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Title: Deconstructing the politico-visual : devising a novel system of practice-based methods in graphic design, informed by the visual structure of the Conservative Party poster (1979-2010)
Author: Dowd, Kevin
ISNI:       0000 0004 5371 9959
Awarding Body: Kingston University
Current Institution: Kingston University
Date of Award: 2015
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This research project operates from the perspective of the author as graphic design practitioner and considers how practice-based visual methods may be used to form a novel system of analysis in graphic design research. The focus of this research is the Conservative Party poster, produced for the British General Elections held between 1979 and 2010. With practice at the core of the research methodology, visual design methods have been configured and applied to a range of material in order to generate insights about how visual language is used in a variety of contexts. The research includes a review of the graphic communication of the British political poster, existing visual methods, and practice-based research within the field of graphic design. From there, a system of practice-based methods was devised, and then applied to the Conservative Party posters. The design system employs methods that disassemble each poster into its individual components (type, image, hierarchy, colour and negative space), mapping each using simple visual techniques, before reassembling these components to identify trends and insights in relation to various political themes. In order to test this design system, these methods were applied to a very different type of visual communication material produced for Sense, a charitable organisation that advocates for the rights of deaf-blind people. This proved valuable to the study, and demonstrated how this system could function in a very different context. The output of this study proposes potential visual devices for aiding visually impaired readers engage with photographic imagery. The findings and visual outputs of this investigation are described in this thesis, and are also housed in a series of three books that form the practice component of this research project. This thesis aims to highlight the value of practice-based methods within graphic design research, and specifically, methods more exclusively available to the graphic design practitioner. Practice is of central importance to this research project, forming the core of the methodology, as well as the outputs produced in response to the research findings. Through establishing the visual characteristics of the Conservative Party poster (1979-2010), this research seeks to demonstrate how a novel system of practice-based methods might help further an understanding of visual communication design.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Art and design ; History of art, architecture and design ; Politics and international studies