The “Digital Pen Scanner”

I was scrolling through TikTok one evening and happened to come across a video with a digital pen scanner. To use the pen, it works just like a highlighter, you slide it over printed text from books, newspapers, magazines, and other items like these. The pen then takes the information you ‘highlighted’ and transfers it onto your screen almost instantly. In fact, it retypes the text 20 times faster than regular typing. It has the ability to translate over languages with most versions of the pen. Another great feature is that it has the ability to read the text you’re scanning back to you. They are compatible with Mac, Windows, iOS, Android and also come in different colors. These pens connect to your device through a Bluetooth connection and are wireless, and also are compatible with laptops, computers, smartphones, or tablets.  

When it comes to design in relation to this pen, it could help you find certain typefaces so you don’t have to worry about searching for the specific font. Another way it could benefit someone is by making it easier for us to transfer text from a textbook or a magazine to quote it on a spread like in InDesign as an example. 

Of course, not every product created can be perfect and ideal for everyone. The downside to the digital pen scanner is that the price is not the most reasonable for a college student. Ranging from $15 cheap ones to $250 for the nice ones that include all of the features. Accessing this pen would not be a huge issue for most since it is sold on Amazon and Scanmarker with free shipping.

The intended audience for this product ranges from students to professionals to whoever wants it. Another great aspect about this pen is that it could benefit someone apart from the visual impairment community and also those with dyslexia. With the ‘read out loud’ feature, I feel it could really help someone out. Another audience this pen could help is with those who are getting older and losing their eyesight. Many books and magazines have tiny fonts on the pages, which I know can be challenging to read for some.

I think the digital pen scanner is useful now and will be in the future as well. I am aware that many types of text have already been scanned into computer documents, yet I don’t think we will completely cut out tangible paper documents for a few decades. A direction I think that could be progressed to in the future is scanning full pages in one touch. All of this is just my prediction, change is scary yet inevitable, that’s why we must learn to adapt as life goes on.

DOT. The device made for those with visual impairments.

DOT, the first braille smartwatch, designed and intended for the visually impaired. Eric Kim, the CEO of DOT Incorporated was established in 2016. For 20 years, there was little to no innovation for the blind and visually impaired. The objects that do exist are bulky and too pricey. Since there are about 285 million visually impaired people globally, it is essential to provide resources to those in need, and this watch does just that.

Although it may just look like a braille watch to some, this watch is more than that. With 24 touch sensors controlled magnetically, Bluetooth capabilities, patent technology, and receivable messages and texts from any app or service. The watch includes three buttons on the side, quick reply, accept calls, and remote control. It consists of a timer, stopwatch, alarm, accelerometer, a gyroscope, and 7-day battery power with full watch functionality. Accessible to social networking, transportation and navigation, news, weather, smart home control, and image-to-text translation. For just $290, this watch is made from lightweight and durable aluminum. DOT stands by communication, navigation, education, and customization. Since DOT is an open system, anyone can customize or write programs for it as many applications already exist.

Like the watch, DOT Mini is another device this company created to provide more content to those with visual impairments. Magazines, textbooks, articles, and other text types are difficult to reach when visual impairment is a factor. While only 3% of all text content is available in braille, DOT mini is the first smart media device created to access any online media. The DOT translation engine uses AI services to translate context into braille. The device allows for both listening and reading for better understanding at just $490, which seems pricy but is a third of the usual devices’ price. The mini’s operations allow for the ability to read any digital text, access online libraries, browse websites, complete calculations, sing and listen to songs, and experience movies.

These devices have made their way into many peoples’ lives, and as a result of DOT’s beginning sales in December of 2016, there have been 200,000 plus units sold. Unfortunately, due to these devices being created and manufactured in South Korea and it being a few years since the launch, there was not much information regarding its current standings. These devices satisfy those with visual impairments and look to be a significant step in the right direction for helping with the lack of appliances and innovation this community has to face. However, these devices exclude some people due to the price and lack of attention from the public.

