The other day, my daughter and I were having lunch in Dallas and we walked by this summer mural in Mockingbird Station. I’m reading a book Visual Design Solutions for this class I’m taking and had been reading that good visual design can be an, “experience that creates a positive emotional state…” and “produces an enjoyable experience to delight their audience.” I immediately connected it to seeing this mural with my daughter. It evoked an emotional state of the past to me. The giant boom box reminded me of my childhood when I would make mixtapes on my boombox. My friend Jen and I would constantly make mixed tapes for each other in the 80’s. I gasped when I saw Marpohl’s giant mural because of the happy memories of creating a hodgepodge of Def Leppard, Beastie Boys, Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam…
The coolest part to me is that it’s an interactive mural that allows viewers to turn the knobs and scan the QR code on the tape for a summer playlist. The colors of the boombox are bright and cheery, the words “summer strong” and the excitement level meter convey good feelings that show visual cues that give the viewer happy summer feelings. I thought it was delightful!
I wonder if the visual of the Mockingbird Station mural is clear enough to the viewer depending on their age. When I was with my daughter, I explained to her how we didn’t have Spotify to make playlists and how we would record music from a boombox. I think the visual design might not resonate to younger generations because they never experienced having a boombox. My daughter assumed I listened to music on my phone like she did. However, older viewers will be delighted by the positive emotional state of their stored memories that the visual design helps them recall. I know I was.
If you’re in the area, you can see it through July and even take a “summer strong” fitness class outside Mockingbird Station. I can’t wait to see what Mari Pohlman has in store next!