Assignment brief: CATALOGUED

Course Title:

BA (Hons) GMD 1 (14/15 BA (Hons)

Graphic & Media Design LCC Full-time Year 1)

Unit Title:

CTS 1 (14/15 Contextual and Theoretical Studies 1 10170 BA Graphic and Media Design (20))

Unit Code:


Unit Credit: 20
Year/level: Year 1 Level 4 Assignment Title: CATALOGUED
Hand-in/Deadline Date and Time: Thursday 21st May by 16.00.00 GMT (4pm)
Hand-in Method: Digital Submission via Turnitin embedded on Moodle
File Size/Type to be submitted: Maximum of 20mb PDF File ONLY
Turnitin embedded on Moodle. If you are submitting work online via Turnitin and/or Moodle:

The CLTAD e-learning blog includes step-by-step guides to uploading assignments to both Moodle and Turnitin: help/assessment-how-to/

Turnitin – A PDF file to a maximum of 20MB. As part of the submission process, the University will utilise Turnitin to check the authenticity and originality of your work.

Please note: it is your responsibility to submit your work on time and by the required method, otherwise there may be an impact on your achievement and progression.

Further information about your responsibility to submit your work is available on the website: ssions1415.pdf

If you have any queries about submitting your work or are experiencing any difficulties in submitting work, please contact you Programme team well in advance of the submission deadline, via email on:

 Please ensure you copy in the course team:


Date you can expect feedback on your work by: 12th June 2015
How you will receive your feedback on your work: Via TURNITIN on Moodle and the Online- Assessment Tool (OAT)



Please note all feedback is indicative until formally received and confirmed at an Exam Board. You will be informed of your results and when these will be published via email and/or Moodle announcements.

Aims/Context: This unit introduces you to histories, theories and debates in relation to visual culture. It will focus on the development of twentieth and twenty-first century ideas in graphic design and visual communications and explore the common themes and cross-fertilizations that occur between theory and culture.


We will examine graphic design practice through a range of media and representations from drawing and print to moving image and graphic environments. These examples will be located in their broader social, historical and cultural contexts in order to consider the multiplicity of meanings and functions assigned to visual culture. The individual forms of graphic and media design studied will be related to discourses such as: modernity/modernism, postmodernism, low and high cultural values, semiotics, relational aesthetics, reception theory and authorship.


The unit will enable you to consider the impact of contemporary graphic design in relation to visual and design culture by linking your contextual and theoretical research to studio projects and practice. The aim is to broaden your perspective by positioning design within the sphere of the creative industries; to encourage you to make connections to wider issues and context; and to provide you with an introduction to the theoretical tools and methodologies that will open up your frames of reference. The unit will support you in the development of research and written and oral communication skills.


Cataloguing is to make a systematic list of (items of the same type) as in, “it will be some time before the collection is fully catalogued”. Some synonyms are: classify, categorise, systematise, systemise, index, list, archive, make an inventory of, inventory, record, register, file, log, enumerate, alphabetize, itemize, pigeonhole, tabulate.


The fundamental aim of this GMD CTS 1 unit is to introduce you to the concept of the catalogue and ideas of cataloguing. Many forms of cultural and commercial


production have a catalogue that informs the reader and viewer of objects, and artefacts they have seen or about to see or buy. From the glossy exhibition catalogue of the latest blockbuster art show to the listings in Exchange and Mart we will look at how and why we need catalogues and what the acts of cataloguing, listing, archiving, labelling and itemising. You will visit art and design exhibitions and compare and contrast this with how 2D, 3D, 4D and digital objects are displayed and consumed in physical and online spaces. From Argos to Amazon to Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre and beyond you will be introduced to ideas of the production and consumption of cultures in all its many guises.


Assignment Criteria/Format:

This is a holistic assessment compromising of:

Producing a written essay of 2,000 words based on a formative presentation linking studio practice and theory (100%). This will be a fully illustrated text, which will be a ‘Catalogue’ of your CTS lectures through out the year. You will be expected to keep a record of all your lectures on your Blog, as this will form the material from which you will write and construct your ‘Catalogue’.


