Integrating Theory And Practice

Lecture 4, 18th october 2011

Research and Inspiration

From this lecture, I have decided to expand upon the 2
key principles:

1 – Visual Research – Why is research important?
2 – The Role of the Audience



Visual Research – Why is research important?

Research is an investigation into subject matter relevant to what you are working on, in order to discover facts and theories behind it. It is a diligent, systematic inquiry and an essential part of problem solving. Research is an intrinsic aspect of design practice.

There are two types of research ; Primary and Secondary.

Primary research is the artist actively finding the information for themselves. They are collecting information first hand.
They are documenting, collecting, interviewing, producing the information that did not exist in this way before.
This can be done by conducting interviews, taking photographs, visiting places etc.

Secondary research is data that has already been collected that the artist is finding and learning from, being inspired by, utilising, expanding upon.
This can manifest in a number of forms – books, magazines, the internet, databases, films, museums & galleries etc.

Research is usually collected in sketchbooks or on moodboards for the artist to annotate, analyse and refer to.

Examples of some secondary research:

Lucy Bassett :




Callum Copley :





Max Kerly :





Ruan Kitchener :






The Role of The Audience

The intended audience controls the outcome of the project.
An understanding and knowledge of the audience should enhance and focus visual communication.
The work is about the audience, it is for the audience, and if the end product doesn’t appeal to the audience, it is has not fulfilled the brief and is therefore useless.

For example, this anti-smoking advert is clearly aimed at parents and they have used a distressing image for shock value :






This anti-smoking advert is aimed at young women I assume, due to the vibrant red lipstick and slogan ‘Kiss My Ash’ , it is obviously referring to bad breath caused by smoking cigarettes and warning that nobody wants to kiss you if you taste like an ashtray…





This WKD advert is obviously aimed at men who like to have a sneaky drink in the pub before going home to their partner, and is very humourous and stereotypical towards men, however very realistic and almost every man can relate to it, making it a very successful advertisement.

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