Sunday, 15 May 2011

Designing Meaning: What Design History Brings to Understanding of Image-Text and Object-Text Relationships

Grace Lees-Maffei
Paper for the American Imagetext Conference 
University of East Anglia, June 18-19 2011

This paper assesses the utility of a growing body of design historical work on image-text, and object-text, relationships. For the past decade or so, design historians have been especially attentive to the ways in which design is mediated to consumers through text and image-based discourses such as advice literature, advertising, magazines, television and film (for example, Lees-Maffei, ‘The Production-Consumption-Mediation Paradigm’, 2009). These discourses demonstrate desirable consumption practices and wider ideas about design, and thereby prescribe what is acceptable, while also themselves being examples of design, from magazine layouts and poster design, to set and costume designs for television programmes.

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