Should visual design be considered as a science or an art? the purpose of this debate is to get you to think more carefully about the nature of visual design.
DEAN;) You make some very valid points about art, but what would art be without science?? If a beautiful image is created, it is completely lost if the science of the process is not taken into consideration -- for example -- you have a beautiful visual that is well-constructed and pleasing to the eye but makes references that the audience it is directed toward would not understand. The designer must take into consideration the type of learner being addressed...otherwise the beauty of the visual is completely lost on an audience who will not comprehend it:) I love you , Dean;)
Jami, Art would still be art without science and it would still reach an audience. Science does not design it studies the design of art and generates knowledge about the design. Without art science would not have anything to study. It is the human connection that creates the art that science uses as a subject. What comes first the art or the science?
Jami, Sorry your post moved, I was trying to move mine and yours got caught in the cross-fire. When I tried to move mine, it moved the connector to the main topic, which is what happened to yours. Eek! Other peoples' post's shouldn't be able to be moved or edited by other people. I'm not sure I like this program yet. Sorry again! : /
Visual design should be considered a science. The designer must understnad the mind of the learner in order to effectively create a design. This is not to say that art does not play a part of the design, but the art of the design cannot stand on its own. In fact, a well designed visual loses all value if the science of the design is not taken into consideration. The most important part of the science of design is understanding the way the learner perceives the deisgn. This becomes important as audiences changes -- one visual design may be perfect for one audience of learners and terrible for another. Visuals lose their ability to function as communicative tools without the science of the design.
Jamie,I am sorry. the network yesterday was horrible. I tried couple times to write but it kept saying "networking problem something" so it never actually saved anything. and today i accidentally deleted my yesterday's post but UNDO thousand times but with nothing comes back:( Anyways, we always stand on the same line:) Science rocks!
Where did science get the subjects to study and get its base of knowledge? It studied art, what worked and what didn't. The "science" of design has not been around that long, yet art has been around since the caveman drew on cave walls. I learned many of the same rules in art classes 30 years ago and it was considered art and not science.
2/17/2011: Jami Paintiff_Pro_Science
Why does art have to be con... a negative association? Why can't it be Pro Art or Pro Science? NO CON! Science, Shmience! When was the last time you saw art created by a scientist in a white coat and a pocket protector? Never! No, the people creating good graphics and art are the people with funky hair, tattoos and piercings! Free spirits. Put that in your test tube and shake it, and that is exactly what happens. All those HUMAN perceptions, feelings and interpretations get mixed together and then put out on a canvas or computer screen. Sure, after the fact you can take all the examples of good artwork and scientifically analyze what is common about these pieces, but it won't give you a formula for producing creative content. What it will give you is content with similar characteristics. How do you scientifically create Edvard Munch's "The Scream", Picasso's "old guitarist" or the AT&T logo? You can't, It takes the creative human vision and the "artistic" not "scientific" approach.
Dean, visual design in not just a piece of art. it is geard twoards meeting some audience's needs, and an achievable goal. You can not shake your tube for a couple times and then come up with a design that just perfectly meets your clients' need without even knowing and analyzing their needs. It's a design, not a pure art.
2_16_2011_Hein response, 2_18_2011_Wittwer_Response, 2.19.2011_Hein_response, 2/19/2011_Tintin_reply to Dean, 2/20/2011_Yinger_Anti-Science
Dean, I've already written this once and I accidentally deleted it for some reason...not happy about it. Soooo I'm going to do my best to replicate what I just wrote. It was better the first time... I promise. : ) We need to be careful when discussing art and visual design. If you sat an artist down and told them to create a piece with a specific goal or outcome in mind, and that it needs to be designed not created, they would probably seek medical treatment. : ) Not really, but they would probably have a very difficult time creating something with parameters: process, theory, structure, etc. are all of science, not art.
Visual design is science because it follows a whole set of rules and principles, just as any other science does. It is not a piece of art which is solely based on creativity or imagination. As we have discussed in these weeks from our textbook, the process of visual design has so many rules to follows, the overall selection, organization, integration principle, and ACE model, the PAT model, and some basic rules in any type of design action– repetition, contrast, alignment, and proximity. In addition, it is science because we build any visual design not just for our own pleasure, we try to meet the needs of our audience, we do analysis of our audience, we set the goal, and find ways to plan, to implement, and ultimately we evaluate it the effects of our visual design. It is exactly the same procedure and attitude when do any scientific research. We never doodle and let others to judge if there is any athestheical elements in our design.
Design and art has been around for centuries and the science that you refer to has been around for maybe a hundred years. Art and good design was created and survived long before the science part ever started. The science of design is a product of the art and would never be around without it. They have taken the same concepts of art and designed and placed a scientific moniker on it.
2/19/2011_Tintin_reply to Dean
2/19/2011: have to say, a little mess here!LOL-Pinchen
Visual design should be considered as a science. Designing is planning and application of theories to achieve a desired outcome. The processes executed are of reasoning and purpose. There needs to be an understanding of the visual process and how the brain functions in order to design toward the outcome. For example, a visual may have attractive images, color, or text, but if those components are not arranged or applied using researched theory or methodologies, those components can achieve a much different outcome than what was intended.
