What roles do the design and layout of a Supermarket play in affecting and increasing the up-sell of products?

Keywords (5):

Consumer behaviour

Rationale (254/250):

To the untrained eye, Supermarkets appear as nothing more than what they are defined as; “a large self-service shop selling foods and household goods” (Dictionary, 2018). There are several extraneous variables and factors that subconsciously affect and illustrate how customers spend their money within supermarkets. From simple elements such as the speed and genre of the music playing, to the strategic placement of products implanted next to the checkout becoming recognised as “essential purchases” that customers are less likely to turn down due to being bombarded by them. Supermarkets also tend to offer a fresh bakery smell to not only trigger memories of those crisp yummy croissants everyone admits to demolishing on those family holidays to France (BBC, 2018) but it is also said to activate the salivary glands increasing the likeliness of customers to make impulse purchases (Lubin, 2011).

These marketing skills are consistently used throughout several chains of supermarkets and even the most “necessary” items are believed to be needed while shopping. An example would be shopping carts; they aid in the increase of business due to the large space available, allowing and making room for mass amounts of products to be purchased (Lubin, 2011).

I became fascinated with this idea that every scheme within the supermarket industry has been perfectly calibrated to achieve greater increase of business each year. Through this research essay, I will not only educate myself about the mechanics behind brainwashing consumers but also hope to learn so that these strategies can be applied to how I advertise my current work.

Methodology (272/250):

I plan to inspect and analyse several supermarkets first hand and will focus essentially on primary data by using an approach combined from qualitative and quantitative data. Qualitative data has been described as “concerned with understanding human behaviour from the informants behaviour” whereas quantitative becomes “concerned with discovering facts about social phenomena” (McLeod, 2017). Through interviewing employees, examining similarities and marketing attitudes as well as creating sample groups, the evaluation of exploration techniques will become easier allowing the findings to be categorised to a decent representative of the target population however, secondary data will also be required. Unfortunately, not every supermarket can be evaluated but by using both, a more complex understanding will develop and have the ability to apply to a larger audience.

Already having relationships within my local Sainsbury’s is beneficial as the conversations curated will lose most bias. The employees are no longer trying to impress me and feel comfortable expressing how they feel. I am recognised as a friend solely before a purchaser which has blocked them to acknowledge me as “stupid shopper”. Blythman (2007, p. 44) described a “stupid shopper” as a customer that comes off as “desperate and in need of of the tutoring that only supermarkets can supply”. With me, their main goal isn’t to try and sell a product but rather find out how my day was. This allows me to have a real conversations and understand their personal opinions about the marketing strategies used.

Although I will be focusing on Supermarkets entirely, I do believe the actions learned can be applied favourably to several businesses such as the tourist industry including hotels, museums and galleries.

Literature review (975/974):

So again, what is the purpose of a Supermarket? The supermarket business has progressed over the last couple years due to their way of prioritising. Although they have been identified as “self-service shops selling fundamental goods” (Dictionary, 2018), they have also developed into what one would call “a one-stop shop”. Seth and Randall stated (2011, p.168) “Shoppers have gained many concrete advantages: a huge range of products, sourced from all over the world; a one-stop shop, where this range is gathered in one place, increasingly with other services such as pharmacies, dry cleaning, access to cash, a post office and petrol”. Supermarket workers have realised that by creating a destination which fills every customers desire and need, it will produce a massive increase in sales because they will no longer need to shop anywhere else! Not only will customers become more reliant on their services but they can also become influenced into buying more items in the mean time.

Shelley L. Koch investigated the concept of grocery shopping within America and admits that the layout of the store is what most customers will follow; “Once the shopper has reached the parking lot, the design of the store ushers her through the automatic doors, where she grabs her shopping cart and then follows the layout of the store” (Koch p. 13, 2012).


Image 1: Generalised blueprint of a supermarket (Independent, 2012)

The layout of a Supermarket is considered a universal trait within this industry because throughout my research, I have recognised that several Supermarkets use this tactic of having the fresh produce the first thing customers see as they enter into the store. The environment design of supermarkets is said to influence the consumers behaviour as it allows them to be put in a better mood, increasing the chances of more money being spent (The Conversation, 2014). Seth and Randall also discuss the layout of a store and agree that the fruitage is what sets the atmosphere of the store; “Entering the supermarket, she is confronted by the fresh produce section (her husband has told her that it is designed to give an aura of freshness and authenticity to the whole store, but to her it’s just the fruit and veg)” (2011, p.11).

