Assignment 1: Stop
Design an autonomous graphic form that means “Stop.”
The new Stop sign must not rely on existing symbolic conventions such as an octagon or a raised hand, graphic conventions such as a slash or an X, or literal conventions such as the word “stop.”
This will make your task difficult, perhaps even impossible. Can a single graphic ever be autonomous, not relying on a system of differences in which to register its meaning? Keep in mind that the Stop sign is not a physical sign manufactured in steel and reflective vinyl. Instead, think of the Stop sign as more of a Stop symbol whose material support is a person’s brain.
Week 1: Explore graphic solutions by making 100 small pencil sketches, arranged ten per sheet on letter-sized paper.
Week 2: Select the five most effective sketches, based on feedback. Render each as a black-and-white hard-line drawing on letter-sized paper. Compare notes with others on the results as a means of establishing a set of criteria for what makes a graphically successful Stop sign.
Week 3: Based on the most successful drawings from Week 2, and incorporating relevant feedback, develop three alternative versions on letter-sized paper.
Week 4: Produce a single, refined Stop sign.
In order to successfully fulfill this assignment, it may be necessary to cheat, strategically ignoring some of the embedded restrictions.