Jun 8, 2012

How Facebook incited design sense in layman.

Do you see cropped family photograph mounted on living room wall? Usually not!!

The only fundamental difference between a designer and a layman in context of design is the way they see all things intangible or concrete. When graphic designers look at something, they see it as a building block for their design subject exploring possibilities to infuse their creativity, but laymen see things as it is. Graphic Designers usually pick up a subject or a set of elements then break them into pieces only to rearrange them again making it a little abstract and hence interesting. It’s too tricky a job for a layman, so they simply leave this design work to designers.

It you try to recall a classic family photograph of your grandparents in black & white or your parent’s photograph in sepia or your own picture with your wife or friends in full blown HD colors, you will find one common thing in all these, no matter what the age of photograph is, all these photographs have been clicked with a wide field of view to capture all the subjects “in totality” with slight “margin” on all the sides. When we take a photograph especially a family one, we not only want to capture the individuals but we also want to capture that beautiful moment, that ambiance and that environment, so we tend to shoot a photograph with larger frame capturing surrounding environment of the person or subject as well.  

When Facebook introduced Timeline feature, it empowered a common man to be a designer knowingly or unknowingly with a tool called Cover photograph, most of you have used this feature. What is interesting here is that this linear space allocated for the cover photograph is pre-decided and has been freezed only with a little flexibility in terms of adjustment of photographs. Now all one has to do is to upload a picture here, adjust it vertically and job is done. Now when you upload your family photograph here, that initial carefully captured photograph with extra margin around the subjects and surrounding ambiance and so on is all gone and you will see a new cropped version of the same photograph in the cover photograph section of your facebook. And surprisingly you will start liking this new cropped version of the photograph even more now. Ever wondered why? Because you have applied a basic thumbrule of graphic design here knowingly or unknowingly, thanks to facefook feature i.e. to crop the image to an extent so that it start gaining abstractness and hence making it more interesting. Fortunately that space provided for cover picture is such that it allows you to crop the image only from two sides which makes the image more abstract and dynamic. See everyone is designer now!! No wonder why you are spending more time on facebook since the timeline was introduced!! 
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