1. Thinking About the Problem.
• Precisely what is to be achieved?
– (What speciﬁc visual or intellectual
effect is desired?)
• Are there visual stylistic
– (Illustrative, abstract,
nonobjective, and so on?)
• What are the physical limitations?
– (Size, color, media…)
• When is the solution needed?
2. Thinking About the Solution
• Ask yourself, how can the concept be shown?
Steps in thinking:
1. Make a list of images or symbols that could represent the
theme or idea. Use the internet as a resource.
2. Quickly sketch the useful symbols.
3. Expand the list by discussing it with other artists or doing
4. Narrow the list down to a few ideas.
5. Reﬁne the angle--Ask yourself how you will use or show the
image in a unique or original way to convey the idea.
Example: How will you show your symbol in
a unique and original way?
Thinking: Form and Function
“Form Follows Function”
Purpose defines the look and shape of an object,
and the efficiency should be obvious.
3. Think again about the purpose
• The selection of your symbol may depend on the size, color,
• It might also depend on your Target Audience.
Knowing who the visual message is going to address is key.
Source vs. Subject
You have to differentiate between your source and
the subject and and REFINE it with your own (or
the brand’s own) signature.
• Source = the stimulus for the image or idea.
• Subject = the meaning of the work and the way
the artist sees the object.
This is part of sketching!
Doing: Thinking with Materials
Doing starts with visual
with the materials.”
• We are trained what to see and how to see it at
a young age by exposure to mass media such
as TV and Internet..
• As artists we can train ourselves to slow down
and see more carefully, more uniquely.
In the Vernacular
• When an image
known through frequent
• How might an artist play
with this concept?
Doing and Redoing:
• Revision is necessary!
• Starting over often
• Try to overcome your
attachment to your first
• Revision allows for an
idea to grow beyond an
obvious or familiar
Henri Matisse. Large Reclining Nude/The Pink Nude.
1935. Oil on canvas, 2' 2” x 3’ 1/2 " (66 x 92.7 cm).
Henri Matisse. Large Reclining Nude/The Pink Nude: One Stage in
Process (one of seventeen photographed by the artist). 1935. Oil
on canvas (with cut paper), 2' 2” x 3’ 1/2 " (66 x 92.7 cm).
Critique: Constructive Criticism
• Critique is a VERY important part of Design!
Forms of critique:
• Dialogue with a Professor
• Review by peers or classmates
• Self – Critique - example: a journal entry
• Design words like size, emphasis, perspective should be
• A critique is most valid when linked to the criteria for the
artwork. What was assigned? Were goals met?
• This may also include a cultural or historical perspective,
or what it meant in the historical past.