4 Tutorials that teach Describing the Work
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Describing the Work

Describing the Work


In this lesson you will learn about the process of presenting visual design work, an important first step in the critique process.

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Visual Communications

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What's Covered

Welcome to today's lesson on describing the work. Today, you'll learn about presenting the work, which is an important first step in the critique process.  This tutorial will focus on:

  1. General Description
  2. Recapping Project Goals & Specs

1. General Description

So the first step in the critique process is the presentation of the piece by its author. If there are many participants present, they should all have the opportunity to look at it closely before the critique begins.

When presenting, the author of the piece should present the piece's formal qualities, objectively using appropriate vocabulary.

ExampleIf the artist was presenting a photo, you don't want to simply state "I took this photo of this girl and it was nice out, so I took the photo. I really like it, because I like oceans and beaches." 

That isn't objective or using proper vocabulary that presents the piece's qualities and characteristics. Instead, he or she would want to go for maybe more specifics, like, "in this piece, I used colder blue hues in the top half of the piece, and warmer hues below the piece to complement each other and provide good balance and visual weight. This piece is also framed so that the girl was slightly offset to create a more asymmetrical balance. And positioning her in line of the tracks, so that your eye follows the tracks back towards the girl, which is the dot or focal point of this piece." 

You want to point out why a piece was designed a certain way.

2. Recapping Project Goals & Specs

Now after the general description, the presenter should also move onto recapping project goals and specs. The specs is short for specifications or the requirements for a job at hand.

Term to Know

    • Specs
    • Short for "specifications" or the requirements for the job at hand.

If the goal was to provide something striking or memorable for an ad, then the presenter might want to conclude with "these elements work together to create unforgettable mood and curiosity towards who she is, where she is, and where she's going, that creates a sense of intrigue and interest for the viewer in the ad."

You want the viewer to gaze upon it and stay interested enough to want to learn more about what he or she is looking at. It's important to recap that your piece reached goals or how your piece attained the specs, how it met spec.


That concludes this short look into describing the work. This lesson focused on the process of the first step in the design process: the presentation of the piece by its author. Specifically, this lesson looked at examples of providing a general description and recapping project goals and specs.

Keep up the learning and have a great day!


  • Specs

    Short for "specifications" or the requirements for the job at hand.