Chicken scratch & Text blocks are two things I think have a very special niche to them. Moderation is key and a very legible grid is needed, for this to be legible and effective. The examples I have found I think are clean examples in which they work but not completely their advantage. Especially in an editorial situation, you have to remember your reader and the level of difficulty they are willing to commit to reading in your publication. Design I think has a very different purpose than art. Art is freeform, a conceptual idea that is personal to the artist. Some may like it, some may not and thats okay. But with design you are the executer and the visionary that presents the idea to a broad audience. You are not there to make your own statement but their statement, what they need. That’s is why I think Chicken scratch & Text blocks need to be handled delicately with care, otherwise they will fail. You have readers for about 15 seconds, if the design story does not catch or hook, then you’ve lost the purpose behind the content.
The art of navigation in a piece is always the tricky part. Is the face looking off the page? Is the type leading you somewhere? While art is suppose to be pleasing to the eye, I find a lot of people forget that there is content in the art. Using navigation effectively, can make a pretty piece, a master piece. Infographics are the most obvious form but Art Nouveau I think reflects a bit of this as well.
With swirling hand-drawn ornaments and free form type, it is very easy to end up with a chaotic mess. Art Nouveau was a leading style in advertisement, and without structure to the madness, one would lose their audience very quickly. Artists such as Henri-Privat-Livemont uses a flowing structure to keep the readers eyes on the page and in a arc that connects the type with the imagery.
While theses are very different era’s and ideals of design, they display the use of navigation and its importance in a piece. You wouldn’t want a subway map that had no order.