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College of Design

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Senior Thesis Complete!

The semester has come to a close, and so has my book! I finished my design with enough time to spare to have it printed in a hardcover book at Target's Photo Center, rather than binding it myself (which is definitely not my specialty). I was nervous about putting this project I had spent so much time on in someone else’s hands, but the print quality was excellent and I was so relieved that it came out well.

I had been struggling with the book’s design for the past few weeks, but the final design came together piece by piece. My thesis topic is about gender representation in the media and how important it is to have stereotype-breaking characters in popular titles, rather than perpetuating generalized idealizations of men and women. I wanted to focus on the spectrum between “male” and “female,” and how those who fall between those categories are underrepresented in the media, so I wanted to make the color purple—the middle ground between blue and pink—the main element of my design.

I incorporated images from TV shows, video games, and books that I researched while looking for examples of positive representation, and I added spot elements of purple to these images to emphasize that these were the kind of characters that need to be more visible throughout the media. Originally, the purple was only present in the images and in highlighted text, but I felt that using the purple only in these areas was too subtle. The color was meant to be used as a highlight, but when it was used so sparsely in a sea of white, it made these elements of representation feel very small. The point of my thesis is to argue that this representation needs to be more present throughout society, and so I decided to add purple on the outer edge of every page as a way to normalize its presence in my design in the same way that gender representation should be normalized in the media.

That explanation was… a lot longer than I intended it to be! I think that kind of goes to show how much thought and work went into this design. Those two paragraphs only covered the use of color in this book—I didn’t even go into the other elements of design I incorporated! It’s not easy work, but I really like what I’m doing. Graphic design is just… really, really cool.

So long for now! I’ll see you all next semester.


Graphic Design