Critical Practice: Graphics and Illustration
The learning outcomes achieved upon completion of this assignment task demonstrate your ability to fulfill all three course objectives: 1) discussing the development of design practice in relation to its history and theoretical concepts; 2) identifying significant social and technological factors that have shaped design practice in historical eras; 3) demonstrating a critical awareness of past and present issues influencing current practice.
To produce a piece of written work that is an informed critical analysis of an existing published piece (or body of work) of visual communication. Place that work in its social and historical context to analyse its relevance, purpose, and effectiveness within that context as well as the intent and position of the work, the client and the designer through the discourses that surround and are interwoven in relation to the selected work. Demonstrate, in a written essay, a theoretical approach to and critical awareness of social conditions, technological factors and/or historical circumstances that have influenced and/or are reflected in design practice and design discourse.
Investigate several pieces of contemporary visual communication that interest you and then settle on one to examine in depth. Consider when and for whom it was produced and in what ways that may have impacted the design process, the designer’s position and the outcome.
Consider: — Is it effective in the light of its context of use? — In what way has it considered the audience or has it fallen short? Is it contextually appropriate? How and why? — Is it evident that the designer used valid research methods? How? What may have informed and/or limited these methods (e.g. psychology, linguistics, sociology, history, cultural factors, social and economic conditions)? — Is the designer present in the work? In what way? What might this positioning imply about her/his role and/or approach, or place in history?
To write a coherent and well-structured essay, you must use an outline. Use your outline to build and present your argument in a logical way. Initial drafts of your outline are likely to be short and state only your basic framework. Build up your argument by adding more specific claims and include the evidence used to support your claims in your outline. Be sure to support all claims with evidence and consider how you might refute contradictory arguments. The more detail you include in your outline as you produce subsequent drafts, the easier it will be when you begin drafting your final essay.