Skip to content

Structure

 

This section outlines the overall structure of an essay comprising an introduction, body and conclusion.

The structure will help you plan and organise your response to the task - an analysis of a particular work of communication design from the twentieth century.

In this resource, the examples are drawn from an analysis of Wolfgang Weingart’s 1972-1973 Typografische Monatsbl√§tter cover designs.

Use the questions provided in the task to create an outline of the body of the essay. Along with the introduction and conclusion, your essay needs to:

  • Describe the work to the reader. What is the work? Who made it? When was it made?
  • Contextualise the work. Consider what was happening in the world at that time? Think about what was happening in society and in politics for example, both locally and more broadly.
  • Analyse the work’s relevance for contemporary communication design.

Introduction

Weingart’s philosophy of design practice calls for a commitment to the act of design, to focus on design as an iterative process of experimentation, prototyping and continuous refinement.

Paragraph 2: Describe

What is the work? Who made it? When was it made?

  • Wolfgang Weingart -1972/1973, 15 covers for Typografische Monatsblatter magazine
  • describe the distinctive features and style of the work.

Paragraph 3: Contextualise

Why was it important at the time?

  • Post World War II - increasing globalisation
  • Need for communicative clarity, multilingual formats,

Paragraph 4: Contextualise

Why was it important at the time?

  • 1968 reaction against conservatism & demand for social change

Paragraph 5: Analyse

What relevance does it have for us today?

  • Explore all potential ideas via experimentation.

Paragraph 6: Analyse

What relevance does it have for us today?

  • more aware and expressive attitudes in design resulted

Conclusion

Wolfgang Weingart’s critical questioning of assumed principles of design remains an important element of a designer’s philosophy of practice today.

Note: While the topic and linking sentences are fixed at the beginning and end of the paragraphs, explain, evidence and example are interchangeable. For more information on how to use TEEL, visit the Paragraphs page on the Learning Lab.

The introduction prepares the reader for your analysis.

There are three main parts:

  • A general statement to provide context and background information.
  • An outline of the scope and organisation of the essay.
  • A thesis statement (argument) that identifies your specific topic and your position.

Examples

Click on the examples below and buttons within to explore the different features of an introduction

The 1960s was a period of transition from old ways of thinking to new as rapid changes in technology, social and political ideologies, and increasing globalisation affected aesthetic archetypes and design principles. Typografische Monatsblatter (TM), one of the few international design magazines, set trends in communication design. Wolfgang Weingart’s cover designs for TM demonstrated his objection to the perceived conservatism and design limitations inherent in Swiss Typographic style, reflecting broader, international politico-social unrest. His experimental media combinations and playful subjectivity resonated with a youthful, international audience, and inspired the next generation of designers to create a post-modern aesthetic. Weingart’s philosophy of design practice calls for a commitment to the act of design, to focus on design as an iterative process of experimentation, prototyping and continuous refinement.

The social and political revolution that erupted in Paris and throughout France during 1968 was the tonal landscape in which the Atelier Populaire was born. It grew out of student-artists’ solidarity with workers and communicated a direct challenge to the repressive socio-political authoritarianism of the conservative De Gaulle government. The Atelier Populaire curated an unprecedented outpouring of political graphic art and graffiti (Kugelberg 2010) throughout May and June of 1968. During this period it used irony and dialectical imagery to transform the poster into a powerful object of revolutionary communication. In doing so, the Atelier Populaire established precedents for contemporary political communication design.

Influential German designer Otl Aicher is best known for his visual for the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, which has become a significant work within the history of communication design. Aicher’s pragmatic design practice and overall design control defined the Munich Games project, and was informed by a strong political and social responsibility and key functionalist principles. His focus on the design process and application of standardised design elements and governing rules has seen the project’s legacy carry well beyond the 1972 Olympic Games to remain relevant and salient today.

The examples below shows the different features such as:
  • Context: What is the work? Who made it? When was it made?
  • What will be covered: What relevance does it have for us today?
  • Argument / Position: Why was it important at the time?

