Essay: The Prevalence of Visual Culture and Graphic Design

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  • Subject area(s): Information technology essays
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  • Published on: January 8, 2019
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  • The Prevalence of Visual Culture and Graphic Design
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2.1.2. Defining Graphic Design

2.1.3. A Brief History of Graphic Design

2.1.4. Innovations and Relevant Issues

2.2. (Graphic) Design Education

2.2.1. The Need for a Comprehensive Curriculum

3. Methodology…………………………………………………………………………….

3.1. Introduction

3.2. Sample Description

3.3. Research Method

3.4. Justification of Data

3.4.1. The Great Debate

3.4.2. Crouwel: Abstraction and Organisation

3.4.3. Van Toorn: Visual Editing and Media

4. Results…………………………………………………………………………………

4.1. The Debate in Context

4.2. The Debate in Practise

4.3. Issues Discussed

5. Discussion of Results……………………………………………………………………

6. Conclusion…………………………………………………………………………….

Recommendations……………………………………………………………………

Bibliography……………………………………………………………………………

References………………………………………………………………………………

Appendices……………………………………………………………………………

INTRODUCTION (750 Words)

1.1. Argument (Introduce topic and context)

Graphic design surrounds the world we live in; it could be argued that to some extent as a practise it constructed the world we live in. In an age where there is an abundance of visual information and one’s senses are saturated with slogans, corporate identity, advertisements and perspectives; the role of graphic design is changing. As a practise, increasingly prevalent in a pluralistic approach accepting there are a validity of outcomes to design; how does the current university teachings influence us as practitioners to place ourselves on the either side of the form vs function scale.

1.2. Aims (Locate topic within current literature and purpose of study)

Current academic research by Rick Poynor comments on the longevity and ongoing relevance of the 1972 ‘Great Debate’, charting the essential and enduring conditions that arise in design work. However, there is a significant gap in research in terms of design educations influence on practise which validates the thesis’ originality. From a graphic design perspective, it is crucial to understand how form and function imposingly influence how we function as designers. Wim Crouwel and Jan Van Toorn are representatives of two opposed schools of graphic design: the rational approach versus the personal. Representing the classical antagonism between the engineer and the artist; ‘any designer will need to occupy a position on the scale between the extremes proposed’.

1.3. Objective (Draw from non-academic sources to demonstrate wider relevance & gap in current research of topic)

‘It’s an interesting paradox that, whilst many designers consider themselves artists, few artists would classify themselves as designers’. The prevalence of this open-ended question, draws us to ask what the difference is between the practise of both art and design; however, the only way to do that is to break both down into their most elementary form and understand the primary principles and underlying techniques of each craft.

1.4. Purpose (Present research questions to be studied as logical consequences to argument constructed)

The aim of this dissertation is to reduce issues discussed in the 1972 Debate into its most elementary form and examine theories presented against the current University design curriculum. From this analysis, we draw conclusions about how education leads us as designers to function in a contemporary context, with a view to learning the fundamentally political nature of occupying a position on the spectrum of the two extreme theories presented. To answer this research question, four clear objectives have been set.

1. Define and discuss the prevalence of visual culture and graphic design

2. Investigate innovations and relevant issues

3. Examine the need for a comprehensive curriculum

4. Analyse the issues discussed within the Great Debate and how this is reflected in contemporary practise

1.5. Hypothesis (Summarise chapter and predictions)

Chapter 1, introduces

Literature Review (3000 Words)

Purpose of Literature Review

In this section I present a foundation of knowledge pulled from past scholarly writing and academic debates that were relevant to my research study. Walter Benjamin, John Berger, Kerry Freedman, Karl Marx, Lewis Blackwell, David Carson and Adrian Shaughnessy are among the writers, artists, designers and scholars whose works I have reviewed and constructed my thesis towards defining Graphic Design as an elementary term. I discuss the prevalence of graphic design as a visual culture imposing meaning on the world we live in and the founding principles that define it as a practise. A brief analysis into the historic origins of graphic design identifies key authors contributions to the theory of function vs aesthetics model as provided by William Addison Dwiggins and Francis Meynell and critically examines the strengths and weaknesses of the arguments framework, testing their internal consistency and acknowledges and presents the inevitable counter arguments; that inevitably led to key factors within ‘The Great Debate’ of 1972. Additionally, innovations and relevant issues are discussed, in order to see there outer influence effect on the practise and the significance of graphic design’s contribution to the design educations curriculum; arguing that graphic design is instrumental in an aesthetic lexicon.

2.1. Two opposing approaches to graphic design

2.1.1. The Prevalence of Visual Culture and Graphic Design

Apeloa Philip once spoke of Graphic Design as being ‘the intersection between art and communication…prompting the view to ponder’

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