Link to DOT’s website:,units%20have%20already%20been%20sold.


The Digital Directory Experience + Airport Retail – Enabling Engagement by Bryan Meszaros

Bryan Meszaros is the CEO and Founder of OpenEye Global, the SEGD President in 2018-2019, and a member since 2013. Because of his vision, they were able to transform OpenEye into “an elite industry-leading agency.” Being around for 20 years of experience within this field has helped in recognition as a global industry leader. 

This article talks about wayfinding and its importance in creating a fulfilling experience. The digital experience since 2016 has grown immensely, but this article still shares relevance today. Wayfinding is all about going from Point A to Point B and will benefit the majority to increase customer experience. Taking away the stress from being inside of an airport in any way could make their trip that much more enjoyable. One notable quote from this article stated, “By 2018, more than 50 percent of organizations will redirect their investments to customer experience innovation.” Companies would then strive to improve their environments for customers to have a better experience. Although Meszaros wrote this article a while back, some companies are still learning and implementing new concepts, so their user experience improves each time they come back. Experiential design is a learning process, and it grows at the same rate that societal standards do. Something essential to consider is personalization within the brand’s digital strategy. Digital directories in airports allow for all of the companies to be seen in one spot and for the brands messaging to be in front of you all at one time. Logos catch people’s attention and allow for greater engagement from all people. 

Meszaros, Bryan. “The Digital Directory Experience + Airport Retail—Enabling Engagement | SEGD.” SEGD, 2 Nov. 2016,

The Senses⎯Design Beyond Vision Both a Feat and a Feast by Ellen Lupton and Andrea Lipps

The Senses – Design Beyond Vision Both a Feat and a Feast done by collaborators under the names of Ellen Lupton (senior curator) and Andrea Lipps (assistant curator)

Ellen Lupton is a writer, curator, educator, and designer at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. She is also the senior curator at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City, which served as the Client for this exhibition. Andrea Lipps is the associate curator of Contemporary Design at Cooper Hewitt Museum as well. Lipps is the organizer and developer of some major award-winning shows and books, The Senses – Design Beyond Vision Both a Feat and a Feast being one of those. 

The Senses – Design Beyond Vision was an exhibition born in April of 2018, interested in how “non-ocular centric and multi-sensory design” came to be. Sixty-five artists and designers include works within this exhibition. The collection goals were to showcase different explorations of materials, technology, and multi-sensory experiences providing something for everyone, including those with disabilities or sensory impairments. This exhibition has some fantastic things incorporated into it, such as Braille implemented everywhere. They also included descriptive tours twice a week through a smartphone app, so all are welcome. This article looks at the actual process that it takes to make such an influential space and the struggles that emerged while bringing this show to life. According to the article, “The show was segmented into 11 themes that wound through the 6,400-square foot space: introducing the senses, sensory city, tactile library, shaping sound, sensory materials, tactile expression, sensory appetites, the sensory table, senses and cognition, inclusion environments and sensory theater.” Studio Joseph, the exhibition design studio, favorite part of the exhibition is that it is “straightforward and simple in its minimal use of design devices to achieve multiple effects and its ability to display varied content.” 

“The Senses—Design Beyond Vision Both a Feat and a Feast | SEGD.” SEGD, Accessed 12 Feb. 2021.

The Power of Experiences by Jan Ashdown

Jan Ashdown is Principal of the Sydney, Australia office of Entro, a branding and experiential design firm. She has held key roles with large firms where she is responsible for “design management of complex design projects for leading Australian companies such as Westpac, ASIC, Investa, Wesley Mission…” to name a few. 

