Dissertation – Introduction

After a week or two of deliberation about my chosen topic for my dissertation, I narrowed my focus down to concentrating on the tobacco industry, exploring how advertisers manipulated audiences to recruit new smokers for large corporate tobacco companies.

Advice given by tutors was to read as much as possible on our given subject, which I certainly have done over the past 5-6 weeks, and actually found it incredibly interesting. Initially I couldn’t understand how an essay would enhance my practical abilities in design, however, throughout the process so far I’ve asked myself why so many times. I read “The Persuaders” by James Garvey initially, which gave me a grasp on the deceptive nature of advertisers throughout history. It was interesting to delve into the psychology behind decisions to target audiences through signs and symbols. For example, thinking about the liberation of women and smoking, Virginia slims exploited the women’s need to look good and remain slim. Lucky strike produced campaigns encouraging women to “Reach for a Lucky Not a Sweet”. I found this fascinating.

Here’s some of my initial research in the form of mind maps. This allowed me to visualise the linking points more easily, and was something I could refer back to quite easily.


I explored the subject as a whole to begin with, but soon found myself barraged with a whole range of issues within the industry that I could write about, and found myself getting lost quite often. So I decided to condense my question to:

How has Tobacco Advertising Targeted Women & Children in America?

This gave me the foundation to start thinking about my literature review. I started by gathering all the quotes I had collated in a word doc and began thinking about the structure of my essay. What were my main points? What theory could I tie into the themes I’ve chosen? What case studies am I going to use?

It’s very embryonic at this stage, and very much subject to change, however I’ve written almost 1200 words and still think there’s a lot more to talk about.

I’ve found it difficult to understand the writing style of a dissertation and literature review particularly, and my absence from college due to knee surgery has meant it’s been difficult to confer with tutors. However, I’m back next week and will come armed with questions I need to get answered, and ask for guidance!


APP Introduction

We were given our new project(s) to work on alongside writing the dissertation. Initial thoughts are that it’s going to be difficult to juggle both, however time management will be key in order to achieve an effective solution to a problem we create.

Our tutors provided us with some themes in which to explore and be creative. These are as follows:

  • A shrinking world
  • Healthy body, healthy mind
  • Legacy
  • Politically Correct

They specified that these are very open to our own interpretation, giving us the ability to be creative and run with our imaginations.

Below are the specific outcomes we are to achieve through our design process, and evidence on our blogs.

1.Developed skills of independent study, resource utilisation, problem-solving and decision-taking.

  1. Developed skills of critical thinking, analysis and evaluation.
  2. Developed their ability to learn through reflection on practice and experience.
  3. Developed their ability to scan and organise data, abstract meaning from information and communicate in oral, written and visual formats.
  4. Developed their ability to work with complex material, analyse problems and identify appropriate solutions.


I think it’s going to be important to manage time effectively, and work efficiently through my design processes to make deadlines and create interesting solutions. I want to continue my learning of photography, and use photo-manipulation to communicate with my audience. It’s an interesting brief, and looking forward to getting stuck in.