Two, Two Symbols in One!

AdamsMorioka (hey it's my blog), UCLA Extension Summer

AdamsMorioka (hey it's my blog), UCLA Extension Summer

I’m sitting at Bob Hope Airport (Burbank), waiting for a flight. My post today is subsequently limited to what I have on my computer. Fortunately, I have a lecture that I give to my students about idea making. OK, yes, it could be dull. However, you can’t complain there was no educational value in the Burning Settlers Cabin.

Here is the problem: we experience the world in scenes. We watch scenes on television, we see them in life from eye level, and we see them in our mind when we listen to the radio or read a book. I realized this when I noticed a trend with my students. All of their solutions tended to be a depiction of a scene. If the assignment were a poster for “spring in Paris”, they would return with solutions of people sitting at tables with the Eiffel Tower behind them. But this is boring. This is what most movie posters are.

Lou Danziger taught me about the “fused metaphor”. This formula can be used when designing that combines symbol A with symbol B to produce a new result. This is my process: I make a list of every symbol, for example, Summer in Los Angeles: summer; sun, beach, beach umbrella, swimming pool; Los Angeles; freeway, oranges,  palm tree, etc. and then combine the symbols. What happens if you combine a freeway with the sun, or an orange and the beach? The solution is a combination of symbols that have more resonance than a scene of people sitting on Venice Beach.

Louis Danziger, American Paintings
Louis Danziger, American Paintings
Louis Danziger, The New York School
Louis Danziger, The New York School
Ivan Chermeyeff, War and Peace
Ivan Chermeyeff, War and Peace

Ivan Chermeyeff, Pepsi-Cola World
Ivan Chermeyeff, Pepsi-Cola World
Ivan Chermeyeff, Pepsi-Cola World
Ivan Chermeyeff, Pepsi-Cola World
George Nelson, The Misfits
George Nelson, The Misfits

George Lois, AIGA Paperbacks
George Lois, AIGA Paperbacks
Lou Dorfsman, CBS The Morning Show
Lou Dorfsman, CBS The Morning Show

Paul Rand, Origins of Modern Sculpture

Paul Rand, Origins of Modern Sculpture

Paul Rand, UCLA Extension Winter

Paul Rand, UCLA Extension Winter

Paul Rand, Modern Art in Your Life

Paul Rand, Modern Art in Your Life

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4 Responses to “Two, Two Symbols in One!”

  1. Tweets that mention Burning Settlers Cabin» Blog Archive » Two, Two Symbols in One! -- Topsy.com Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sean Adams, glennsnews. glennsnews said: Burning Settlers Cabin» Blog Archive » Two, Two Symbols in One!: This is my process: I make a list of every sym.. http://bit.ly/72snaK […]

  2. Brent Couchman Says:

    Great examples. I’ve also heard this referred to as a “forced connection”. Fused metaphor sounds better though.

  3. Sean Says:

    Lou Danziger called it that. I’d take credit, but no over Lou.

  4. Elise Says:

    Awesome post