Nonetheless, this is not the only arrangement that has been carefully assessed to result in customers buying more things. Upon entering and walking down the isles of a supermarket, customers are harassed with signs full of offers stating “2 for the price of 1” or the interest of buying a pack of makeup wipes worth £3 individually in a bulk set of 3 at the price of £6 instead, saving £3 all together. Tactics like this cheat and allow the shopper to feel in charge and that they are really getting their moneys worth when in reality, they do not actually need 3 packs of makeup wipes and have ended up spending more money than intended. Negotiations like this have personally caught my attention before and it is said the average British household spends about £1480 a year on promotions (Quality Food Awards, 2018). This demonstrates that good deals are hard to pass up especially when the layout and design works in favour of them, blocking out the con of more money being spent by constantly bragging that it is a bargain no one can afford to miss. 

Due to the uprise of competition within this diligent industry, popular supermarkets such as Asda have created a marketing arrangement which included a videoed advert. This advert highlighted comparisons between the prices of their items in contrast to the same item sold by other convenience stores such as Tesco or Morrisons. The video (Vol Pi, 2010) displays Asda’s claim to have 1,115 cheaper products than Morrisons, Tesco and Sainsbury’s combined. These particular supermarkets have also come up with similar strategies to each other to “extract the best deal”. Blythman highlighted Tesco’s slogan of being “committed to maintaining strong mutually advantageous relationships with our suppliers” comparing to Asda’s “belief in good relationships which we work to improve all the time” and Sainsbury’s “we are very proud of the good relationships we have with our suppliers” (2007, p. 142). It seems as though each supermarket hold the same goal, they refuse to admit sounding identical to each other.

Comparing the supermarkets today to supermarkets ten years ago, a lot of changes have been made to improve their customer service. Their sensory and visual designs have upgraded massively to get, as Parker would say, “shoppers to shop faster” (2017, p.140). Self checkouts have cut the long lines as well as put more ease on the workers due to less customer demands. The size of a store is also relevant as “One reason our stores can be small is that each week we stock only a few impulse goods. We limit our stocks, so that they are sold out in a week or two. We do it to tip the balance, for shoppers to come back each week.” (p. 82, 2017) This tricky method allows to shopper to make shopping for certain goods a weekly routine.

In conclusion, by opening an investigation into the food shopping cooperation, I intend to find out whether the design plan of a supermarket can produce positive outcomes on both ends of the consumer and the producer as well as the overall significance on the consumers behaviour. Throughout my development, I am determined to expand my knowledge on not only the construction of a shop but the psychology behind every decision made and aim to establish a personal contribution in these discussions. So finally, what roles do the design and layout of a Supermarket play in affecting and increasing the up-sell of products and are they superficially set up resulting in them being more cost effective and dangerous than worth it? The answer is they play a huge hidden agenda, one that I have yet to explore and hold the ability to psychology control any customers mind.


BBC (2018) How Do Supermarkets Tempt You to Spend More Money? Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/z27yg82 (Accessed: 14 May 2018).

Blythman, J. (2007) Shopped: The shocking power of Britain’s supermarkets. London: Harper Perennial.

Dictionary (2018) Supermarket. Available at: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/supermarket (Accessed: 14 May 2018).

Independent (2012) Untitled 1. Available at: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/the-secrets-of-our-supermarkets-8228864.html (Downloaded: 12 May 2018).

Koch, S.L. (2012) A Theory of Grocery Shopping: Food, Choice and Conflict. Berg Publishers.

Lubin, G. (2011) 15 Ways Supermarkets Trick You into Spending More Money. Available at: http://www.businessinsider.com/supermarkets-make-you-spend-money-2011-7?IR=T (Accessed: 5 May 2018).

McLeod, S. (2017) Qualitative vs. Quantitative. Available at: https://www.simplypsychology.org/qualitative-quantitative.html (Accessed: 20 March 2018).

