than the third, when validated against an opinion of a viewer/ audience. First group: Points to remember: Rahul, Kshitij & Navendu (Left to right) The background of the subject while shoot- ing the picture should be empty or white. • Clothing should be neutral and not trendy, clothing should not overpower the sub- ject or distract attention. Black or grey coloured T-shirts are fine. There should be no printed text/imagery over them. • The subjects can be either male or female and not a mix of both. • No props are allowed. The pages further will display a series of images with increasing emphasis11. Part 1. Experimenting with single subjects
  • 17. 1. 2. 3. 4. Single Subject, create interest (emphasis)TASK 01. SINGLE SUBJECT. INCREASING EMPHASIS, CREATE ORDER
  • 18. This is the first picture where the subject stands still in the center of the picture frame. As per the criteria mentioned in the task sheet, the next picture should be more interesting than the current. Turn the page to reveal the result for the second picture.13. Part 1. Experimenting with single subjects
  • 19. The second picture displays a gesture by the subject carefully listening to something. The change in posture adds a little interest. Let us see the result of the third picture. Turn the page.15. Part 1. Experimenting with single subjects
  • 20. The third picture adds more dynamism as the subject tries to attempt a dancing posture to achieve the criteria of increasing interest.17. Part 1. Experimenting with single subjects
  • 21. In the fourth and the last picture the subject is brought closer to the camera to display astonishment and excitement.19. Part 1. Experimenting with single subjects
  • 22. All the task were rationalized by comparing the subject to a written word. Typographic solutions were worked out for each frame by the instructor to explain how pictures are translated into typographic expressions for easy comprehension. 1. In the first picture, as the subject has a personality, character and an identity; a font also behaves in a similar fashion with individuality, a character of its own, dis- playing its unique identity from a family of typeface. 2. The second picture is compared to chang- ing of the text to italic to add a little gesture and dynamism. 3. In the third picture the element of fun and expression from the subject is translated into the font. 4. In the fourth and the last picture the sub- ject is compared with increase in font size, trying to attract more attention by scale/ increase in size.21. Part 1. Experimenting with single subjects
  • 23. 1. 2. 3. 4.
  • 24. This teaching method of Visual Order was Task 01 : experimented across various design insti- The act was similar as Task01; to shoot tutes in the country. Presented here are a pictures of a single subject with increasing few examples of the results of students work interest and design typographic translations at these institutes. for the same. In this case the number of pic- tures were reduced to three instead of four. In the task, what do we mean by a typo- graphic translation? A typographic transla- tion is to create a picture equivalent with the help of type as a medium for expression. A comparison of the shot picture to the arrangement of type in a given space. We translate the contents of the picture frame into a typographic translation. What needs to be translated? There are primarily three things that we are required to translate. 1. Content (subject) = What is written. (In this case, the name of the subject, choice of font) 2. Space and content interaction = Resulting in proportion. (Scale, emphasis) 3. Expression of the Content (subject) = Expressing emotion through type The page aside displays the first picture in the series of three (incremental interest), followed in the consecutive page is its typo- graphic translation.23. Part 1. Experimenting with single subjects
  • 25. Typographic translation of the previous picture. Typographic variables are explored to create picture equivalent, typographic translation.25. Part 1. Experimenting with single subjects
  • 26. NISHANT NISHANT NIS NISHANT NISH NISHANT NISHA NISHANT NISH NISHANT NISH NISHANTNISH NIS NISH ANT NIS NISHANT NISHANT NI NISHANT NISHANT NISHA NISHANT NI NISHANT NISHA NISHA NISHANT N NISHAN NISHA NISHANT NI NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISNISHANT NISHAN NIISHANT NISNISHANT NISHANT NISNISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISNI SHANT NISHANT NISHANNIS HANT NISHANT NISHANT N ISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NI NISHANT NISHANT NI SHANT NISHANT NISHANT NI SHAN
  • 27. Second picture in the series. Appropriate- ness of the picture validated against the criteria of incremental interest.27. Part 1. Experimenting with single subjects
  • 28. Typographic translation for the second picture.29. Part 1. Experimenting with single subjects
  • 29. NISHANT NISHANT NI NISHANT NISH NISHANT NISH NISHANT NISH NIS NISHANTNIS NISHANT NISNISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NIS NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISH NISHANT NI NISHANT NISHANT NI NISHANT NISHA NISH NISHANT NISHA NISH NISHANT NISHA NISHA NISHANT NISH NIISHA NISHANT NISH NISHA NISHANT NISHANT NISH NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT
  • 30. Third picture in the series.31. Part 1. Experimenting with single subjects
  • 31. Typographic translation for the third picture.33. Part 1. Experimenting with single subjects
