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Graphic design as visual arguments: does this make a reliable appraisal possible?
chapterposted on 16.09.2020 by Karel Van-Der-Waarde
Division of a book, which in a scholarly context usually treats a part of a larger subject in a stand-alone manner.
The article shows how assessments of graphic design can be made more reliable when graphic design is approached as a visual argument. Each designed object makes a claim that it is improving a situation thereby implicitly stating that a current situation was not satisfactory. This article uses two warning pictograms as examples to show how visual information can be assessed. The pictograms warn against the risks of taking medicines while pregnant, and the potential affect of medicines on driving cars. These pictograms claim that they warn effectively about possible unwanted effects of a medicine. Toulmin’s diagram describes the relation between a claim and its supporting evidence and reasons. An application of this diagram to both pictograms shows that just assessing the claim is not sufficient, and that it is necessary to question the available evidence and reasons too. At least six different fields provides rules and principles that can be used to assess the evidence and reasons. Designers, clients, legislation and standards, professional peers, people/patients, and society can all legitimately assess the design of pictograms. One of the major challenges for graphic design is to find relevant evidence and reasons, and to consider these in such a way that a balance between the different fields is achieved.
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- Design and Creative Arts