Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Bachelor of Creative Industries Honours


School of Communication and Arts


Faculty of Education and Arts

First Supervisor

Dr Stuart Medley


This research will explore the effect of the introduction of service design methods to graphic designers, and whether graphic designers are limited to the design of ephemeral artifacts or instead can play a significant role in the innovation of products and services among larger industry and community based projects in Perth, Western Australia, and perhaps even enrich service design processes themselves. This thesis will examine established graphic design disciplinary processes as well as alterations to those practices via the introduction of service design methods. In addition, these service design processes will also be applied to a complex live service orientated project in order to assess how graphic design skills fit within a service design context and from this, how innovated outcomes are reached.

The field of graphic design is one that has historically battled to assert itself as offering a specialised skill set which can be utilized by a broad range of industry and community business sectors. Cameron Tonkinwise (2011), Director of Design Studies at Carnegie Mellon University, asserts that graphic designers have been depicted as merely making products ‘look good’ but in fact the powerful system of creative tools incorporated to develop effective visual communication outcomes should be vocalized (p. 535). The perceptions of graphic design have been determined by the artifacts it produces and not the skills from which these products are derived.

The key theorists of service design, an emerging field of design, advocate the innovation of products and services through positive user/customer experiences via a multi-disciplinary approach. This service design thinking structure incorporates graphic designers alongside other disciplines so as to deeply investigate what product or service is needed or whether it is needed at all.