  • 32. NISHANT NISHANT NISH NISHANT NISHA NISHANT NISHA NISHANT NISHA NISHANT NISHA NISHANT NIS NISHANT NISHANT NISHA NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NIS NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANNISHANT NISHANT N NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHNISHANT NISH NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISH NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NIS NISHANT NISHANT NIISHANT NIS NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISH NISHANT NISHANT NISHA NISHAN NISHANT NISHANT NISH NISHA NISHANT NISHANT NISH NISHA NISHANT NISHANT NISH NISH NISHANT NISHANT NIS NIS NISHANT NISHANT NIS NISH NISHANT NISHANT NISH
  • 33. An overview of all three pictures and their typographic translations together. Typo- graphic expression corresponding to the pictures is attempted and rightly achieved. Student explores the typographic variables, Scale and Value in a given space objectively. Picture becomes a reference to review the typographic attempt. There are numerous ways to execute the picture-equivalent typographic translation. Each and every approach is considered valid and encour- aged in this method. So, the resultant is never a single right answer to this task, this makes the task exploratory. This exploration is objective since it is validated against the three points mentioned in the criteria. 1. Content 2. Content + Space interaction 3. Content + Expression In the next page we will see one more example, where the same task is executed with another subject.35. Part 1. Experimenting with single subjects
  • 34. NISHANT NISHANT NIS NISHANT NISH NISHANT NISHA NISHANT NISH NISHANT NISH NISHANTNISH NIS NISH ANT NIS NISHANT NISHANT NI NISHANT NISHANT NISHA NISHANT NI NISHANT NISHA NISHA NISHANT N NISHAN NISHA NISHANT NI NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NIS NISHANT NISHAN NIISHANT NIS NISHANT NISHANT NIS NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NIS NI SHANT NISHANT NISHAN NIS HANT NISHANT NISHANT N ISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NI NISHANT NISHANT NI SHANT NISHANT NISHANT NI SHAN NISHANT NISHANT NIS HANT NISHANT NISHANT NI NISHANT NISH NISHANT NISH NISHANT NISH NIS NISHANTNIS NISHANT NIS NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NIS NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISH NISHANT NI NISHANT NISHANT NI NISHANT NISHA NISH NISHANT NISHA NISH NISHANT NISHA NISHA NISHANT NISH NIISHA NISHANT NISH NISHA NISHANT NISHANT NISH NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISH NISHANT NISHA NISHANT NISHA NISHANT NISHA NISHANT NISHA NISHANT NIS NISHANT NISHANT NISHA NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NIS NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHANNISHANT NISHANT N NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISHNISHANT NISH NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISH NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NIS NISHANT NISHANT NIISHANT NIS NISHANT NISHANT NISHANT NISH NISHANT NISHANT NISHA NISHAN NISHANT NISHANT NISH NISHA NISHANT NISHANT NISH NISHA NISHANT NISHANT NISH NISH NISHANT NISHANT NIS NIS NISHANT NISHANT NIS NISH NISHANT NISHANT NISH NISHANT NISHANT NISH
  • 35. A similar task by another student, shoot- ing a series of pictures, further to render picture equivalent typographic translations. Page aside portrays the first picture of the subject in the series. Task is the same as earlier; to shoot three consecutive pictures with increasing levels of interest. Typographic translation for the same to be followed on the next page.37. Part 1. Experimenting with single subjects
  • 36. The subject renders a short form of his first name, “Siddharth”, as “Sid” to create the appropriate typographic translation.39. Part 1. Experimenting with single subjects
  • 37. Second picture in the series.41. Part 1. Experimenting with single subjects
  • 38. Typographic translation for the second picture.43. Part 1. Experimenting with single subjects
  • 39. Third picture in the series.45. Part 1. Experimenting with single subjects
  • 40. Typographic translation for the third picture.47. Part 1. Experimenting with single subjects
  • 41. The typographic translation done by the stu- dent is quite different from the earlier. Here he does not attempt to trace the exact outline to create a silhouette of the figure. The stu- dent plays with the letter-forms as a mass of object to imitate the qualities of the picture. The page aside displays all three pictures and their typographic translations with refer- ence to the shot pictures. At the end of these tasks students realized the act of express- ing the required gesture through font as a medium for the message. The message here is referred to be translated into three parts, Firstly the content, secondly the empty space interaction with the content and thirdly the expression of the subject. Students were able to comprehend the relationship of all three and validate the same against the picture to rationalize the typogra- phic decisions.49. Part 1. Experimenting with single subjects
  • 42. So, what do we conclude from these tasks? It is easy for the viewer to focus on a single element in a given space since there is nothing else to look at (see the image on the right). But, this does not mean we create a flat or a bland solution. A single element in a given space can also be treated interestingly. Turn over to see the next page rendering an inter- esting composition for the same picture.51. Part 1. Experimenting with single subjects
  • 43. Interesting composition with a single element in a given space.53. Part 1. Experimenting with single subjects
