GDPM4 WRITTEN VISUAL PROPOSAL

My Journey, Practical Project Proposal.

 

Synopsis.

The information contained throughout this proposal presents the initial idea for the practical major project. Inspired by a personal commute into London, and connecting inspired short story ideas obtained by observing other commuters particular mannerisms. The proposal conveys the notion of a journey that could possibly be represented as a geographical, spiritual or personal voyage. This could potentially form as a visual narrative, that could break off into a series of multiple local narratives, that co-exist alongside the main meta-narrative. In addition it incorporates research methods undertaken to date, primary research involving qualitative, empirical and secondary literature reviews.

 Main Research Question

 Is visual narrative a viable means through which to portray a multi layered journey and can visual treatment help provide a better understanding of the subject matter in question?

 Subsidiary Research Questions

 How have other practitioners approached the notion of a journey?

What forms of contemporary visual narrative exist?

In what range of format and structures do these narratives appear?

What is a meta-narrative and how does this relate to post modern theory?

What is a local narrative and how does this relate to post modern theory?

 Primary Research/Qualitative Research

 Qualitative research has been undertaken relating to a placement at Branding and packaging company Brand Opus. Studying Brand Opus in its natural environment, has allowed first hand involvement in particular projects, dealing with issues that accompany certain communication briefs and problems, such as ethical and design issues. Working with the briefs set out by the company, taking into consideration the clients mandatory requirements, certain projects needed a cautious approach, as not to offend the client or clientele. One such example relates to a commercial brief, for an annual report cover design for German based company Service-Bund, a food wholesalers that distribute to the food industry. The general concept was to design the cover for the financial sector, keeping in mind Service-Bunds aesthetic values, while incorporating the logo in the design. Several designs were constructed based around the idea of finance, using elements such as pig money banks, euro signs, pie charts, graphs, the kind of images associated with finance. These were narrowed down due to the fact that it was suggested some of the designs could offend.

 

  • ·         The Euro sign could have been seen to portray the company as greedy.
  • ·         The pig money bank could have negative connotations, displaying the company as pigs.
  • ·         Various other designs did not incorporate the logo, and so did not meet the company’s aesthetic requirements.

 

The end result was based on concentric watermark shapes, used on bank notes, and a 3D Service-Bund logo, as a pie chart. First hand experience of this nature has been vital in terms of the progression of a creative journey, from brief to professional outcome, and the issues in between that need to be considered. The creative journey of a brief becoming a metaphor for other journeys of a geographical, personal or even spiritual nature. This notion of metaphor can be related to a meta-narrative breaking off into other more multiple narratives. This has helped the development of the project idea proposed. Considering the format of the journey, whether to reflect this journey through a book or some form of three dimensional packaging or another creative route, however once again nothing is fully clarified at this stage.

 Primary Research/Empirical Research

 observing other commuters on a weekly basis, while traveling into London, has provided inspirational ideas for short stories based on human behaviour and particular mannerisms. The fear of offending and being approached, at times has made the drawing process quicker, at times this has revealed personal memories and it has become apparent that these in turn, could provide inspiration for the stories. These short stories or narratives, based on certain incidents experienced on journeys into London, could form one narrative, referring to certain commuters and areas, could provide the nucleus of the general idea. Along with drawing these images, feelings and emotions include notations in written form, and these words could inform the story further reflecting the chaotic rush that accompanies commuting.

 Primary Research/Quantitative Research

 Due to the nature of the project at the current time, a questionnaire was deemed unnecessary as the project proposed, this serves no obvious function as it stands. A questionnaire is more likely to be used at a later stage in the project in terms of gathering responses of focus groups in relation to a range of prototype designs.

Secondary Research/ Literature review

 Books

 Gameson, R, (1993) The study of the Bayeux Tapestry, Suffolk, Boydell Press.

 Made after the battle of Hastings 1066, celebrating the conquest of England, by William Duke of Normandy. The Bayeux Tapestry shows the story of the conquest of England in a panoramic visual form, and has helped initial project ideas.

 Spiegelman, A, 1991 Maus a survivors tal, London, Penguin Group.

 Maus is a graphic novel created by Art Spiegelman. In it Spiegelman interviews his father about his experiences as a Holocaust survivor, being Polish and Jewish Spiegelman reflects the ordeals of his father. The use of metaphors such as cats and mice, establishe a layered narrative including actual historical events, alongside the traditional cartoon cat and mouse relationship of Tom and Jerry. This form of the visual narrative indicate that, visual imagery could serve as a positive means to portray a journey, which could be interpreted on a number of levels and possibly making it easier to comprehend for the general reader.

 Gregory, D, (2008) An Illustrated Life, London, Penguin Group.

 This book contains the sketchbooks of artists and designers that have produced reportage drawings and illustrations on a daily basis. There is a wide variety of artists/designers referred to through out the book such as, the pioneer of underground cartoons Robert Crumb, who drew literally everything which he came into contact with. The auto-biographical nature of much of Crumbs work, has provided good initial background research to help underpin empirical research which is a factor of the project.

 Mccloud, S, (1993) Understanding Comics, The Invisible Art, America, kitchen Sink Press.

 Scott Mccloud’s Understanding Comics, guides the reader on a visual narrative journey, which in turn educates them regarding issues and aspects associated with visual narrative. This visual narrative approach, has fueled and inspired current project ideas, by further developing the thinking process of combining more local narratives within an overriding meta-narrative.

 (2008) William Blake’s Divine Comedy Illustrations, Dover Publications, America.

