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Place branding and cross-cultural visual communication : how do the theories and practices of place branding inform our understanding of cross-cultural visual communication design?

conference contribution
posted on 2010-01-01, 00:00 authored by Meghan KellyMeghan Kelly
In a globalised environment, visual communication designers are now required to understand their audience’s needs, values and unique methods of communication, creating a new focus on the recipient. In a cross-cultural design context, the visual communication also needs to appeal to a broad range of stakeholders and multiple recipients who hold a strong emotional investment in the message being sent. Our understanding of the complexities of designing in this environment can be informed by recent developments in the research of place branding where the focus is on the increased possibility for failure, the strong potential for criticism and the issues associated with a broad range of stakeholders.

The outcomes of this connection are explored further in a case study involving eight countries as diverse as Australia, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Turkey, Qatar, United States of America and Zimbabwe. More than 140 student and lecturer participants reviewed a student driven cross-cultural visual communication project that produced over 560 designs. The increased potential for failure and strong, emotional criticism raised questions about the role of images and symbols in cross-cultural visual communication. The impact these have on the reception of the design, challenge our views on the use of stereotypical imagery. This paper will discuss the movement towards designing visual images that are generic and lacking in cultural representation presenting the view that stereotypical imagery is important to the recipient who relies on these cultural references to effectively read the message.



Cumulus 38º South: hemispheric shifts across learning, teaching and research


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Melbourne, Vic.

Place of publication

Aalto, Finland

Start date


End date




Publication classification

E1.1 Full written paper - refereed

Copyright notice

2009, Cumulus


K Friedman

Title of proceedings

Proceedings of Cumulus 38º South Conference (can not locate details)

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