Here is my wine label i have designed! Hope you like :)

Bibliography – Reference Material

Here is a list providing all my reference material I found useful for my assignment. Some of it was just a good read; others provided me with information to give me a better understanding of the topics required in the essay.

The Power of Positive Criticism – by Hendrie Weisinger, Ph.D - A book I found online that was about the power of criticism; it was very interesting to read.


Critical Theory & Criticism

Business Ethics

History & Philosophy of Design

Other websites I found useful


Design Philosophy

Business ethics

When we are in the workplace we should always have good business ethics, no matter the issue. But there are always issues that surround business ethics; these may be personal behaviour when dealing with customers and suppliers, corporate behaviour when negotiating deals, behaviour towards society when recruiting, and behaviour towards the environment when deciding on process. We should all be aware of environmental concerns and should help our clients make green choices and do our best to save, recycle and reuse resources.

Other issues may arise with behaviour in relation to customers, shareholders and investors, employees, suppliers and competitors, issues relating to international businesses and relations with the government and local communities.


Having an open mind enables you to develop style as it keeps the brain active and ready to deal with any problems that arise. Having an open mind lets you open new doors that you once thought you would never open. Like having a special goal set that you will one day achieve, but between then and now you must first achieve other much smaller goals.

Unique inspires others to be individuals, to also be unique. Nobody admires something if it’s the same as something else, same is boring. Everyone is unique, so therefore everyone has their own unique style and skills. It’s important to develop your own skills and aesthetic elements in your creative process as you, being an artist, may one day be known for your unique style. Style is recognisable; many graphic artists are recognised by their work because they have their own unique skills which they use to develop a piece of artwork.

Researching artists is good for knowledge and inspiration. It keeps you up to date with what’s in at that particular time. It may be beneficial to hold small personal critiques on other peoples work at regular intervals as it prepares you for having to critique in the future. It also gives you an idea and understanding of what specific elements you should look at when critiquing.

We should all be aware of our likes and dislikes when it comes to designing or working with a design. This is because whether we like it or not, we will have to work on certain designs that we may think are ugly, but what’s most important is not what we think, but what the client thinks.

We should be aware of our strengths and weaknesses so we can learn to work on them to better them for the future.

For me, style is always evolving, it’s always changing; it’s never the same. If I see something I like, it inspires me to be creative and come up with something similar. A style I gained from doing this may show up somewhere in another piece of artwork I do, or it may evolve into a slightly different style. This pattern continues until that particular style becomes boring and a new style is gained. Whatever the style, somehow it will change.  

Everyone has their own style, everyone develops their own style, whether it’s inspired from different genres of music or it just comes naturally.

Attitude affects your style because you generally design something around the mood you are in. For example if you are angry, you might design a grungy typeface or use colours that represent anger. And whatever you have designed through that anger, may make the target audience angry, which is not what we want.

When we design we should be calm, we keep our minds focused, our body relaxed and our spirit free, this way we can make many creative decisions. But if something were to trigger an anger switch, the results may not be good. A professional designer might perceive you as an angry person and may not want to work with you. If a client wants something designed, they are going to be interested in someone who is calm, cool and collected; easy to get along with.

A habit is a consistency to do something; in this case it could be when a designer fails to meet a deadline. It is important for a designer to be aware of their habits, such as failing to meet a deadline, as this may result in loss of business which won’t look good for the designer nor the company. If a designer is aware of this nasty habit, they are able to fix it so they get into the habit of successfully reaching a deadline.

It is very important for a designer to have time management, so getting plenty of sleep and staying healthy would be a good habit to gain as well as being a wise option to make. If someone doesn’t get enough sleep or skip their breakfast, it’s hard for them to stay focused. So getting into the swing of things and making set times to go to bed, to get up and have breakfast and off to work is very beneficial in the long run.

Rushed work is not good work, so having a lot of time is very beneficial for a designer. Time management offers a designer a lot of creative thinking, which will in turn result in a lot of creative work. From brainstorming, to scratching bad ideas and coming up with new ones, time enables a graphic designer to analyse a problem and solve it in as many ways as they can. A lot of time means a lot of problems solved.

