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Scared student in need of dissertation help and advice :(

Discussion in 'Graphic Design Forum:' started by Elliie, Oct 26, 2013.

  1. Elliie

    Elliie New Member

    Hello everyone,

    I am currently in the third year of my graphic design degree and have just started my dissertation, which to be quite honest, scares me quite a bit.

    After a bit of research and discussion with my tutor I have decided to do my dissertation on how Helvetica affected Swiss design, but the more i read and research, I find myself quite lost in all of it. The original plan for my dissertation was to look into the time before and the history of Helvetica and the reasons to why it was created and then look into how it affected Swiss design and round up with what kind of effect it has had on modern design, but to me that seems a bit broad and does not really seem to match up with what my topic is in the first place.

    I have also read a lot of other interesting things that i would like to mention such as how Helvetica has become a victim of its own success, which to me seems really interesting and exciting, but I don't know how to fit it into my dissertation.

    Basically, I really need some help structuring and grounding all of this because my brain is scrambled from all of this dissertation stuff and the whole thing just confuses me.

    I would really appreciate a helping hand, pretty please! :icon_confused:
  2. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    Helvetica is quite a boring topic, and anyone reading your dissertation would know a lot of the things you say.

    There was a film on Helvetica too.

    For me, Helvetica is over done and uninteresting. I don't even use it as a choice as typeface.

    A much more interesting dissertation would be what influences you as a designer.

    Talking about what influences you as a designer and your understanding of that design would be a far more interesting read.

    I'm not saying "I like art deco and it influences my design from colour to font choice"

    I'm saying "Talk about yourself, your influences, designers with a style that you liked, break it down by era, the father/mother of a design era, how it influenced that generation, how it progressed through the eras, how it influences modern culture (yourself) today"

    That's far more impressive than talking about a typeface that everyone kinda already knows about.
    Stationery Direct likes this.
  3. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    Completely agree about the Helvetica bit. Wouldn't writing about yourself and your work constitute a journal and not a dissertation though?
  4. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    Hmm... perhaps I did point in the direction of writing about themselves too much.

    But rather it's more interesting to explore why you got into design, what influenced you.

    For example, a reason I got into graphic design was because I was working in screen printing and was interested in learning the graphics side of printing.

    My dissertation was on how screen printing was influential in graphic design, from early origins to modern day, and the graphic design that was influenced by the unique print techniques and how it developed them.

    From Ancient China/Japan to Andy Warhol to Rauschenberg and so on.

    Of course, depends entirely on what the course is about and what the dissertation needs to be about.

    Screen printing is as old as the hills, and still prominent in influencing design in modern day.
  5. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    I get what you're saying. Basically you should find something that you're personally interested in and genuinely want to know about.

    Elliie, for my dissertation I looked at contemporary illustrated type and type treatments by designer/illustrators such as Sean Freeman, Craig Ward, and Alison Carmichael, and explored how these "new" styles have been influenced by past movements and work of designers of that period, both directly (i.e. the designer stating their influences) and indirectly (comparing the styles to past works). I found and highlighted links to Constructivism, Dada and Futurism, and argued that this "new' approach is really just an evolution of what has come before.

    It's important to find something you won't get bored of in the time it takes you to write it, so pick something you're passionate about.
    hankscorpio likes this.
  6. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    Exactly... thanks :thumb:

    Words are not my strong point lol otherwise I would have been a copywriter :icon_blushing:
  7. Gail W

    Gail W New Member

    Is the subject you can change at this point? Seeing that you said you have already started it?

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