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Being Unique

Monet's "Sunrise"

“If someone who drew what he saw were an artist, then photographer would be the king of all of the artists.”

When he said this famous phrase, was James Abbott McNeill Whistler , who is the "witty" artist of the 19th-century, aware of that he leads the designers of the future?

We, designers, try to create the unique one by fine-tuning pixels and vectors for hours in front of the screen. I wondered, is there a formula for creating the unique one?

Whistler has sent his message, which is about your feeling while you are seeing, to the designers over 150 years ago. Whistler has shown the way to create the unique. I was at the beginning of my professional design life, when I realize this.

Whistler's "A Shop With A Balcony"

I’ve just graduated and found myself, designing in front of a screen. It wasn't easy to design the unique one. In one of the days I strived to design through hours, I didn't expect that my curiosity took me back to 1872, to Claude Monet's famous "Sunrise", while I was staring at my screen.

While I was experimenting with the combination of fonts, drawings and colors in the space given to me, I wondered what should I have seen to be original, when I was looking at my drawings? What would Whistler want me to see? After my curiosity, so that, my questions have started to come.

I started to take a closer look at my drawings and colors on my screen. As I was magnifying my drawings with the help of zoom tool of my design program, the lines and colors were getting lost. Lines and colors were replaced by pixels. These pixels consisted of only three colors; red, green and blue. For those of us, designers, who know the color theory, this was not a surprise. The knowledge, “The color space we see on the screen is made up of only three colors ”, was already taught to us in school years. I asked myself, "What is the truth behind this theoretical knowledge?"

My questions have followed by my researches, and my researches have followed by my answers ...

Our brain perceives all stimuli that interrupt perceptible movements in a detectable environment, as a risk, i.e. a threat. Our brain is trying to complete these interrupts in order to keep us alive, as if it replaced the missing pieces of a puzzle. Using only the colors of three different wavelengths, our brain plays a game that allows us to perceive all the color space.

Owing to “John Logie Baird” and “Philo Farnsworth” who had managed to turn this game into our advantage, the designers' works have been made easier. These two scientists had managed to turn points into colors and movement and invented television, which was the pioneer of the screen that we are looking at now.

Georges Seurat, who had lived a long time before these two scientists, has already begun to use this illusion ,performed by our eyes and brains, on his canvas. Seurat, by placing small pure areas of color side by side on the canvas, has prevented to perceive field differences for a distant eye, and allowed the brain to combine these color groups to see another color. With “Divisionism ”practice and “Pointillism” technique, colors were placed on canvas by Seurat and the magnificent “Sunday Evening on La Grande Jatte Island ” was appeared.

Seurat's “Sunday Evening on La Grande Jatte Island ”

In order to give shadow and depth, it was the “Impressionists” who pave the way for this revolutionary vision by applying small color stains instead of lightening or darkening a tint gradually. Claude Monet has risen the sun on the modern life, while he was painting the impression of the sun rising lights onto the waters in the “Sunrise” masterpiece.

I asked myself again. “So, why did the masters of art history choose this path?” I think there was a simple answer. They wanted to put forward a striking and different visual language, while painting not only what they saw, but also what they felt.

The fact that I've discovered in the first years of my professional life was that; Impressionists on their canvases, scientists on their technological toys, and we on the packages, have wanted not only being seen but also being felt. The designer had to feel first for seeing eye being able to feel.

While Grafimeting with color and love; my curiosity, questions and research never stop and I can always see the “Sunrise” when I look at my computer screen. By adjusting pixels, vectors, colors in order to be unique, the time I spend on my computer is very meaningful.


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