1. Reem Alsanea

“All in all, I think that out of all musical genres, the world of metal is the most escapist one. Metal is also music for people who think for themselves. I think metalheads are smart people who possess a healthy dose of self-irony and a good sense of humor, and that appeals to me. I felt a strong affinity with the scene from the first moment on.”

—Tuomas Holopainen, Nightwish

Riffing on Design: “Chronicles of Chaos,” explores and breaks down elements that characterize heavy metal music and transforms these elements into methodologies that can be applied to graphic design. Music is composed of different layers of sound created using various instruments; Graphic design follows a similar approach, which is why there’s so much intersection between music and design. If heavy metal’s musical language was broken down into principles that can be applied to design, what would design look like? How would these musical elements push a visual composition? And in what way can they transform the way we see and interpret design?

I grew up listening to heavy metal, which has influenced many aspects of my life, including how I look and think about design. I am no musician, I’m a graphic designer, and so the way I interpret many of the components contained within music translates into visuals, borrowing much of the elements that make the sound of heavy metal, heavy metal. My thesis transforms auditory features of heavy metal through research that interprets those features as graphic design methodologies. My quest to research those sound components perhaps introduces existent fundamentals of design, but offers new ways to look at those fundamentals in a series of prompts that alter the heavy melodies of metal and bends them to become principles that propel design.