What a huge one, how splendid it was —
I couldn’t get at it.
Today I’ve been questioning the process of crafting visuals, really trying to break down the pieces that make up graphic assemblage, and land on what’s comfortable for me. The haiga are great exercises because they are a bundled design process in a short amount of time. They require you to communicate while still including an emotion, an air of poetry. I was required to do one of these in college some time ago, and in retrospect, I wished my professor had us do one every day. One hour isn’t enough to devote to a real design project, but it’s not really a brand, it’s not really a poster; it’s a haiku explored through visuals. By its nature, it is terse, so typesetting can be focused on. It is is quick, so you can begin to see the design process from a bird’s eye view over time. And it’s pithy—the content has meaning already instilled in it, and that offers a gateway to ideas, allowing a designer to begin with a response instead of conjuring one halfway through the project. The response I’m talking about is emotion, opinion, reflection. These haiga have helped me clarify my evolving design process. In a nutshell it is settling into something like this:
- Visceral reaction to the content
- Cognitive understanding of the content
- Visual communication
It pains me that beauty lands so far down the list, but I look at so many pieces of “graphic design” thrown around on the web and it is all beauty with no content. It’s impossible for me to work that way, though I have to hand it to the artists out there, the amount of stimulating visuals is astonishing. A haiga must be more than that; graphic design must be more than that.
What is your creative process?