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Thread: Graphic Design Thesis

  1. #1

    Graphic Design Thesis

    Hello all - I was not sure where to post this and I have not been able to be very active over the last few years for work and I have been working on Masters of Fine Art in Graphic Design online at Savannah College of Art and Design. I have come to the point of developing my thesis and I have been encouraged to do something on graphic design and the HC community. Not that I couldn't do anything else but my advisors thought it would be a missed opportunity to not do it. Right now this is my beginning thesis statement:

    I assert that the majority of corporations and graphic designers have and continue to ignore the physically disabled community creating a visual disparity between them and the able-bodied world. This disparity has helped create an atmosphere of shame, lack of confidence and disrespect that relegates the physically disabled to being unworthy of a quality of life that the able-bodied partake.

    So I am looking for any and all articles, journals, etc that you might know about that involve the disabled. I am primarily wanting to focus on mobility impairment from SCI because that is what I know the most about. But at this point I am open to anything. I have found a few reports on industrial design but wanted something more graphic design based. One thing I told my advisors as an example is that femaie hygiene products, in essence a medical product, are highly designed and yet my catheter packaging is a white box with blue Helvetica on it. Or my ultralight wheelchair box is a brown box while even the lowest quality bike box is designed to make the person excited to open it.

    Any thoughts are welcome. Thanks so much.

  2. #2
    Senior Member willingtocope's Avatar
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    There are many commercials on late night TV for catheters and other incontinence products. The commercials make a point of saying that these items will be delivered to your door in discrete packaging.

    I'm not saying that being SCI is anything to be ashamed of...only that the requirements for packaging are different. Personally, I'd like to see a little more "industrial design" thought given to everyday things like a toilet flush handle. I find it difficult to reach behind me when I'm sitting down and generate enough force to push the thing down.

  3. #3
    Well anything like that comes discretely packaged because it is in a big cardboard box but the actual boxes and packaging for the many products we use could look way nicer like the examples I talked about. And it is not like we are getting a giant box of sex toys, it is medical need. I can bring in elements of interdisciplinary design but it primarily has to be visual.

  4. #4
    So are you passionate about disability rights? If so then this is a great idea for you, if not then I would be annoyed at my advisor for just looking at my and seeing a wheelchair. Myself personally of course care about disability rights (being disabled an all) but it is not something I am passionate about. If this idea excites you then I would say go for it. If you like auto racing, basketball... I don't know legos then you should do you thesis on something that interests you and not get pidgenholed because you are in a wheelchair.

    On a different note, if you look at new mobility the copy for the ads for things like TiLite wheelchairs, Permobile (I guess they are the same now) or even catheters seems fairly well done and tasteful.

    My point is this, if YOU think this is a problem and it annoys you then you will end up with a great thesis. If you are doing this because your advisor sees your wheelchair and not you, then I would consider doing your thesis on something that you are passionate about.

    However, one thing that does bug me is that stock photos of people in wheelchairs are horrid: https://www.google.com/search?safe=o...ukM&gws_rd=ssl

    How hard is it to do a little research and put people in a normal ultralight chair instead of grabbing some crappy ass hospital chair and shoving some AB idiot in it.

  5. #5
    HA! Yes the stock photos is one of the things I pointed out to my teacher. The amazing coincidence is that a guy in my class does the design work for Permobile so I am getting some of his contacts.

    I am becoming more passionate about disability rights the older I get. Something I should have been involved with much earlier. I think Permobile and TiLite are in the minority of well designed identities. It might help that companies like TiLite have a large portion of them that are crips so their influence is seen.

  6. #6
    Ya, to be clear I wasn't saying your thesis was a bad idea, I think it is a good one.

    I love stock photos, you go to some websites and the stock photos are just so incongruous it is hilarious. I think most marketing people just assume people don't look at them. If you ever want to waste some time, http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/60-co...e-stock-photos is funny as hell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rollerpimp View Post
    HA! Yes the stock photos is one of the things I pointed out to my teacher. The amazing coincidence is that a guy in my class does the design work for Permobile so I am getting some of his contacts.

    I am becoming more passionate about disability rights the older I get. Something I should have been involved with much earlier. I think Permobile and TiLite are in the minority of well designed identities. It might help that companies like TiLite have a large portion of them that are crips so their influence is seen.

  7. #7
    It's great whatever you do in graphic design.
    I'd like to see more disabled figures in product advertising, cereal boxes, etc., for example, when a cereal box is covered with action figures, etc.

    I guess I'm wondering if there's a reference dictionary somewhere for graphic designers to FIND disability-related figures to use in their work. Public domain figures, showing a variety of themes, ages, equipment used, etc.

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