When Design Becomes Literal

As a graphic artist, you face the challenge of creating designs that are unique, and interesting. Some designers, as you will see, have taken the idea of design to a very literal form.

The following examples are fun to look at and admire, but also serve as inspiration to think “inside the box” by approaching design from a more literal angle.

Enjoy!

Periodic Table
periodic-table
Although I have always had a love of science, I was not the brightest bulb in the package when it came to chemistry. In spite of this, I was fascinated by the symmetry of the elements and the Periodic Table. The way the elements were so perfectly organized by atomic weight was a thing to behold on the bigger-than-life chart displayed on the lecture room wall.

In 2003 two students attending Wake Forest University was assigned by their art professor, to produce a public art display on campus.

Nazila Alimohammadi had taken several chemistry classes and thought the idea of building a literal Periodic Table would be fun.

Her fellow student, Anna Clark said of the project,

“We wanted our project to be fun and functional without a lot of emotional or political content.”

They certainly were successful on those points.

Who knows, perhaps I would have done better in chemistry if I had a real Periodic Table to study on…

Fruit Drink Containers
fruit-drinks2
Juice cartons usually depict the type of fruit juice that is inside with a photo on the package. But one designer took this idea to a literal level.

The result of his thought processes led him to design fruit juice cartons that looked and felt like real fruit. The design is novel and entertaining and can act as a piece of art as well.

The designer is Naoto Fukasawa, a professor at Musashino Art University in Japan and an industrial designer. He has won many international awards for his cutting edge designs and has co-authored several books on design.

We wonder though, how would heĀ  interpret the idea for a watermelon juice carton? Would it be life-sized?

Real Speakers
speakers
Do you need speakers for your MP3 player, laptop or desktop computer? Then you have found a real speaker that is literal. The designers for this product used the idea of a speech bubble to enclose the speaker elements.

The speakers really work and come in a pair. It’s a novel idea and functional too.

Designing with a Different Perspective
The examples we’ve seen show us what can be done with just a little imagination and expanding the process of creativity by seeing things in a literal way. So the next time you are given a project to produce a logo, letterhead, or book cover, you can always think in a literal sense to pull a few ideas out of the hat.

Next Time…
We have a special treat for all of you. Small business owner Elle Phillips will be our guest blogger, providing tips and ideas for starting your own freelance graphic design business.

If you’ve dreamed about running your own business in graphic design or have wondered what it takes to do it, be sure to come back and get some words of wisdom from Elle.

See you then!

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