Studio B: Storytelling in Context

In the studio IGMD session on the first of November, we completed a total of three activities: type, critique, and drawing. These activities were designed to further our understanding of not just what story we are telling, but how to tell it. Storytelling is an incredibly important part of being a designer, and every single facet of an object has a different and unique story to be told, which can appeal to different people or simply redefine the tale from a completely different perspective.



  1. Typeset a word related to your personal object on an A4 sheet in a typeface which matches the look or connotation of your object.
  2. Move with your group to another table and, for each object, come up with ten adjectives which describe the object, the font, or both. (use connotations and feelings, not just physical properties)
  3. Write these words on a sheet of paper and designate what they refer to (object, font, or both)


  1. We also found a way to connect typefaces to our objects, and thus gave the object a reinforced personality through type, and the type an example of what it represents through the object.


  1. Through this exercise, we saw typefaces and objects in a completely new light, not just in their material quality, but also in their connotative and emotional quality from an objective standpoint (i.e. what impression objects leave on you, and how this equates to how they may leave impressions on your audience).
  2. This is interesting because giving your cause a personality, as we discovered with the museum text, makes people significantly ore likely to support you or to take a closer look. Just look at advertising; all successful brands have some kind of character and a very clear target market to which that character appeals.


Words About Our Type and Objects (Violet and James)

  • Doris – Amber Necklace
    • Bold
    • Round
    • Smooth
    • Translucence
    • Wavy
    • Hard
    • Plastic
  • Matthew – Bracelet
    • Handcraft
    • Round
    • Lightweight
    • Flexible
    • Elastic
    • Hard
    • Irregular
  • Karoline – Angel
    • Wooden
    • Hard
    • Historical
    • Elegant
    • Wavy
    • Ancient
    • Decorative
    • Religious
    • Monotone
    • Handcraft
    • Story-telling



  1. Create a set of eBay ads and museum texts for your group’s objects and display them in the template provided (specifications detailed in Studio B: Value and Meaning)
  2. Print out the posters on A3 sheets and hang them in rows, eBay on top, museum texts on the bottom
  3. Move to another group’s setup and critique photography and text
  4. Present to the group; which eBay item would you buy and which museum text is most interesting?


  1. In this exercise, we saw other groups’ texts through the eye of a consumer who has never seen this item before, in the case of the eBay page, and a visitor to a museum who has never seen an item before and whom the descriptions are attempting to enthrall.


  1. Overall, we were shown which techniques were most effective for selling and which were most effective for museums. However, the most interesting part to me was that groups were able to case one objects in completely different lights by omitting or including specific information. Design is, in this case, truly as much about editing and presentation as the final product. About what the designer wants you to see, if you will.

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Our Critique (Violet and James)

  • eBay
    • Bottle Opener
      • Photograph the other side of the object
      • Category does not fit and can be confusing
    • Amber
      • The word “accent” could be “ancient”
    • Kara
      • Maybe specify one side of the bracelet
    • Angel
      • Photograph with a better background
        • e.g. where you would display it in the room
  • Museum
    • Bottle Opener
      • Very good
    • Amber
    • Kara
      • Photograph should exclude the wrist and display the bangle by itself
    • Angel



  1. Using a pen and paper, complete the following exercises with your object.
    1. Draw the object looking only at the object and not at the paper
    2. Draw the object looking only at the paper and not the object
    3. Draw the object as one continuous line
    4. Draw the object with your non-dominant hand
    5. Draw the object with your eyes closed
    6. Draw the object’s light and dark tones without any edges
    7. Draw only the outer contour of the object
    8. Draw the object from a different view that usually intended (i.e. the back or side)
    9. Draw half of the object, fold it over, and swap with a partner to finish one another’s piece
  2. You have two to three minutes to complete each drawing.


  1. The objective of this was to present our objects in a new light and in a new way; if you introduce a new style of drawing, a new medium, a new object, the representation of the object entirely changes.


  1. This exercise was interesting because it showed us different ways in which to represent our objects visually through more traditional methods, completely devoid of writing. In a way, this is an extreme challenge: How do you tell a story through just a drawing? How do you make an image worth a thousand words?
  2. An interesting book to read on this topic is Exercises in Style.

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