Archive for the 'Samuel Adams' Category

Samuel Adams

December 11, 2010

Thesis proposal



Pictograms have been used to show visual representations of things for years. Thinking back to one of the first things I learned in my Art History courses, the Lascaux caves had various hand drawn graphics to represent stories. These visual graphics are used all over the place today. I enjoy how these simplified figures are a quick way to represent something complex or just a way to show where a guy can go take a piss. I believe they should be visually clean and legible so that almost anyone can understand fairly quickly what the idea is behind the pictogram.

I have looked at how designers used pictograms to represent the different events at the Olympic games. I found them very interesting because these pictograms are basically for anyone from around the world to understand these events. It is also interesting to see how designers have tried to capture the essence of where the Olympics were being held with the stylization of the pictograms for the events.

Pictograms can also be a way of communicating with the viewer to do or don’t do a certain thing. Several pictograms can be arranged together to give a viewer an almost how to guide to be able to do certain tasks.

A perfect example of these ways was introduced to me in a book by Nigel Holmes called (wordless diagrams). I found this book very informational when I came across something that I did not know already how to do. The diagrams give you a very clean representation on how to do a certain task. What I thought was even more interesting though is how a certain level of humor comes about when you already know how to do the tasks. I find it hard to explain in words why and at what point these diagrams stop being informational and they just become fun.

Thesis Statement:

Humorous informational pictograms are effective ways of using graphic communication to bring clarity and humanity to mundane daily tasks.

Reading Log


1000 Icons, Symbols + Pictograms   by BLACKCOFFEE

Pictograms Icons & Signs by Rayan Abdullah & Roger Hubner

1,2,3,4 (wordless diagrams) by Nigel Holmes


Exit Through the Gift Shop directed by Banksy

Olympic Pictograms through the Ages by Steven Heller


The Four Icon Challenge-


1.)  I am interested in developing pictograms for an action sports event so that people from all over the world can recognize the different events.

2.)  I am interested in bringing awareness of safety equipment while performing some kind of action sport. Possibly researching things like large scale and color vibration as tools to bring awareness.

3.)  I am interested in designing to make some daily activity that we take for granted more enjoyable and possibly informative.

I am interested in exploring more about print based magazines/look books. I am interested in learning more about using grid systems, practical ways of binding, possible paper weights and textures.

My second idea is color vibration. I think it would be interesting to do a study to try and find various color vibration examples. I would like to see how other people have used color vibration in a practical way. I would also be interested in exploring the scale of different color vibrations. Also, I would like to do tests to see when the two colors sat next to each other how the spatial relationship between them may vary in order for them to vibrate.

For my social issue topic I had an idea for the awareness of safety equipment while performing action sports.  I recently had a friend that had hit his head on a rail while snowboarding and ended up having four brain surgeries. He is doing just fine now but it hit home to my friends and I because how easily it could have been prevented. I believe it could be interesting to convey this message in print form, of safety with the ideas and skills that I have learned in the graphic design program.