Graphic Design

Erdian Gao

Attractiveness means a genuine personality. And when it comes to design, there’s one thing
that helps us convey a personality—humor.

Humor—a comic, absurd, or incongruous quality causing amusement.

How can an incongruous quality create delight? Using graphic design as a lens to understand the mechanics of humor, I demonstrate this phenomenon of universal amusement. My method involves creating unexpected mixes and matches and visual puns as a vehicle for play.

Design is not only functional but also fun. Synthesizing unexpected elements in surprising ways adds one more layer of legibility and suspends us cognitively. On one hand, you hear the word humor a lot, yet philosophers have little to say, and what they have said is largely critical.

Humor challenges the audience to look beyond juxtapositions to decode a second meaning. When a visual pun works—specifically, when two distinct entities merge to form one idea—the effect stimulates thought and sensation. Humor is something that helps us to reflect