 Dante’s Divine Comedy is a poem written by Dante Alighieri, and transformed into 102 illustrations by William Blake in 1825. Born nearly 500 years after Dante, William Blake created these sketches, engravings and watercolours, to portray the vision of Dante’s journey through Hell, Purgatory then Paradise. Blakes illustrations offer visualisation into Dantes allegorical tales.

 Wiedernann, J, (2009) Illustration Now 3, Germany, Tashen.

 Volume 3 of Illustration Now presents a selection of 150 contemporary illustrators from around the world. A mix of established master draftsmen, working in a vast range of techniques and styles. To engage with alternative styles and techniques that could be potentially used when creating the project work.

 Eisner, W, (2008) Comics and sequential Art, America, Norton

 In his book Eisner refers to the fact that comic book reading was reflective of  low intelligence, and unsociable behaviour amongst the young, influenced by the content of such materials (Eisner, 1985,p149). Many of these negative implications came from Fredrick Wertham’s book, Seduction of the Innocent 1954, effectively a comic vendetta that had a lasting impact on the comic medium. Although Wertham deemed this medium as unworthy, he suggested not to confuse education and schooling, and his insistence that children learn a lot from their play, their games, their entertainment and life experience (Rifas,2006). Will Eisners ‘A Contract with God 1978’, consists of four short story’s, A Contract with God, The Super, The Street Singer and Cookalein. A structure of multi narratives, using Eisners own childhood as inspiration during the 1930s. Alongside examples such as Spiegelman’s Maus, the work of practitioners such as Will Eisner has raised the cultural status of the graphic novel.

 Essays

 Graphic Design:Fine Art or Social Science?Jorge Frascara

 Bennett, A, Design Studies Theory and Research in Graphic Design, 2006, New York, Princeton Architectural Press.

 “Graphic design has existed long enough for its role in society to be easily understood” (Frascara, 2006).

Graphic design needs to be forthright, to be able to communicate the proposed idea in an understandable manner. How can a narrative of a personal nature be most effectively communicated in order that it is not merely self indulgent. The designer is a problem solver of visual communication, and in certain fields it can affect society directly. Advertising design is intended to encourage people buy products, political or ideological design is supposed to affect peoples beliefs, bank notes are designed to make forgery difficult. This has prompted a consideration of the possibility of a narrative of this nature inspired by personal experiences, having a relevance beyond merely a reflection of personal experience.

 The Education of an Educational Artist, Leonard Rifas

 Bennett, A, Design Studies Theory and Research in Graphic Design, 2006, New York, Princeton Architectural Press.

 In his essay The Education of an Educational Artist, Rifas reflects on the potential of comics as an educational tool. “The quality of being, educational can be found to some degee in any comic book” (Rifas, 2006). Using comics visual styling can help or assist education through the graphic novel media. Rifas suggests the comic can enable the reader to recognize subject matter. To consider the main components that build a successful narrative, an engaging story, or engaging stories visually aesthetic illustrations and readability.

 Comics, the Cannon and the Classroom, James Bucky Carter.

 Frey,N,Fisher, D, (2008) Teaching Visual Literacy using comic books, graphic novels, anime, cartoons and more to develop comprehension and thinking skills, California, Corwin Press.

 James Bucky Carter in this essay suggests that some educational organisations need to be more accepting when dealing with comic books, rather than dismiss them completely “my own use of comics to help teach plot, character, vocabulary, writing, and comprehension in middle and high school classes have helped to create a richness in my class”(Carter, 2008,p52). He implies that the educational community, and or the teachers do not know enough about comics, or related visualisation as a literacy skill, this could be due to Fredrick Werthams, Seduction of the Innocent 1954 (Carter, 2008, p49). He also mentions a teacher, Tracy Saxon, who uses Spiegelmans Maus in her teaching, and the positive impact of this sequential visual narrative has made. She claims,

 “I have found the book to be a key component in engaging student interest. Students who were reluctant to read the normal text found the novel accessible and students who were able to read and understand the text book found the novel interesting”(Carter, 2008, p51).

 Bibliography   

 Books

 Bennett, A, Design Studies Theory and Research in Graphic Design, 2006, New York, Princeton Architectural Press.

 Dover, P, (2008) William Blake’s Divine Comedy Illustrations, Dover Publications, America.

 Eisner, W, (2008) Comics and sequential Art, America, Norton.

 Frey,N,Fisher, D, (2008) Teaching Visual Literacy using comic books, graphic novels, anime, cartoons and more to develop comprehension and thinking skills, California, Corwin Press.

Gameson, R, (1993) The study of the Bayeux Tapestry, Suffolk, Boydell Press.

 Gregory, D, (2008) An Illustrated Life, London, Penguin Group.

 Mccloud, S, (1993) Understanding Comics, The Invisible Art, America, kitchen Sink Press.

 Spiegelman, A, 1991 Maus a survivors tal, London, Penguin Group.

 Wiedernann, J, (2009) Illustration Now 3, Germany, Tashen.

 Essays

 Graphic Design:Fine Art or Social Science?Jorge Frascara.

Bennett, A, Design Studies Theory and Research in Graphic Design, 2006, New York, Princeton Architectural Press.

 The Education of an Educational Artist, Leonard Rifas.

Bennett, A, Design Studies Theory and Research in Graphic Design, 2006, New York, Princeton Architectural Press

 James Bucky Carter, Comics, the Cannon and the Classroom.

Frey,N,Fisher, D, (2008) Teaching Visual Literacy using comic books, graphic novels, anime, cartoons and more to develop comprehension and thinking skills, California, Corwin Press.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

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