Monday, 30 November 2015

OUGD501 - COP Session - Primary Research Considerations

Observing the situation to consider cause and effect, trends, habits - can be quite limiting and biased, it still has value but observation is only effective when it happens multiple times.

Market research:
habits, opinions, tastes, perceptions of consumers in a specific target market -  you can conduct questionnaires, surveys, focus groups, opinions polls, interviews

Quantitative and Qualitative research
Questionnaires are a very effective way of gathering decent primary research, used to establish the 'needs' of the target audience, or used to assess the effectiveness of the design work on the desired users/consumers

What do you need to know and what do you want to learn?

-consider aims carefully
-identify population and sample size
-easy to interpret question styles (consider how long it will take to fill out the questionnaire)
-open or closed questions...multiple choice?
-avoid using leading questions
-go from the general to the particular
-go from factual to abstract questions

Questionnaires - should be completed by as many people as you find possible, the more the better. Getting a wider range of people to answer the questions will give you a broader scope on the issues that you need answering.

Focus groups - very beneficial, can be tricky because the members of the group can be easily influenced by the tone of voice, body language etc of the person hosting the group and asking the questions

Interviews - in-depth, focused and refined discussion/Q&A with individuals
based around preplanned question structures, but can also develop around impromptu questions and open discussion

User/Audience testing - in order to assess the effectiveness of your design work it may be pertinent to test your work on members of the specified target market
-consider testing perception, readability, aesthetic appreciation, perception of quality and so on - all of this feedback is invaluable and can benefit the development of a body of work greatly

Ethical considerations - should be made when dealing with members of the public, especially if the topic is regarded as sensitive - should the date be kept anonymous? should participants be made aware of the research focus? should participants have the right to withdraw|? Asking people if they wish to remain anonymous is important for a number of reasons, always better to ask than to regret not asking at a later date.

Task: Consider carefully whether primary research can help your COP project - identify research aims, research methods, population and sample sizes. Consider the relevance of primary research in relation to the themes, topics and issues you are focusing on in the essay

The concepts and themes that I am tackling in my essay are in some ways highly abstract and philosophical, asking people questions to do with these themes may be challenging because the majority of people probably haven't come into contact with terms such as simulacrum or pastiche in much depth.

Representational images - how it stands for its original meaning and in fact there is no original meaning.

What primary research could I do? Do I really need to do any primary research? I don't think its really 100% necessary for me to do primary research for my investigation this year in COP

A questionnaire? An interview?

Practical work: consider the mechanisms of what makes a piece of work 'hyper real' the experiences and meanings associated with images come from images. Decoding hyper reality

OUGD501 - Study Task 06 - Primary Research

For my practical work, I am going to be creating branding/identity for a fictional exhibition which would be held at a prestigious London art gallery. I am not creating a product as such, more of an aesthetic that can be identified and recognised easily and linked with the content of the show. Therefore, primary research will be very limited, if I decide to undertake any in the first place.

Primary research that I could undertake could include:

  • Surveys
  • Questionnaires
  • Formal/Informal critique sessions
  • Exhibition practices

If I were to conduct surveys or questionnaires, the main intention would be to ask people what they want to see or value the most in exhibition branding/identity, because at the end of the day, everything I am designing must be relevant and appeal to the masses. I could do a mix of written and visual surveys to test my designs as they come along, this would be more feedback and critique rather than primary research, but none the less, it would be valuable and beneficial to the project.

At this stage in the development of the work, I don't really see the need to undertake any research of this nature, because I am still generating ideas and concepts. When I start designing, I may consider running a few surveys to make sure my work is striking an appropriate tone of voice and is considering the product, range and its distribution thoroughly.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

OUGD501 - Study Task 05 - Establishing an Essay Question/Structure Planning

Essay Map

This essay map should include a sentence which states your thesis, and how it will be addressed. It should also include FOUR sentences, each outlining a different element of your central argument.
You should also refer to how this essay map links to the key sources that you have highlighted and the example(s) of Graphic Design practice.


"To what extent is pastiche unavoidable in contemporary graphic design practice?"

How will it be addressed? I will begin by making a clear distinction between the terms parody and pastiche to clarify the main focus of the writing. I will go onto discuss postmodern design principles and theories in a broad sense

Central Ideas:
  • The rise of pastiche in the field of visual communication: How and why is pastiche such a integral part of contemporary graphic design?
  •  Have we reached a simulacrum, or have we still got a while to go before we arrive at a rather depressing state of stagnancy?
  • Is pastiche necessarily a bad thing in terms of aesthetic? What’s so wrong about being on trend? Questioning originality and individual styles (complication/counter argument)
  • Discuss an example or several examples of contemporary design and relate back to the essay question. A hipster publication of some description that demonstrates well self referential systems that are at play within contemporary visual culture, representing a subculture that isn't a subculture
  • Discuss what the future may hold in terms of pastiche and simulacrum
  • Conclusion 
Academic Sources to reference:

