The logic of corporate communications

A doctoral research project investigating the emergence and subsequent impact of programmatic branding in Britain.

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Since 2011 David has been dedicating his spare time to the development of his doctoral research project which looks at how the emergence of programmatic branding impacted the practice routines of graphic designers in the 1950s and ’60s. Working with Dr Jamie Brassett (Reader in Philosophy, Design & Innovation at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London) and Professor Sean Nixon (Department of Sociology, University of Essex), hia work investigates four innovate design groups who pioneered a more systematic approach to brand image.

Much of my work here surrounds how designers sought to explain their working methods and rationalise their design decisions to their clients. During the period under study the practitioners in question each began to embrace group work in order to fulfil the potential of all-embracing, holistic corporate design programmes that were beyond the capacity of the individual artist. The move towards team working led in turn to ever-increasing efforts to manage design in a more deliberate, pre-planned manner.

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Throughout the course of the project David has delivered conference papers at the University of São Paulo, the University of Warwick, Brighton University, the Royal College of Art, and University of the Arts London.

Keywords: branding, design history, design management, practice theory, technical rationality