Play: Master Thesis

  • The aim of graphic design as a form of communication in today’s visually literate society is to inform, educate or persuade the viewer and in doing so motivate them to either take some form of action, 
    change behavioral patterns or previously held beliefs; or to reinforce some form of existing action, behavioral pattern or belief system.

    Effective communicators are those capable of bridging unexpected and often unforeseen connections between people and the world around them. They do this with ideas. The word idea comes from 
    the Greek ide-, meaning to see, and -a, meaning ending. An idea is just that, to see an ending, to gain 
    a conceptual understanding in the mind as the result of awareness or activity. A definition may 
    make something more tangible in the mind but it still does not provide an answer as to where ideas 
    come from.

    Insight, creativity and discovery perform essential roles in birth of new ideas, but they are also 
    indicative of the act of play. I seek to demonstrate that play, with the right tools, can free the 
    mind to make new discoveries and connections that will drive the conceptual process beyond the 
    realm of aesthetics and bring about profound links between a communication and its audience.

    Plato may have stated, “you can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation” but I believe through play one can discover more not just about a person, but about 
  • The individual can playfully rearrange them, either on purpose or in a completely random manner in order to create new arrangements of information, to connect ideas, thoughts and concepts that we may readily dismiss because our conscious minds don’t see the connection until they are together.
  • Serendipity is a game of happy accidents and new discoveries.
  • The act of play can free the mind to make new connections and discoveries. Ideas and invention come from the insightful rearrangement of information.
  • In Serendipity this comes in the form of making your own connections and disconnections between the images you find. Begin by shuffling the cards and turning over two cards at random and see what you get, add more and let the idea deal itself out.
  • LetterFoams are a playful way to design type and discovery new ideas through shapes.
  • This form of play was inspired by type designer, Adrian Frutiger’s method of cutting shapes out of black paper using scissors and then sticking them together to make letters and characters.
  • The theory here is the only way for Helvetica to truly say nothing yet communicate in any language is that it is the mark of a new age Babel. It says nothing by saying everything. LetterFoams use a deconstructed Helvetica to create the foundation for teaching and creating new letter forms, type design and even logo design through play.
  • Pareidoodle is a new way of drawing ideas in a digital world. Based on the psychological phenomena known as Pareidolia, where a vague or random stimulus is perceived as significant.
  • This phenomena is seen in common examples such as seeing images or faces in clouds, the Virgin Mary on a tortilla or even hearing hidden messages on music albums played in reverse.
  • By using random marks and colors the user’s mind begins to make new connections to what they are drawing on and alongside in the seemingly meaningless and instill them with a sense of meaning through their own hand.