Design Test

A wonderful old book, The Art of Color and Design, by Maitland Graves (1941) contains an interesting Visual Design Test, consisting of 20 sets of charts, each with two designs. The test taker is to decide which of the two designs is better, or more appealing.

This test was once part of the entrance exam of the School of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and was taken by hundreds of art students at the Pratt Institute, where Maitland Graves was an instructor. Graves writes..."A group of well-known artists, designers, interior decorators, and architects averaged a score of 94 percent in the test. Although laymen usually have a lower score, it is interesting that those who have an instinctive discernment of fine design as revealed in their dress, their homes, and their taste in music and literature generally register high scores".

Here are some samples of the charts. Choose the better of the two designs for yourself. The book gives a detailed analysis of the reasons for the correct choice for each chart. I'll post the answers in a couple days. I'll post more of the charts if anyone is interested. (I'm proud to report that I scored 19 out of 20 on the test, for a 95 percent!)





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