Parker, G.N.C. (2017) UK Supermarket wars 2014-2020; How it started, who’s winning, and why. Great Britain: Plain Press Limited.

Quality Food Awards (2018) Promotional deals on the wane, as grocery retails shift to everyday low pricing. Available at: https://qualityfoodawards.com/news/promotional-deals-on-the-wane-as-grocery-retailers-shift-to-everyday-low-pricing-02-12-2016/ (Accessed: 15 May 2018).

Seth, A. and Randall, G. (2011) The Grocers: The rise and rise of the supermarket chains. London: Kogan Page, third edition.

The Conversation (2014) The science that makes us spend more money in Supermarkets, and feel good while we do it. Available at: http://theconversation.com/the-science-that-makes-us-spend-more-in-supermarkets-and-feel-good-while-we-do-it-23857 (Accessed: 16 May 2018).

Vol Pi (2010) Asda Price Compare with Tesco, Morrisons ETC. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_w2Sd01NKHk (Accessed: 15 May 2018).

Individual analysis report of the collaboration brief.

Before the start of the new term, several classes were given the same collaboration brief which required members from each subject (Games Design, Interactive Design Arts etc) to integrate and mix into small preplanned groups. Unfortunately, although we were recommended by Joel to familiarise ourselves with each other through email, my group didn’t actually meet until the day of the debriefing. Thankfully, I had a member from my class in my group meaning I didn’t feel too apprehensive about mingling as I do sometimes struggle with making friends.

Screen Shot 2018-03-14 at 18.24.17.png

After being debriefed for about five minutes, we were set off freely to do as we pleased. My group and I decided to dive straight into work by establishing a name and condition. We did work on this for quite some time due to a few disagreements about which name would work well with whichever condition more, however because we wanted to work in harmony, we agreed that creating a tally would be the best way to resolve this issue due to the majority over the minority rule.

Screen Shot 2018-03-14 at 15.24.45.png

The tally resulted in our group choosing “Australian macadamias” as a name, as well as the condition of “1 every minute”.

Screen Shot 2018-03-14 at 15.26.36.png

We soon realised that we would only have 20 minutes, 15 minutes of that being game time which would mean we could only use 15 macadamias each (1 every minute/15 minutes= 15 macadamias). I personally felt this would restrict the potential of the game as you could possibly give out more than and why decrease the capability of the game? After voicing my opinion to the group, other members said they felt the complete same so as a collective, we settled on changing our condition to “nobody can move”. The game “stuck in the mud” was suggested as an influence for our game because the same condition is used and it has generated so much success.

After we were satisfied with our choice, we exchanged our numbers and created a group chat on Whatsapp to keep in touch and discuss concepts. The conversation was nameless as we hadn’t determined what we’d like to be called. It was very interesting working with students who were not from the same course as I as we were all individually able to add an input and generate ideas from different perspectives to each other which was quite refreshing and fascinating.


We were set our next task for class which was to deliver a presentation explaining our game, the name and condition as well as a ruff summary of the rules. As we hadn’t settled on a name, we were originally going to go along with ‘Australian Macadamias’, however, the word ‘Nut’ was thrown into the conversation and contemplated on. We did also think about the title having a sexual word play as it could prove out to be quite amusing so we did develop a few names such as “Grab my nuts!”, “Take my nuts!”, “Eat my nuts!” and “One minute nut” (this name was created while we still had the condition of “one per minute”) and decided to ask friends and family which name out of those they preferred. Again, we was going to use the majority over the minority rule of choosing which name was picked the most. Eventually we felt those were way too erotic and we wanted to keep it child friendly here. Finally, we reverted back to settling with the name “Nut”.

We kept our presentation short and simple like the name and addressed our ideas and plans to our audience. I do believe as a group we could have been a bit more vocal as only one member of our group was explaining our proposal, however, this did then give me to urge to speak whereas I would usually shy away! I was proud to have come out of my comfort zone, even though it was only for a short minute and by the end of the presentation, a question of “who would play the game right now?” was put out there and there was a massive show of hands. I was quite surprised but very happy as it proved that we had an interesting game regardless of how simple it was.