Example 1: Wolfgang Weingart

[context]The 1960s was a period of transition from old ways of thinking to new as rapid changes in technology, social and political ideologies, and increasing globalisation affected aesthetic archetypes and design principles. Typografische Monatsblatter (TM), one of the few international design magazines, set trends in communication design. [end context][what will be covered]Wolfgang Weingart’s cover designs for TM demonstrated his objection to the perceived conservatism and design limitations inherent in Swiss Typographic style, reflecting broader, international politico-social unrest. His experimental media combinations and playful subjectivity resonated with a youthful, international audience, and inspired the next generation of designers to create a post-modern aesthetic. [end what will be covered][argument/position]Weingart’s philosophy of design practice calls for a commitment to the act of design, to focus on design as an iterative process of experimentation, prototyping and continuous refinement.[end argument/position]

Example 2: Atelier Populaire

[context]The social and political revolution that erupted in Paris and throughout France during 1968 was the tonal landscape in which the Atelier Populaire was born. It grew out of student-artists’ solidarity with workers and communicated a direct challenge to the repressive socio-political authoritarianism of the conservative De Gaulle government. The Atelier Populaire curated an unprecedented outpouring of political graphic art and graffiti (Kugelberg 2010) throughout May and June of 1968.[end context][what will be covered]During this period it used irony and dialectical imagery to transform the poster into a powerful object of revolutionary communication. [end what will be covered][argument/position] In doing so, the Atelier Populaire established precedents for contemporary political communication design.[end argument/position]

Example 3: Otl Aicher

[context]Influential German designer Otl Aicher is best known for his visual for the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, which has become a significant work within the history of communication design. [end context][what will be covered] Aicher’s pragmatic design practice and overall design control defined the Munich Games project, and was informed by a strong political and social responsibility and key functionalist principles.[end what will be covered][argument/position]His focus on the design process and application of standardised design elements and governing rules has seen the project’s legacy carry well beyond the 1972 Olympic Games to remain relevant and salient today.[end argument/position]

Well-structured body paragraphs help the reader to follow your analysis.

Each paragraph should:

  • relate back to the thesis (argument) in your introduction
  • describe one main idea supported by information and evidence from your research
  • follow the TEEL strategy to ensure all elements of a good paragraph are included

TEEL strategy

Click on the buttons to explore the TEEL strategy.

By 1968, demand for changes in social relationships, the emancipation and politicisation of women and minorities, and increasing urbanisation contributed to a global expectation of rebellion, particularly against the social conservatism of the preceding decades. It was also the beginning of a period of intense student activism against authoritarian and patriarchal governments (Villiger 2013). In the United States, where Swiss Style had become synonymous with corporate America, socio-political tensions surrounding the Vietnam War emerged (Paradis et al. 2013). Weingart started using more organic and emotional shapes, such as the Issue 11, 1973 cover for TM (TM RSI SGM 1960-90 n.d.c), where the typography is all but obscured by spaces which could be interpreted as bullet holes.The increasing awareness of global complexity and social turmoil encouraged experimentalism and a move away from anonymity to individualism in design.

Weingart believed that for a designer to truly realise their personal typographic ideas, they must first explore all potential design paths via experimentation. However, to do so, typographers needed to understand basic design principles and processes to find solutions to design problems (Heller 2005; Kelley 2015; Schemer-Schebbin 1991). Weingart’s philosophy was that designers ‘should be guided in developing their abilities to independently search for knowledge and ...

[topic sentence]By 1968, demand for changes in social relationships, the emancipation and politicisation of women and minorities, and increasing urbanisation contributed to a global expectation of rebellion, particularly against the social conservatism of the preceding decades.[end topic sentence] [explain] It was also the beginning of a period of intense student activism against authoritarian and patriarchal governments[end explain][Evidence] (Villiger 2013). In the United States, where Swiss Style had become synonymous with corporate America, socio-political tensions surrounding the Vietnam War emerged (Paradis et al. 2013).[End Evidence][Example] Weingart started using more organic and emotional shapes, such as the Issue 11, 1973 cover for TM (TM RSI SGM 1960-90 n.d.c), where the typography is all but obscured by spaces which could be interpreted as bullet holes. [End Example] [Link] The increasing awareness of global complexity and social turmoil encouraged experimentalism and a move away from anonymity to individualism in design.[End Link]

