Abstract

This paper presents a project developed during the course of a PhD investigating the role graphic design can play in the national branding of emergent nations such as Malaysia. Contemporary Malaysian society and culture was reviewed in the context of present views of globalisation and postcolonialism, and the phenomenon of “glocalisation” emerges as an important one in Malaysia. The need for a design handbook was suggested by the findings of a variety of design research methods that were used to identify the nature of graphic design practice in Malaysia, including the examination of the national governmental framework of design practices and networks. The prototype design handbook aimed at developing graphic design practices that can assist those involved in projects requiring reference to national identity. A major feature of the reflective process on this practice-led project is the design projects undertaken with various participants including a collaborative project with Malaysia Design Archive (MDA), anecdotal photography with local photographers and design tests with design practitioners. The handbook reveals different methods of mapping information visually, including the organisation of information design inspired by the writings of Tufte (1990, 2001), which highlights the presentation of complex information in a visual manner that stimulates attention and assists rapid understanding. Also as part of the reflective process, the value of the prototype handbook was tested with graphic design practitioners. The handbook outlines elements useful to others involved in nation branding in other emergent nations, since Malaysia is not unique in being a multicultural society emerging from a repeated series of imperial and colonial expansions and divisions.

Keywords

visual identity handbook, nation branding, national identity, glocalisation, postcolonialism

COinS
 
Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

Nation Branding: Developing a visual identity handbook for graphic design practitioners in Malaysia

This paper presents a project developed during the course of a PhD investigating the role graphic design can play in the national branding of emergent nations such as Malaysia. Contemporary Malaysian society and culture was reviewed in the context of present views of globalisation and postcolonialism, and the phenomenon of “glocalisation” emerges as an important one in Malaysia. The need for a design handbook was suggested by the findings of a variety of design research methods that were used to identify the nature of graphic design practice in Malaysia, including the examination of the national governmental framework of design practices and networks. The prototype design handbook aimed at developing graphic design practices that can assist those involved in projects requiring reference to national identity. A major feature of the reflective process on this practice-led project is the design projects undertaken with various participants including a collaborative project with Malaysia Design Archive (MDA), anecdotal photography with local photographers and design tests with design practitioners. The handbook reveals different methods of mapping information visually, including the organisation of information design inspired by the writings of Tufte (1990, 2001), which highlights the presentation of complex information in a visual manner that stimulates attention and assists rapid understanding. Also as part of the reflective process, the value of the prototype handbook was tested with graphic design practitioners. The handbook outlines elements useful to others involved in nation branding in other emergent nations, since Malaysia is not unique in being a multicultural society emerging from a repeated series of imperial and colonial expansions and divisions.

 

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