While creating the rule sheet, each member was active in participating. Noel and Keiron were anointed on selecting which rules worked best for the game, Gwyn was chosen to create and create the rule sheet, I was picked to design the logo for Nut with the help of Stephen as he thought it would be best to use UAL’s logo as an influence. Noel was also a massive help on the physical creativity and design of the macadamia pouches.



On game day, we originally had the idea of having players rather than playing ourselves. Nonetheless, we played, setting a timer of 15 minutes and found a spot we’d stick to, to then convince strangers to take a picture with a macadamia nut. Through playing, we established that social skills as well as your personality played a bit part in your success in the game. You had to be able to talk to people with confidence as well as have persuasion skills and if you didn’t have those abilities, it was very easy to lose. Kieron, the charmer, came in first place by successfully giving away all 20 nuts with 20 pictures to prove. Stephen is quite a laid back and reserved person so I believe these personality traits is what caused him to only give two macadamias away. I identify myself as an ambivert so found myself conflicted between two traits of confidence and shying away. I only managed to give 7 nuts away meaning I also received 7 selfies which can be seen below:

Overall, collaborating with other disciplines in creating this game has been beneficial for me; I’ve been able to become more confident in my team-work skills as well as practice other ways of working. It’s also inspired me to be more charismatic and competitive because I do believe I could have tried harder.

What role can Graphic Design play in (meaningfully) addressing the issue of climate change?


Climate change has been described by the Dictionary (2018) as “a change in global or regional climate patterns, in particular a change apparent from the mid to late 20th century onwards and attributed largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels”.

The National Ocean Service (2018) have announced a fun fact on their website, being: “To date, we’ve only explored less than five percent of the ocean”. However, we’ve managed to pollute 80%, with a huge majority of the pollution coming from land (National Ocean Service, 2018).

Air pollution along with is associated with climate change due to the release of CO2 emissions ( IASS POSDAM, 2018). Greenhouse gases are also considered one of the main elements in effecting climate change.

Although climate change is often mentioned in magazines and newspapers, it is repeatedly brushed to the side due to more “exciting” articles. Justin Bieber dating a new girl or what colour Kim Kardashian’s new wig is. Discussing climate change is recognised as distasteful or a downer in the modern world, especially when you have the option of avoiding acknowledgementThankfully, there are companies such as Green Peace, National Geographic and NASA dedicated to disclosing the information they believe is vital. By letting us know, we are able to tackle the problem together rather than live in ignorance and let our Earth die.

Two pictures taken on the same day within one hour. First photo, clear skies, rather warm (Campbell, 2018). Second photo, freezing cold, icy windows and snowing (Campbell, 2018). Taken in March, “the beginning of Spring”.

The Paris Agreement was established quite recently, in the year 2016 however had been drafted throughout the end of 2015. It’s purpose is to deal with greenhouse gases across each country and discover a way to lessen global warming starting in the year 2020. Donald Trump questioned the concept of the agreement and in June of 2017, stated his hope to remove America from the plan (‘United States withdrawal from the Paris Agreement’, 2018).

The detective-like group Public Citizen revealed an analysis last year about how the mainstream media neglect to report climate change into their news stories (Public Citizen, 2017). Leppig (2017) also collected a series of opinions from several journalist on the same topic of including climate change in the media. A remarkable amount of journalists all agreed that covering the topic of climate change in media is significant, however, there needs to be a balance.

Klein quotes (pg. 6) “Climate change has never received the crisis treatment from our leaders, despite the fact that it carries the risk of destroying lives on a vastly greater scale than collapsed banks or collapsed buildings.” and it’s true. Although some of the effects are detectable, does the invisibility of it play a part into why it’s not taken seriously?  Klein also dissects (pg. 7) “all the kinds of ways that climate change could become a catalysing force for positive change” as it could finally call for a requirement of help for a new world and a new life.


Campbell, E. 2018. Elephant & Castle: Before. [photograph] (iPhone library).

Campbell, E. 2018. University Window with Snow. [photograph] (iPhone library).

Dictionary (2018) Climate Change. Available at: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/climate-change?s=t (Accessed: 10 February 2018).