Ashdown discusses the world’s recent economic experience, specifically about the Samsung flagship building in New York City, and the experiences they offer to their customers. She brings up the physical environments in a digital era, how online and offline experiences can happen, and how there can be a mix of both. There are no limits in creating experiences for people. What makes a “real world” experience is the stimulation of all five senses. The segment in this article called Using Urban Structures to Create Experiences states, “The raubdruckerin project, according to their website, ‘is an experimental printmaking project that uses urban structures like manhole covers, grids, technical objects, and other surfaces of the urban landscape, to create unique graphical patterns on streetwear basics, fabrics, and paper.’” Ashdown talks about an art installation in Sydney during the Chinese New Year, where they installed 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac art with lanterns displayed across the city. The structure was created as an incentive for the people in Sydney to join the festivities and interact with different artwork. In the next segment, Ashdown talks about how translating brands into an office environment has its perks, with Google as the primary focus.

Ashdown, Jan. “The Power of Experiences | SEGD.” SEGD, 17 July 2018,

Why Experiential Design is More Important than Ever by Tucker Trotter

Tucker Trotter is the President and CEO of Dimensional Innovations, an award-winning experiential design and build firm. Dimensional Innovations’ goal is to create unique and immersive environments for people. 

This article discusses the importance of experiential design and how critical it is for companies worldwide. Trotter gave examples of well-known companies and what they have done to create a story within their brand to showcase an experience. Trotter stated that Apple, one of the most recognizable brands globally, is “often at the top of the list when we think of great design, but their success stems from brilliant experiential design.” Trotter also expresses his belief that Tesla, another easily recognizable brand, “is following suit by making experiential design a priority.” He brings up many great points about this topic. Still, one that stood out to me was: “Great experiential design is one of the most powerful weapons to be deployed on the innovation battlefield,” simply because he isn’t wrong in his explanation. The atmosphere we find ourselves surrounded by is what makes the experience enjoyable or not. From the moment of the first interaction to pushing the door on the way out, or even the small moments in the parking lot, a specific memory personalized in each individual’s immersion within the experience.

Trotter, Tucker. “Why Experiential Design Is More Important than Ever | SEGD.” SEGD, 3 July 2017,

Change, the world needs us.

The environmental focus throughout the design process is something that will matter until we pass on and even our children pass on. The social design aspect of it is the perfect zen spot within life. The social design incorporates connection, conversation, and trust but also doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, in my opinion. Environmental design, to me, is focusing on the greater good of the world. The earth needs our help and change can only happen if we begin making change. Our generation is the change we need and we will continually fail this world if we don’t do something soon.

The direction that interests me the most is environmental design because I feel as though I understand it better. As I have said in past blog posts, I was born in Montana. I grew up in the mountains surrounded by lakes and rivers. Being enclosed by some of the most gorgeous land and views in the world makes environmental design more intriguing. To be able to show off my home and the land that I am passionate about brings my creativity out. I feel responsible for showing off what I am passionate about because I understand it and its importance. We are always being told to stand up for ourselves and what we believe in. This leads me to want to help slow down the rise of climate change and protect our world before it is too late.  

In my high school environmental sciences class, we did a fun exercise where we made hanging gardens out of recycled water bottles. Then we checked up on them each class day and watered them consistently. They all hung around the room and created a very homey vibe in the room. This was the first time I felt that type of excitement about housing plants in my own home. 

I was always the child in my home who stressed to my parents that we should begin recycling (Montana doesn’t do the best job in the realm of recycling). I became more and more passionate about the earth which shaped me into the person I am today. Outdoor activities really make me feel alive and free, which led me to join the Environmental Club in high school called “FreeFlow.” This set me up with a basic understanding of many important things I need to know for life. 

A step in the right direction for saving our planet comes with taking responsibility for our actions. Beginning with small actions such as: eating less meat, unplugging unnecessary things, finding energy-efficient appliances, and also using renewable energy. Businesses or design agencies can implement design for good into day to day work by printing less, buying energy-efficient printers, unplugging the computers every night after work, and also turning unnecessary lights off. Something that I have attempted to do is to not drive as often as I used to. Being at school helps with that because I don’t have a car. 