Improving time management is quite simple, all you really need to do is make sure you have dates set out on which you are going to do the assignment and use your time wisely. It is always smart to plan ahead, so even writing a timetable will help with your time management. Whenever I receive an assignment, I always try my hardest to start it the day or week it is handed out. This gives me enough time to stick to my plan and get it completed before the due date.

Whenever I am bored and have nothing to do, I do a little bit on my assignments. I may not spend hours on it, but a little bit goes a long way.

A conscience is like a little voice inside your head that helps you make right decisions. Knowing right from wrong is very important, especially for a designer as it may affect both their style and professional practice. For example, if a designer is told to do a small job, such as designing a poster or a small business logo with certain colours that may not work well with each other, they have to do it whether they want to or not. The designer must know that it’s wrong to argue, not only because starting conflict in the workplace isn’t a good idea, but because the designer must always take into account that the client is always right. Even when in fact they are actually wrong.

The client is paying the designer to do this job, and if the designer does not listen to their conscience and argue about a certain colour group, they will not get paid. Typography is another example, for designers know a lot more about type than the client thinks he does. If the type in which the client chose is completely wrong and doesn’t suit the design at all, the designer may want to argue the point, but there is still that small little voice inside his head telling him to keep his mouth shut and just do the job.

I believe that the conscience is there to help. Everybody knows right from wrong, it may just take their conscience to remind them every once in a while.

Morals are rules of which we abide by to do the right thing. Accepted morals and my own moral stance affect my design practice as it limits my options of how I design. People need to know right from wrong, thus morals and ethics are important, especially when it comes to a design business. Morals control the cleanliness of a design, and by cleanliness I mean no imagery or text that would be offensive to anyone, for example racism, sexism, etc. This is why I stick to my moral stance, not only because it would be unprofessional not to be moral but because it’s right.


A deadline is a particular date that is set for you to complete a task. It is a time limit for you to have an assignment completed and ready for its due date, the deadline. To meet a deadline you must have the assignment finished and completed by the due date.

If you do not meet your deadline it can be very expensive and disastrous to the business. Loss of credibility, wages, and your job, and also letting not only yourself but your team members down.

The main thing you can do to better meet the deadline is to start the assignment as soon as you can. Make sure you have a reasonable timeframe to work to, don’t try completing the work the night before the deadline, because you are likely to miss important things that are vital in the assignment.

Rushed work isn’t good work, plan out your days so you have time to complete and read over your work before the deadline. If you have more than one assignment, work on the one that will take you the longest to finish as well as working on others. Starting an assignment that has minimal time until the deadline would be a smart and safe decision.

Deadlines keep people focused, it gives them something to aim for, and something vital to the business they work for which they are not going to want to stuff up. The last thing an employee wants to do is make their boss angry, or make the business come across as unreliable, so meeting the deadline is crucial.

Graphic design deadlines are far more vital than general business deadlines as graphic design jobs involve more than one person. A graphic design deadline has to be met by the whole team, if one team member doesn’t meet the deadline, than everyone else on the team is let down. For example, one person may have the job of setting out the colour palette; another may have the job of printing, and if one of these team members doesn’t meet their deadline, the whole team will be at a loss and there will be consequences.

Cultural Relationships with Design

Celtic art has been around for many years and is still around today, not only in Australia but all over the world. What might seem like an old traditional design to the Celts is a new intriguing idea to an artist. Celtic art can be seen in our world today, for example in jewellery, tattoos, materials in clothing, and even stained glass windows. Celtic art has been an inspiration to me as I love tattoo design. It’s interesting to see that such a remarkable piece of art has come this far in time.

Aboriginal art is more than just paint splatters on a piece of material or wood. To the indigenous people it has meaning; it can be about their lifestyle, their everyday life, beliefs, customs or ceremonies. A piece of art of an animal for example means more than just a picture of an animal, it can be their creation being, associated with their mythology. A few added symbols can turn their painting into a story. Just like modern art, Australian aboriginal art was traditionally either naturalistic of abstract. Naturalistic art means pictures, paintings and engravings about animals, or people, whereas abstract art consists of dots, lines, circles, and other shapes and symbols that each have meaning. The symbols may not be very understandable to you or me (non-aboriginal) but each tribe knew their symbols like we Australians know the alphabet. They could tell the story by just looking at a piece of abstract art, that’s why it’s so important to them. Aboriginal art is one of the ways by which the Aborigines expressed their culture and histories. Art was a way to pass down traditions and stories of the Dreamtime (creation).

