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As part of the Research Integrity and Ethics Office’s objective to foster a culture of academic integrity within Nanyang Technological University, a workshop curriculum has been developed to review the issue of visual plagiarism for students at the school of Art, Design & Media. To support this workshop, print collaterals have been developed including, an outer folder, a 36 page book, a bookmark, posters, postcards, stickers, a notepad and a custom designed stationery kit. The brief was to create an integrated design system which would appeal to a target audience of young Singaporean designers, to guide them through complex topics via an active learning pedagogy.
The brief was to create a system which would appeal to young Singaporean designers, to guide them through an active learning pedagogy. Utilising the existing colour palette and fonts of the NTU brand, a strong red and blue theme is applied throughout. This is complemented by culturally appropriate imagery and rich, real-world examples of visual plagiarism, homage, pastiche and parody.
The notion of a cut and paste culture is present throughout and a secondary, juxtaposed theme of ‘copy cats’ is playfully illustrated; humorously referencing this common idiom and introducing a more palatable lightness to a somewhat serious topic.
This project addresses a topic that affects everyone in the creative industry at some point during their career. Yet visual plagiarism is an issue that is seldom discussed or, worse still, brushed aside as unimportant. This is perhaps due to the ambiguity between taking reference from an image and copying from it, and it is this ambiguity that can lead to unethical creative practice. However, rather than preach rights or wrongs, what this project intends to do is provide relevant information and raise awareness, in order to enable people to make their own fully-informed choices. Accordingly, the printed collaterals showcased in this submission were created to support an active learning workshop, addressing issues of visual plagiarism within an applied arts context; the aim of which was to facilitate conversation and provide a platform for debate. I believe this is something every designer needs to discuss and deliberating ethical perspectives should be at the forefront of contemporary design conversations rather than at the periphery.
With all this in mind, the collaterals showcased here for consideration were produced with high quality materials, bespoke finishing techniques and a visual communication system which actively considered its target audience. The culmination of which, provides a visually engaging body of work to facilitate socially engaging, critical discourse. Winning a graphis design award would enable that discourse to emanate globally and provide a platform for further debate within the international creative community as well as within the local context of Singapore.
A short case study Video has been produced which gives a concise overview of the project results and I would be grateful of you could view this to support the rationale behind the printed collaterals and the research that has gone into production of this project.