Visual development

This section contains research practice and visual development work that forms a major part of the final visual research assignment and contributes 50% to the final mark.

The size and shape of the work is likely to flex and change as new lines of enquiry present themselves.

There are currently four parts (this is likely to change is response to the work):

Defining the outcome

Before starting the work it was important to define an outcome so that all effort was focused on doing the right thing and I was clear when it was done.

Given there had been a gap of six months from handing in Assignment 1 and picking up the coursework again, I reflected on whether my original idea was still valid and interesting enough to develop.

I created several mindmaps.

I realised the problem I thought I was solving was not important enough to me and probably why I felt stuck. My original idea assumed that a diary format was the most appropriate and interesting way to present information to an audience.

I struggled with this limited view because it presupposed that all the pandemic diary content was interesting enough and of a consistent enough quality to be engaging to an audience. I didn’t think it was.

The practice research would have been mostly related to graphic design/layout/user experience and finding a way to logistically handle, organise and publish a very large body of work.

In other words, I’d made the classic mistake of starting with a solution in mind and NOT defining a clear outcome first.

I used some of the ideas from the first mindmap to develop my thinking further.

This mindmap contained two important things:

  1. A clear outcome
  2. An approach and starting points

A clear outcome

AS THE illustrator, I want to carry out practice research that combines the different elements of my pandemic diary in as many diverse ways as possible

SO THAT I discover the most interesting and engaging way to present the information.


  • All experiments have been executed, written up and tested
  • Findings and reflections point towards next steps

An approach and starting points

There are four experiments (initially)

  • Experiment 1 – Text combinations & visual styles
  • Experiment 2 – Rules based processes to generate new materials
  • Experiment 3 – Masking techniques
  • Experiment 4 – Grid based composition

Each experiment will be conducted using the following format:

  • Problem
  • Hypothesis
  • Expected results
  • What happened
  • What I learned
  • What I’ll do next

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