Title

Less realism : more meaning : evaluating imagery for the graphic designer

Date of Award

1-1-2008

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Communications and Arts

Faculty

Faculty of Education and Arts

Abstract

Typography' as a defining term has become interchangcable with 'graphic design'. and while font choice and application is seen as of paramount importance. image choice, virtually half , . of the communication design equation, is neglected in the theory and in pratice is left to the instinct of the designer. In this thesis I try to find approaches for graphic designers to understand image to the degree that they understand type. These approaches are tested through assignments for graphic design students and the results recorded and analysed. I seek to address the paradox that we are able to communicate more accurately through less accurately rendered images. I will explain how the human visual system. evolved over time by looking only upon the natural world in all its reality. can look upon a stick-figure and make an emotional and intellectual connection. I examine the design implications of this strange faculty of the visual system. Gombrich. Arnheim and others have explored realism in, and applied psychology to, art in order to become better art historians. I explore the implications in the more pragmatic. economically imperative field of design of moving away from realism in the visual aspects of communication.

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