Resources for crafting an eloquently written proposal.

heymisterheylady's picture

Oh hai!
For my last semester getting my BFA in Graphic Design, I am signing up for an independent study to design a series of four display faces and one text face based on the four quadrants of Knoxville, TN (I'm not going to get into the particulars of the project anymore on here... it's not really relevant to my question, I suppose) and I have to write a proposal/time-line/statement type document outlining the project, goals, research etc... I was wondering if anyone out here would know of any other well done projects (not that I want to steal anyone's ideas about the DESIGN, more or less I am just looking for good organization, tone of voice with copy, reasonable time frames, etc...), books, articles, websites, ANYTHING really as sort of a jumping off point for me to scan through whilst writing my own... Comments/opinions/questions, etc... would totally be appreciated as well.

I suppose the things that I am thinking about are ::
* Should the proposal be a thesis where I am PROVING something in my design efforts (that the travel of monied areas in Knoxville throughout the last century–from east to north, from north to west, etc... can be traced by the different visual aspects of the signage in said areas)?
* With these typefaces I hope to create a system wherein the text face complements all four of the display faces, but in talking about my proposal, should I emphasize more the historical significance and research or should I put the emphasis on the usability and legibility of the typefaces themselves? I really don't want to make a Sufjan Stevens "this is a project about a particular place" typeface–I really want these to ultimately be very usable fonts that are important outside of the context of Knoxville.

I'm sure that I will have about a million more questions, but the coffee has set in and I have to get back to work. If anyone has anything to add, just want to say thank you so much in advance.
s.e.

guifa's picture

A proposal is just that. I just defended my masters thesis about 3 weeks ago, and I can tell you it was a good bit different in the end from what the proposal was. But your project will change as you go along. The proposal is basically, "This is what I'm thinking about doing, here's the pre-research I've done to show it's a doable project within the scope of the assignment, and this is the angle I'm going to go at it with."

It's an independent study class, not a thesis study, so take it as that. You need to be proposing what you want to study and how you're going to do it, and then illustrate how you intend to present your findings / prove you actually did what you said you were going to do.

As to what you should emphasize, it depends on what you want to do later on. Are you thinking about continuing on with an MFA? Working in the field? Or are you looking at maybe an MA Art History instead? That might give you an idea which way to go. Also, do you prefer researching, analyzing and writing about works already done, or do you prefer doing art based on studies done? (which it sounds to me is how you're setting it up)

Totally OT: it's a shame that in all my time at AU and UA, I never once went to a Hillbilly or Dogwood Invitational at UT (I'm presuming you're going there since you're focusing on Knoxville).

«El futuro es una línea tan fina que apenas nos damos cuenta de pintarla nosotros mismos». (La Luz Oscura, por Javier Guerrero)

heymisterheylady's picture

This is more of a continuation of a personal project that I have been working on for the past few months. The display faces are basically already finished, it's the text face that was more of the decisive factor in taking this independent study (there are so many more considerations with a the text and I wanted the structure of having a "class" and then having someone to attack with questions. Oh yeah, that and I want to bump up my GPA). The studies that have been done are my own... It was just something I noticed while I was driving around taking photos, and talking to old men in bars... That the "good" parts of town here have been basically all over and how the city itself, instead of transferring the wealth back to certain areas and then back again is progressively moving west... (shit for urban planning).
Understandably, this is only an independent study, but my reasons for taking this on were to 1. finally finish a project IN THE RIGHT WAY that I have been obsessing over for months 2. round out my portfolio because type design is ultimately something I want to do for the dollahz 3. make my GPA a little more respectable, because let's be honest, I work at a coffee shop full-time and go to school full-time :: MY GRADES (although the WORK is good) BLOW (by my standards).

*tsk tsk for the Hillbilly Invitational. You know we can get someone knocked off for $30 bucks here. hehehe

guifa's picture

Well, if you try, remember we work for less in Alabama, I can get people knocked off for $20. :) But it's a real tournament, 'twasn't a sarcastic comment at all.

If your focusing more on the design aspect then I would look at 1- why your text font works as such, and 2- how/why it fits in the context of Southern/Tennessian/Knoxvillian design and aesthetic. That would still require some of the historic (or at least current trends) research, but it would focus more on your type design itself.

«El futuro es una línea tan fina que apenas nos damos cuenta de pintarla nosotros mismos». (La Luz Oscura, por Javier Guerrero)

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