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Graphic design: can it be something more? Report on research in progress

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Human beings constitute an embodied consciousness. Our sensory capacities function in a highly integrated manner; our experience of a visual image may in fact be tactile, auditory, or some other combination of the five senses. Our most memorable and meaningful experiences are those that impress multiple sensory modes: touch, sound, smell, taste, as well as vision. The process of transforming these essentially private sensory experiences into forms that can be shared with others is the essence of communication. Therefore truly effective communication requires careful attention to the felt qualities of an experience; both the physically and emotionally perceived.

This paper seeks to explore why designers need to become experts in shared experience rather than simply producers of visual commodities or visual problem-solvers. Does a client need a new logo to sell more product, or in fact does the user need a more emotionally satisfying experience to share with others?

Keywords: embodiment; graphic design; language; meaning

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Auburn University.

Publication date: 2008-05-19

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