When Text Becomes Graphics

This week for “Tuesdays with TED”, have fun watching and listening to this story by Rives, where text on the big screen is not quite what it seems to be!

Rives’ unique, innovative style of story challenges us to find a new perspective on something as simple as letters and punctuation marks.  Instead of thinking about what the letters mean when you put them together as words, let your creative mind see them as shapes.  What do they look like to you?

What else in your everyday world can you see in a new way?

Look at the shapes of things around you.  Don’t immediately label them as familiar objects, but just look at the shapes: the shape of a vase or cup, the shape of a vegetable or pillow or dog’s ear . . .  You’ll open up a whole new way of seeing.

Then you can get really daring and look at the space between things.  Sometimes that is the most interesting shape of all.  Look at the empty spaces between the branches of a tree or the inside of a container or the space between two objects near each other.

Or pay attention to the patterns of lines or objects, rather than the shape of the things themselves.  Patterns are beautiful visual graphics all on their own.  Can you see a row of telephone poles marking out the whole length of a city block?  What pattern do they create?  What about the spokes of a bicycle wheel or a manhole cover?  Study the pattern in a cross section of fruit or the venetion blinds or the color markings on the cat’s fur or the tiles on the bathroom floor or the living room carpet . . .

The possibilities for graphic design study are virtually endless!

Urban environments are so full of shapes and textures and patterns that can fuel this innovative way of seeing the world around you.

Share a comment below and tell me what you find on your visual expedition.

3 Responses to “When Text Becomes Graphics”

  1. Very thought provoking post. It’s so easy to miss what’s right in front of you when you don’t slow down and really look.

    I’m an amateur photographer and look at things differently through the lens, but never considered looking at things differently through the lens of my own eyes.

    Thanks for inviting me to a new perspective!

    Steve O

  2. THANKS! Fantastic demonstration of how refreshing and delightful a change in perspective can be.

  3. Lianda says:

    Looking at the old world with new eyes, and a positive mindset can be a great stress reliever. Joy is not in things; it is in your mind and your heart. And as you suggest, looking at the world in this way can inspire your creativity.
    I LOVE my then 5 year old daughter’s description of lightning: It looks like varicose veins! Children still have those “new eyes”.
    thanks for the inspirational blog!