I started my MA this week. One of the very first things we were asked to do involved two squares of paper and four white sticky dots. Two dots per square. One had to show “peace” and the other “conflict”.

I admit, I spent a whole week thinking about this and did it the night before it was due. This was down to that need to “do it right”. I needed that whole week to think about it, because it wasn’t as simple as it sounds. The truth is, and I’m sure you’ve guessed, there was no right answer – the point was to get us thinking. Well, the point was to get us thinking and then talking about why we did it – that as graphic designers we ultimately control everything within a design and that everything should have a reason for being there or being the way it is.

These were my dots:

Arguably my conflict was more successful than my peace. My peace could be argued to be conflict, but my conflict couldn’t be argued to be peace.

I found the exercise really interesting, and enjoyed seeing what others had done. All bar one had a similar situation with their peace – the word balance came up a lot even though it doesn’t necessarily mean peace. Those where the “peace” dots were opposite each other ended up looking like they were facing off against each other. They had equal share in the square, but this also looked like the dots were trying to get as far away from each other as possible.

Conflict was in many respects easier. Have one dot try and force the other one off the page. Conflict.

I did consider putting one dot on each side of the square, in the middle, but opted for my sliced pattern. In hindsight I wish I’d gone with my original idea.

Not that it’s really important. I know why I did what I did and that’s what matters.

Here are some of the rest. Click to fullview. Can you tell which is which?