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A Tip on Visual Design from Google’s Doodle on Mary Blair

Written By Shalini Merugu

By the time you read this post, you would have probably already seen today’s Google Doodle on Mary Blair (check out the story here). The artist who worked on putting together this doodle did total justice to Mary Blair’s trademark style for art work. I’m summing up what Google has to say about her style: “Blair’s colorful, childlike images – vaguely reminiscent of the cubist movement – are credited with bringing modern art into popular animation and influencing a generation of illustrators”.

A Tip on Visual Design from Google’s Doodle on Mary Blair

Source: Google

What struck me about this doodle is how it captured the cohesive unity of Blair’s style. If you look carefully, there is no single element that is out of place or jarring or a typical of the artist whose style is being showcased here. Can graphic designers working on eLearning courses take a leaf out of this doodle being faithful to the graphic style of the illustrator?

For me, the one quick takeaway from today’s doodle: Have a central focal point and build a consistent theme around it

The Google doodler’s rendering of the illustrator as she would have drawn herself really stands out for the simple reason that it fits perfectly within the theme and the overall look of the doodle. This rendering provides a strong central point, which is complemented well by the surrounding designs and patterns that Blair used in her cartoon world. When it comes to a graphic strategy for our eLearning courses, it is good to have a strong central focal point, and build other elements around it in such a way that they are thematically related, as this doodle illustrates so well.

Here’s an excellent blog by Tom Kuhlmann 5 Common Visual Design Mistakes on Articulate’s The Rapid E-Learning Blog. It includes great tips on achieving cohesiveness and avoiding jarring elements when it comes to graphic style.

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