I am currently writing my I-Search Paper in this class on experiential design. Combining experiential design with environmental design creates a very interesting outcome. In public spaces, a designer could install an indoor greenhouse or small sustainable window gardens. I did some research and found a building in Seattle that houses 3,500 square feet of different plant species. The greenhouse gas emissions saved by this is equivalent to 140,000 metric tons. This shows that one building making big changes to the outside can help immensely. 

Change needs to happen. That starts with me and you.

Politics vs Design

Politics, the thing that causes people to lose sanity. Politics to me means messy. This past election season was long, grueling, and in fact, messy. This being my first year I could vote in the election, I was pleasantly unimpressed with the experience. Filling out my ballot was quite confusing because of the lack of information that school curriculums are teaching. I learned the basics my senior year of high school, but I don’t remember much as someone with some memory loss. 

As a citizen of the United States, I sound ungrateful for my voice and don’t feel like I have a voice in many ways. Luckily, the majority wins, and my vote was apart of that majority. I am happy with the outcome but also am lucky to say that I don’t feel too much that reelecting a new president affects me. I am so grateful for the family and life I have been blessed with. Although it doesn’t affect me personally, I know millions of people out there that it does affect, which makes me sad. It makes me sad to have watched the BLM movements around this country this year because it means that those who have been oppressed for the last hundred years still have yet to see a change. 

As someone who grew up in a small town, I didn’t exactly find my opinion on politics until I came to college three years ago. I am aware that this makes me seem like I don’t care about what my future holds but to put it honestly, I hate politics. The inevitable intersection of design and politics makes me curious about what my future projects hold. To be a young white female in this country is something I am grateful.

To me, design feels as close to an outlet from reality as possible, making the inevitability of politics and design intersecting a sad fact. In my opinion, I hope that my future endeavors will stay far away from politics. Design is something that I use to express my feelings and thoughts towards the assigned project. When mixing in politics with something that emotional, I feel like it can misconstrue the ideals I hope to portray. I can improve my knowledge of politics so when and I am assigned to design for politics, I will be prepared.

I can say that I feel ignored in the ability to have an opinion that matters, but I want to help those who don’t exactly have a voice. Designing work relating to politics for those around me is something I would do. I make it sound like I don’t care about how other people are being touched by things happening globally, but I do care and just hope for peace and happiness for everyone in this world, although very difficult to achieve.

Volkswagen Logo Critique

The Volkswagen Group’s core values are “accountability, teamwork, servant’s attitude, and integrity.” In 2015, my first Volkswagen Touareg sat in front of the house for a full year before I could drive it. Each day that I saw the cream-colored car sitting there, the excitement to be able to drive it grew. Before I could remember, I was driving through town, windows down, blasting some country music. A few months later, we traded it in for another Volkswagen, this time it was a Tiguan, leased, smaller, blue, yet still iconic throughout my last year in high school. This past year, because of COVID-19, the company offered incredible deals, leading us to buy a 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan SE. Being at school, without a car, I drive around with friends and point out my car on the street every time I see one. Missing home, and the long drives have made me nostalgic for the old logo while studying Volkswagen. As incredibly iconic as the old logo is, the new logo just doesn’t live up to the luxurious spark that Volkswagen stands for.

The 2012-2019 Logo
The 2019-Present Logo

As a company, their team is committed to upholding complete satisfaction for all of their customers. Their written goal is “to offer attractive, safe and environmentally sound vehicles which can compete in an increasingly tough market and set world standards in their respective class.” Volkswagen is one of the largest automotive giants in the world. Germany housed the first Volkswagen and eventually, their name made its way around the world. The Volkswagen Group holds 12 other automobile brands under their roof. They manufacture cars for their own brand and sell in 171 countries. Some examples of the 12 brands they have under their name are Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, and Porsche, to name just a few. 

I found this quote on Volkswagens website, “The realignment of Volkswagen’s brand design is one of the world’s largest rebranding campaigns.” With this in mind, the new Volkswagen logo was created around July of 2019 to establish a younger, more modern visual. I think the redesigned logo is boring and bland with little to no detail compared to past logos. With the brand’s identity so recognizable and being one of the largest rebranding campaigns, I think they could have added a little detail to the work.