Learning Outcomes:


On completion of this unit you will be able to:


Select and manage information from a variety of printed and electronic sources.



Engage in constructive and informed critical argument and debate. (Analysis)


Identify the key issues, themes and critical debates surrounding the subject of design and visual culture.

(Subject Knowledge)

 Construct an argument in verbal and written forms and demonstrate an awareness of a range of presentation techniques and writing skills.

(Communication and Presentation). Teaching and Learning Methods

The subject will be introduced through a range of studio-based projects and assignments supported where appropriate by lectures, seminars, critiques and visits and workshops. Access to workshop facilities will, where appropriate, be indicated on project briefs.


Reading list: Details of the University’s online referencing system for practical and written work:


Baines, P. & Dixon, C. (2003) Signs: Lettering in the Built Environment. London. Laurence King.


Featuring examples from all over the world, the authors discuss the function and execution of signage, focusing on the intentional rather than on the accidental or temporary. Visually led, the book contains some 700 colour images, thematically grouped, and described in extended captions, and the best current examples appear alongside historical material.


Barthes, R. (1973/1957) Mythologies. New York. Hill and Wang.

In this magnificent and often surprising collection of essays Barthes explores the myths of mass culture. Taking subjects as diverse as wrestling, films, plastic and cars, Barthes elegantly deciphers the symbols and signs embedded deep in familiar aspects of modern life, unmasking the hidden ideologies and meanings, which implicitly affect our thought and behaviour. This early classic of semiotics from one of France’s greatest thinkers may irrevocably change the way you view the world around you.


Bennett, A. (ed.) (2006) Design Studies: Theory and Research in Graphic Design.

New York. Princeton Architectural Press.

“Design Studies”, a collection of 27 essays from an international cast of top design researchers, sets out to mend this schism between research and practice. The essays presented here make a strong argument for performing rigorous experimentation and analysis.


Berger, J. (1992/1972) Ways of Seeing. London. Penguin.

John Berger’s Ways of Seeing is one of the most stimulating and influential books on art in any language. First published in 1972, it was based on the BBC television series about which the (London) Sunday Times critic commented: “This is an eye- opener in more ways than one: by concentrating on how we look at paintings . . . he will almost certainly change the way you look at pictures.”


Bierut, M. & Heller, S. (eds.) (2002) Looking Closer 1-4: Critical writings on Graphic Design. London. Allworth Press.

Looking Closer is a collection of the best contemporary writing about graphic design, including theoretical, practical, business-oriented, philosophical, and humorous essays. Selected by a prestigious editorial committee composed of Michael Bierut, William Drenttel, Steven Heller, and DK Holland, the essays reflect on inspiration, ethics, “isms,” the impact of new technology, and the role of design in the larger culture.


De Bondt, S. & de Smet, C. (eds.) (2012) Graphic Design: History in the Writing (1983-2011). London. Occasional Papers

The first anthology of its kind, Graphic Design: History in the Writing (1984–2011) comprises some of the most influential published texts about graphic design history. The book documents the development of the relatively young field of graphic design history from 1983 to today, underscoring the aesthetic, theoretical, political and social tensions that have underpinned it from the beginning.


Bourriaud, N. (!998) Relational Aesthetics Paris Les Presse Du Reel

Nicolas Bourriaud attempts to renew our approach towards contemporary art by getting as close as possible to the artists’ works, and by revealing the principles that structure their thoughts: an aesthetic of the inter-human, of the encounter; of proximity, of resisting social formatting.


Hall, S. (2007) This Means This, This Means That: A User’s Guide to Semiotics.

London. Routledge.

Semiotics is the theory of signs. Signs are amazingly diverse: from simple road signs that point to a destination, to smoke that warns us of fire, to the culturally-conditioned symbols buried within art and literature, our reading of signs is very much a part of everyday life. Yet semiotics is often perceived as a mysterious science. This introductory book decodes the mystery of semiotics using visual examples instead of abstract theory.