So you are going to hijack artistic design and call it science? I don't think so. Science will allow you to analyze and create repeatable items. You are under the impression that an artist can't create a good design without science. Might I remind you that art was around long before the science came along. What did it analyze to get its theories? ART. Where will the new ideas come from that science can analyze and compartmentalize? It will come from the artist. Art is the lead dog and science is in the rest of the pack. Enjoy the view. :)
Designing visuals for education and performance purposes relies more on science than on art. Similar to science projects/experiments, in order to create a sound educational/performance visual you need to base your design on principles and theory. These theories and principles are rooted both in education and design. You need to apply information processing theory; you have to identify needs and an instructional objective; you have to evaluate the success of the image to communicate your message and engage in revision. Additionally, you have to carefully employ principles of organization, selection, integration, contrast, repetition, alignment and proximity. In producing educational and performance visuals, you are not as worried about visual appeal as you are about communicating and/or teaching specific material. In contrast, with art there are no rules. Yes, if you apply certain design principles it may help your final product; however, the amazing thing about art is that rules can be thrown out the window. Great art breaks rules. Most art is not meant to convey one specific message. It is not meant to teach, but rather to induce feelings and emotions. You do not have to access learner needs or have one specific objective. Most art evolves fluidly while it is being created, it is not planned and structured. When art begins to include a plan, purpose and structure, it starts to evolve into an education/performance visual and relies on science.
Totally agree. I like that part when you discussed the differecne between arts and science.
Honda is a OK looking car that performs well. It is one of the best at the science of mass manufacturing. But, if you want a beautiful car that performs at the top, you want a Maserati. Art will be leading with its Maserati, you can following along in your Honda with science.
Dean, Apparently you forgot our audience again! How many of us can afford Maserati? That's exactly why we need HONDA!Maserati can be leading the world all the time, the cruel fact is that the rest of the world is still driving HONDA!Because science is key!!!A world of pure art can be dreadful. Think of Renaissance in 14-16th century, arts was ruling at that time, but was the world peaceful and prosperous? It was pretty much a mess!!! I personally believe being mundane- like science does- is better off for human being and the society, as too much arts is more likely to get ourselves crazy. Think of how many artisits committed suicide. P.S I think we are a little bit our of the loop. We are supposed to discuss the nature of visual design, whether science or arts. But I am here to debate whether science or arts rules the world. Arent' we?
A quick note in the begging: in this summary piece I am not pro-science or con-arts, I am just sort of share what I “meditate” on this topic- there’s too much to think about!!! And also because I am an English-as-a-second-language-speaker, I always feel it’s difficult to convey my ideas when I am trying to give my own opinion- words might have contrastive underlying meanings to me as opposed to you when I am trying to pick them and make a statement. So please forgive me if I confuse and annoy you by using inappropriate words. I have to say this topic is pretty intriguing to discuss about. All of us see the science side and the art side of visual design, and it’s really difficult to argue with each other, since we can always find the standpoint of the other side when we are trying to make arguments for our “labeled” side. For example, I am labeled as “science” side, but often times I can’t help agree with the arts people. What a sophisticated topic! One thing that I previously did not know is that the principles that we are learning right now is covered decades ago in the arts education, as Dean asserted many times. Therefore, possibly visual design is intrinsically both an art and science. The artistic part probably came much earlier than the science part, but in this day and age it is all-the-time labeled as science, with the inceptions of all the thriving principles and theories. Science is undoubtedly not as “up-front” as arts, because structure, organize, standardize, or theorize something always takes a tremendous amount of time, and arts is almost unprepared, instant, spontaneous, or even accidental. Dean also mentioned “commercial artists” who pay a huge amount of attention on audience, who try hard to please audience, and make some profit out of them. This term “commercial artists” is a hundred percent novel to me- I have never heard of it, but as we might or might not notice, our whole world is getting more and more commercialized- our traditional holidays, religious rituals, cultural celebrations and whatsoever, nothing is able to escape the loop of being commercialized. So do arts and visual design. If visual design was previously more prone to arts, the reason why it is prone to science nowadays must be the commercial taint. In this modern world where things are all meant to be quantifiable and calculable, mass production of visual design is already becoming a fact. If visual design had to be massively produced, then what we need is pure science, definitely not art.
I believe that visual design should be considered as an art. Art are shown in different forms and visual is the first phase that affects people. For example, public visual design is for pleasuring people's eyes and lives. Movie is for entertaining people and recording history. These examples are parts of visual design of art. one important point of art is to make our lives beautiful. visual design is important and has deeply affected our lives from those previous examples to the small things such as posters, packaging of product, and book cover...ex. Therefore, there is no doubt considering visual design as an art!
Discussion: This is not the first time I have been involved in a discussion of this type, so the arguments were not new to me. The association of art and science has been a long one, probably before Leonardo da Vinci. Many of the things artists discovered have been substantiated or further refined by science. Now we are to the point that artists apply much of the body of knowledge that science has developed. Science on the other had has used art and artists as a source of information and study to develop their theories. As we have learned in the past year, digital natives are having their brains remapped because of their exposure to all of the media. These same digital natives are learning differently than the way I did or even students a decade ago. What will science find about the way we learn and the way information needs to be organized in the next 10 years? I am not sure but, it will be the new technology that artists and the educators experiment with that will provide the examples that the scientists will study. I use many of the theories discussed in our text, the only difference is that I learned most of them 30 years ago in my art classes. However studying them again has re-enforced several of them and also given me new insights into developing graphics. The book's approach also allows me to better focus on creating graphics for learning where as my artistic background centered more on creating graphics for human reaction and feelings. The scientific approach also makes graphics more consistent and repeatable. Projects: My projects are progressing and I am not having problems creating the graphics, but I am finding that focusing on the content and editing out information is the most difficult part for me. Once I get the information edited down it is just a matter executing the plan.