When comparing this logo to the other large motor companies that I named above, the updated Volkswagen logo failed to give off a luxurious aesthetic seen with the other brands’ logos. Although the smooth edges and crisp angles are pleasing to the eye, the logo has the ability to be scaled and still be recognized. Far away and small or close up and large, it holds relevance. It is hard for a new simple logo to slow a business like this from large sales from such a popularized brand name. I find it crazy how the designers worked on this logo for weeks, months, and maybe even years to get to the point where it is incredibly simplistic. 

Creating a logo after being established for 84 years takes immense pressure for the designers. With the last logo redesign from 2012, the detail and visual expertise vary exponentially between the two. They both still hold the iconic circle incorporated with the ‘V’ above the ‘W’ within it on the solid color background. In my opinion, the particular line work, detail, and tone changes with a touch of shine and dimension in the 2012 version are visible and recognizable in any context. While the 2019 logo may be the ninth design created for the large corporation, it still holds significant power. The thinning of the lines as a whole seems almost too simple for how advanced the technology has become. I think the new logo is lifeless with little detail but still can be recognized almost anywhere. This logo lacks dimension and leaves for an extremely minimalist aesthetic. 

Another important consideration when thinking about updating a company logo is whether it aligns with societal expectations. This logo was designed to appeal to the target population the company is looking to sell to. But, I think Volkswagen’s new and improved logo lacks the luxurious feel, as I stated previously, which may be displeasing to some. Some people buy cars to show it off, by minimizing the detail and the shine on the logo, it takes that fancy and expensive feeling away. In the coming years, I am interested in seeing where this design is taken and whether that be more detailed or less detailed than the current one. Overall, I think this updated logo design is a bit too simple for this luxurious of a brand. 

McLuhan’s Crazy Thoughts

Marshall McLuhan was a man known for being a ‘communication theorist.’ He studied how mass media is informing people. McLuhan claimed “We shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us” is one of his famous quotes. In a nutshell, this means that you can remember how to use Command+F when you want to search for something, and that action might become immersed in the way your mind works.

For me, the ideas he had about “hot” and “cold” mediums of media, although accurate, have changed and improved with technology. Some examples of what I am talking about regarding “hot” media are film, photography, radio, etc. “Hot” media requires an immersion in the work but can sit back and relax. “Cold” media is inclusive and requires participation and engagement. Some examples of this type of media include virtual reality, the internet, tv, and your phone.

The way we receive a particular message, perhaps a political statement, would change based on what source you are receiving it. For example, Fox News is one news source that gives its content based on opinion with a Republican perspective. On the other side of the spectrum, CNN and The New York Times are opinions based on the Democratic perspective. If you choose to view those news sources, they are center structured content that is unbiased and reliable. NPR, BBC, USA Today, and many others refrain from opinion-based news and only share creditable and accurate information.

A “global village” is a term McLuhan used to describe how electronic media is used. Everyone gets the same information at the same time, thus ‘linking all people together.’ It is taking a localized village of information and globalizing it to the public. A current provider of this information that has blown up in the last year is TikTok. This media provider has allowed for a video up to 60-seconds long to blow up and find itself onto many people’s For You pages. Social Media outlets like TikTok or Instagram have allowed a comments section for people to state their opinion. Although causing some controversy, you can sometimes dig through the comments to find some more information on the topic. One example of TikTok spreading information quickly is the explosion that happened in Beirut, Lebanon in 2020.

Explosion in Beirut Lebanon 2020 | TikTok Video Compilation from Different  Angles | Pray for Lebanon - YouTube

When considering how media changes from different views, I believe that it will change the way I approach things. Being quick to judge or believe what I see off the bat will be one step in changing my approach. Fact-checking, researching, and looking at unbiased sources is a great way to improve the way I view and receive media. When I work on design projects, I want to make sure I understand the back story and information that I need to make sure it is thorough and transparent.