Parsons School of Design

BFA Communication Design

Thesis 2015

MaryAnn George
Form Over Content
MaryAnn George
Form Over Content

Form Over Content is a set of 64 experimental “books” that explores form and design in relation to content. Using the text from Bruno Munari’s collection of essays Design As Art, I created distinct experiences ranging from the traditional book to a digital video to an inkless, laser cut poster. At a time when technological innovation is speeding up, the range of diversity is shrinking. Despite having more and more media options, there is a lack of variety in form and design within each. With Form Over Content I exercised my control as a designer by playing with Munari’s text in order to shape the experience of the viewer. For example: experiencing this text as a musical arrangement is vastly different than experiencing it as a set of articles on the internet. Each change in form provides a new experience, even if the content remains the same. This study set out to better understand why there are set formats and design norms for content delivery, specifically books, and how and when we, as designers, should challenge that. While working on my thesis, I was surprised to find how excited viewers were with the visual immediacy of my “books” despite the sometimes illegible designs. Although making content legible is an important objective, that alone isn’t enough. We must utilize the full range of form and design to construct an engaging experience with the content.


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Amanda Goldstein
This is About a Book
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Camille Gervais
Art is dead, (God also), and I don't feel so well myself.