  • 44. Left > Right > Student : Dipto De Student : Amrita Pokarna Institute : MIT, Pune Institute : IDC, IIT Bombay Workshop : Visual Order Course : Visual Order55. Part 1. Experimenting with single subjects
  • 45. Left > Right > Student : Pankhuri Jain Student : Ajinkya Chikte Institute : MIT, Pune Institute : MIT, Pune Workshop : Visual Order Workshop : Visual Order57. Part 1. Experimenting with single subjects
  • 46. Further we look in to the second part of the book and view the creation of visual order as the number of subjects increase. How visual order can be designed with two subjects in a given space.59. Part 1. Experimenting with single subjects
  • 47. PART 2TASK 02.Two subjects - Linear hierarchy (1-2) ............................................61Two subjects - Linear hierarchy (1-2) Group 1..............................63Two subjects - Linear hierarchy (1-2) Group 2..............................67Analysis .............................................................................................81TASK 03.Two subjects - Reverse hierarchy (2-1) ..........................................83Two subjects - Reverse hierarchy (2-1) Group 1 ...........................85Two subjects - Reverse hierarchy (2-1) Group 2 ...........................95Analysis ...........................................................................................103TASK 04.Two subjects - Equal importance (1-1).........................................107Two subjects - Equal importance (1-1) Group 1 ..........................109Two subjects - Equal importance (1-1) Group 2 ..........................115Analysis ...........................................................................................133
  • 48. From this section we begin the second task, now the number of elements (subjects) in a given space are increased. On the page opposite are two subjects with numbers below them, 1 and 2 indicating the order of visual preference, in which they should be shot as well as perceived by the viewer after the shoot.61. Part 2. Experimenting with two subjects
  • 49. Two subjects, create visual orderTASK 02. CREATE VISUAL ORDER. 2 SUBJECTS. LINEAR HIERARCHY (1,2)
  • 50. The subjects we chose for this task are amongst the first group of students. We have two subjects, Rahul and Navendu who need to be shot in this visual order of 1 & 2. By this we mean that when a picture is taken for these two subjects with a digital camera against a white background, Rahul should stand out first followed by Navendu, when shown to an viewer.63. Part 2. Experimenting with two subjects
  • 51. Students fulfilled the criteria. The only prob- lem in the solution was that, it is an obvious solution. If you hide the face of the second subject naturally the first subject would gain more importance. This does not mean that the solution is wrong, but better options can be attempted. A creative solution is to create a picture without hiding the second subject’s face. In these pictures face is the identity (attention grabbing area), in comparison to the rest of the body. This identity and the arrangement of the subjects dictates the sequence of the visual order. It requires a mention that the subjects in the picture should be unknown to the viewer, prior to his judgement and validation regard- ing the appropriateness of the created/ required visual order.65. Part 2. Experimenting with two subjects
  • 52. Shoot a picture in such a manner that the taller guy is perceived prior to the shorter guy when the picture is presented to the viewer. Let’s see how the second group fares with the Task 02.67. Part 2. Experimenting with two subjects
  • 53. Interesting solution! The subject who was suppose to be No.1 in visual order is brought forward and the second subject is sent behind. An act of conscious arrange- ment to attain a predefined objective. There seems to be a little ambiguity in this solution and the preference may tend towards the second subject to be perceived first, the reason being his smile.69. Part 2. Experimenting with two subjects
  • 54. Typographic translation for the same solu- tion. It fulfills the criteria of the first subject (Abhishek) to be seen first and the second subject (Dinesh) later in visual order.71. Part 2. Experimenting with two subjects
  • 55. Since there was a slight ambiguity in the earlier picture the solution was redone. Still it fails because the tilt in the head of the second subject creates interest or attracts ‘attention’. Lets see the typographic transla- tion for the picture on the next page.73. Part 2. Experimenting with two subjects
  • 56. Interesting treatment of typography to create different weights. The tilt of the head is translated with change in orientation of the letter forms (for the second subject, i.e. Dinesh). It fulfills the criteria of Abhishek should be seen first and Dinesh later. The result seems quite good, it met the required criteria.75. Part 2. Experimenting with two subjects
  • 57. The third picture in the series is our perfect solution to the given visual problem. Subject No.1 is brought forward near to the lens of the camera; to increase his importance and the second subject is pushed behind with nil expression/gesture to make him appear second in the visual order.77. Part 2. Experimenting with two subjects
  • 58. A clever typographic translation. Attracting attention by high-lighting the starting letters of the names of the two subjects. The larger letterforms with different values are used to balance the visual weight of the respective subjects with reference to the picture.79. Part 2. Experimenting with two subjects
