Thursday, April 12, 2012


The interactive textbook that Stacey provided had some interesting applications to the design and creation of our online magazine. I found the section on the psychological implications of color to be fascinating. The fact that different colors have different meanings based on the culture is something that we could particularly look at when designing the journal.

Since there are certain cultural significances that the West holds when it comes to colors we should be always aware of these significances. I'm thinking back to the Diner idea with last year's Din magazine in which the splash screen was incredibly dark and almost spooky looking. I don't know if every culture would interpret that image in the same way, but in the West it comes off as spooky because of the implications that black has with death. It was an incredible idea to use the neon to show the relationship between din and diner, but in order to see it the environment had to have been dark. Perhaps the image would have been more effective if the setting took place at dawn, when it was still dark enough to use the neon, but light enough for it to not carry with it the spooky feeling that the color black carries with it.

I think if we keep these cultural significances in mind while designing this year's magazine, then we can avoid sending messages that were not originally intended.


  1. Good point about the earlier DIN edition being spooky. That totally wasn't the intent - I think we went with a night shot so we could play with the lit up sign - but I think it's the effect we got anyway.
    What color scheme do you forsee for this edition? Dark might be appropriate for distortion.

  2. Yeah, dark definitely fits the whole distortion theme. I wish that we were able to use flash or html or something because I think we could make something really awesome out of the shattered mirror idea that the design folks were talking about. If I was a super-designer I would make it just one big interactive splash page where shards of mirror were links to different parts of the magazine. Of course I would also create a more traditional layout, just like you guys did with the last version, just to organize it a little better. Maybe in the future we can collaborate with design class or something on campus.

  3. Good point...How much do people notice these cultural significances? And how do we keep from setting up the contexts that make them happen for the reader? (Like the Din edition that looks "creepy" because the context/background sets of memories of a slasher film.)

    I wonder how many designs that exist out there are conscious, or is it more along the lines of--hey, this looks cool--and they realize later it has the meaning or implications they were looking for. Can we really ramrod ourselves down the creative path using theory?

    ...I'll probably post on this later. I just think it's interesting that Din tries to come from this really abstract angle first for their design. It'll be interesting to see whether people think this is effective or not.

  4. I thought the diner image was supposed to be sinister too. I think it does have to do with the colors used and with the archetypical nature of the roadside diner being associated with scary movies and shows.

  5. Colors have a huge influence on the viewers mind. Therefore the colors for DIN should also be chosen carefully, to get the desired reaction which in this case would be distortion. But what is the color of distortion?

  6. I Don't think that because the mood was dark and spooky was a bad thing though. That actually caught my interest, and seeing a website that immediately sets kind of mood usually does for me. It wasn't until I went in and saw the table background and boxes that I was scared away. I think that when it comes to color you want to be aware of the type of mood you're setting. Also, It's good to keep in mind that using more of one color in a color scheme can change the mood.