Marks to Meaning

Paige Williams

Art Academy of Cincinnatti, 1st Year Experience BA

This is a project for a first-year communication experience design course. The students were asked to first create 50  squares of 4’  x 4’ as source materials.  For 25 squares, students were instructed to draw marks in as many ways, with as many different materials possible  (markers, paint, charcoal, and also  nontraditional materials like string, tape, footprint, etc.).  The second set of squares were used for ’found’ marks such as prints, copies, photographs, rubbings, etc. 

Then the students were asked to cluster all the 50 tiles into visual / conceptual themes and discuss their rational for sorted their imagery the way they did.  After that, students had to choose four from the fifty squares that they then had to arrange in a continuous configuration. 

After this, students were asked to enlarge each of the 4 chosen square to a  10’ x 10’ format, either by remaking it or by enlarging it digitally. The 4 large squares then had to be assigned a word or a phrase that the finished piece evokes.

The students oscillated between critical decision making and intuitive decision making and meanwhile learn the necessarily vocabulary to articulate the decision-making process. The exercise helps students in visual design development, utilizing visual elements and principles while articulating a rational for decision making. The students must alternate between visual analytical critique and intuitive problem solving. What feels right? Can you articulate why? Students develop awareness of various processes and on how to arrive at an idea rather than creating a solution to a problem.

Published by johnfass

bringing you curiosities, rarities and marvels wherever we find them

Leave a Reply