  • 59. All three pictures with their typographic translations. If we compare all the three solutions on the right page we can conclude that the aim is not to find a solution enough to fulfill the criteria, but to develop a habit of generating more alternatives for the same problem. In simple words, the search is not for the right answer but, for a better answer. The photograph on the right conveys the The photograph above conveys same meaning as the photograph on the the same thing but more effectively. left. The only difference lies in the visual representation; how it is visually told.81. Part 2. Experimenting with two subjects
  • 60. In this section we begin with the third task. The visual order in this case is reversed, exactly opposite of what we were suppose to do in the earlier task.83. Part 2. Experimenting with two subjects
  • 61. Two subjects, create visual orderTASK 03. CREATE VISUAL ORDER. 2 SUBJECTS. REVERSE HIERARCHY (2,1)
  • 62. On the right are the pictures of the subject with the numerals below them defining the visual order. Shoot a picture such that the weaker subject (shorter) has to be No.1 and the stronger subject (taller) has to be No.2 in the visual order perceived by the viewer.85. Part 2. Experimenting with two subjects
  • 63. The picture shot by the students seems to meet the required criteria. The weaker sub- ject (right) due to his strong gesture domi- nates the scene and elevates himself to the number one position in the visual order by attracting attention. When the picture was validated with viewers, the weaker subject was the most preferred, and a few viewers who felt sorry for the other subject chose him for his sorry state. This resulted in a situation where the solu- tion was left ambiguous. A consciously designed arrangement could not be left to ambiguity. Could we alter the solution in such a manner that all the viewers’s would vote their visual preference for the weaker subject in accordance with the given criteria for the task. May be, yes!87. Part 2. Experimenting with two subjects
  • 64. A change in the background dictates what is to be seen first. Using a principle of design ‘radiation’ we could define the Visual Order and reduce ambiguity. Now all the viewers voted for the subject with the angry gesture, followed by the preference for the second.89. Part 2. Experimenting with two subjects
  • 65. Information can be informative or persua- sive. It depends upon the context in which the message has to be communicated. A little modification in the radiating lines can add a little persuasion (attraction/interest).91. Part 2. Experimenting with two subjects
  • 66. We have so much control when we design that we can even reverse the Visual Order. Therefore, the act of design is planned, conscious and objective.93. Part 2. Experimenting with two subjects
  • 67. Lets see how the other group performs the same task.95. Part 2. Experimenting with two subjects
  • 68. Dinesh (left) gets preference because of the strong expressive facial gesture of being choked up. Apart from creating the required Visual Order the group has also added a story into the picture. The story binds the two subjects together.97. Part 2. Experimenting with two subjects
  • 69. Type expresses an emotion. Dinesh is pri- oritized in Visual Order due to value, scale orientation and position. An example of expressive typography; expresses the chok- ing of name, ‘Dinesh’ with reference to the shot picture.99. Part 2. Experimenting with two subjects
  • 70. One more picture performing the same task, weaker subject to be No.1 in visual order.101. Part 2. Experimenting with two subjects
  • 71. Three students render different typographic Imagine the difficulty an instructor would translations for the same picture. If we com- face to explain aggression in a font without pare all three typographical translations, the the reference of the pictures. first typographic solution fulfills the criteria of the word Dinesh to be seen first, but lacks the aggression in the font as seen in the picture. Whereas the last/bottom (typographic trans- lation) adjacent to the third picture reflects expression and aggression of the subject through the font.103. Part 2. Experimenting with two subjects
  • 72. A picture expressing visual order with two subjects. We can dictate the order by priori- tizing which subject is to be highlighted or should draw attention.105. Part 2. Experimenting with two subjects
  • 73. Two subjects with equal visual preference. Create visual order!107. Part 2. Experimenting with two subjects
  • 74. Two subjects, create equal importanceTASK 04. CREATE VISUAL ORDER. 2 SUBJECTS. EQUAL IMPORTANCE (1,1)
  • 75. Task 04 was to create equal importance. Equal importance means, none of the two subjects shown aside should have promi- nence over each other. In other words, a viewer should perceive both the subjects as a group or as a whole entity. The viewer should either vote his visual preference for both the subjects or to none of them. The preference should be biased to either of them or the required criteria of creating equal importance for both would fail. In this task we purposely chose a weak and a strong subject to make the task chal- lenging.109. Part 2. Experimenting with two subjects
  • 76. This was their solution, they tried to achieve uniformity with similar gestures but failed to meet the criteria of equal importance for both the subjects. The viewers either preferred the left or the right subject. The task failed.111. Part 2. Experimenting with two subjects
