Monday, February 27, 2012

The Gutenburg Press | 1450 AD

What is Johannes Gutenberg credited with?
The technology to print with movable type.

Post a photo of the Gutenberg Press.

How did the printing press work?
Ink was rolled over hand set block letters. The form was then pressed against a type of paper.

What motivated Gutenberg to find a better way of creating books?
Working at a crafting shop and his love of reading.

Why did Gutenberg experiment with metal type versus wood type?
Because wood cuts were not durable. 

Post an example of movable type in a type case.

What is moveable type?
Metal type.

What is a matrix?
A copper bar with a hard metal pinch hammered in.

What ink did Gutenberg develop that he used specifically for the printing press?
An oil based ink.

What is paper made from? Where did paper originate?
Wood pulp. From China.

What is a "substrate"?
A layer where something occurs.

Who did Gutenberg seek to help with the invention of the press? 

John Fust. 

Close to the end of the 5 years, what happened? 
Just sued Gutenburg.

What was the first book he printed?

The Bible. 

 Post an example of this book.

How did the Gutenberg Press impact communication?
It made script easier to read and made books faster making current information quicker to travel around the world. It also influenced people's will to learn.

Who introduced the printing press to England?
William Caxton.

What was the early form of newspapers?
Trade newsletters.

When was the first news weekly published? What was it called?
The Boston Letter was published in 1704.

What kind of press was built in the US in the mid 1800s?

A press made of cast iron. 

Post an example of a 1930s printing press. 

By the late 1930s, presses had increased in efficiency and were capable of 2,500 to 3,500 impressions per hour. What is meant by "impression"?
An impression is where ink is put onto paper (basically printing.)

Which printing process is the Gutenberg press an example of? Briefly describe the process?

Relief Printing Process. Type is placed on a press and ink is placed on the type. Then, paper is placed on top of the type. 

Post an example of an intaglio press.

What is intaglio printing and how is ink transferred?
The process in which an image is incised into a surface and that area holds the ink. The ink is placed on the surface and paper is pressed on top. 

Post an example of a screen (porous) printing press.

What is porous printing and how is ink transferred?
Using a basic stencil. An image is placed on a screen and ink is forced through the mesh. 

Post an example of a lithography printing press.

What is lithography and how is ink transferred?
Using a flat surface to print off of. A drawing is made from an ink and water is added. It is then rubbed on the flat surface and the ink stays but the water doesn't. 

Post an example of a offset lithography printing press.

What variation of lithography is used by the commercial printing industry today?
Offset lithography.

How do printing presses used today compare to the Gutenberg Press?
Printing has gotten easy and it is possible to print more pages at once now.

Describe four-color process printing using CMYK? 

Each letter of CMYK stands for a different color: C- Cyan M- Magenta Y- Yellow K- Black

THe Codex and the Illuminated Manuscript | 1st Century AD

Post an example of a scroll.

What were the drawbacks of the scroll?
The scroll only allowed sequential usage.

Post an example of a codex.

What is a codex?
A covered and bound collection of hand written pages.

"Codex" is derived from the Latin meaning "block of wood". Why?
The was compact and sturdy.

What is the difference between "sequential access" and "random access"?
One can go to any point in the book for information.

What were the advantages of using the codex?
It was more portable and random access.

What helped spread the use of the codex?
The rise of Christianity.

What replaced papyrus? Describe the process used to create it?
Parchment. It was made from animal skins.

What is vellum?
A finer quality of parchment.

Name several examples of current technology that utilizes the format of the codex?
The online books that can be found on Kindles and iPads.

What led to a period of cultural and economical deterioration?
The decline in the roman empires creation of books. 

Post an example of an illuminated manuscript.

Who began creating books by hand, taking the creation to an art form?
Monastic monks.

What does "illumination" refer to? What was included in this ornamentation?
The borders and illustrations. Initials of chapters and paragraphs.

What tool was used for creating the illuminated manuscripts?
Feathers from animals and animal hides.

Why were these manuscripts reserved for religious purposes?
The creation of these manuscripts was difficult.

What is craftsmanship? Why is it important?

The work used to create the books. 

