• MA in Visual & Critical Studies

  • Henry Witecki

  • Greer Gainer - CCA Graduate Thesis Events

    Greer Gainer

    VCS Symposium Poster

    VCS Symposium Poster


    Thesis Abstract

    Reconfiguring Legibility; On the Rhizome with Graphic Design

    In the 1980s and into the 1990s, a few American graphic designers, such as Lucille
    Tenazas and David Carson, proposed that illegible typographic forms could be productive
    modes of communication. In this period, American designers were questioning the
    authorial function of graphic design. Rather than simply relaying information through an
    authorial message, they searched for ways to activate a communicative process through
    complex visual means. Their supposedly illegible designs inflected the broader inquiries
    and transformations that were happening in the design field at the technical, formal,
    and theoretical levels. Considering these artifacts of graphic design through Gilles
    Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s rhizome, this project interrogates the production of audience
    engagement through illegibility. Rather than seeing the illegible designs through
    reductive, linear, representational forms, this rhizomatic reading reframes them as
    complex, nonlinear activations.