  • 77. Two subjects standing apart from each other, created distinct spatial differences and the arrangement encouraged creation of separate identities. Students were told that if they had brought the subjects closer then it could have dissolved their individual identities.113. Part 2. Experimenting with two subjects
  • 78. HEIGHTDISTANCE
  • 79. Same task with the other group.115. Part 2. Experimenting with two subjects
  • 80. A good solution! But still the subjects do not form a group or a whole. They appear as separate entities.117. Part 2. Experimenting with two subjects
  • 81. Lets bring the subjects closer to each other and overlap them. Distance (Proximity) is a very sensitive and crucial variable to make or break groups.119. Part 2. Experimenting with two subjects
  • 82. We revise the difference in height to create similarity and dissolve prominence to create equal importance.121. Part 2. Experimenting with two subjects
  • 83. Earlier, both subjects were identified as separate as two entities. Overlapping the two subjects created a single contour for them to form a group.123. Part 2. Experimenting with two subjects
  • 84. Typographic translation for the pictures shot by the students. Subjects were substituted by names of the students. The criteria was the same, neither of the names should have preference over each other. Both the names can be neutral in preference. In the current solution the word ‘Abhishek’ on the left is read first. It does not meet our criteria of equal importance.125. Part 2. Experimenting with two subjects
  • 85. One more solution but still it fails. Reading direction and position will always affect the order of preference for the written word. Even if we had place the words aligned left to begin from the same position, either of the word will be placed at the top or the bottom. The word at the top would get preference because of our habit of reading from top to bottom and left to right. Students were stuck! How does one create equal impor- tance? At first glance the design solution seems impossible, until it gets resolved.127. Part 2. Experimenting with two subjects
  • 86. One more attempt fails, because similarity creates groups. When groups are cre- ated there will obviously be preference. Either, or.129. Part 2. Experimenting with two subjects
  • 87. Finally the solution works because it creates ambiguity for the viewer regarding which word should get preference, resulting in a perception of the whole or a mass. Students comprehend the idea of dissolving identities with a conscious attempt to achieve, lack of similarity.131. Part 2. Experimenting with two subjects
  • 88. All three attempts together. Trying to achieve the most appropriate solution. It defines the objectivity of the task, amidst encourage- ment for exploration.133. Part 2. Experimenting with two subjects
  • 89. The background of the adjacent picture acts similar to that of the words, Abhishek and Dinesh in the previous typographic solution. Neither of them shouts (demands attention). The same idea is explained through a photo- graph aside. Since the background is over- exposed (out of focus) keeping the subject in focus. Attention is directed towards the subjects rather than the background. “The background stands up, comes out. Such are the words used by design instruc- tors attempting to explain the visual design principles to the students. On the face of it, such comments appear irrational, but under- neath lies a strong rational base which Visual Order as a method of teaching attempts to explain through a photograph.135. Part 2. Experimenting with two subjects
  • 90. Look into the third part of the book and view the creation of visual order as the number of subjects increase to more than two.137. Part 2. Experimenting with two subjects
  • 91. PART 3TASK 05.Three subjects - Linear hierarchy (1-2-3) ....................................139Three subjects - Linear hierarchy (1-2-3) Group 1......................141Three subjects - Linear hierarchy (1-2-3) Group 2......................147Picture equivalent - Typographic Translations .........................163Analysis ...........................................................................................169TASK 06.Three subjects - Reverse hierarchy (1-2-3) ..................................171Three subjects - Reverse hierarchy (1-2-3) Group 1 ...................173Three subjects - Reverse hierarchy (1-2-3) Group 2 ...................179Analysis ...........................................................................................181TASK 07.Ten subjects - Create Visual Order ...............................................179Ten subjects - Criteria ..................................................................185Ten subjects - Result ......................................................................189Analysis ...........................................................................................191Visual Order in our surroundings ................................................193Feeling and Reasoning ...................................................................218Credits ..............................................................................................219
  • 92. Create visual order. 1,2 and 3.139. Part 3. Experimenting with three or more subjects
  • 93. Three subjects, create visual orderTASK 05. CREATE VISUAL ORDER. 3 SUBJECTS. LINEAR HIERARCHY (1,2,3)
  • 94. Subjects: Rahul, Kshitij and Navendu (left to right). Shoot pictures of these three subjects such that the required Visual Order is cre- ated141. Part 3. Experimenting with three or more subjects
  • 95. Good solution! The subject in the center holding the other two creates a visual flow. Subject on the left slightly looks up to become no. 2 and the third subject almost hiding its face to step down at No. 3.143. Part 3. Experimenting with three or more subjects
