Graphic Design and Animation Graduates 2012

Online portfolio and print on demand catalogs for Graphic Design and Animation graduates from the Department of Design 2012. On this page you will find our conference presentations, and by hovering over the menu groups on the left you can read contextual documents. You are welcome to attend our Grad Show, opening on 29 November 2012 at 6pm, and daily from 30 November to 6 December 9.30am – 4pm.

Christine Taraare

Christine Taraare (1261819)

Precarious Situation
How do you use graphic design to inform the design of an awareness campaign, with a focus on the environmental issues facing New Zealand?

Context Discussion:
The context for my work is based around the concept of social responsibility and social action, evoking emotions through graphic design to engage the audience by giving them a sense of social responsibility and therefore re-acting with social action. By examining the historical perspectives related to environmental issues throughout graphic design, I was able to determine what already exist, what the clichés are and why they do and don’t work. By defining the concerns and information surrounding the precarious situation of the human impacts on the Maui’s dolphin’s populations in New Zealand, I am able to distinguish useful details that will aid in the raising of awareness for my work.

1. Key contextual References:
The key contextual references in my work are based on the principles of responsible design in relation to both social and political representations of environmental responsibility. These include the use of print making practices such as screen printing to emphasise the human impacts on the Maui’s dolphin’s populations through the exploration of over laying information in my designs, this enables me to discuss through screen printing the need for social action. I have examined how meaning is communicated in environmental issues by differentiating how this works within graphic design and how you make meaning within the context of an awareness campaign, this focus on graphic design as an aid in the communication of social and political responsibility enables me to make informed design decisions throughout my work.

Exploring recurring Themes:
Responsible design recurs as a theoretical concept throughout the development of my designs strongly influencing my work in relation to community engagement and the graphic design attributes of an awareness campaign.

“From sanskirt through hieroglyphic to the modern alphabet, we have used ciphers, objects and illustrations to share meaning with other people, thus enabling collective and collaborative thought. As our experience of the world has become more complex and nuanced proportionally, diagrams, data graphics, and visual confections have become the language we resort to in this abstract and complex completely experience reality.”1

(1)This quote suggests that the tool or the topic we are presenting drives the visual form we adopt. This simply means that we create patterns of intent, using visual form that is driven by information or data that is relevant to the message we are trying to communicate.

(2)Therefore I have taken these principles suggested by dataflow and employed them into a visual form; this can be seen in my exploration of patterns driven by the information relevant to my awareness campaign.

(3)Pattern manipulation within my work relates to my intention to build upon the information or data gathered, in particular the human impacts on the Maui’s dolphin populations, which related to the process of creating images that are defined by the information.

“Good design gets the audience to think, question, learn and then act.”2

(1)This quote communicates worldwide in relation to the individual or mass experience of an ethically responsible message, the intention of my message is to gain community engagement through the means of graphic design.

(2)Therefore my designs are only going to be as good as the meaning or message I want to convey, as making imagery that is pretty but has no meaning isn’t going to captivate my audience and get them to remember it, let alone move them to do something.

(3)Discussing community engagement through the means of visually communicated social responsibility allows me to explore this trough the means of tone and texture, using tonal value to emphasise the fading effects of the human impact on the Maui’s dolphin population throughout New Zealand.

“Visual metaphors are powerful aids to human thinking.”3

(1)This quote talks about how visual metaphors can aid in the processing of information by the audience, by creating a metaphor for the data or information relating to my awareness campaign I am able to define the subject matter in terms that are clear.

(2)Therefore I have taken the uniqueness and rarity of the Maui’s dolphin and have created a narrative as such of their critical situation by employing a utilitarian approach this can be seen in my reinterpretation of the human impacts on the Maui’s dolphin populations trough the use of screen printing and typography.

(3)Utilitarian constraints within my work relates to my interpretation of the gill nets trough emphasis of the texture of these nets in relation to the Maui’s dolphin. This is evident in the screen printing process of my design, as I explored visual texture to create the illusion of texture on my printed poster designs.

“Ethically responsible design demands both passion and intelligence. A designer’s responsibility is to the cause, the issue and the audience. So the question we must ask ourselves is will my work signficantly benefit, indeed enlighten, its audience?”4

(1)This quote has given me a greater insight into how to deign with meaning, creating good responsible design that makes my audience think, question, learn and then act.

(2)therefore I have explored the different interpretations of “good” design by employing a responsible design approach, this can be seen in my reinterpretations of the cause and the issue through print making practices and swiss graphic design influences.

(3)Printing making practices such as screen printing have allowed me to explore texture within my design and use this element as bases to build my designs upon. This relates to the process of creating a mood and evoking emotions as to gain a need for social action.

2. Process Decisions:
My ideas this year have been developed through the application of print making practices, I have explored these mediums in more depth while also moving from the bespoke into the digital.
The division of thirds has been my underlining grid in order to develop cohesion within my overlayed information and imagery. I feel as this has been the way to communicate my message as it makes more aesthetic sense, taking my designs from the flat platform and creating depth that is more visually appealing. As print making is a very raw design medium it has been at times difficult to really manipulate the data therefore bringing these elements of bespoke into the digital has allowed me to analyse and examine methodically the different arrangements of foreground, mid ground and background information.

By limiting my colour palette it has enabled me to explore the vase tonal ranges of each colour, using this design element to create balance and emphasis within the foreground, mid ground and background information. I have explored the different colours and color associations in relation to the information relevent to my awareness campaign and this has led me to my colour palette.

My main turning points throughout this year have been redefining the topic of my awareness campaign, as it started with a focus on the New Zealand fishing industries and the global campaign on banning shark finning, but as my research and information started to develop further, I realized that this topic already had a global backing and therefore began to focus more on the environmental issues more closer to home, this lead me to my current topic of the Maui’s dolphin situation.

After narrowing my topic to the Maui’s dolphin situation it has allowed me to be more focussed on how graphic design can aid the message and raise awareness of the situation. Trough the use of visual metaphors I can communicate the message in a more clear and concise manner that will engage my audience. This has been illustrated throughout my design process.

3. Outcomes:
Throughout this year I have been working on poster design and this is the main output of my project, the reasons behind using poster design as the main output are due to the needs of the project, which is basically an awareness campaign. Throughout history awareness campaigns have gotten their messages across to their target audiences through the use of posters, billboards, picket signs and flyers, so I focused my final output on poster design as it can be easily manipulated into these other useful outputs. I have also chosen to print the poster designs onto tote bags as these are things that my audience can wear and use to spread the message of the campaign while also expressing their view of the situation.

Whilst working on my poster designs, I was introduced to swiss graphic design, this permitted me to give my work a design reference to work from. I worked with multiple design concepts in order to capitalize on minor details that I could refine, that eventually lead me to my final designs.

After reading conscientious objects; designing for an ethical message, it was clear to me that my poster designs needed to convey a clear, unfitted message in an aesthetically appealing manner in order for it to be “ good design”. Through the history of ethical design in this book there has been an era of ascetic postwar swiss style design and it has been this aspect of the reading that has been of great help in guiding my design thinking and influence.







[1] Klanten, Robert. Data flow 2: visualizing information in graphic design. Berlin: Gestalten. 2010. Print.

[2] Klanten, Robert. Data flow 2: visualizing information in graphic design. Berlin: Gestalten. 2010. Print.

[3] Cranmer, John. Conscientious objectives: designing for an ethical message. Crans-Près-Céligny; Hove: RotoVision, 2003. Print.

[4] Cranmer, John. Conscientious objectives: designing for an ethical message. Crans-Près-Céligny; Hove: RotoVision, 2003. Print.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: