The Play Process / Introduction / 6 Steps
Case Studies / Under My Bed / Rhyming Slang / Fat Type
Extras / The Wall / Download / About Me


Why do I need to learn how to play? Playing, afer all, is something that's ingrained in us from those early childhood gladiatorial days, sweating in the sun. These six steps, drawing upon those memories, apply that relaxed and open mindset to a new design process. The range of projects is really limitless (whether it's print or even, your parents willing, body art) and the results are always fresh and inspiring.

Learn the limitations. The only limitations applied to this process are the initial design format (square, horizontal rectangular, vertical rectangular) and the overall timeframe of one week for each project. Any notion of ďpreciousnessĒ is taken out of the equation by structuring the time and size options. Choose
a format and start making. The three format choices each have their own built-in design limitations, visually. Longer shapes wonít fit in the square format with the same impact as the other options, so choosing one structure over the other directly affects the end work. This doesnít mean the final size dimensions will be the same as the starting size. Remember, this process encourages fluidity.

Choose one.

Go pick a Seed. The Seed sets the tone and provides an initial visual cue. The Seed can
be anything: a photograph, a piece of cloth, or even a piece of lint. Donít, however, pick a Seed that youíve already created. Thatís cheating! Youíll have pre-existing contextual information to fight against. The whole point
is to create something new, without any message already tucked into it.

This Seed is a simple chicken silhouette
from an old cookbook.
Create a Morsel. Taking the chosen Seed, distill something from it that you can use as the starting point for your design process. The Morsel is totally open-ended: it can be a shape, color swatch or scheme, or even letterform. Simplify the visual form thatís already presented. Take away its defi nable features
and start with a fresh shape.

This Morsel is a simplified
graphic of the Seed.
Let your content evolve. The Morsel drives the whole play development. By starting without any message to guide the design, any resulting decisions and fi nal form will be as experimental as possible. Go left, go straight, go back, go wherever, just make something and keep building.
Keep your Leftovers. Instead of deleting the individual elements not used for the fi nal design,
why not just drag them off to the side, layering each discarded piece until
it becomes its own unconscious work. This chaotic jumble offers a glimpse into the process by collecting the unused components. Frame them and
save them. Check out the Leftovers for the Rhyming Slang project.
Add some value. What value do you get from all this play? Well, youíve learned something new. Youíve experimented and created fresh experiences that offer techniques useful for future work. Now, go further and use those new skills and make something. Push the design and allow new ideas to spring from
the play development. Check out the Added Value of the Fat Type project.