  • 96. The task illustrates visual flow in graphic design. It tells us how it can lead a viewer through a pre-defined/ pre-designed visual order. The typographic variable ‘Scale’ and the subjects holding each other combine together to create an arrangement, which creates a visual flow.145. Part 3. Experimenting with three or more subjects
  • 97. The same task as previous. Three subjects create order!147. Part 3. Experimenting with three or more subjects
  • 98. Solution does not work. At tention of the viewer is allowed to scatter in vary- ing directions. Viewer has a choice to choose either of the subject and dictate his order. The visual priority in the task is ignored. Solution does not meet the required criteria.149. Part 3. Experimenting with three or more subjects
  • 99. Solution with high order. Highly functional and orderly. For example, a telephone direc- tory with an alphabetical listing. Solution meets the given criteria but more options could be explored.151. Part 3. Experimenting with three or more subjects
  • 100. Empty space plays an important role in deciding the visual order. This white or empty space interacts with the content. A graphic designer should be extremely sensi- tive to this space. He should train his eyes to see this space (to be able to see the void). On the right is an example to study the addition of white space. It helps gaining more atten- tion to our subject on the left.153. Part 3. Experimenting with three or more subjects
  • 101. Addition of white space from the right changes the visual order. The subject on the right becomes no.1 in visual order due to the white space as well as he is shifted to the center, in spite of him being smaller in size.155. Part 3. Experimenting with three or more subjects
  • 102. Earlier solutions were obvious, therefore students repeat the task. The solution however fails to perceive the desired visual order. If the second subject (on the extreme left) had been facing towards the camera then the desired Visual Order could have been achieved.157. Part 3. Experimenting with three or more subjects
  • 103. One more solution, but the attention is captured by the central part of the gesture as a whole, creating a group of the first two subjects (from the right). Students will have to revise the solution to make it better. Lets turn over to see the next attempt by the students.159. Part 3. Experimenting with three or more subjects
  • 104. Now the solution works, it suffices the predefined criteria of the visual order and also has a story involved into it. The subject (from the right) looks at us (into the camera) to attract our attention first, The hand hold- ing the head guides our visual path further towards the second subject and finally descending down to the third.161. Part 3. Experimenting with three or more subjects
  • 105. A plain monotonous, flat, typographic solution fulf ils the required criteria, but, we need something more than the obvious.163. Part 3. Experimenting with three or more subjects
  • 106. Interesting, creative but a little bit ambigu- ous, readability seems a problem.165. Part 3. Experimenting with three or more subjects
  • 107. A little tweaking solves the problem, now the solution is functional as well as interesting.167. Part 3. Experimenting with three or more subjects
  • 108. All three solutions together. When we compare all three typographic solutions we can conclude that the first one is not wrong, but the third one is correct as well as interesting. We attempt to seek more solu- tions in graphic design rather than a single perfect answer.169. Part 3. Experimenting with three or more subjects
  • 109. Three subjects, reverse order.171. Part 3. Experimenting with three or more subjects
  • 110. Three subjects, create visual orderTASK 06. CREATE VISUAL ORDER. 3 SUBJECTS. REVERSE HIERARCHY (3,2,1)
  • 111. Pictures of the three subjects. The weaker subject (from the right) should be perceived as No.1 in visual order. A tough task.173. Part 3. Experimenting with three or more subjects
  • 112. Excellent gesture, but the subject (from the left) who was supposed to be perceived as No. 3 has turned out to be No.1. Solution fails to meet the required perception of the Visual Order.175. Part 3. Experimenting with three or more subjects
  • 113. A more attractive subjects gesture, orien- tation or posture can be compared to an unusual or a dominant element in a typo- graphic layout. A bold font face and increase in font size attracts and captures more atten- tion in comparison to other elements.177. Part 3. Experimenting with three or more subjects
  • 114. goddeath
  • 115. Create visual order. Same as the previous task but the order is reversed. The weaker subject (on the right) should be perceived as No.1 in visual order.179. Part 3. Experimenting with three or more subjects
  • 116. A successful attempt. It fulfills the criteria and creates the required order, plus has a story built into it which explains the effec- tive use of persuasion to create interest and presents the result; an inviting communica- tion.181. Part 3. Experimenting with three or more subjects
  • 117. Tight cropping of the photography enhances the solution. Deletes the unnecessary, focus- ing and prioritizing the required183. Part 3. Experimenting with three or more subjects
  • 118. Create Visual Order with ten subjects.185. Part 3. Experimenting with three or more subjects
  • 119. Ten subjects, create visual orderTASK 07. CREATE VISUAL ORDER. 10 SUBJECTS.
