In this dialogue, I interviewed four times about my project during the summer holiday from June to September 2023. The original theme was emotional typeface design. However, after the first interview with Laura Knight, I decided to change the topic and my line of enquiry. Because I could not find the specific topic, I would like to narrow it down. In terms of emotion, the easiest way to narrow it down is by choosing one specific emotion, yet my interest in emotion was the complexity of every emotion. So I decided to choose the specific theme that people have the complexity of emotion, which is eating meat.
Nowadays, the number of vegetarian/vegan people is increasing. There are lots of reasons to be a vegetarian, but one of the most obvious reasons is environmental problems and animal rights.
Personally, I am not a vegetarian or vegan. But I sometimes question these things: ’Is eating meat not a good thing for animals…?’ ’Should I stop eating meat as my justice…?’ To be very honest, I enjoy eating meat, but I feel some wrong feelings and a sense of guilt with the current consumption systems of meat.
Can I visualise something as a graphic designer for the relationship between animal rights and eating meat?
That was my starting point for this summer holiday.
Interview 01 – Guest tutor, Laura Knight
Regarding the interview with Laura Knight, it was the time that I could learn how to narrow down the topic. She read my blogs before the interview and prepared some references that are useful for my research.
Firstly, she suggested I use this format to choose the specific target audience.
How to make a specific context
To design a … (format)
That… (who is the audience)
Can use to… (what will they know to think or understand as a result?)
In addition, she shared some relative references for emotion, design systems and typeface design. I list these links below:
They explore systematic and algorithmic methods in type design, graphic design and moving images. Since Paul McNeil is a typographic designer and a researcher, their works show me how to expand abstract ideas into design systems.
②experimental type by Laura Knight
This is the blog that Laura has scrapped relative articles with experimental typeface design.
She is also a typeface designer. Her typeface designs are very artistic. Laura showed me her work to tell me how much I should narrow down the topic.
I tried to pick up one specific topic I am interested in: the recruiting system in Japan. In this case, the target audience is the 3rd year university students looking for a job after graduation. I knew that these kinds of specifications were required, even though I did not choose this topic.
To sum up the interview for Laura Knight, I have learnt the techniques for narrowing down the topic and making the line of enquiry as much as possible.
Interview 02 – Susan Askew(Artist)
I met Susan Askew, an artist doing the MA in Fine Art at Camberwell College of Art. She has been creating some installations about the relationship between humans and animals in the future in a speculative way.
I showed my project on the Method of Cataloguing and asked her what to think. She advised me that I should try to understand my perspective and what I want to do through my work as a person who is not vegan/vegetarian but wants to do something as a graphic designer.
Also, she recommended I add the perspectives of pigs to the current package. For example, why do we call pork only eating? How does a pig’s mom feel when her children become pork meat? and so on.
Interview 03 – Group discussion with Natsuki Numao(Editor), Erica Miura, Saki Machida(Illustrator)
Since starting this course, I have made time for group discussions with my Japanese friends once a month to share what I have learnt at the university and organise my thoughts to iterate the explanation about my research.
On 19th August, we have time to discuss the current meat consumption. I decided to find the way that people are evoked in terms of how we eat life when we eat meat without negative feelings.
One of the discussion members gave me the idea of finding the same things between pigs and humans as mammals. Getting pregnant or becoming a mother could be the key word to re-constructing the current package design.
In addition, a member gave me the reference: Gunda, a Russian documental movie about pig’s mother.
Interview 04 – Kaoru Nakada(Designer)
The last interview during the summer holiday was for a graphic and UI/UX designer, Kaoru Nakada. She is living in London and working for a digital branding agency.
She reminds me that the package is not the only media through visual communications. For example, if a supermarket shows pictures of the differences in breeding environments between the best-priced one and the organic one on the meat counter, the selection of customers could be changed.
In addition, there is a farm which has a policy for selling their meat after learning about how they grow their animals. – Tamana Farm in Kumamoto, Japan.
So I should carefully choose my media and try many possibilities to make my topic deeper.