Most designers are highly impressed by M.C. Escher’s work, as it is highly detailed. Escher takes up all his time to do his art, completely absorbing his thoughts. He used his art to communicate, instead of writing down his thoughts; he presented them as visual images. Escher spent many years presenting and studying graphic art; the craft became second nature to him. People loved his highly detailed work because he spent so much time coming up with new ideas and creating pieces, which he then presented to the public. People were astonished at the fine detail he used.

From the early 19th century to our day in age, art and culture has changed dramatically, it’s very interesting to see the changes through different pieces of art from different time periods. From prehistoric ages such as cave and rock paintings, those similar to the indigenous forms of art; to the renaissance and modern to post modern art. Renaissance art began the key principles of perspective and detail, which made the movements more lifelike and exciting than previous art from the Middle Ages. These new principles gave paintings a new depth and realism never seen before, thus giving artists new inspiration. Arts and cultures are very interesting as you can see the differences in artwork and how languages were translated or communicated through imagery. Cave men might not have been able to speak English, but they left messages behind in their cave paintings. Stories from their time period that is now classed as history.

Looking backwards to our history when trying to engage in design solutions for modern society is beneficial as new ideas are found that may have been previously hidden. These new ideas are taken and changed, improved by other artists. Looking back at the history of art inspires us to further our knowledge in creating our own pieces. If someone that wishes to pursue their career as an artist may look back at history to give them an idea of what’s in store. I love designing tattoos so I really look into Celtic art; it inspires me to always want to draw more and more.

Ancient art has affected my life because it has given me a lot of ideas. It has influenced me to learn more about the different pieces of art from history and it has also inspired me to do my own. I love everything about art, the history behind it as well as the practical. Learning about art from different ages is very interesting as you can see the different techniques that artists have used, and influences me to try them. One type of art I like to look at is Celtic art; it interests me a lot because I draw a lot of my own Celtic pieces. I love tattoo design and am in the process of designing my own tattoo, so Celtic art is something I occasionally look towards to get different ideas.

 I can only think of one cultural influence that has happened in my life n that’s the art of the Celts. Celtic art is very fascinating to me as I love looking at all the diverse patterns and how each connects with the other. I enjoy tattoo design, especially Celtic design. To me it’s a simple yet complex form of art that I love doing. Once I get started on a piece I cannot stop until it is finished, improving sections as I go. I can be so wrapped in designing that I don’t even notice the hours that fly by. Once I have finished one piece, people ask me what it’s supposed to mean. I say nothing, because sometimes art doesn’t have to have a meaning, it just exists. The Celts may or may not have a meaning for each design that has been created.


As you can see on my graphical representation of my timeline between now and next year, I planed out my days very thoroughly. I have used symbols to represent certain things and put them in a key so they are easily recognisable.

From the 16th of September to the 31st of December I put a lot of time into reading and researching about graphic designers and looking at graphic art galleries. I make sure I do a reasonable amount of assignments during every week so I don’t miss any deadlines.

Over the period of my study, there are also other things I like to do such as photography, drawing/painting, surfing the net and looking at great pieces of graphic artwork that inspires me. Over this period I am also trying to save for things that would benefit me in the course such as a Canon DSLR Camera, and because I love photography, a graphics tablet to improve my work and an external hard drive so I have more space to save my work instead of just using thumb drives.

The black circles placed near some of the symbols means that these are certain things I hope to do when and if I have time to do them. The yellow star near some of the symbols means that I will be definitely doing these things.

On weekends I try do to as little spending as I can so I can save for the things I want and need. I try to do as much of my assignments as I can if I have nothing else to do. If I don’t do assignments I usually play around with photography and sometimes Photoshop and Illustrator. I like to try new things all the time, especially if something inspires me. If it’s a finished piece of work I usually upload it to my blog so others can see it and comment if they wish.

I also take the time during breaks in class time or after TAFE to browse other blogs and view graphic art galleries. If I like a website and wish to visit it again, I post the link to my blog so I know where to access it so I don’t forget. I also put these links up on my blog so others in the class can view them if they wish.

I designed my graphical representation the way I did because it’s easier for me to read and follow, as it’s just like a calendar. I also find it easy to do it this way so I can add or remove things if I wish.

After doing my Diploma next year I wish to continue my studies at CSU and hopefully get a bachelor in Graphic Design/Visual Communication. This will then give me the qualifications I need to get a job in the future. I would like to work in a firm rather than freelance, due to income reasons. 

Graphic Design Industry

1.     BlueKat                  -

Logos, Flyers, Publications, Newsletters, Advertisements, Poster, Website Design, Illustration and more!

2.     MariArt -

Copywriting, Branding, Illustration, Printing, Packaging design, Logo Design.

3.     Shell Graphix -

Logos, Corporate Branding, Magazines, Posters and Banners, Packaging, Website Design and more!

4.     Giraffe -

Business cards, Posters, Wine labels, Website Design, Flash animation, Exhibition design, Magnets, Promotional products and more!

5.     Paper Cut -

Copywriting, General Graphic Design, Web Design, Typesetting, Advertising Campaign, Multimedia, Flash animation and development and more!

6.     Juuce -

Web design, Visual Identity, Branding, and Illustration, Re-Touching, Advertising layouts, Poster Design, Books covers, Package design and more!

7.     Link Letters -

Branding, Print, Illustration, Re-Touching, Corporate branding, brochures and more!

8.     Corporate Image -

Logo development, Brand development, Brochures, Fliers, Print, Web design, Advertisements and more!

9.     Percept -

Branding, Corporate Identity, Brand design, corporate design, Packaging Design, Website design, and Advertisement.

10.  Bubble Fish -

General Graphic design work, Branding, Corporate identity, Logo design, Business Card design, Brochure design, Catalogue design, Packaging design, Flier design and more!


In 2000, the median wages were $30,600 for desktop publishing jobs and $34,570 for graphic design jobs. Both occupations had a range of $20,000 to $60,000. While some differences are due to the industry in which the desktop publisher or graphic designer is employed, regional differences also play a major role in earnings potential.

Graphic Designer – Gosford & Central Coast, NSW - $50,000 - $59,999

Web Designer – Artarmon, NSW 2064 - $63,314 - $68,528+

Copywriter – Sydney CBD, NSW 2000 – Big Wave Digital - $85,000

Graphic Designer – Magazines & Newspapers – Western Suburbs, Sydney NSW – Spotpress - $50,000 - $75,000

Web Designer – Sydney CBD, NSW 2000 – Big Wave Digital - $90,000 - $110,000

Technical challenges of Graphic Design

For whatever reason, many people carry the perception that graphic designers have stress-free jobs where they sit and draw pretty pictures and play with fonts on the computer all day. But according to graphic designers themselves, this couldn't be further from the truth.

Designing the artwork presents its own set of challenges. A graphic designer must become intimately familiar with such industry-wide terms as vector graphics, RGB/CMYK, DPI vs. memory usage, image size/resolution, masking, transparency, JPGs vs. PDFs, thumbnails, shadows, and font effects just to name a few. Computer glitches often arise as well, most often in the form of compatibility issues among the various software programs and their respective versions. (Statement retrieved from

I strongly agree with this statement as the technical challenges of graphic design mainly come down to using tools in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop CS software. The challenges may be lack of knowledge about the software and how to go about doing something using the tools. When it comes to Graphic Designers and using this technology, they need to know about the software and how to use all the tools it offers, in order to achieve the results they want.

To solve these challenges, we learn. One must research about the software by watching free online tutorials and learn as they go. It’s also a great idea to ask if you don’t know, as learning from someone who is very familiar with the software is very beneficial as they may also tell you about their experience and what to expect from the software.

There are many tutorials on the Internet that are easy to access for those who lack the knowledge of how to use it. There is also the option of studying the programs at TAFE, borrowing or even buying guides to these programs from bookstores or libraries. There are also magazines available that offer CD ROMs about graphic design and the art of digital graphics.

I bought the software Abode Creative Suite 4 at the TAFE bookshop for just under $400. As a full time student I receive student benefits from Centrelink to help me to be able to buy what I need for a Graphic Design Course.

Tutorials are supplied on Google, which I access on computers at TAFE, if need be. In most cases I learn as I go, by exploring the software.

An ABN gives you the opportunity to claim things on Tax, such as work related materials that may be needed throughout the course. Having an ABN also gives you the opportunity to claim tax on other things such as travelling to see a client, taking a client out to dinner to discuss a job or even a small gift to keep the client happy and ensure that they will come back in the future.

These platforms affect technical approaches to projects because they are very different from each other. When saving work on a PC and opening it on a MAC, the format for your work is going to be different, a MAC will change all the settings to your work that were made on the PC.

Being used to using hints or cheats to go about doing something in Photoshop or Illustrator, but MAC and PC both have different keys which makes it difficult.

Having a PC Laptop that has a touch pad instead of a mouse makes it very difficult to control tools on the software. Being used to moving around the mouse when working in Photoshop or Illustrator, it makes it hard because I have to use my index finger like a pencil to guide the tools.


I believe I performed quite strongly when I critiqued my assigned map. Before beginning my critique I spent a few minutes studying my assigned map and looking for small details that could be improved.

I thought the student that critiqued my work didn’t do as strong a job as I thought was required. To me it seemed as though the student critiquing my work didn’t feel comfortable standing in front of the class, so critiqued my work as quick as she could, which I thought was done rather poorly.

When the teacher and the rest of the class participated in the critique, I did receive a little feedback on my work. This little bit of feedback has helped me improve my map as I now know what to make changes on.

There is a little bit of criticism that I am going to ignore, and that’s the colour of some of the characters. I thought my map was well balanced with the colours I chose. There are a few changes I will make to the darkness of some characters so they don’t clash with the background colours. I am also going to ignore the criticism on my typeface I used to name my states. It was said to be ‘not kid-like enough’ and I thought this didn’t necessarily matter as it is clear and easy to read.

When critiquing you must have a positive and strong attitude, be direct and get straight to the point. Nobody will listen to someone who beats around the bush at the minor details as minor details aren’t as important as the major ones. It’s important to stay positive and focused when giving a critique so you don’t lose concentration, get distracted by something else, or get embarrassed because you’re afraid to talk in front of a group of people. This is also why preparing for a critique is a rather smart idea.

Looking at the piece of work that you are going to critique is a good way to prepare. Studying the details, taking into account what’s good or not so good and what can be improved. Taking down notes is another great way to prepare, that way you won’t forget what you have to say when you are ready to critique.

General guidelines in graphic design that can help to provide criticism may be the use of typography; does it work well with the chosen image? Is it big enough? Or is it small enough? There are always certain elements of design we must take into account before starting a project. Colour is another matter we have to face as there are certain colours that are not compatible with each other. We have to be extremely careful when we choose a colour for our typeface before placing it on a background colour. In this case, the main colours we have to be careful of are red and blue. Red type on a blue background and vice versa, is extremely hard to read as it may be hurtful on the eyes. 

Critical theory

 Critical theory is the study of thought; it challenges our common sense assumptions about specific things. It finds the forms or structures that emphasize our experience. Critical theory teaches us to see our work in new and unexpected ways.

Everyone sees things differently, everyone approaches things differently, and thus why criticism is beneficial. Without criticism we would not know whether we had to approach things differently, for example changing the way something is. Critical theory is subject to change.

Critical theory has different meanings for different people. There is no clear definition of critical theory, and the term itself is confused with literary criticism and other approaches to social theory could be considered critical. A large part of critical theory has been to critique art and culture, in particular the consumer culture, advertising, the media and other forms of popular culture.

I think critical theory generally relates to graphic design in a number of ways.  Horkheimer’s definition of critical theory is adequate only if it meets three criteria such as it must explain what is wrong with the current reality, identify the factors to change them, and provide both clear norms for criticism and achievable practical goals for social transformation. This generally relates to a certain aspect of graphic design which is critique, as I believe Horkheimer’s definition of critical theory demonstrates the definition of a critique. (Information on Horkheimer’s definition of critical theory sourced from

In a critique we explain what is wrong with the current image, identify the problems/factors so they will be changed and provide clear options of how to go about changing or transforming the image to improve it. Here critical theory is explained as Philosophy, Ideology and Truth or for a simpler definition of the term, Perspective, Idea and Fact.

By definition, criticism involves the application of principles or values in order to make judgments for the purpose of bringing about positive change. Understandably, criticism comes in a variety of forms. For example, rhetorical criticism carefully examines and judges the quality of discourse.

Understanding the ways one is oppressed enables one to take action to change oppressive forces. Critical social science makes a conscious attempt to fuse theory and action. Critical theories are thus normative; they serve to bring about change in the conditions that affect our lives. (Statement retrieved from

I agree with this statement as critical theory is known as an examination and critique of something. Criticism deals with the communication of evaluative information that is crucial for learning. It is through evaluative information that we gain awareness in ourselves and in our work. We need criticism to know how we are doing, and we also need it to let other people know how they are doing.

Criticism is a tool to motivate, educate, develop, teach and build knowledge about ourselves and our work. Generally people don’t like criticism as they think it is always negative and immediately think when being critiqued that ‘it means I’ve done the wrong thing and I have to change it’. But this is far from the truth. Criticism is beneficial as it gives you information that can help you grow and gain appropriate skills and knowledge. (Information sourced from the book, The Power of Positive Criticism by Hendrie Weisinger, PhD).

Some people don’t like giving criticism because they don’t want to hurt the recipient’s feelings. But people must understand that a critique is not personal, it’s about evaluating something, in this case a piece of work.  

Another part of critical theory has been to critique art and photography. When critiquing a photograph, certain aspects of it are pointed out such as noise, contrast, and attention to detail, colour, light and the focal point of the actual image.

We critique things every day, we look at things and decide whether we like them or not. If we think it’s ugly, it’s generally unattractive to us. If it’s intriguing and we wish to see more, it’s generally very attractive. Though when critiquing something we don’t necessarily have to see it, we use our senses. We smell things, we hear things, we feel things, and we see things, but just because we use these senses to recognise things, it doesn’t always mean we like them.

I believe some form of critical theory is extant due to our senses. The way we see things to the way we feel about them, these senses provoke us to want change and therefore bring about change in a critique.

We use criticism when we meet a person, analysing them from the word ‘hi’. We criticize their looks, the way they speak, the clothes they wear, their culture, their emotions; every single detail doesn’t go uncriticised. When a person is going for a job, in an interview many questions are asked and the answers are evaluated, much like a small critique.

We criticize things like music and food, even style. Though these examples might be minor, there are other more important things that we criticize every day, for example political views, racism, religion, gender and many more.

Someone who is critical of someone only because they have a different background or skin colour, makes them racist. But wouldn’t that make me critical as well because I’m criticizing their ethics. What I am trying to say is, the human race is a very critical race; we cannot live one day without criticizing something. May it be criticizing the disabled only because they have a disability? Or a person, for example a woman, is criticized because she is not allowed to work in a certain business that is dominant by men, only because she is female.

A certain religion is criticized because they have a certain dress code that they wear in Australia, after moving from their home country. The ‘burqa’ or ‘burka’ is the traditional Muslim garment that covers the whole body apart from the eyes. Most Australian’s don’t like this particular dress code and there are many reasons why.

Some people believe the Muslim women that wear the burka could be terrorists, but we are only so critical about this because we cannot see what is underneath the garment. I believe people are critical about Muslims and their burka’s because they feel threatened whereas other people have different views of the matter.

I understand when some Australian’s don’t agree with the burka, as they believe that ‘If we have to wear it in their country, they shouldn’t be allowed to wear it in ours’. I don’t think this is such a critical statement as I think it seems fair, as what they wear in their country goes under their own beliefs. But if we have to change our dress code when we visit their country, I strongly believe they should change their dress code when they come to Australia.

The critical theory can be used in this situation; examine the present form that requires change (for example, a woman wearing a burka) provide evaluative information and transform the present form in order to improve it (for example, the woman could simply not wear the burka at all). Though this critical theory may seem fair, I am being very very critical when it comes to this type of situation.

We can’t help being so critical about every single little thing. It comes naturally to us, just as being critical is natural in any job, in particular a graphic design job.

Graphic designers have to be critical about a lot of things; they have to pay close attention to detail in not only their own work but in others. Graphic designers are critical about things every day in their work such as typography, the colour of typography or the colour or size of an image. A graphic designer is most critical when it comes to their own work. People say you are your hardest critic; this could be because we may not think our work is done in the best way we think is possible or we may lack the knowledge of certain tools in the software.

I believe a graphic designer has the most critical job in the world, as they are practically forced to criticize everything in their work like the positioning of text or an image. Is the text or image big enough? Is it too big, or is it too small?


Spacing and punctuation, borders and frames: these are the territory of graphic design and typography, those marginal arts which articulate the conditions that make texts and images readable. The substance of typography lies not in the alphabet per se-the generic forms of characters and their conventionalized uses-but rather in the visual framework and specific graphic forms which materialize the system of writing. Design and typography work at the edges of writing, determining the shape and style of letters, the spaces between them, and their positions on the page. Typography, from its position in the margins of communication, has moved writing away from speech.


The history of typography and writing could be written as the development of formal structures which have articulated and explored the border between the inside and the outside of the text. To compile a catalogue of the micro-mechanics of publishing-indexes and title pages, captions and colophons, folios and footnotes, leading and line lengths, margins and marginalia, spacing and punctuation-would contribute to the field which Derrida has called grammatology, or the study of writing as a distinctive mode of representation. (Article, Deconstruction and Graphic Design: History Meets Theory, by Ellen Lupton. Retrieved from


This article explains the deconstruction theory as design; the history of typography in graphic design practices. From my gathering, typography and design is set around the basis of critical theory, as the shapes and styles of letters, their positioning and the spaces between them are subject to change in one form or another. This critical theory is said to contribute to the field called grammatology; the study of writing as a distinctive mode of representation, wrote Ellen Lupton.

I agree here as typography is put through a critique which is much like the method of critical theory. Its criticized and put through a transformative process due to evaluative information that exists to bring about change. You see, without criticism there would be no change, without change nothing would be improved.

Criticism is everywhere, if we didn’t have criticism we would never know if things needed change. Everything is changing because we are never happy with it, therefore creates the purpose of critical thinking and the many theories behind it.

 Critical theory is known as thinking about thinking. I am very familiar with critical theory in particular ways as I can never stop thinking about anything and everything. I often lose myself in my thoughts, while thinking about certain things that are not relevant to anything else that I have been thinking about previously.

I often think about things such as whether God exists or if he was just a character made up thousands of years ago to ensure people would behave. With the threat of hell and the promise of heaven; people behave because they want to get in the ‘good books’. With the threat of hell and the promise of heaven, who wouldn’t want to believe it?

There are so many scientific theories explaining endless possibilities behind this theory. For example, there is no way one man created the world in seven days, not to mention every single living thing in it. The scientific theory behind this factor is that we human beings evolved from primates. To me, there are a lot more facts and possibilities leading to the scientific theory. Who’s to say that science is wrong, when it’s almost 100% more accurate than the theory behind the bible?

Just recently an inhabitable planet was found in space, it was said that it contained water and vegetation but we are yet to know if there is any life on this planet. After finding out this information, it made me think more about whether God exists. If he created the world in seven days, did he create this planet as well? And if he did then why wasn’t it mentioned in the bible, just as everything else is?

Nothing makes sense. There are so many documents explaining the bible theory as well as the scientific theory but nobody knows the exact truth.

You see when I start thinking about something I cannot stop. I think about my thoughts and how I started thinking about that particular thing. And then I start thinking about something else.

When it comes to a critique in graphic design, I automatically start thinking about the piece of work that’s being criticized, and what can be changed to transform this piece of work to improve it. When I critique, I criticize every single little detail and comment on whether I think it needs changing or improving.

Critical theory is the study of thought; thinking about thinking. The Frankfurt school of thought exists to examine and study the thoughts of human beings. The primary characteristic of this school of thought is that social theory should play a major role in changing the world, not just recording it. Reflecting educational research, art, philosophy or literature and investigating the aspects of these characteristics and how/what/why people think about them. Whether its thoughts on racism, gender, political views, religions and a certain dress code, the bible and God’s existence, typography and graphic design processes; all these topics lead to critical theory.