The initial idea for this thesis project stems from an interest in artists' books. Of particular interest is the way in which the physical format of the book can be an integral part of the artistic concept. Artists' books are books as art rather than books about artists or their work. As such, they exceed the boundaries of conventional expectations. They are about themselves, not simply passive vehicles for carrying information. The "reader" experiences an artist's book in much the same way the viewer experiences a painting, a sculpture, or a ceramic vase. The format for carrying information is as important in conveying the information as the text or images. This thesis project deals with the significance of format in a design investigation. Its primary goal is to understand how a change in format may influence the accessibility of information. In this project format is defined as the physical vehicle in which information is carried, page size and configuration, as opposed to composition. The following hypothesis states the assumption underlying this thesis project A format in conventional print media is as important in successfully conveying a message as are the text or images. The original intent of the project was to compile and synthesize existing research related to the thesis topic. The expected outcome was a reference guide for designers to aid in the understanding of the influence of format on the accessibility of information. It became clear as the literature search progressed that very little research exists in support of the above hypothesis. Consequently, the direction of the project changed, and it became necessary to conduct primary research in orderto support and extend this study. The investigation focused on the comparison of four different formats. The four formats were: a poster, a sequence of single pages, a barrel fold, and a mufti-directional fold. A series of exercises were selected to explore a range of visual variables, including size, weight, and orientation, as applied to each of the four formats. The sections that follow describe and present the results of this research.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Graphic arts--Technique; Visual communication--Technique; Communication in design; Layout (Printing)
Department, Program, or Center
School of Design (CIAS)
Sumberg, Audrey, "The Influence of format on accessibility" (1995). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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