The aim of our second CDF project was to use only black squares while considering Gestalt principles of proximity, similarity, continuity, closure, and connectedness to symbolize five words: order, tension, congestion, comfort, and playfulness.

Part 1

For our first part of the experiment, we created 25 small ‘thumbnails’, 5 per each word. After receiving feedback, we were to redesign them into what would be our final pieces.


Part 2

The next phase of our project was to recreate one design in Adobe Illustrator.

Below is my first iteration for order. I associate order a lot with ascendance and descendance, as well as equal spacing and some form of clear arrangement. That’s why the size of the squares in these get larger, and there is clear disposition of each square in each row. For my final iteration, I ended up slightly rearranging the positions of each square in each row to create more structure and cleanliness by the borders.

Order (First Iteration)

Below is my first, and final iteration of playfulness. It is unlike any of the thumbnails I previously made, but I incorporated ideas from the first and fourth thumbnail, along with the Gestalt principle of connectedness, to create a new design. I ended up using this design as my final one.

Playfulness (1st and Final Iteration)

Below is my first iteration of comfort. I associate comfort a lot with calmness and familiarity. I wasn’t too happy with this iteration at first, so when I began creating my final one, I looked more into what comfort really is. My final iteration is very different, but has similar aspects to it. I was asked to play around with rotations.

Comfort (First Iteration)

I received a lot of good feedback on my congestion piece. I ended up doing something rather similar for my final iteration, but I was more careful and thoughtful in the placement and size of my black squares.

Congestion(First Iteration)

Below is my first and final iteration of tension. I had initially had something similar to this for congestion, but I decided to keep this iteration instead, as I felt it delivered its own message. I explain it in part 3.

Tension(First and Final Iteration)

Part 3: Final Iterations

Order: I incorporated ideas of continuity and proximity into my original iteration. I decided that it was important to maintain the idea of clear arrangement, so I tried to line up each square in each row evenly and represent ascendance and descedance as well. I thought the idea of the number of the squares decreasing as the sizes of the squares got larger contributed to this idea.

Order (Final Iteration)

Playfulness: For me, playfulness, is freedom and liveliness. I made sure all of the squares were rotated appropriately, that nothing overlapped, and that things were apart, but it didn’t look disconnected, and that there was some form of unity as well.

Playfulness(Final Iteration)

Comfort: When I thought about what comfort really is, I realise I associate it heavily with the ease of pain and the state of freedom and ease. I decided to, rather than showing the final state of ease, to depict the whole process. This was very different from my previous iterations, but I liked this idea more.

Comfort(Final Iteration)

Tension: I wanted to depict a form of tightness and force to the squares, so I drew squares cramped up in a small place. I realised that the friction created by the proximity of these squares somehow had a message of its own, one that I associate with tension.

Tension(Final Iteration)

Congestion: This is my favourite piece. I added more squares and changed around the sizes and placement of each one to create a more powerful depiction of congestion. I wanted to portray the idea of excessive accumulation, and I thought that giving the context of the position of the squares and why it is so congested, by drawing the borderline squares, would contribute to this message more than just accumulated squares.

Congestion(Final Iteration)

Final Designs