Assessment 2, Task 2; Design Language

Ultimately the goal of every logo is to brand an organisation or entity in an abstract manner. It can never be too literal or the magic of what is being conveyed will be lost. It needs to speak about the uniqueness of the entity, in this case a city, without plastering its strengths for all to see.

It’s debatable whether the two examples I’ve chosen meet this goal appropriately. It would surely be easy to brand the city of Sydney, it’s idyllic harbour and famous opera house are world renowned. By Australian standards its a well populated area and along with Melbourne, is considered the beating heart of modern Australia. For tourists there is no reason not to go but having said that, nature can only do so much, the identity that has been created for Sydney misses the mark on quite a few points.


The visual language of the graphic shows a consideration for some recognized design elements. There is a strong presence of line throughout, it’s density and colour changes in defined segments until it reaches a far, shallow mark in the centre. The rounded, sans serif font resonates some degree of casualty, and shows the place isn’t too austere. As discussed through SpellBrand though, you really have to stretch the imagination to define what the logo means for Sydney. It’s hollow, emotionless, shows weak structure and makes no reference to any of it’s iconic architectural achievements (Bonigala M, n.d). What can be derived from it is a clear advocacy for diversity and possibly to show the beach loving nature of the city, it could be interpreted as a beach ball.

The logo for Canberra, which only has come into effect recently as part of a major re-branding for the capital city of Australia, spells out CBR in a modern, bold font. It can be filled in with monochrome or colour, or as seen here, given a dynamic outline. It now also stands for “Confident. Bold. Ready.”, (Armin, 2013) a new slogan they have developed to match the logo. The design does well to match the lines with a part of the cities road map. While also signifying that everything within the city is connected. The lines between within the letters join to to create strength and reinforce the cities values.


Canberra logo 2013

There are a number of differences between the two designs (even though geographically the states are right next to each other), mainly being that one is coloured based on shape rather then letters, but the identity Canberra is creating with its new branding strategy has the potential to bring it out of the view that it is purely a ‘political’ state. They have approached the task of creating a “unifying symbol” (Glickfield, 2010) in different ways, and while Canberra feels progressive, Sydney’s already feels dated and generic. Both prove though that cities should take on identities to create a sense of purpose for tourists, businesses and residents alike.



Bonigala, M (n.d)

Retreived from.

Glickfield, E (2010).

Retrieved from.

Armin (Dec, 2013)

Retrieved from.



Assessment 1, Task 2; Design Activism

As a community recognizes the problems inherent with a capitalist society, there are many ways to tackle issues such as sky-rocketing unemployment rates and the ever vicious cycle of homelessness. The Advance to Zero (Inkahoots, (n.d) campaign brings attention to these problems, and as explained during Defining Design and Activism (Thorpe, pg 6, 2011), it aims to keep track of the challenges with mass housing while fighting for the rights of those without an “institutionalized power” (Thorpe, 2011). While not a conventional method of achieving these goals, creating a visual personality that can be spread throughout the city with posters acknowledging the strategies that are being implemented over four years. While not strictly stated, it implies the actions involved will develop “data-driven solutions” (Inkahoots, n.d) that raise awareness of homelessness as part of a “broader movement” to society.






Inkahoots (n.d). Advance to Zero.

Retrieved from


Thorpe, A (2011). Defining Design and Activism.

Retrived from



Assessment 2, Task 1; Data Visualisation

Data Visualisation (DV) is the result of processing raw data to help communicate information with greater ease. The reason we need this is because humans take in new ideas in two ways; shallow and deep. Shallow learning would be considered reading an article or block of information and memorizing nothing but what has been written. They are “isolated facts” (Chew, S, 2011) with no connection to the real world. It’s been proven that humans “are wired to make sense of visual images” (Reas & McWilliams, 2010, pg121) and this would be considered deeper learning. Taking on ideas that have a connection imagery or our emotions. The ultimate aim of making Data Visualisations is to create a level of distinctiveness that cannot be confused with any other information, it is more recognizable and easier to understand then plain text on a page.




FlowingData (2015)

The charts above are interactive graphs available from FlowingData (2015) and are an example of dynamic filtering. This is a tool used in data visualisation which helps to pinpoint information about a specific place, time or statistic. Click on a specific U.S county, and it compares the time taken to commute to work against all the other regions, with various shades of red signalling its worse, and shades of green means the traffic is lighter in those areas. There are many visual forms that DV’s can take and they are not interchangeable, there is potential within the wrong form to create misleading or unintelligible information.



Reas, C. & McWilliams, C. (2010). Form + Code in Design, Art, and Architecture.



Chew, S (2011). How to Get the Most Out of Studying



FlowingData (2015). Compare Best and Worst Commutes in America 



TED, Hans Rosling, (2006). The best stats you’ve ever seen



TED, Aaron Kobling, (2011). Visualizing ourselves…with crowd-sourced data



Assessment 1, Task 1; First Things First Manifesto 2000 & ‘Ten Footnotes to a Manifesto’

Generally when designers try to argue something, the debate ends up very far away from where it started, and I think it’s interesting that the sort of points being raised around fifty years ago are still considered topical by Michael Bierut and his peers. It was obviously during a time in which everyone was finishing up recovering from the war effort, and this caused a massive shift in what was desired from visual communicators, which is still relevant today, even so I can’t say I agree with some of the views that Bierut has raised. However I believe this is a good piece to start off the unit.

I can understand the personal frustration regarding Bierut’s opinion, and the values he lives by are noble; saying no to the money-laden path in favour of targets like improving safety through raising road awareness, everyone can agree that designers are able to make a significant difference to the disadvantaged/vulnerable and it is important to have people who dedicate their time to it.

But while one who is well respected within the industry can afford to do that, they cannot attempt to take away a large portion of paid work from the industry without accepting that this would be harmful to aspiring designers. Bierut is arguing for quality of work not quantity and to create the belief that the practice of visual communication should be a purely ethical one, without concerning itself with basic ‘commercial’ endeavours. That is for each individual to consider. They apply themselves the way they see fit, whether objectively some people believe that is for better or worse. In saying that I think its fair that he hasn’t been too dogmatic with his views, and acknowledged that “effective marketing is effective communication”.



Eye Magazine. (1999). First things first manifesto 2000.

Philizot. V. (2007). Graphic design and metamorphoses: A few footnotes to ten footnotes to a manifesto, Graphisme en France.