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From provocation to persuasion: The changing faces of illustration in a service design experience

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conference contribution
posted on 27.10.2020, 09:52 by Andrew SelbyAndrew Selby
In a traditional context, the use of illustration merely as a support mechanism for wider graphic design activity has been questioned and challenged over the last two decades. In previous guises, the use of illustration sought to illuminate, inform and explain fixed information content for the viewer, often in unilateral and passive modes of delivery and reception. With Lev Manovich’s assertion that the birth and development of new media heralds challenges for design becoming ‘meta-design’ [1], designers have to consider information architecture, navigational systems and optimizing choices for the audience on top of notions of graphic identity. By disaggregating traditional hierarchical models of practice, the acceptance and normalization of cross- and multi-disciplinary creative practice has been empowering for illustration and has fundamentally changed the dynamic of how illustrative engagement with service design can not only occur, but also thrive and achieve recognition. The paper considers the impact of developments in service design, encapsulating user experience (UX) design and user interface (UI) design on the practice of imagining, developing and creating illustration in a contemporary context by highlighting examples of imaginative practice. The paper argues that illustration must be created in these contexts to service multitudinous interactive environments, recognizing that audience choice, change and (re)creation considerations must be designed around an engaging experience that develops over time, through integrations of perception, action, motivation and cognition [2]. The paper further highlights that the need for illustrators to become participants in a full process, rather than commanders of a single point message, is a mindset change which is both fundamental and challenging, but ultimately necessary in altering sequential narrative to be interactive, and depiction to be evocative and penetrative. In so doing, illustrators have a central role to play in altering the distribution and consumption of services and experiences.



  • Design and Creative Arts


  • Creative Arts

Published in

CONFIA 2020. 8th International Conference on Illustration and Animation


271 - 284


Instituto Politécnico do Cávado e do Ave


VoR (Version of Record)

Publisher statement

Reproduced with permission of the publisher

Acceptance date


Publication date







P Tavares; PM Teixeira; M Cunha


Virtual Conference at the Polytechnic Institute of Cavado and Ave, organized by School of Design under the auspices of the Masters in Illustration and Animation

Event dates

23rd October 2020 - 24th October 2020


Mr Andrew Selby. Deposit date: 24 October 2020

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