I was ever so proud of my first pair of blue jeans. I even remember the brand—Wrangler.

After years of repeated laundering, the indigo washed out of them, and they became softly worn, fading to a fashionable shade of pale. Of course, now you can invest in a pair of pre-faded and mechanically stressed denims. But in the seventies, you bought a pair of Wranglers or Levi’s and devoted years to working them in. It was a badge of honour to wear a pair of authentically faded and worn blue jeans.

For centuries, artisans around the world have been dyeing natural fibres with indigo. The mysteries of indigo captured my imagination. I was pumped to get to a vat of indigo for some hands-on blueing.

Two days with Pam Woodward at the Colour Vie studio in Toronto had me learning how to infuse cotton and silk with indigo. Twine, buttons, and binder clips made random patterns. Cardboard triangles and folding patterns created more predictable resist images. The hand-dyeing process gave me an even greater appreciation for the dedication and expertise of indigo artisans.

And the origin of my Wranglers.

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Final Quest

As my Visual Design and Display of Information course draws to a conclusion, I reflect on learning outcomes.

  1. Design is as much about the presentation of text as the inclusion of quality and relevant graphics to complement the text.
  2. Design is not about decoration or ornamentation. Design is about making communication easy and clear for the reader.
  3. Learning the psychology behind the principles of design informs design choices and strengthens the impact of visual materials. It also helps me to articulate why a particular design choice might be successful.
  4. Use alignment as a simple, effective, and vital design principle to create a cohesive and unified page.
  5. Blogging is an effective way to share ideas, articulate a position, gain feedback, and connect with others interested in similar topics. Sharing ideas using both words and images, including photos, videos, and slides, facilitates communication.
  6. Lots more to learn!

I present my final assignment, the design blog DesignQuest, and answer a few questions posed in my earlier post.

Who is the audience for DesignQuest? This blog appeals to anyone who is curious about the concepts and issues related to visual design and display of information.

What is the purpose of this blog? As a student of visual design, I present design development concepts and best practices. As a newbie to blogging, I explore the reasons and basics of blogging. Since a blog is a personal journal, I share my thoughts on various topics.

What tone is used? Because I am curious and still learning, the posts reflect the tone of a writer who is learning, asking questions, and wanting to find out more. I do not present as an expert (yet!), but as a conduit of the information that I am gleaning and have uncovered in the process of searching.

Will this blog have an after-life following the class? Maybe. I could turn it into a forum for design techniques and artwork. Who knows?

Regardless, this has been a fabulous learning adventure!

Moraine Lake, Alberta

Moraine Lake, Alberta (photo: Gordon Sloan)

To close the chapter on my design blog, I attempted to find a relevant image. But none surfaced.

Sometimes life is like that. What you are looking for is not ready to be found.

However, I do have a favourite photo captured by my brother-in-law as he navigated the Canadian Rockies. (I enjoy the scenery’s calming biophilia effect.)

Thank you for joining me on the course of this  journey! Or the journey of this course!

Maybe our paths will lead us to meet here again.

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