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Title: Hitsville UK : punk rock and graphic design in the faraway towns, 1976-84
Author: Bestley, Russell
ISNI:       0000 0001 2279 2131
Awarding Body: University of the Arts London
Current Institution: University of the Arts London
Date of Award: 2007
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This research has two primary aims, both of which relate to a study of graphic design methods within the field of popular culture. The first aim is to identify the visual codes which appear in the sleeve designs of a broad selection of UK punk seven inch singles released between 1976 and 1984, and to analyse these in relation to a number of different punk sub-genres and audience groups. Sleeves are mapped stylistically, geographically and chronologically to show the evolution of a range of distinct design strategies and the diasporic effect on the development of punk in the wider regions of the UK. The documentation of these graphic traits reveals the ways in which distinct patterns within punk’s visual language evolved and eventually became entrenched over time. The second aim is the development of a transferable, theoretical and practical method for characterising the formal properties of a range of graphic material. A number of print-based and interactive visual matrices accompany the written thesis, as a key component of the research methodology. In this way, the relationship between graphic design, time and place, and audience is made clear, while the interactive display allows for a more complex range of textual information to be shown, along with the opportunity to review links between sound and visual form. Visual material extended from this research was exhibited successfully in Southampton, London and Blackpool during the spring and summer of 2007, and a number of public talks were given by the author. The major contribution to new knowledge and understanding is in the development of an analytical methodology that has focused on punk graphics but which could be adapted to the study of other graphic artefacts related to visual manifestations of youth culture in the late 20th century and beyond.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Graphic Design