This week I experimented with inserting shapes/polygons into an InDesign document, and also looking at how to insert text within shapes/polygons. It was simpler than I had initially imagined, the challenge being one of taste and design skill, i.e. to make the inserted shapes fit tastefully within the text. The key here is aesthetics. The technique is easily mastered but to apply it with finesse and creatively is quite another matter entirely.
There is a lot to be said for simply fiddling and messing around to see what works within a given design concept. Doing so in this session allowed me not only to see what did and did not work in the particular task upon which I happened to be working, but it also demonstrated to me the necessity in and of itself of doing precisely that. Theory and execution are as far apart and as different as salt and sweet. Concepts and ideas are one thing, but to see one’s ideas executed is almost like being punished for one’s virtues. It never looks quite as one imagines and often it can look so terrible in comparison to the envisioned reality that it can be a startling eye opener. It reminds me of a BBC experiment where women were asked to describe their Mr D’arcy, and almost all of them, when shown what an illustrator drew based on their descriptions were horrified, disappointed or disgusted. My experience in seeing what I imagine brought to life on screen was remarkably similar to that. It forced me to move things around, change shapes, resize images and suchlike in order to figure out what actually does work versus what sounds nice conceptually. It is remarkable how much playing around turned out to be necessary in order to get a decent finished piece.