  • 120. The number of subjects is increased to ten. Amongst the ten a female subject is introduced. Prior to the execution of Task 07 the predefined order in which the subjects should be shot is decided. (See the picture on the right). This picture will serve as a proof to whether the required Visual Order is achieved.187. Part 3. Experimenting with three or more subjects
  • 121. Students comprehend the trouble of defin- ing a visual order with too many elements in a limited space. Solution fails.189. Part 3. Experimenting with three or more subjects
  • 122. (Picture on the right), Typographic resem- blance to the analogy of increasing subjects within a limited space on a billboard, in the city of Guwahati; State of Assam, India. This example helps the students internalize the concept explaining lack of Visual Order in visual design solutions. The struggle to handle too many elements in a given space and the disturbance in perceiving a clear Visual Order, creates clutter/chaos.191. Part 3. Experimenting with three or more subjects
  • 123. Hoarding depicting the analogy of handling too many elements with different identities in a limited space.
  • 124. To begin with the photograph aside, a few picture based analogies are used to reinforce the concept of Visual Order. In the photograph on the right, we can dic- tate the viewer attention to a particular spot of our interest. In a similar manner, atten- tion can be captured while communicating a message to your audience; either through text or images.193. Visual Order in our surroundings
  • 125. Till now we were only dealing with black & white pictures. In this picture on the right hand page the person wearing the white shirt attracts our attention. Turn over to the next page to see what happens if we introduce colour. Can colour dictate the visual order?195. Visual Order in our surroundings
  • 126. Colour is a very powerful element of design. If used properly it can attract attention, but misuse can also result in distracting atten- tion. Too much use of colour can create multiple attention points. An element to be used purposefully and responsibly.197. Visual Order in our surroundings
  • 127. In these assignments with subjects as ele- ments acting in a given space, face of the person (subject) becomes an identity to attract attention or dictate a Visual Order. Similarly in an advertisement or a layout the written text, its meaning and photographs are the identities of that presented informa- tion. The viewer browses through these elements to comprehend the communicable message. A planned arrangement of these elements can necessarily dictate the pat- tern of browsing. This planning is Design.199. Visual Order in our surroundings
  • 128. (See right), If you don’t see a face we can term that the information is flat. There is no impor- tance given (not highlighted) to any element. All the information is at the same level with absence of hierarchy. The railway timetable below presents an example of flat information, where noth- ing seems to be highlighted and renders a monotonous feel to the information.201. Visual Order in our surroundings
  • 129. In real life, we find examples of Visual Order. The boy in the picture decorates himself to attract attention of people passing by. Simi- larly, a graphic designer highlights a single element (to catch attention) in a composition; allowing lesser priority to other elements in the same composition.203. Visual Order in our surroundings
  • 130. At times people decorate themselves to the extent that you are forced to look at them. If the person in the adjacent picture does not decorate himself in such a manner it would be difficult for him to make a living. With such high presentation of Visual Order (decoration for a single element) he makes sure that get his alms as well as stand out in the crowd. It is less likely that people would miss him. The struggle is to grab attention of the inattentive.205. Visual Order in our surroundings
  • 131. When the number of elements increase Visual Order becomes much more crucial. The element who stands first in Visual Order should interact with other elements, rather than dominating the self and snatching away attention from others.207. Visual Order in our surroundings
  • 132. Therefore, the element who stands first in Visual Order should make friends (build relationships between elements) with others to create a visual flow and lead the viewer through the complete communication mes- sage.209. Visual Order in our surroundings
  • 133. When the number of elements increase visual order/ hierarchy becomes much more important, because everybody asks/ shouts for attention. Birth of clutter/chaos is a result of inability of the designer to handle increasing number of elements in a limited space.211. Visual Order in our surroundings
  • 134. So, we need to design solutions which are What is typography? What is visual communication? holistic. They should persuade the viewer so “Typography is devoted to a clear purpose, “Visual communication of any kind , whether he is attracted/ interested to read through which is to convey meaning through the use persuasive or informative, from billboards the content (remember it is also content of type. It cannot be exempted from this obli- to birth announcements, should be seen as dependent). Designer should plan and cre- gation by any kind of argument or any other the embodiment of form and function: the ate the required Visual Order. consideration. The printed product that integration of the beautiful and the useful. cannot be read has no meaning whatsoever. Copy, art and typography should be seen as What is a good arrangement? Emil Ruder, 1967. pg. 8 living entity; each element integrally related, Understanding the content and mapping it in harmony with the whole and the essential to create the required visual order through to the execution of an idea. careful planning and conscious arrange- ment. Like a juggler, the designer demonstrates his skills by manipulating these ingredients in a To execute this act of designing, such that given space. Whether this space takes the all elements interact with each other to form of advertisements, periodicals, books, complete a story to be told (the communi- printed forms, packages, industrial products, cation message) visually, in the designer’s signs or television billboards, the criteria are absentia (a self-communicative story-telling the same” - Paul Rand. Pg. 162 approach). Creating an arrangement which is self-evident and self explanatory.213. Visual Order in our surroundings
