The Truth about Truth


Matthew Parfitt – Induction to Library resources and more.

Today’s Task

How to keep your Research up to date?

  • 3 key databases



WGSN Insight

  • 5 Academic Journals

The International Journal of Design

Creative Review

Visible Language

Design Issues

Information Design Journal

  • What am I going to do?

Identify useful resources and set aside some time to browse and read through them at least once a week (ideally on a daily basis + write notes on my blog)

+ Dezeen, Core77, DesignWeek, Colossal, YankoDesign, knstrt

Notes from the session

CRAAP test (Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, Purpose)

Advanced search Operators

“…” find quotes when you forget the originator OR compound words (Motion design, Artificial Intelligence,…)


+ AND – NOT OR * missing letters, not sure about spelling or variations (sustain* - sustainability, sustains, sustainable), Filetype:.pdf


Both sessions were very informative, but they also dragged on for a little bit longer than expected. Honestly, I didn’t mind – It is probably because I engaged in the session as much as possible. By now it is evident that the only way to get the most out of these meetings is to let yourself be heard and to provide the presenter with something to chat about. It makes the whole experience more enjoyable for everyone.

I was happy to have someone to discuss deeper topics with – during the meeting we covered the ‘truth about truth’ and spoiler alert there is no such thing as objective truth. Everyone has their own truth and any piece of information can be skewed to the liking of the induvidual who gives out golden coins. We also briefly mentioned ‘how bad design can kill’, 'the power of money' and more… I would love to meet Matt in person, I bet we would have a lot to talk about and I wouldn’t be limited by a chat box.

The only thing is that we ended the morning session at 1pm and then I had to run some errands in the meantime so I couldn’t complete the task in time for the 3pm meeting. However, that didn’t stop me from contributing to the conversation. Personally, I don’t get that excited about the databases or statistics like Mintel but I know that it is an important part of research. On the other hand, I love browsing The International Journal of Design and I hope that it will spark some ideas, I also keep myself up to date with online magazines even though they are not the best academic resources.

Today has also provided me with quite a few recommendations on reading material and I can’t wait to dive in. I have already taken out two books:

Visual Communication Design: An introduction to design concepts in everyday experience by Meredith Davis and Jamer Hunt

To my disappointment the book doesn’t hold any new information or magic tricks, but still a good read with nice imagery.

My previous studies of Graphic Design have covered most of the content in this book. I don’t even know why I haven’t foreseen this – Graphic design has the same principles as Visual Communication, Da!

In the section about rhythm and pacing the authors highlight the shortcomings of design software (ehm… InDesign) as they often don’t allow the designer to see all the pages in a horizonal row right next to each other (to analyze the pacing/rhythm) – and I have to agree with this criticism. I stray away from using InDesign for the very same reason. All of my BA projects were composed in Illustrator, as it provides a better workflow (for me) and it lets me view my artboards in whatever sequence I want. The only downside is that it doesn’t highlight grammar or spelling errors.

The Design Method: A Philosophy and Process for Functional Visual Communication by Eric Karjaluoto

The author comes across as very narrow minded about what design can be or actually is. At the very beginning he makes a point to debunk the myths about design. Stating that design is not supposed to be fun. It is not a medium through which one should express oneself. I would agree to a certain extent. Yes, design is primarily supposed solve problems. However, I think that here is room for a little bit of personality, self-expression and experimentation. In fact, I don’t believe that design would exist without these elements. If design was really such a dull and mechanical job, then we would have a software to do the work for us by now.

The framework he has set up is nice, but it is not entirely new to me. As he himself admits in the book, most design methods are essentially the same few steps. These steps are renamed, swapped around, extended, abbreviated, expressed in fancy graphs but they all boil down to the same understanding of the design process. It doesn’t really matter which version one decides to follow because they can all be applied to any design discipline regardless of what the experts might say. In the end it’s the designer who must make the final call.

On the other hand, I am glad I came across Eric’s work as I quite enjoy reading his blog.


- Next on the reading list is How cool brands stay Hot

- I could spend some time over the weekend to dive into The International Journal of Design to sauce out some inspiration.