Design Is Dangerous, You Might Be Drinking It

Warning: Alcoholic Energy Drinks

                                                                                   (google images)

          The current controversy around Alcoholic energy drinks has been the cause of heart attacks, hospitalizations, and drunk teens to accidently kill themselves have all occurred because of these energy drinks’ faulty informational design. 
          At Ramapo College in Mahwah, N.J., the administration has banned the drink after the hospitalization of six students who drank multiple cans, according to the Associated Press. It seems for students that the opposites within the drink, caffeine and alcohol, attract and cause some serious consequences.
Brands like Joose, Four Loko, Tilt, Sparks, Max...

          What the drink is designed to do to the consumer is guided at your own risk, just like any responsibility when drinking other alcohol. However, when these alcoholic cans closely resemble any other energy drinks on the shelf, 
                                                          (google images)

at what point do you draw the line? With its bright and colorful image, these drinks are intentionally designed and marketed to inexperienced under aged drinkers.  It is then, that Design can be dangerous. It is dangerous because many people aren’t aware that these drinks are alcoholic. What makes it dangerous is not the 12% alcohol within each can. The human body’s natural reaction to alcohol is to get drowsy, which serves as protection from alcohol poisoning. The danger of these drinks is the caffeine, which allows the imbiber to stake awake and consume more alcohol than they would normally be able to. Its this lethal combination of ingredients that gets you intoxicated, but you feel like you’re okay, …unaware of the potential danger. While it is up to the drinker to be responsible and in good judgment, it is the drinks’ companies that should have a social responsibility to warn of the dangers if consumed. While they intentionally market their product in such a way that’s visually appealing, isn’t it ethical to include the facts within the visual design on the can? If companies don’t start changing their dangerous designs to inform, society will stay unaware and clueless if such dangerous designs go unnoticed. 
Think. Design. Inform.

Week #12 Blog Exercise - Visual Techniques


In my profession, I want to be able to digitally manipulate images with graphics to create album covers for various music artists. I always had a fascination of how an album cover can grab a person's attention without giving too much away and letting the viewer's interpret the piece in their own words. For the two designs I've posted above, I chose one of my favorite rock bands of all-time, The Starting Line and 2 of their album covers. In comparison, both designs have something that is realistic in them, for example: The first design has a tree, field and sky and in the second design, it has a girl talking on the telephone while sitting on a sofa. They are both simple designs which doesn't give too much information but it also makes its audience wonder what the album is going to be about. They both have unique forms of composition such as in the first design, the photo is flipped to make it look like the tree is on a wall or something and in the second design, the way the photo cuts off the sofa and focuses on the girl is a composition of Rule of Thirds. Also, they both have a representation of Singularity such as the one tree and the one girl. In contrast, the first design ... its not realistic for a tree to be in the position it is whereas the girl sitting on the sofa is possible. Therefore, the first design appears to be Irregular and the second design is Regular. In result, there aren't much in contrast between the two designs, however they do share a lot similarities in techniques.

Week #11 Blog Exercise - Contrast

The example above is a great demonstration of how contrast in color, shape and composition are successful in a design. We are given a hint that the text in red is a representation of blood by the way it goes across the wrist and down forming a puddle-like shape. In addition, the text that forms the blood are words that the person was hurt by which is another sign of pain.The color of the background gives a sense of sadness or mysterious vibe to the design which I thought was simple and clever. Also, the positions of the arm/hand looks like it is dead because the fingers are rested and not in a grip. The composition of this design works really well because if the arm was going vertical, it wouldn't make much sense for the puddle of the blood being there.

In this design, I found it to be a failed attempt to show contract for a couple of reasons. First, I am not sure what the white border is supposed to represent because at the top of it, it has a little tail of some sort but it doesn't really give me a hint of what it is. Another reason I found this to be a failed design is white tail seems to take up most of the upper side of the page which gives it a weird composition. Thus, there is no balance between the text and the background. Even though the color and shape of a heart in the letter "O" is representation of "love", the use of colors overall can be changed to give it a better contrast and harmony.

Week #10 Blog Exercise - Movement/Motion

In this design, motion is implied through various ways. For example, we know that when any liquid substance is running down a wall or some sort of flat surface, it creates trails. The color drops in this design show movement by seeing the different lengths of the tails of the droplets. In addition, the longer the tail is the further the droplet is going from the wall. Another indication of movement in this photo is that the droplets are overlapping each other. Thus, by creating new colors when mixing would had to be the action of crossing into each other which is a sign of movement. If you look closely in the photo, there are some colors that are lines that do not have a round bottom. This is because the droplet was either was traveling fast down the source or wasn't a big droplet to begin with. The direction the design is going is going down and we can tell because of the bottom of the droplets. It changes the depth of its roundness and the spatial area in this design is very tight and compact.

In this photo, the perception of motion is easily detected. First, take a look at the childrens' head and where it is facing. In addition, they are looking at a certain area with amusement which is the random designs coming out of the ball. Depth plays a big role of indicating movement in this photo because starting from the ball, the lines and butterflies are really small and as they grow bigger, it gives the illusion of flying out of the ball. As we look at the bird, its wings is pointing down which can tell us that its flying and flapping its wings. Also in this photo, Implied Movement is used to lead the eye in the composition of the root coming out of the ball and how it curves various ways.