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Visual Research: An Introduction to Research Methodologies in Graphic Design Paperback – 24 Oct 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: AVA Publishing; 2nd edition (24 Oct. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 2940411603
  • ISBN-13: 978-2940411603
  • Product Dimensions: 21.9 x 2.3 x 29.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 103,151 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


'Noble and Bestley have produced an amazing book: broad in scope, thorough in its explorations of the many dimensions of visual research, well organized and clear in its exposition, it is the best reference for anybody wanting to get a clear panorama of what visual research can mean.' -- Jorge Frascara, author and educator, USA

'This book demystifies a variety of complex graphic design methodologies, making them understandable and compelling. An invaluable companion for any graduate level graphic design student, or instructor, it offers in-depth intelligent models, examples, background reading and explanations of strategies and approaches for employing visual research in the process of making graphic design. Definitive proof that graphic design is not dumb!' -- Michael Worthington, California Institute of the Arts, USA. Author of Two Lines Align Research through, for, by, on and with design.

'In an age where design seems to be too important to be left only to designers, such a contemporary, deep, vivid and accessible speculation on visual research is like honey to bears.' -- Omar Vulpinari, Director of Expanded Media Fabrica, Vice President Icograda

'This book is an excellent and comprehensive resource for understanding the power of design research and methodologies. The text clearly frames the creative process in the context of relevant theoretical discourse; case studies challenge readers to reconceive of design making, and exercises provide connection between ideas and practice.' -- Aaris Sherin, St. John's University, New York, USA

'Visual Research is a stimulating introduction to the theories, processes, systems and artefacts that comprise our symbolic and material landscapes. Both explanatory and celebratory, Visual Research offers its readers definitions, examples, sources and suggested assignments to inspire alternative paths to a critically reflective and socially engaged practice. This second edition furthers and improves upon the work of the first edition, a book that I have used as a text for fourth-year graphic design students at the University of Minnesota, USA. It's also appropriate for students pursuing studio-oriented graduate degrees; their own visual experiments will have fresh benchmarks in the conceptual designs included in Visual Research.' -- Steven McCarthy, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis-St Paul, USA

'Visual Research is an indispensable sourcebook with a focus on creative applications for design theory. It's hugely useful for students looking to extend their practical work and really inspirational.' -- Jonathan Hitchen, Manchester School of Art, UK

'The word 'research' sounds to many like an 'academic' exercise but this book is firmly grounded in graphic design practice. Visual Research gives graphic design students and working designers alike a great introduction to concepts and methods that will make their work smarter, more interesting, and more useful.' -- Gunnar Swanson, graphic designer, educator, and design writer

'Visual Research is one of the most comprehensive, engaging and useful books of its kind. The text guides the reader through the creative process in a relevant and accessible way that clearly relates to the way design professionals and design students work. Throughout it highlights inspirational projects to illustrate the concepts covered, and on this level works as an engrossing archive.' --Neil Leonard, The Arts University College at Bournemouth, UK. Author of Basics Graphic Design: Research Methods

About the Author

Ian Noble has worked as an editorial designer and design writer. He is now director of research and postgraduate programs within the School of Graphic Design at the London College of Communication, UK. Russell Bestley recently completed a PhD on the second generation of UK punk and graphic design. He is a senior lecturer at the London College of Communication, UK.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This was on the reading list for my course at the London College of Communication, so I thought I'd have a look.

It's a very nicely designed and laid out book (a common feature with this publisher I think). It offers a lot of insight into researching visually - something that I, as someone without an arts background, often find difficult to understand.

It's helped me develop a methodology for research - rather than just jumping blindly into a project and hoping for inspiration and ideas to hit me. This book is all about a structured approach to gathering visual material and analysing it, and using that research and analysis to overcome design problems.

There are some nice case studies to support the book's argument, including a particularly good one by Sarah Backhouse concerning the graphical representation of the passage of time in Stoker's Dracula.

I'd recommend this to anyone who's interested in the process of graphic design, students and designers both.
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Format: Paperback
Being of a visual mind and not one for pages and pages of text, this book was perfect for me to enhance my basic understanding of the design research process. Interested in graphic design but on a 3D degree course, this book clearly explained methods that I am now able to transfer to my own specialism of design.

Great layouts, lots of useful real life case studies on quality paper stock. Made by a publisher who specialises in the creative arts, they know exactly how to communicate effectively and each page has definitions of terms used within the text making this book more approachable and accessible to someone with basic knowledge of research methodologies without dumbing down the body of text.

Clear, focused and in full colour, this is another valuable book in my AVA collection and would recommend this title to all students embarking on a design based course, whether starting their first year or a masters.
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Format: Paperback
I bought my copy of this publication at the book launch held at the London College of Communication. It's been inscribed by both authors. From the late, great Ian Noble a stamp with the words 'try to make more mistakes'. A philosophical statement that reminds us of the necessary iterations behind most designed visual communications. And from Russ? An altogether more abrupt and confrontational response involving a profanity. This spontaneous gesture, whilst a light-hearted note to keep any lofty ideals about design in perspective, belies the real care and devotion afforded the subject in this second edition of Visual Research. This edition builds upon the first publication with a new chapter, new case studies and illustrations. Both editions are valuable investments in their own right.

As I begin this review I acknowledge the high profile testimonials from Jorge Frascara, Gunnar Swanson and Omar Vulpinara on the book cover, with an accompanying foreword by Ellen Lupton inside. What further and better recommendations would you need to purchase a copy?

I read the book in one sitting. This is perhaps not the best way to appreciate the contents. On reflection a better way might be to dwell on each section separately, perhaps as part of a weekly reading group at college or University. The book has taken the complex themes and debates around contemporary visual communication design and presented them in an accessible piece of writing. It is an ideal text book for graphic design students. It also affords a valuable insight into the design process for non specialists. Given the notion of converging subject disciplines and increasing acknowledgement of the importance of visual literacy and communication this book is very timely.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a third year graphic design student, I bought this book for my final project. I would highly recommend it to anyone, as it has some very cool ideas inside it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book!
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