Monday, 14 October 2013


The Shannon-Weaver Mathematical Model 1949

  • Originally developed to distinguish where problems of communications where happening within the army
  • Mainly devised to establish radio and telephone problems in communication
There are 5 stages in the model and these are all stages where communication can be broken down...

However this model could be used to describe the communication in graphic design 

1. Information Source - The Client/ The Brief
2. Transmitter (Encoder) - The Designer(s)
3. Channel - Media/ Outlet
4. Receiver - General Public
5. Destination - The Target Audience

What could happen at each of these stages ? 

1. Not enough information given, Misleading information, Too many inputs(e.g. bosses)
2. Misinterpreting the brief, Ignoring the brief and satisfying own style
3. Wrong format, Message being wrong, Limits of the media itself, Lack of skills/ talent, Wrong context
4. Doesn't illustrate the message, Overlooked, Too specific
5. Inappropriate, Wrong Format, No Interest/ Doesn't appeal to them 

So you can learn from this a designer really needs to think almost backwards along this model in order to successfully communicate.

(Interference form an outside source or factor) (Can happen at any stage)

1. Badly written brief, Too much/ too little information, Information constantly getting changed
2. Software doesn't work / not up to date, process unavailable, procrastination, actually designing in an inappropriate place e.g. train
3. What is actual around it, Drowned out, traffic
4. Actual sound/noise, can't be seen, context- attention span
5. Word of mouth, similar/ rivalry, other messages, volume, de-sensitised 

Further Subcategories  
A. Technical Problems- How accurately the message is conveyed ?
B. Semantic Problems- How precise the message is ? (The Understanding)
C. Effectiveness Problems- How effectively does the message is the audience influenced ?

Computer not working (Get it fixed, Work in the studio) 
Not having the right equipment (Buy new equipment, borrow, outsource) 
Access to the process (Outsource) 
Software not working/ doesn't match other parties (Update, use a similar format)
Designing in the wrong place (Work in a studio, write down your ideas work on them later)

Understanding the Brief (ask the client, highlight key information)
Context and Content (Understand the audience, where they are, what they like, purpose)
Too much information- confusing (Ask for key details, define notes e.c.t)
Not enough information (Ask for more information in the briefing, research) 
Ignoring the Brief (Really read the brief, get feedback along the way, critique)
Readability/ Legibility (Critique from others) 

Context and Content (Focus groups, Market research)
What surrounds it (Look)
Volume (See how you could be different,place and context)
Similar/ Rivalry Companies (Same as above)
Review stages

(Design with your limitations in mind)

Review of the Model

  • Model is Linear, the design process isn't e.g. you have feedback and you adapt, perhaps in this sense the model in graphic design terms is more like a loop.
  • Very presumptive , A has done what B needs e.c.t, It is more like a constant dialogue of them all.
  • Noise ( Unintended things that affect the signal between transmission and reception) but noise can be an aesthetic on its own, it can be a feature e.g. a Zine, sometimes noise is a desirable outcome. e.g Graffiti on a billboard, hijacking the channel.
  • But on a basic level the model is good to get thoughts going on communication at a simple level.
Redundancy and Entropy

High Predictability / Low Information
(not to be confused as redundant)
The path of least resistance

Low Predictability / High Information

Moments of bleeding out of the line

Redundancy in graphic design has to be socially accepted, conventional, understandable, recognised.
E.g. A handshake is redundant but a special style of handshake/greeting is entropic as it is unpredictable and can infer all sorts of meaning and provide all sorts of reactions.

E.g. Fine Art aims to be Entropic, less interested in communicating to a large audience.

Redundant design can be somewhat stereotypical i.e. Hawaiian Bar with grass skirts, flower necklaces, bamboo, idols e.c.t. 
And it can be prejudice/ racist/ sexist too 
It can be seen as unchallenging and doesn't go against the norm.

If you want to destabilise something entropic design is key, people will take more notice as it is different. 

No comments:

Post a Comment