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UAL Research Online

Global Design and its Ethical Implications: An Interpretative Analysis of Global Images

Barreto, Susana (2007) Global Design and its Ethical Implications: An Interpretative Analysis of Global Images. PhD thesis, University of the Arts London.

Type of Research: Thesis
Creators: Barreto, Susana

Global design is a recent phenomenon that can be understood as design targeted at a global audience, which aims to be exhibited to and consumed by different cultures. Hence, a key question in this study is: how can graphic designers globalise graphic design in an ethical manner without giving rise to breakdowns in communication and threatening cultural diversity? With the purpose of answering this question the study uses an interpretative analysis of global design images, applying visual ethnographic methods combined with interviews, questionnaires and statistical data. This thesis addresses these issues through cross-disciplinary research, which is located in graphic design and embraces the subject areas of anthropology, marketing, philosophy, cultural studies and politics.

Although some authors (e.g. Milton Glaser, David Siess) argue that it is just not possible to globalise graphic design, it is improbable that globalisation and global design will vanish. Therefore, we are not facing a question of whether or not to produce global design, but of whether or not we should carry out global design in a professional and ethical manner. After assessing the current state of graphic design culture, by looking both at graphic design education and practice, the study concluded that the practice is in particular need of ethical guidance, specifically on the topic of global design.

This study argues that the first crucial step designers need to take when dealing with global design in a professional and ethical manner is to acknowledge its existence and distinctive nature, as well as its communicative, cultural and ethical challenges and implications. This research attempts to fill this gap, advancing a conceptual understanding of global design and the different forms and categories it embodies: standard, multicultural and localisation. It concludes by suggesting possible approaches graphic designers might pursue in acting globally, aiming to define future directions for more professional and ethical global graphic design practice.

Additional Information (Publicly available):

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Date: June 2007
Funders: Fundacao para a Ciencia e a Tecnologia
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2020 08:52
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2024 16:15
Item ID: 15577
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/15577

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