The Roman Alphabet | 7th Century BC

What was the basis of the Roman uppercase alphabet?
The greek alphabet.

What were the purposes of the formal and informal styles of lettering?
There were different writing styles for different occasions.

Why is the Roman alphabet the most widely used and what contributions did it make?
This writing style is used by many cultures and contributed the serifs type and baseline.

From where did serifs originate?
The roman alphabet from the carving of stones in Italy.

When and where did lowercase, or minuscule, letters develop?
The two types of letters were kept in different drawers (the lowercase being on the bottom) so the uppercase ended being up on the top and the lowercase on the lower drawer.

What is a ligature and why were they utilized?
When two or more graphemes are joined as a single glyph. 

Post an example of the Roman alphabet in visual form. 

The Greek Alphabet | 800 BC

How did Greeks come in contact with the Phoenicians?
Through trade agreements.

How was the Greek adaptation of the alphabet different from its predecessor?
It adapted the letter forms.

Why is the Greek alphabet considered to be the world's first true alphabet?
It has given rise to other alphabets.

Name several similarities and differences between the Greek and modern English alphabets?

The greek alphabet uses different symbols than the english alphabet, but still conveys a consonant or vowel. 

Post an example of the Greek alphabet in visual form. 

The Phoenician Alphabet | 1050 BC

The Phoenician alphabet is based on what principle?
One sign represents a spoken sound.

Describe the shape of the letters and what tool created them?
The letters were angular and straight and made with a stylus.

What two reasons made the Phoenician alphabet so successful?
It was simple and easy to read. The maritime trading culture spread the alphabet.

What long term effects on the social structures of civilizations did the Phoenicians have with the creation of their alphabet?

It was the first widespread phonetic script. It was used to disintegrate class division between royalty and the common people.
Post an example of the Phoenician alphabet in visual form. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Assignment 14 Research and Inspiration

What kind of message is being communicated?
- Persuasion to look into animations.

How can this be done?
- Use of popular examples on the poster.

Who is the audience?
- The class.

What are you trying to tell them?
- That my poster is pretty good and that animating is a good job.

What colors and styles will work for them?
- Darker colors are preferred with light text to draw attention to the words being said.  Should be simple and easy to read while still getting the message across.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Visual Organization

Not directing the audience through a design is misdirecting them.

Eye Movement: 
The typical eye moves left to right and top to bottom. 

Controlling eye movement within a composition is a matter of directing the natural scanning tendency of the viewer's eye. 

The eye tends to gravitate towards areas of complexity first. In pictures of people, the eye is always attracted to the face and particularly the eye. 

Light ares of a composition will attract the eye, especially when adjacent to a dark area.  

Diagonal lines or edges will guide eye movement. 

Optical Center:  the spot where the human eye tends to enter the page. Optical center is slightly above mathematical center just to the left. 

It takes a compelling element to pull your eyes away from this spot. 

Z pattern: Our visual pattern makes a sweep of the page, generally, in the shape of a "Z".

Effective page design maps a viewer's route through the information. The designer's objective is to lead the viewer's eye to the important elements or information.


Use no more than 2 fonts on a single page.

Fonts should compliment each other.

Avoid all uppercase, unless you're trying to grab their attention on a certain point.

Choose the right font.

Don't overuse fancy/complicated fonts.

Visual Hierarchy: Will establish focal points based on importance to message being communicated.

A crucial part of the design process is to establish an order of elements, a visual structure, to help the viewer absorb the information provided by a design.

To establish a visual hierarchy, ask yourself the following:

What do I want my viewer to look at first? Second? Third?

The Grid:

A way of organizing content on a page, using any combination of margins, guide lines, rows and columns.

Instituted by Modernism

Can assist the audience by breaking info into manageable chunks and establishing relationships between text and images.

A grid consists of a distinct set of alignment-based relationships that act as guides for distributing elements across a format.

Every design is different; therefore every design will require a different gird that addresses the particular elements within the design.

A grid is used to clarify the message being communicated and to unify the elements.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Hieroglyphics and the Egyptians | 3,000 BC

In the sixth century BC, what three civilizations invaded Egypt?
Persians, Greeks and Romans.

Post an example of the inside wall(s) of an Ancient Egyptian temple.