[Link] Weingart believed that for a designer to truly realise their personal typographic ideas, they must first explore all potential design paths via experimentation. [End Link][Explain] However, to do so, typographers needed to understand basic design principles and processes to find solutions to design problems[End Explain] [Evidence] (Heller 2005; Kelley 2015; Schemer-Schebbin 1991). Weingart’s philosophy was that designers ‘should be guided in developing their abilities to independently search for knowledge and ...[End Evidence]

For more information on how to use TEEL, visit the Paragraphs tutorial on the Learning Lab.

The conclusion is your final opportunity to persuade the reader of your position based on the information you have presented. An effective conclusion establishes a sense of completeness.

Your conclusion should:

  • restate your position
  • summarise how the most important evidence supports this
  • show how your position is related to the broader body of knowledge of this field/topic

Examples

Click the examples below and buttons within to explore the different features of the conclusion.

Wolfgang Weingart’s critical questioning of assumed principles of design remains an important element of a designer’s philosophy of practice today. As a designer, Weingart has had his work applauded for its break from the conservatism of the International style and celebrated for its individualism. Yet his focus on experimentation and embrace of technology did not distract from his belief that a designer must understand the basic principles of design practice and graphic techniques to underpin their personal practice. His more expressive approach to typography encouraged new perspectives and a reaction against the corporatisation of the Swiss Typographic Style.

The Atelier Populaire was successful in using ‘the power of democratic speech and popular urban mobilisation to transform society and potentially to transform the state’ (Deaton 2013). Although the Atelier did not immediately achieve its goal of influencing a mass political turnover of capitalist oppression, they were able to broadcast their revolutionary messages and demonstrate their solidarity with the people of France. The Atelier’s success in conceiving and portraying political messages through mass-produced graphic posters and graffiti established a template for design communicators seeking to influence social and political change today.

The identity project for the 1972 Olympic Games became a pivotal moment in communication design, and established Aicher’s importance and influence. The project exemplified Aicher’s intellectually rigorous, socially responsible and ethically engaged approach to identity and communication design. The identity project remains an influential and significant cultural milestone in design history, as much for its refined, rationalised and standardised methodology as for the celebrated design solutions produced.

Example 1: Wolfgang Weingart

[Restate the argument]Wolfgang Weingart’s critical questioning of assumed principles of design remains an important element of a designer’s philosophy of practice today.[End Restate the argument][Sum up the main points] As a designer, Weingart has had his work applauded for its break from the conservatism of the International style and celebrated for its individualism. Yet his focus on experimentation and embrace of technology did not distract from his belief that a designer must understand the basic principles of design practice and graphic techniques to underpin their personal practice.[End Sum up the main points][Relate to the broader topic] His more expressive approach to typography encouraged new perspectives and a reaction against the corporatisation of the Swiss Typographic Style.[End Relate to the broader topic]

Example 2: Atelier Populaire

[Restate the argument]The Atelier Populaire was successful in using ‘the power of democratic speech and popular urban mobilisation to transform society and potentially to transform the state’ (Deaton 2013).[End Restate the argument][Sum up the main points]Although the Atelier did not immediately achieve its goal of influencing a mass political turnover of capitalist oppression, they were able to broadcast their revolutionary messages and demonstrate their solidarity with the people of France. [End Sum up the main points][Relate to the broader topic]The Atelier’s success in conceiving and portraying political messages through mass-produced graphic posters and graffiti established a template for design communicators seeking to influence social and political change today.[End Relate to the broader topic]

Example 3: Otl Aicher

[Restate the argument]The identity project for the 1972 Olympic Games became a pivotal moment in communication design, and established Aicher’s importance and influence.[End Restate the argument][Sum up the main points] The project exemplified Aicher’s intellectually rigorous,socially responsible and ethically engaged approach to identity and communication design.[End Sum up the main points][Relate to the broader topic]The identity project remains an influential and significant cultural milestone in design history, as much for its refined, rationalised and standardised methodology as for the celebrated design solutions produced.[End Relate to the broader topic]