Jones, A. (ed.) (2010) The Feminism and Visual Culture Reader. 2nd ed. London. Routledge.

Feminism is one of the most important perspectives from which visual culture has been theorized and historicized over the past forty years. Challenging the notion of feminism as a unified discourse, this second edition of The Feminism and Visual Culture Reader assembles a wide array of writings that address art, film, architecture, popular culture, new media and other visual fields from a feminist perspective.


Kraus, C. (2004) Video Green: Los Angeles Art and The Triumph of Nothingness. Los Angeles. Semiotext(e)

Video Green examines the explosion of late 1990s Los Angeles art driven by high- profile graduate programs. Probing the surface of art-critical buzzwords, Chris Kraus brilliantly chronicles how the City of Angels has suddenly become the epicenter of the international art world and a microcosm of the larger culture. Why is Los Angeles so completely divorced from other realities of the city? Shrewd, analytic and witty, Video Green is to the Los Angeles art world what Roland Barthes’ Mythologies were to the society of the spectacle: the live autopsy of a ghost city.


Luton, E. & Miller, A. (2008) Design Writing Research: Writing on Graphic Design.

New York. Phaidon.

Design Writing Research is a highly acclaimed critical study of graphic design and typography. Profusely illustrated and beautifully produced, it makes a vital contribution to design studies and is an invaluable source for anyone interested in the art and history of books, letter forms, symbols, advertising, and theories of visual and verbal communication.


Poynor, R. (2003) No More Rules Graphic Design and Postmodernism. London: Laurence King.

The last thirty-five years have seen profound upheavals in the field of graphic communication. One by one, the old certainties about the techniques and purposes of graphic design have been questioned and torn apart. Jettisoning rules that no longer seemed relevant in the postmodern era, designers and typographers have reassessed their roles and forged experimental new approaches. No More Rules is the first wide-ranging critical survey to attempt to make sense of these international developments.


Sontag, S. (1979) On Photography. London. Vintage

Susan Sontag’s ground breaking critique of photography asks forceful questions about the moral and aesthetic issues surrounding this art form. Photographs are everywhere, and the ‘insatiability of the photographing eye’ has profoundly altered our relationship with the world. Photographs have the power to shock, idealize or seduce, they create a sense of nostalgia and act as a memorial, and they can be


used as evidence against us or to identify us. In these six incisive essays, Sontag examines the ways in which we use these omnipresent images to manufacture a sense of reality and authority in our lives.


Syms, M. (2011) Implications and Distinctions: Format, Content and Context in Contemporary Race Film. LA. Future Plan.

Implications and Distinctions: Format, Content and Context in Contemporary Race Film considers performances of blackness in contemporary cinema from 1990 to the present. By considering story lines, movie theaters and her own viewing patterns, Martine Syms attempts to find the “color line” and trace its path through the distribution and exhibition of film.


Triggs, T. (2003) The Typographic Experiment: Radical Innovations in Contemporary Type Design. London. Thames and Hudson.

A rigorous critical overview of experimental typography since the explosion of digital media. Digital tools may have allowed designers new power and flexibility, but typography remains the bedrock of good graphics and one of the most exciting areas of experimentation.



Marking Criteria:


If you are an undergraduate student, you can access the UG marking criteria via your course Moodle page and also at the link below: Grades.pdf


If you are a postgraduate student, you can access the PG marking criteria via your course Moodle page and also at the link below: Grades.pdf


Other key information:


The UAL Assessment Webpages include useful information on:


  • The course requirements
  • What happens if you fail a piece of work or miss a deadline
  • What to do if you are ill or have other extenuating Circumstances
  • What to do if you want to take time out from your studies
  • The adjustments that can be made to assessments if you have a disability
  • How to avoid plagiarism in your work
  • What to do if you want to appeal an exam board



Approved By: Ruth Harrington                                                      Date: 24/11/2014


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