  • 135. To design is to create an order, either from bottom to top or top to bottom, within the given constraints of a medium.215. Visual Order in our surroundings
  • 136. What do we do, when we design? As designers, our sole aim is to facilitate ease in communication for the viewer. Cre- ating persuasive enquiry based approach to comprehend a hidden Visual Order, or at times to guide him through a well-defined, self explanatory Visual Order.217. Visual Order in our surroundings
  • 137. Feeling and reasoning reference of picture based analogies; for Considering the current context, where theThe connect between design theory and the only reason that most of these tasks choice of a font is available at a mouse click,application is difficult to grasp for a novice are concepts to be experienced, to be felt; the method becomes extremely importantstudent of design, because the nature of rather than being told. “Most of these tasks to act as a rudimentary level course towardsdesign decisions are sometimes very subjec- are analogous; i.e., understood by doing, instilling Visual Order as a concept amongsttive and contextual. Moreover, it becomes seeing and comparing and not based on novices. Satisfying their rationale queriesstill more difficult, when the novice tries to results, translated numerically. Comparison through analogies which design instructorsseek rules or formulas to attempt design provides insights, not results, as they are can answer completely.problem solving. This does not necessarily based on learning through perception”. (Otlproclaim that there are no rules in design. In Aicher 1994).fact, there are principles and concepts whichneed to be taught and internalized rather Novices joining the design discipline findthan rote learned. Design solutions are felt, design courses irrational and considerexperienced, compared and judged. They them subject to the whims and fancies ofdon’t conclude as absolutes in themselves, the instructor. The problem lies in their priorbecause each time the context would differ. education pattern where they were encour-The designer trains himself to respond to aged and appreciated to problem solvingcontexts, based on the knowledge acquired of an analytical nature. Sudden exposurewhile learning principles of Visual Design. to exploratory approach in learning design leaves the student confused.Giving reason is a convenient approach, toteach a skill, explain a knowledge or con- Design assignments in foundation coursescept. Stating reasons to do something adds are exploratory rather than conclusive (basedrationality to the act of doing. Rationality on reason and having a single answer).also gets accepted and appreciated quickly Exploration finds it difficult to flourish withincompared to irrational tasks. Whereas, to such conclusive environments, as they areoperate without a reason, seems uncom- based on a foundation of interests, ratherfortable and paints an appearance of being than reasons. The method presented in thisartistic, intuitive or subjective. May be, book attempts to strike a balance betweentherefore, quantitative results seem more exploratory and analytical approach topleasing compared to qualitative, since they design teaching. To resolve the debate ofare easily articulated by a rational mind. either or teaching approach and combine a method to achieve overall development ofVisual Order as a method, will face argu- the design student, enhancing both modesments while explaining a concept with of thinking (vertical and lateral).
  • 138. Credits: Divya Gupta Lateral Thinking - My sincere thanks to various institutes Kartikeya Shandilya Creativity Step by Step for giving me an opportunity to conduct Nishant Mungali Edward De bono this course. Monil Khare Prashant Dixit Printing: 1. Department of Design Vikram Batra Mr. Chilap IIT Guwahati, Assam, India Shaiz Kunhimohammed Printing Press, IIT Bombay. Siddharth Mohan 2. Symboisis Institute of Design Sumit Nair Mr. Sundar Viman Nagar, Pune, India Saurabh Srivastava A-Z Printers, Andheri, Mumbai Soumitra Bhatt 3. Maeer’s Institute of Design, Rahul Bhatt Discussions on Order: Pune, India Navendu Tripathi Prof. Kirti Trivedi Kshitij Anand Prof. Uday Athvankar 4. Industrial Design Centre IDC, IIT Bombay IIT Bombay, Powai, Mumbai, India Saurabh Malhotra Sharad Chauhan Sponsorship: 5. Sir, J.J. Institute of Applied Arts Saibal Datta Prof. Moharir, Coordinator CDP, D.N. Road Fort, Mumbai, India IIT Bombay for his support; Amrita Pokarna giving me the freedom to work Thanks to all my students: Ajinkya Chikte dissolving every hurdle to make Ashish Singhal Pankhuri Jain this book possible. Kirti Meera Goel Dipto De Siddharth Gupta, Staff at CDP, IIT Bombay: Jaini Shiva Rama krishna Photographs: Thanks to Mr. Sudhir Kshitij Gupta Vinayak More Satyendra Nainwal Location: Rajasthan (Pushkar Mela) Staff at IDC, IIT Bombay: Satyajit Das Camera: Nikon D70 Mr. Prashanth Vinay Mohanty Mr. Desai Tanuj Shah Books: Abhishek Dhal Basic typography: Design with letters Amit Bharti Ruedi Ruegg, Van Nostrand Reinhold, Manshu Aneja New York. 1989, Dinesh Nagar ISBN - 0442-23913-0219. Credits