Business Card

Visual Language / Week 6 / Logo Design

When approaching the design for a personal business card, I kept a few things in mind:

  1. It should be simple. A complicated design generally loses the viewer’s interest.
  2. It should be representative of my work and visual tendencies.
  3. The logo should be scalable and minimal. Many global companies have seen a shift from complicated design to minimalist simple designs over the decades.

The design:

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Personally, I tried to reflect my work with black and white in the business card. Therefore the color palette was monochrome. I’ve used an illustration and subtitles on the other side, so that my skills are clear and understandable. I’ve tried to keep the contact information and name visible. Hence, the use of black/grey over white.

The card is also designed in such a way, that it can be folder into a simple book. The contents of the book contain an illustration on the left page and my information on the right. This is similar to illustrated storybooks.

Color Analysis

Visual Language / Week 4 / Color

In order to find the color palette for my life, I took some pictures from the places I frequent and think about the things that I carry around. Incidentally, the places that I frequent on a daily basis such as the ITP floor, West 4 subway station and my apartment, all have a predominant brown tone to them.

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Taking some inspiration from the cleaning up and organizing art displayed in the last class, I organized the contents of my bag and pockets on a brown surface. I selected my bag as the subject since, over time, it has developed into an extended organ, one which aids me with many daily functions. The result was very interesting.


Interestingly, the clean-up act presented black and grey as the dominant colors with traces of yellow and purple added here and there. I followed this by pixelating the image so that the objects take the form of square blocks and speak directly about the colors from the image.


The final outcome strongly reminded me of Coldplay’s album art for their 2005 album, X & Y.


The results for my hue test were as follows:


Signage Research

Visual Language / Week 2 / Signage Research

Examples of bad signage:

Police Department flyers : While walking through a street in Lower Manhattan, I chanced upon a sign put up by the New York Police Department (supposedly?) which disallowed the public from parking on the street on Thursdays. The sign was basically a flyer and the placement was terrible. If it was a warning issued by the police indeed, they could’ve at least used a visible cardboard sign which is noticeable underneath the obvious parking instructions.

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Apple Bank for Savings : I feel that another bad example of signage is the logo for Apple Bank for Savings. As a bystander, on a first glance, the bank looks like a fruit vendor or perhaps, an electronics store. Even the name feels like a fruit vendor with some great offers! The blatant red apple is the first thing that the eye catches sight of, and it fails to guide the viewer to believe that the place has something to do with money.


The New School Library Door : The library entrance door for the New School is also a bad example of signage. Like most doors, it is supposed to be pushed from one side and pulled from the other. However, when a person is walking towards the entrance and is supposed to pull, he can also view the push signage through the transparent door. It leads to an initial confusion regarding what the user is supposed to do with it.



 An example of good signage:


NYC Taxi : I believe the NYC Taxi cars are a very good example of signage. The striking yellow and black combination makes it very distinguishable within a crowd of vehicles on the street. Moreover, the consistency of the color and the NYC Taxi logo gets embedded in the public’s subconscious wherein they don’t have to think before they stretch out their hand and call for a taxi. You can also visit this interesting link which talks about how black on yellow is the best visible contrast.

Design Analysis – Jack Kerouac’s Dharma Bums, by Penguin Modern Classics

Visual Language / Week 1 / Design Analysis


Jack Kerouac’s Dharma Bums is a book about detachment from the modern world, observation, meditation, introspection, Zen Buddhism, hitchhiking and mountains. One of the most prominent Beat authors, Jack Kerouac is known for his trademark style of spontaneous prose. Dharma Bums, as a book, is a personal favourite since it resonates with my own ideologies and helps me in being disillusioned from many unimportant aspects of the material world.

I particularly love the Penguin Modern Classics cover of Dharma Bums. Below is a design analysis of the cover:

Grid Structure:


The text and image have been very neatly organized into a grid structure. The dexterous placement of the elements makes the cover more appealing, and it also highlights the many subtleties which I will be discussing moving forward.

Colour Palette:


Penguin Modern Classics have released many titles using the same colour palette, which includes a monochromatic image and clear, concrete text placed on top of it, completed by the trademark Penguin logo in a corner. Find some examples below:

1984 albert-camus-the-fall on-the-road

The use of a monochromatic image is an effective instrument that is being employed to make the user aware of the time period in which the book was written. Moreover, the distinctive placement of text and the lack of arbitrariness make these covers easier on the eye. Both good strategies to attract book readers to these titles.

Plus, the covers are beautiful! My artwork has often been based on a monochromatic palette.

Design Analysis:


It’s time to revisit the three basic rules for a successful design:
1. Simplicity – Use of a minimal colour range and the use of less than two typefaces make it a simple design.
2. Clarity – Large and bold placement of text over the image gives clarity to the book’s author and name.
3. Consistency – As noted above, Penguin has been using this technique in a consistent manner to release modern classics by Kerouac, Kafka, Camus, Fitzgerald, Orwell and Sartre, to name a few.

Why I chose this cover is because it’s simplistic, yet contains depth. On a preliminary scan, the author and the title are obvious. On a second look, the logo can be pointed out since the orange is conveniently distinguishable from the dominant grey tonality. However, on a more sincere inspection, the cover also brings to light certain nuances such as the Chinese tea cup and Kerouac’s detachment from the moving crowd. To conclude, here’s a quote from The Dharma Bums:

“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.”