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Category Archives: A. Light

Calvino described Lightness as the “lightening of language whereby meaning is conveyed through a verbal texture that seems weightless,” or the “subtraction of weight [from the text].” He felt it was necessary to remove the weight from text to make it easier to read.

Ender’s Game is perhaps one of the lightest novels I have ever read. Orson Scott Card has a way with prose that removes a lot of unnececessary elements from the text, reducing it down to its core. He doesn’t focus so much on description or detail, but more on interior monologue and dialogue.

For this reason, the prose becomes much lighter and also more powerful. The reader gets far more emotion from the characters because so much more emphasis is put on them than on tangible or visual qualities. Card has reduced the story down to its essence, and that makes it much stronger. The focus is on the characters and their actions, because, that is what a story is truly about. At times, the prose even becomes abstract, as if the events occurring in the story are part of a dream.

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Now, how do we convert the lightness and abstraction of Card’s prose into a visual representation? If I had to choose one of Macnab’s qualities of design to represent Card’s prose style, I would pick the 7th quality. Macnab describes 7 as the “Virgin Number,” the enigma–mysterious, lucky, and sometimes the number for destiny. I think this can also be interpreted as obscure, or obfuscated.

Here, I think we will need a logo that is simple in both style and content. Conservative, but still bold. It should also have some mystery to it, something intangible, abstract. I think the emblem could also have a lot of dead space, alluding to Ender being surrounded by space, as well.

se7en1

I chose this movie cover for several reasons. The most obvious is the relation with the number seven, the significance of the enigmatic and unexplainable. The title is in all caps with bright letters, contrasted with the surrounding blackness or void around it. It is one word, alone in a vast void of the abstract and unexplainable. Macnab would agree that the vagueness of the cover is what makes it so enigmatic.

It has the abstractness and boldness that I want for the design. I also like that with this title, the number seven is inserted into the middle of the word seven, almost as if things can change or metamophose unexplainably, or with no reason. At first glance, the eye seems to read it as “seven,” but a second glance shows that the letter V is missing, so the word would not actually be read as “seven.” The letter V has been replaced by the number 7, turning the numeral into a form of symbolic metonymy.

weightless1

I created this emblem by cutting out people shapes in the image. I want the people in the weightless environment to be anybody from anywhere in the world, so I made them white outlines to make them anonymous. The picture of people here in zero gravity is taken from the concept of Battle School, where the children are taught and learn to think in a weightless environment. I also added a TV screen on the side with 5 more anonymous people, brining the head count to 7, the enigmatic number. Becayse the people are anonymous, it is symbolic of the mystery of the number 7.

Learning to cope with zero gravity is what caused the students to think of things in new ways. Their game, the battle room, similar to laser tag, was fought in zero gravity where the students would use paralyzing guns to fight. The last team still mobile was the victor. The weightlessness of the battle was a perfect analogy for the lightness of Card’s prose.

Continue to B. Quick.