As a social scientist, I’m interested in something you probably rarely think about – who are designers? All sorts, you might say. Like other creative industries, graphic design has a reputation for heterogeneity and inclusivity. It isn’t who you are that matters, but rather what you create.
But does who you are influence what you create, and how you perceive your role as a designer? As a commercial industry, graphic design shapes public opinion on everything from politics to artificial sweeteners. In this sense, all graphic design is inherently social. But do some designers see their practice as bearing more of a social responsibility than others? If so, who and why?
The publishing house GraphicDesign& asked me to investigate this for TYPO London. On Friday and Saturday from 5-6 pm, I’ll be distributing a mini survey that aims to find out a bit about who you are, and how you perceive your role as a designer. The survey is anonymous and won’t take you more than five minutes to complete. Please come by and fill one in – the research will be more interesting and robust the more people participate! The findings will be posted on the GraphicDesign& news pages and the TYPO London blog in the days following the conference.
The TYPO London survey is a precursor to a much larger research project due to be published as a GraphicDesign& Social Science title next year. This will use gender as a starting point to examining who graphic designers are and how success is defined in the industry. GraphicDesign& is a pioneering publishing house dedicated to creating intelligent, vivid books that explore how graphic design connects with all other things and the value that it brings.
Drama Studio/Creativity Awards Lounge
19, 20 October
by Nikandre Kopcke, social scientist