IASS POSDAM (2018) Air Pollution and Climate Change. Available at: https://www.iass-potsdam.de/en/output/dossiers/air-pollution-and-climate-change (Accessed: 24 February 2018).

Klein, N. (2014) This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate. United States of America: Simon & Schuster.

Leppig, J. (2017) How Important is it that the Mainstream Media Covers Climate Change. Available at: https://islandpress.org/blog/how-important-it-main-stream-media-covers-climate-change (Accessed: 7 March 2018).

National Ocean Service (2018) How much of the ocean have we explored. Available at: https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/exploration.html (Accessed: 10 March 2018).

National Ocean Service (2018) What is the biggest source of pollution in the ocean. Available at: https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/pollution.htmll (Accessed: 13 March 2018).

Public Citizen (2017) ‘Carbon Omission: How the U.S. Media Underreported Climate Change in 2017’. Available at: https://www.citizen.org/sites/default/files/public-citizen-carbon-omission-media-report-january-2018.pdf (Accessed: 23 February 2018).

‘United States withdrawal from the Paris Agreement’ (2018) Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_withdrawal_from_the_Paris_Agreement (Accessed: 10 March 2018).


“Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest- and you know it! Please don’t feel stupid or insecure, it’s not your fault”

 A detailed analysis exploring the way in which Donald John Trump, the current president of the United States, uses Twitter in it’s full capability as a means of communicating his personal opinions towards the public.

After studying several topics within my Graphic Design in Context class, I was intrigued by the subject of Politics the greatest, particularly the way in which social media can create an uproar and affect real life situations regardless of how unserious and silly the statements are or come across. Donald Trump, the current president of the United States of America, has been described as America’s “TV president” (Nesbit, 2016) due to his previous debuts on television as well as being the first famous person to become the president. Focusing on the social media application Twitter, which was founded in the year 2006 (‘Twitter’, 2018) as a private company by Jack Dorsey, I wanted to inspect the way in which Trump approaches and handles it. Unfortunately, there are no books discussing Trump’s usage of the app and how incredibly awkward and unprofessional it looks but considering the topic is of social media, I believe it is acceptable to use sources such as articles and online newscasts. In this essay, I will be breaking down his use of Twitter through the analysis of his popular “viral” tweets to demonstrate how it has affected his presidential campaign as well as the public.

Screen Shot 2018-03-12 at 09.29.01.pngFigure 1. An overview of Donald Trump’s Twitter account (2018)

A first impression on the overview of the manner Trump tweets in almost suggests that he exaggerates his personal problems so they can result into public battles. This allows them to receive attention as well as a response. Between being the president of the United States and a role model for the people, where and why does he find the time to tweet such bogus? And of course, why is it still being allowed?

To provide a little background information on this case, Donald Trump first joined Twitter in the year 2009, the month of March to be precise, when the world was a far less complicated place that didn’t exactly revolve around technology, but was more keen on learning about it.

Trump’s first official tweet was sent on the 4th of May of the same year and was to let his fans and followers know about his guest appearance on the show ‘Late Night with David Letterman’ (Hartmans, 2017).

Screen Shot 2018-03-12 at 12.27.47A first tweet with the new rookie SMS inspired application (Trump, 2009)

Back to the times before he wormed his way into politics, Trump was recognised for his workmanship in businesses as well as TV appearances. He was privileged enough to inherit his fathers real estate company at the age of twenty-five and settled on renaming it ‘The Trump Organization’ (‘Donald Trump’, 2018). After turning his name into a brand, he ran into a few mishaps with bankruptcy (CNN, 2018) however somehow managed to become the president as well as acquire a net worth of more than 3 billion, with 1.5 billion invested into NYC real estate as well as another 560 million into his golf club resorts (Forbes, 2018).

Trumps twitter account was initially used to promote his new book “Think Like a Champion” along with other platforms such as Youtube (ExpandedBooks, 2009) and tweets were written and sent by staff members such as Peter Constanzo however, over the years, he eventually used the account solely to make comments and slander other politicians and celebrities (‘Donald Trump on Social Media’, 2018). Before he was officially announced the 45th President of the United States of America, he claimed he would “dial down” on tweeting as well as the overall usage of his social media accounts (McCormick, 2016) to appear more fit for the professional job, nonetheless, during his 2016 campaign, he relied on the network a lot more than expected and managed to obtain a lot of attention through it.

