Contextual Studies

I’m a graphic designer, why do I need to rite stuff?

7th October 2016

The ability to work with language/writing is as creative as drawing, painting or anything creative, written work is just as important of a skill to have.

When does a designer use written communication?

  • Blog – Keeping a written blog is key because it will let potential clients review your work.
  • Emailing clients – emailing clients is very important because you need to adjust the way you portray yourself to them. If they are very formal or informal.
  • Contracts – To write a clear contract you need to be able to be to propose every aspect clearly like what you propose, what you need in terms of materials, the deadline of the project and what would happen if the project is late.
  • Invoices – Laying out an invoice to properly inform the client when to pay you otherwise they could try to pay late.
  • Brief – Briefs will be used in every project and they will help structure out what the client wants to get out of it. If the brief is incorrect they wont pay you. The best way to avoid this is to do a list of deliverables so they get a clear list of the items that you will create for them.

Getting signatures is a great way to protect yourself. Get the client to sign any paperwork.

  • Website – You need to have writing skills to write your Bio/about me. This also includes social media like Twitter or Instagram
  • Business cards, CV’s or any form of personal advertising – this is a form of advertising and you cant afford to have mistakes on your form of contact with a client.
  • Presentations / Pitches – To give presentations and pitches your language has to be clear without grammatical errors.
  • Job Applications –  you cant afford to have mistakes on your form of contact with a potential job.
  • Portfolio – Online you can present your work and this should also be clear.
  • Tenders – A tender will be an open call to designers.
  • Artworking – Artworking is a role in a company where you have to spot errors in documents.

Process of Research?

Why do I have to research?

I research to develop new knowledge and there are unknowns that we need to know about.

Research is not inspiration.

Research is not when you look into something because you like it but to question something. Asking questions like why?

Audience and client.

There is always an intended audience if there isn’t a audience then there is no reason to make the work. You need to know who the audience so you can focus on them. Even when creating your own work pretending there is an audience can give you more of a direction with the work that you are producing. When dealing with a client there will be guidelines that they give if not then consider the brand. Also make sure to contact previous designers if a client comes to you and has bad experiences with designs to see if they are a good or bad client.

Context. Where the work is going? Does it suit where it is going?

What should I research?

Materials, process, previous work, client and end user profile, budget, resources, skills, technology, competitors.

What form can this research take?

Reading, observation, testing, questionnaires, survey, trend spotting, bricolage, games, drawing, photography, field recording, notes, annotations, (big) data, intervention, user experience, round table and discussions.


Primary research is anything that you do. This can be drawing, sketching, painting, etc.


Secondary research is information in books, videos.  Things recorded already.


Tertiary research are reviews of a secondary source. Examples of this would be wikipedia or any other collective of research sites.


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