From the VCG Blog

How Many Punctuation Marks Can You Accurately Place in Row?

How Many Punctuation Marks Can You Accurately Place in Row?

In a recent course I was teaching, and in what turned into a somewhat off-topic, lighthearted discussion on punctuation (these are the kinds of conversations that may occur in a college business writing course), some students marveled aloud that you could place three punctuation marks in a row--like when you[...]
Christmas Card Announcement: Apostrophes DO NOT Go with Last Names

Christmas Card Announcement: Apostrophes DO NOT Go with Last Names

Every Christmas I see it. Multiple times. And every Christmas I remain politely in silence. But this year I'm speaking out: no more apostrophes on family names in Christmas cards.It's a baffling trend. Apostrophes are for possession (my dog's Christmas stocking) and for omitting letters (it's time to open presents). But[...]
How to Give a Powerful Presentation: Eight Steps to an Awesome Speech

How to Give a Powerful Presentation: Eight Steps to an Awesome Speech

Presenting information to a crowd is an art form. Presenting information powerfully is a talent that can change the trajectory of your entire career.  Some people are natural at swooning an audience but for the rest of us, giving presentations takes practice.The good news is, presenting well in front of a[...]
Use Math to Make Better Logo Designs: The Propositional Density Principle

Use Math to Make Better Logo Designs: The Propositional Density Principle

When most people think about evaluating the effectiveness of a design, they think in terms of aesthetics. They will scrutinize color schemes and layouts and typography and photographic acuity. And they will look for creative approaches to old ideas (like how awesome this cool Martin Luther King mural is, made entirely[...]
Design Principle: Anthropomorphic Form (Or, Why We Buy Stuff that Has a Human Shape)

Design Principle: Anthropomorphic Form (Or, Why We Buy Stuff that Has a Human Shape)

I still remember when I moved away to college and, for the first time in my life, I was in charge of choosing my own shampoo. It was a purchase decision I had never thought about (or cared about, for that matter) and I didn't have a clue where to[...]
Design Principle: Aesthetic-Usability Effect

Design Principle: Aesthetic-Usability Effect

There's an old saying in industrial design (the field of engineering where designers make day-to-day stuff, like potato peelers and hedge trimmers): "form follows function." This basic idea suggests that the design of stuff should be built around precisely what it is used for and how people use it. Chairs,[...]
Design Principle: Chromostereopsis (Or Why Blue on Red Doesn't Work)

Design Principle: Chromostereopsis (Or Why Blue on Red Doesn't Work)

Don't ever design blue text on a red background. Ever. And don't put green on red, either. If the image below doesn't give you reason enough not to, I don't know what will. A visual phenomenon, called chromostereopsis, makes our eyes want to turn a 2D image into something 3D.[...]
Design Principle: Horror Vacui (or, a "fear of white space")

Design Principle: Horror Vacui (or, a "fear of white space")

Document design theories these days (whether from experts or novices) seem to have a running theme: keep it simple and keep it clean. Steve Jobs made a career out of this idea, literally living by the old adage coined by the master Leonardo Da Vinci: "simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."When[...]
Women, I Need Your Help: Is It Ethical to Watch CNN?

Women, I Need Your Help: Is It Ethical to Watch CNN?

Dear Women,I need your help. I need to know if it is ethical for me to get my daily news from national media news outlets like CNN and Fox News when they use images that openly objectify and degrade women to sell their content.Please allow me quickly to contextualize my[...]
The Proofreader's Marks

The Proofreader's Marks

Have you ever looked at a paper that your teacher handed you back, with her scribbles in red ink all over the page asking you to revise, and you didn't have a clue what she meant? You're seeing brackets and squigglies and letters with circles around them--it's obvious she has a[...]
A Glimpse into the World's Most Impressive Buildings

A Glimpse into the World's Most Impressive Buildings

If you've ever wanted a quick glimpse into some of the statistics about the world's most impressive structures, check out this cool little infographic by Westerman's International:Please include attribution to www.westermans.com with this graphic. [...]
Ten Awesome Sculptures and Statues for Your Halloween Pleasure

Ten Awesome Sculptures and Statues for Your Halloween Pleasure

On Halloween, we frequently seek the mysterious, the spooky, and even the gruesome. Sculptors around the globe have an awesome ability to creatively capture such emotion-provoking scenarios. For this holiday of fright, mystery, and intrigue, I looked around for some of the most amazing (and spooky) sculptures. This is what[...]
Thesaurus of the Seven Basic Emotions: 308 Ways to Describe How You Feel

Thesaurus of the Seven Basic Emotions: 308 Ways to Describe How You Feel

Regardless of race, ethnicity, or cultural upbringing, did you know that all human beings contract the same muscles in the face for seven different emotions? In other words, angry people in Japan have the same facial expressions as angry people in Iceland, Madagascar, or Canada. And the same is true for[...]
Why We Like Target Better than Walmart: It's a Visual Thing

Why We Like Target Better than Walmart: It's a Visual Thing

I recently taught a class entitled "Information Design in Society," where we talk about the design of public spaces. In the course, we address typography, signage, wayfinding, architecture, colors, and emotional reactions to objects and areas. On multiple occasions during the semester, students brought up Target and Walmart as examples (apparently[...]
When to Use Saturated Colors

When to Use Saturated Colors

Maybe it goes without saying, but every color has a place and purpose. There are times when you want bright, flashy colors and there are times when you should avoid them at all costs. As you begin working and designing with color, one of the first things you'll want to[...]

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