Pattinson can do so much better in Trump’s opinion (Trump, 2012)

Previously, Trump would speak on several relevant matters which increased the volume of followers he possessed each time. Above is an example (Trump, 2012). Trump stated his opinion, although it was not asked, on the Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson scandal. Stewart had cheated on her boyfriend and Twilight superstar, Robert Pattinson, with director Rupert Sanders (Eggenberger, 2013) and Trump felt it was very necessary to touch on the topic but did so again (Trump, 2012) ..

and again (Trump, 2012)

and again (Trump, 2012),

..and, again (Trump, 2012). All in a matter of five days.

Tweets like this would all catch light which encouraged Trump to speak his mind more, since there was so much support. Below are some more examples of Trump speaking his mind:

Since 2013, Trump’s twitter style has remained consistent with criticism and remarks on everything and is said to have an average of 11 tweets per day (‘Donald Trump on Social Media’, 2018).

Twitter_activity_of_Donald_TrumpTrump’s twitter activity from the day he made the account, 2009, to last year September, 2017. You can see during the year 2013, his tweeting activity increased dramatically. (‘Donald Trump on Social Media’, 2018)

Trump explained how he believed Twitter and Facebook are “great forms of communication” (McCormick, 2016) and allow him to have a “method of fighting back” against the backlash of a bad or inaccurate story. And of course, he had the full support of the country he made “great again” and using his newly made 2020 slogan “will keep great” (Barnes, 2018) as the first amendment allows freedom of speech (United States History, 2018)! Unless of course you’re a woman, black, disabled or Muslim. But free speech for everyone who isn’t that! Yay!

Next I will be discussing the presidential debate between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump. This aired on the… was listed as the most tweeted debate (Jarvey, 2016) in Twitter history, holding up to 17.1 million interactions.


Trump and Clinton head to head during a presidential debate (Richards, 2016)

While reading through articles about the debate, this is what was written: “During what turned out to be the most tweeted about debate ever, Trump refused to drop his tax records but instead offered his number of followers on his social-media accounts.” Trump then continue to state “Between Facebook and Twitter I have almost 25 million people,” Trump said at the second presidential debate. “I’m not un-proud of it, to be honest with you.” (White, 2016).

This statement alone further proves that social status Trump has accumulated through Twitter has the ability to fulfil Trump, making him feel accomplished and established due to having such a high amount of followers. It also proposes that Trump respects popularity more than what’s right, using the amount of believers he has as an excuse for anything he does.

The dumbest conspiracy theory I’ve ever read (Trump, 2012)

I believe due to the level of absurdity, the tweet seen above was the most retweeted tweet from that night although it was said over 4 years ago at the time.

Although Trump continuously creates chaos with his excessive tweeting, I do believe there are a few excuses explaining his online existence:

a. He’s the President of the United States which allows him immunity to any sort of discipline or termination despite the copious amounts of disrespect he delivers,

b. Because he trends! He generates debates and interactions but regardless, he brings attention which is beneficial for the app!

and finally,

c. It’s awfully entertaining. It’s impossible to believe the president of the United States is the same man who tweeted “Happy Father’s Day to all, even the haters and the losers!” (Trump, 2013)

A very lovely message to the community Trump strives to impress (Trump, 2013)

The founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, was indeed questioned about the reasoning behind allowing Trump to be on the application actively as well as the matter of banning Trump and why it hasn’t taken place yet. Without entirely addressing the president by name, it was explained that by “Blocking a world leader from Twitter or removing their controversial Tweets, would hide important information people should be able to see and debate” as well as “it would also not silence that leader, but it would certainly hamper necessary discussion around their words and actions,” (White, 2018).

Twitter users have publicly brought their concerns to the Twitter headquarters located in New York directly using visual protests. In the photo below, the quote “Be a Hero: Ban Trump” can be seen projected onto the building.

Protest held outside of Twitter HQ about banning Trump from their app (2018)

Despite all the efforts made, his social empire still stands.This brings into question, would Twitter have allowed Adolf Hitler to have an account? Probably. Is it right to? No, it shouldn’t be but due to the level of power possessed, anything is possible.