What was discovered on the inside of the temples?

Scholars believe that Ancient Egyptians were inspired and influenced by which written language?

What is the difference between logographic and alphabetic elements?
Logograms are visual symbols to represent objects.
Alphabetic came later to document writing.

The term Hieroglyphic derived from what two Greek words?
Sacred engravings.

What is a scribe?

Who else was trained to read and write? Why?
Students and Military personnel. 

Post an example of hieroglyphics on papyrus.

What is papyrus and how was it made?
Substrate made from reeds. Wet reeds are placed, flattened and dried. Rubbed with flat stones until smooth.

What is a substrate?
Natural stone/surface.

What were the Books of the Dead?
Instructions on how to reach the afterlife.

How did Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics become a forgotten language?
The Greeks and Romans overtook Egypt and after a while, few egyptians could actually read the hieroglyphics. 

Post an example of the Rosetta Stone.

What is the Rosetta Stone? Where was it discovered?
A slab with three different languages.

What three languages are included on the stone?
Egyptian, Demotic, and Greek.

Why couldn't the text on the Stone be deciphered?
The texts are not completely complete.

Who finally deciphered the text? What was his breakthrough?
Jean Francois Champollion. He was able to decipher the text.

Why does the interpretation of the Rosetta Stone have such significance?

We now know about the ancient egyptians. 

Cuneiform and the Sumerians | 3,000 BC

The Sumerians were one of the earliest types of this kind of civilization? What does that mean?
They are the beginning of our recorded history. They created vases and bowls.

Why is the region of Sumer considered the Cradle of Civilization?
The land is very fertile and the first written language was developed there.

What could the Sumerians practice year round because of the regions climate?
Their agriculture. 

Post an example of early Cuneiform (Sumerian pictograph).

Why was Cuneiform created?It was formed because they needed a way to keep track all business transactions.

What medium was used to "write" Cuneiform? Explain the process of preparing and writing on this surface?
Clay. They would first wet the clay, form it into a flat surface, and use a wedge made of reeds to make impressions into the surface. Then they would dry.

What did Cuneiform begin as a series of?

Post an example of evolved Cuneiform (wedge-shaped).

After it evolved over time, what shape did the characters of Cuneiform evolve into?
A wedge shaped language.

Post an example of Akkadian Cuneiform.

After the Akkadians conquered, what happened to the Sumerian culture and written language?
They became sophisticated.

What is a pictograph?
An ideogram that conveys a meaning.

Why did the creation of Cuneiform allow the Sumerians to become a sophisticated culture? 

The language helped make more simple and also created the business records allowing the civilization to prosper. 

Cave Paintings | 35,000 years ago

What are cave paintings?
A way to visually communicate. They are beautiful, detailed and colorful representations on the inside of caves.

Name several common themes found in cave paintings?
Large animals and traces of human hands.

How were these paintings created (tools, pigments)?
They were made by mixing water, plant juice, animal blood, soil, charcoal, and forms of iron oxide.
Brushed were made by putting together sticks, stones, leaves, and animal hair. 

What is the most famous cave painting site? When was it discovered and by whom?
Lascaux. Discovered by teenage boys. 

Post an example of cave painting(s) from this cave.

Why did this cave have to be closed? What was done to satisfy public curiosity?
It was closed because of damage created by carbon dioxide emitted from tourists. The french government made a replica of the cave.

Post an example of cave painting(s) from Altamira cave.

In Altamira cave, why do most of the paintings have a red hue?
The red clay in the soil was used to make the paintings.

Who discovered this site? How old are the paintings confirmed to be?
Amateur artists. 19000 years old.

What is the oldest known cave painting site? When was it discovered and by whom?

Chavet-Pont Arc in France. Discovered by Eliette Brunell Deschamps, Christian Hillaire, Jean-Marie Chauvet. 

Post an example of cave painting(s) from this cave.

What was different about the painting techniques at this site?
The walls were scraped to make the walls clear of debris and there were 3-D effects created by etching around edges. 

What is "speleology"?
The scientific study of caves. 

What three reasons do archeologists and historians believe prehistoric man created cave paintings? 

To tell a story, help teach others, painted for magical or religious reasons.