Saturday, September 22, 2012
The Graphite Fat Lady
Let's talk a little about the "Fat Lady." Nooo, I'm not talking about you, your mother, grandmother, aunt, sister, in-laws or BFF. Most everyone has heard the colloquial phrase "It ain't over until the fat lady sings!" That's the context of today's Quantum Design Particle.
A master key to unlocking great design is the process methodology used by the designer for solving any visual communication problem. The Graphite Fat Lady is the persona I've given to my design process. Only this Lady is no singer; she's a tried and true methodology, stuffed with unborn concepts and amazing design solutions. The story goes something like this:
The Lady sits before a mirror and takes her time preparing for the debut of a new design. She is relaxed and in no hurry, but thorough in her approach. She begins with researching the "event" she'll be attending. Who are the other attendees? (aka; competition) What will they be like? How do others respond to them? How will they look? Most importantly, how can she be better, different...stand out?
After closely looking at the competition and old, dated, overused or common styles, The Fat Lady decides what style she might need to make a memorable entrance into the market; after all, she absolutely must stand apart from those who may threaten to take eyes away from her. They might be younger, older, more established, flashier or glimmering with glitz and glamour. So, she creates lists of words in her mind then forms a list of more refined words, from which others might use to describe her when she finally presents herself. Whew! Standing out is a LOT of work! Not to worry, though, this is one tough Lady!
The Graphite Fat Lady is finally ready to explore possibilities defined by all the work so far. She might layout several color kulers and find just the right type-style that "speaks" to her eagerly-awaiting suitor, (aka. client). It's time to put on the "make-up" formulated from those decisions. She may even take a head-shot photo and send it to a suitor, in hopes of getting a measurable response. If the reaction is not as expected, she remixes the make-up formula and repeats this process until the suitor is crazy about the look.
From this point, The Graphite Fat Lady continues refining, re-mixing and re-applying more complex combinations of psychology, color theory, effective typography for the invitations, all in preparation for the market entrance. After many possibilities have been carefully examined, final choices are made for a polished look; which she will present in grand style to her suitor.
Here, you might expect to see a colorfully polished, professional version of The Graphite Fat Lady image above. Ah, but therein lies her greatest magic...she may appear as a magazine ad, a fine website, an illustration or moving video...she may even present herself as a collection of brands or a set of bookmarks! See, The Graphite Lady never changes who she is...she is the master key to all great designs, no matter what the medium! The Graphite Lady is my creation...the name and image I've given to represent my methodology. It's from this practice which I develop every design from concept to completion.
 1975-1978- Dan Cook. Source: Infoplease