This week we are tasked with exploring universal design and visual literacy. Universal design is defined as “a usable design of products and environment, accessible to all people” (Lohr, 2008, p. 5). The concept of universal design is broad and covers all design. For the scope of this assignment, I am discussing universal design in relation to visual literacy; or the ability to interpret a message or task based on its visual design elements.
As I reviewed the materials this week, I spent a bit of time thinking about what type of imagery I would use. My intention was to find what I thought was the most obvious imagery that tells a story. My mind always circled back to the bathroom people.
This representative visual tells the user quickly what privacy room to use. While the feminist in me cringes at the dress definition for my gender, I cannot argue the ease people have in reading these signs. The uses of these gender figures is what could be considered a standard, like the international no symbol, to visually represent gender. The example below is the most common use, a restroom sign. I chose this sign to represent the use of these symbols because of the layout used. I feel like the layout itself is another standard followed. Designing using already defined standards and practices makes it easier for the viewer to comprehend the message and therefore increases a persons visual literacy.
Lohr, L. (2008). Creating graphics for learning and performance: lessons in visual literacy (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson/Merrill/Prentice Hall.
For this introductory week of EDTECH 506 Graphic Design for Learning we were tasked with creating an image that represents ourselves using the skills/theories learned. For this assignment, I used an online program called Canva to create this PNG image.
Right from the get-go this image is created with the image size of 1444px squared as 4 is my favorite number. I would have went 4444, but that geeze, that’s huge. My main image is what I would consider my main role, a mother. This family picture was taken on vacation about 5 years ago and is still my favorite. The next couple of images represent my adventurous side. I enjoy stepping outside of my comfort zone and trying new things. The final image was chosen to represent my educator side. While being a classroom teacher is a fairly new thing for me, my career has always been in education in some way.
As far as design in concerned, I stuck to the basic 4 here (Proximity, Contrast, Alignment, and Repetition). I chose the orange color to compliment the sepia from my main image. I consistently the color throughout the piece to show unity. I paid careful attention to alignment and how each element is situated in relation to the others. The repetition of the heading swoosh is carried throughout. I used a pop of color with the Connecticut badge which adds contrast and makes it stand out (perhaps too much?) The variation of text style in my name/title also adds contrast.
Overall the assignment was fun. I do so love my graphics. Using Canva was interesting. I have used Adobe products and image editors for many many years so I am used to building everything by hand. Canva allowed me to create a quality image using templates and guides. While I definitly felt like I had my “hands tied” at points, the process of creating was very pleasing.