As a graphic designer, moving to a new country has been amazing for getting a fresh perspective and rekindling my creative spark. I felt as though I already had a broad worldview, but while experiencing life in a new place I realized my knowledge was limited. Luckily in my work I can take an up-close view of the psychology behind how society functions in a visual manner. As a graphic designer we solve problems with a creative solution, studying existing relations and bridging the gaps necessary for effective communities. In having this specific lens to view Norway, I discovered key principles of Scandinavian design and how it differs from my North American perspective.
Design in Toronto
The Toronto design style differs from what I have seen in Scandinavia. Typically Canadian graphic design is not on the map on a global scale, and this is likely due to the fact that Canada’s population is a fraction of its main competitor USA. Canadian graphic design is developed from a historical approach that derived from inspiration brought from abroad. Although my mental images of the streets of Toronto that I walked are fading slowly, I still imagine the quirky, vibrantly decorated signage all over the city. Similar to other big cities, Toronto has signage that loudly speaks its messages. In Canada it is obvious that our American culture has us obsessed with size and scale and it is something carried into our design. Advertisements, posters, and packaging always include some form of big scale, bright colours, and loud fonts. I think this comes from the fact that life in Toronto is fast paced and street design has to grab the attention of viewers with a short attention span. I find that our design style is a bit more “flashy” and uses a lot of elements in a dynamic way. This is contrasting the characteristics of Scandinavian design.
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