Design Lexicon is a curated book of inspiration that summarizes my design career at Boston University. As I am approaching the end of my undergraduate years and heading into my last semester, I looked back on everything I’ve learned in these past three and a half years. The Boston University graphic design curriculum is comprehensive, and this book is the exact representation of that: from design history, typography, composition and visual design to bookmaking, writing, and the importance of good craft and attention to detail. Design Lexicon features twenty-six influences I have found and valued, organized from A to Z. The cover is a collection of found typography of letters to that corresponding influence. Each chapter begins with a spread that points to where each letter is found, whether it’s a B made out of the Bauhaus building, or a Y taken out of a Yayoi Kusama’s tentacle display. At the end of the book is an index of all the work mentioned, labeled with the artist or designer, title, and date. These artists, designers, agencies and movements I have included are a big part of who I am as a designer today. By sharing this book, I hope to inspire anyone who is interested in this field that gets me excited to wake up every morning.
Jessica Barness is a practicing designer, educator, and researcher at Kent State University. She explores interactive environments and sound, and strives to define and distinguish the differences between critical design, critical making, and design research. Although she grew up drawing and constantly creating publications, she shifted her interests to math and sciences in high school. I was the same way.
How do you bridge the gap between the scientific and creative fields, two seemingly disconnected disciplines? Design isn’t on the other end of the spectrum, and the two disciplines aren’t exactly parallel. While design is a form of expression, it is also the creation of concrete visual messages in order to solve a problem. Design can be decorative, but more often, good design is functional.
For all requests, collaborations, and questions, please reach out to: