A Research Proposal: Narratives in Graphic Design and Communication Education in China

Published: 2022-03-09
A Research Proposal: Narratives in Graphic Design and Communication Education in China
Essay type:  Narrative essays
Categories:  Education Design
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1672 words
14 min read

Field of Research

Researchers have found out that there is a rapid change in visual communication design in China. Today, design thinking has incorporated new approaches that focus on experiences, narration, and data visualization. Visual narrative is one of the common design thinking applied in China's school of arts. Applying narrative theory in visual communication makes graphic design innovative and creative (Arntson, 2011). Therefore, there is need for examining teaching activities in the verification of the feasibility to apply narrative theory in the China's school of arts. This research is based on the application of narrative theory to improve the innovativeness of learners pursuing visual communication design studies in China's school of arts. The focus of the study is the analysis of the effect of applying narratives in the design of public posters by freshmen learners of Shandong University of Arts in China.

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Topic of Research Proposal

The topic of this research proposal is the analysis of the effect of applying narratives to design public posters by freshmen learners of Shandong University of Arts in China.

Background/Literature Review

Scholars have studied the application of narratives in graphic design studies and have developed various findings. Dabner, Stewart, and Vickress (2017) found out that the application of narratives in graphic design training can improve the learners' acquisition of skills and knowledge. Specifically, narration states assists a designer to relate an event or story using particular mediums like image, language, architecture as well as voice. From the view of visual communication, narratives can positively influence the understanding of students pursuing graphic design. Research by Gray and Malins (2016) showed that narrative design improves innovativeness in graphic design education. Schools of arts in China can employ the aspect of narratives to enhance artistic communication by combining phenomenon signals and events to the conventional graphic design education (Heller, 2015). Creativity in art will occurs by the application of narration when displaying display information to people by designers.

The incorporation of narrative theory in graphic design courses offers the learners an opportunity to distinguish between proposed and conventional learning methods. Research by Hellene (2017) indicated that students will have the opportunity to develop topics when designing products such as posters and advertisements. Furthermore, learners will have the ability to express visual concepts by the inclusion of narratives in graphic design education (Hopkins, Stringfield, Harris, Stoll, & Mackay, 2014).

Findings by Kolay and Roy (2015) showed that graphic design has transformed to be comprehensive and intensive courses entail various elements of art creation and their values to the society. As a result, art lecturers ought to include narration when teaching graphic course. Visual communication design education is developing, and new models such as narration have been incorporated. Kolay and Roy (2015) further illustrated that visual communication learners ought to apply narration techniques to aesthetically improve their artistic skills.

Investigations by Landa (2010) indicated that graphic design involves rational thinking process for effective artistic and graphic designing outcomes. Progress realized in the visual communication design has changed the social view of graphic designers from commercial artists to professional experts. Landa (2010) also added that visual communication design result from a cultural economy and industrial society. Adjusting various viewpoints on the teaching methods used in visual communication design curricular through the inclusion of narration will develop China schools of art. Learner will have the ability to apply graphic design techniques in different esthetic contexts. Moreover, students will have the ability to differentiate between visual manipulation and visual creation. The tendency of designers overlooking the significance of the public when conveying a message will as well reduce. Studies by Lupton and Phillips (2015) illustrated that the inclusion of narratives when educating graphic design students will reduce the misunderstanding between arts and visual communication design amongst learners.

Studies by Meggs and Purvis (2016) found out that visual communication design training improved in some institutions that offer graphic courses in China after the incorporation of narrative in syllabus. There is the inclusion of narratives in the curriculum of department dealing with graphic design, commercial, applied art as well as advertisement design. Most of the colleges in China have separated the department of industrial arts from graphic design to help in the acknowledgement of social and cultural consideration in art courses by the use of narratives. Furthermore, graphic design learner requires identification with visual communication design through narration when delivering messages to the public. The process of selecting images and narration events leads to the generation of real meaning of messages conveyed to the public. Navarro and Felip Miralles (2017) further demonstrated that integration of narratives in images and signs by graphic designers reduces misunderstanding between the artists and the public. Moreover inclusion of narrative theory will help in explaining signs in messages. In the study by Rubin (2016), it was noted that the application of narrative theory assists graphic design learners to offer quality services and products to customers.

A study by Salsali & Xu (2016) showed that the job of a graphic designer is similar to that of one of a narrator when conveying information to the audience. Therefore, a designer can apply narrative skills in visual communication design when communicating design concepts to the audience. Tracey and Hutchinson (2016) stated that narrative model can lead to mutual communication between the audience and the designer. Moreover, the model can lead to the retrieval of the audience's image memory. Also, a study by Yang and Hsu (2017) illustrated that the application of narrative theories improves the design of public awareness posters by students pursuing graphic design courses.

Objective of the study

The Objective of the study is to assess if the application of narratives may create innovative model for graphic design education in China's school of arts.

Explanations of Objectives Influencing Research

To investigate the effect of incorporating narratives into graphic design studies in China's universities.

The inclusion of narratives in visual communication design education will improve the understanding of learners when design artistic products like posters (Arntson, 2011). Also, students will have the capability to apply different dimensions of art like visual aesthetic, thematic concept, and image creativity.

To assess the impact of narrative theory inclusion into graphic design courses to the audience's visual memory.

The application of narrative techniques into graphic design courses improves the creativity of learners leading to the acquisition of skills for retrieving the visual memory of the audience (Dabner et al., 2017). Moreover, there will be a bidirectional communication between graphic designer and audience.

To analyze the application of narratives in bringing back the originality of graphic design.

There is the diminishing of graphic design originality because of advance in technology. The use of digital design application sites and programs has disrupted the originality of graphic design (Heller, 2015). Moreover, current digital graphic design has led to loss of artistic diversity and originality among students in China. Through the application of narratives in graphic design studies, students improve their abilities to practically design posters, advertisement as well as websites with less reliance on digital design programs. Therefore, including narration in graphic design studies in China will lead to bringing back the original essence of practical graphic design in students.

Methodology of the Study

The study will involve a teaching experiment which will be conducted in the Shandong University of Arts in China; the observations made will be recorded and analyzed accordingly.

Explanation of the Study Methodology

A purposive sampling method will be used in the experimental research methodology to identity 45 freshmen from Shandong University of Arts in China to participate in the pre-test. The inclusion criteria of participants will be those ones aged 18-21 years old, and who have not begun graphic design training (Gray & Malins, 2016). Before the initiation of the experiment, every participant will design an environmental protection poster within four hours of an A4-size. The poster will have a headline, visual picture, a design concept report, and a body text. The posters will help the researcher in determining the pre-test score of the participant.

Lecturers from the department of graphic design and visual communication will help in assigning the pre-test score to preliminary participants. The scores will have a summary as image creativity (25%), thematic concept (25%), expressive techniques (25%), and visual aesthetic (25%). After ranking, the researcher will identify 30 participants having a score close to the median mark. Of the 30 participants selected, they will be divided into two groups as A and B each consisting of 15 learners. Group A will serve as the experimental group to receive narrative theory instructions (Gray & Malins, 2016). On the other hand, group B will not receive narrative theory instructions and it will serve as the control group. After matching and grouping the participants, post test scores will occur on both groups to test the average performance of each group to determine and compare their design abilities.

A Figure Showing the Methodology Process

Work Schedule

Date Activity Facilitator

8th of March, 2018 Students pre-test Lecturers from the school of arts (department of visual graphic design and visual communication).

15th of March, 2018 Subjects sampling Chief researcher, research team, and SSP specialist

22nd of March, 2018 Matching and grouping of participants into two groups (the experimental and control groups) Chief researcher and research team

29th of March, 2018 Post-test judgment Chief Researcher and research team

5th of April, 2018 Reliability analysis Chief Researcher and research team

12th of April, 2018 Statistical analysis Chief Researcher, research team, statistics specialist

26th of April, 2018 Presentation of results Chief researcher

Equipments Required

The equipments needed in the research include five laptops and stationery like pens and books.

Estimated Cost

Activity Cost (in US Dollars)

Students pre-test 450

Subjects sampling 350

Matching and grouping of participants into two groups (the experimental and control groups) 350

Post-test judgment 350

Reliability analysis 400

Statistical analysis 600

Presentation of results 350

TOTAL 2850


Arntson, A. E. (2011). Graphic design basics. Cengage Learning.

Dabner, D., Stewart, S., & Vickress, A. (2017). Graphic design school: the principles and practice of graphic design. John Wiley & Sons.

Gray, C., & Malins, J. (2016). Visualizing research: A guide to the research process in art and design. Routledge.

Hellene, G. (2015). The education of a graphic designer. Skyhorse Publishing, Inc..

Heller , S. (Ed.). (2017). Teaching graphic design: Course offerings and class proje...

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A Research Proposal: Narratives in Graphic Design and Communication Education in China. (2022, Mar 09). Retrieved from https://speedypaper.com/essays/a-research-proposal-on-the-application-of-narratives-in-graphic-design-and-visual-communication-education-in-china

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