·         McLuhan. M (Originally published 1967) Penguin Classics, The Medium is the Message: An Inventory of Effects
·         Levinson.P (2001) Routledge; New Ed edition, Digital McLuhan: A Guide to the Information Millennium
·         Hoesterey. I (2001) Penn State University Press, Pastiche: Cultural Memory in Art, Film, Literature
·         Greiman. A (1990) Watson-Guptill Publishing, Hybrid Imagery: The Fusion of Technology and Graphic Design
·         Pittman. R.K, McDonald. D, Baird. R.N (1993) Harcourt College Publishing, Graphics of Communication: Methods, Media & Technology
·         Duncombe. S (2008) Microcosm Publishing; Second Edition, Notes from Underground: Zines and the Politics of Alternative Culture
·         Klanten. R (2011) Die Gestalten Verlag, Behind the Zines: Self Publishing Culture
·         Nealon. J.T (2012) Stanford University Press, Post-Postmodernism: Or, the Cultural Logic of Just-in-Time Capitalism

Monday, 2 November 2015

OUGD501 - Study Task 04 - Practical Investigation Requirement

This week you are being asked to consider what the requirements are for your practical investigation. Consider the following aspects of practice/research in relation to your chosen theme/question:

Theme / Content:
TECHNIQUE - digitally designing a range of promotional materials for a fictional exhibition. These can then be translated into printed collateral or further digital platforms

CONTENT - The content will need to promote and advertise the exhibition. The copy and its tone of voice will be fundamental to its success 

COMMUNICATION - I am going to use typography as the main form of communication for the exhibition branding, because I want to create a clean, functional aesthetic which has an element of ambiguity to it. 

RESEARCH / ANALYSIS - I will do primary research into exisiting exhibition branding in the UK through visiting shows and gathering physically printed collateral to gain inspiation from

EXPLORATION / EVALUATION - I will use my research to generate my designs and then ask for formal and informal feedback on them. This will allow me to adapt the designs to suit the feedback to make sure they are effective as they can be

TESTING - printing out the designs and asking people to evaluate their effectiveness as pieces of promotional material

1.What is your research question?
To what extent has a simulacrum been reached in contemporary visual culture? My practical work will be complex. The exhibition will contain a manifesto which serves to question the current state that visual culture has arrived at. The work in the exhibition will follow the manifesto and aim to depart from current trends, attitudes and aesthetics. My actual practical design work will be the branding for this fictional exhibition which is underpinned by a written manifesto that I will devise. 

2.Do you have a hypothesis (an assumed conclusion that you will endeavour to prove)?

Not especially. I just want my branding/identity to be effective visually and to make an impact. I want it to be witty and highly conceptual, so I guess that is what I am aiming to prove.

3.What are the contexts of your research interests?

I really enjoy branding and identity, and this is an area of graphic design that I want to work in one day, that is why I have chosen to go down this route for the practical investigation. The context is that I am aiming to create a new movement within visual culture that can pose as a solution/cure to the stagnancy that we are currently experiencing. The branding will fall in line perfectly with this new envisioned aesthetic.

4.Sources of primary/secondary research.

Exisiting and past exhibition branding for major galleries across the world

5.How will your practical work relate to your written work (synthesis)?

My practical work will aim to make a comment on the state that I personally feel we are experiencing. You could say that my practical work will attempt to answer the issues highlighted in the essay, particularly providing a solution to the quite bold conclusion that I going to arrive at. 

It will critically analyse and comment on our contemporary visual culture through the eyes of a contemporary, practising designer. My practical work will act as a proposal, a theoretical cure to this stagnancy. At the centre of the exhibition is the Neuism manifesto. The manifesto will be inspired by radical, avant-garde manifestos written for key art movements from the 20th century. The fictional exhibition would feature examples of work which would be describes as neuisms. A neuism is a piece of visual work which follows four fundamental pillars which are underpinned by key modernist and post-modernist principles. The branding itself should reflect the nature of a manifesto, whilst portraying conceptual aesthetics. The branding will take in inspiration from branding that surrounds me currently, but it will also try to establish its own, quite neutral aesthetic. 

6.What methods will you use to research, develop, create and test your work?

Mainly digital, because I want to keep everything fresh. My manifesto will also promote the use of digital tools and methods, because it believe that this is future for visual communication.

7.Provide a proposed timeline for your work to completion (consider carefully whether you will need access to college facilities).

I aim to have my practical work finished by early April, therefore I can leave time for feedback to make any adjustments in the run up to the submission of the module. I am undecided at this point whether or not I will be printing off any of the work. I may just mock things up and present it in a formal pitch like presentation, this would fit well within the context of exhibition branding.