Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Instructional design and parody

Naturally, the medium of iconography/signography (is that a word?) is open for parody, as I have already touched upon in the Sagmeister post. In order to make the idea work, it would have to offer something different such as a sense of humour or subversion. To put it differently, something that makes you go 'ha!' The above designs are by a Belgian artist known under the pseudonym "$" and are part of a set of icons relating to dogs, treating the animal as if it were a product, a type of bleach or something.

Come to think of it, I have experimented in instructional design in the past, with varying amounts of success. The Universal Remote Control is a fictional TV remote that allows the user to control time and space with the press of a button. Above left is a diagram for it in which I parody the instruction manual, even to the extent that it is used as a drinks mat rather than read properly. Above right is a silly little diagram instructing/advising how to avoid speed cameras, parodying those diagrams from 'learn to drive' manuals. It isn't as successful but this is the kind of atmosphere I could set out to create.

If I could bring these elements together in the form of a guide for Liverpudlians it would be a good reflection of the Scouse sense of humour and of city life.

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