Confession: Some of my favorite projects are those ones I am not “suppose” to work on. They generally start as ideas I pitch to my profs for various class projects and are turned down for one reason or another. Some rejected concepts I am content to lie abandoned; others, I rescue in my free time. Sometimes, I think my professor’s reasoning for why it will not work is wrong, sometimes my professor does not give me a reason and I want to figure it out, and sometimes I want to utilize the design concept in a different way.
One of the pieces I did to this last semester I call Rock, Paper, Scissors, Shoot! The project was an icon design; I had to pick a saying, expression, or cliche and then visually communicate it. The design was made roughly 576 pt. square, and then we had to scale it down to approximately 72 pt. square. Icons can be displayed at a large scale, but are generally relatively small. I had to learn how to effectively communicate my message and have the design shrink to a small size while still maintaining clarity and visual appeal. As you have probably guessed, I wanted to do a rendition of the game Rock, Paper, Scissors and my professor nixed it. He was not familiar with the “shoot” aspect of the game–and that is what held my entire composition together.
On my Google Drive, I have a list of ideas for future projects when I have time (AKA, over school breaks and when I have important things to procrastinate on). There, my idea sat until I some time one Friday afternoon. I had been doodling characters and concepts for about a week prior, so the concept was pretty well developed by the time I actually sat in front of a screen. It went relatively quickly and only took a couple of hours. A couple of graphic design friends offered some critique over the weekend and by Monday morning I was happy with it.
I learned one important reason why the idea would not have worked for my class: It is too complex and the lines too thin to shrink to 72 pt. and still work. However, as a larger piece, it is fun and playful and currently hanging on my wall, making both my roommate and I happy. It was a great way to relax on an otherwise stressful Friday and the learning experience made it worthwhile.