In the opening of this essay, I briefly mentioned technology. I am now going to go further into the topic because over the years, it has become the norm to own a handful of social media accounts. The influence of social media is often disregarded but is able to affect your perception and has the capability of exposing information. The power is in everyone’s hands but is exclusively dangerous to those with an immense following.

As Drake once said in his hit diss-track towards Meek Mill “trigger fingers turn to Twitter fingers” (Drake, 2015) and I believe this lyric applies to Trump. Anytime Trump has felt or feels inferior or provoked, he resorts to Twitter in such a way that a therapist’s patient would. It displays vulnerability and childish behaviour. This action of provocative tweeting alone is very alarming and can potentially cause dangerous decisions to be made. 

Recently North Korean leader Kim Jong-un claimed that Trump had declared war on his Country (Allen, 2017). What was Trumps response to this?

Of course Trump tweeted something sweet that would fizzle out the rumours and allow the pair to be friends. Don’t be daft, of course he didn’t (Trump, 2018)

Verbally attacking a possible threat and opponent to your country is like inviting a war to your country and isn’t exactly the best way to go about things. Do we really need a world war 3?
Again, the impulsiveness of his Trump’s tweets is a key reason why he should be banned. This type of explosive behaviour is dangerous because it has demonstrated what gets to him, what ticks him off and pushes him to make certain comments; should he be allowed to show such vulnerability considering the risks?

Although Trump’s twitter is identified as a gag and is able to present emotionally filled tweets, when serious situations do occur, it is very hard to acknowledge any attempts at sincerity. Unfortunately, the state of Florida recently experienced a school shooting, the 17th school shooting to happen in America just this year alone (Aiello, 2018). It was tragic and caused the lives of 17 people to be lost. What was Trumps response to this?

“Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again” but they did, and wasn’t listened to. (Trump, 2018)

Rather than blaming the perpetrator and Gunman, Nikolas Cruz, Trump somehow managed to flip the script and victim blame. There were also many records of reports on Cruz that were ignored. Not only was the school was let down, but whole the nation was. A school should be one of the safest environments to be and it’s incredibly sad this happened.

Many people fired back at Trump with tweets demanding gun control and to stop putting cuts on Mental Health programmes, as they believe these would have prevented the incident. There was in fact so much commentary on the incident, it impacted Trump to engage in changing the age limit for guns despite claiming there was “not much political support”.

Trump in regards to age limits within buying guns (Trump, 2018)

To conclude, Twitter could be recognised as the unsupervised ammunition Trump needed for his Smith & Wesson M&P Shield, a gun which has been listed as America’s most popular gun of the year 2016 (CBS News, 2016). Unfortunately, as long as Twitter keeps its rules of allowing a world leader on the platform despite the way they behave, there will always be a debate. Not everyone is going to be happy with the result but I do believe there should be action taken on the restriction of what he can tweet as he does often come out with ridiculous, false statements.







Nesbit, J. (2016) Donald Trump Is the First True Reality TV President. Available at: http://time.com/4596770/donald-trump-reality-tv/ (Accessed: 8 March 2018).

‘Twitter’ (2018) Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitter (Accessed: 8 March 2018).

Trump, D. (2012) [Twitter] 18 October. Available at: https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/258937466155831297 (Accessed: 6 March 2018).

Forbes (2018) The Definitive Net Worth of Donald Trump. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/donald-trump/#7d1cc38d2899 (Accessed: 8 March 2018).

McCormick, R. (2016) Donald Trump says Facebook and Twitter “helped him win”. Available at: https://www.theverge.com/2016/11/13/13619148/trump-facebook-twitter-helped-win (Accessed: 8 March 2018).

CBS News (2016) America’s favourite guns. Available at: https://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/most-popular-guns-in-america/7/(Accessed: 8 March 2018).

Trump, D. (2012) [Twitter] 17 October. Available at: https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/258640349872926720 (Accessed: 7 March 2018).

Eggenberger, N. (2013) Kristen Stewart’s Cheating Scandal One Year Later: A Timeline of Events. Available at: https://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/kristen-stewarts-cheating-scandal-a-timeline-of-events-2013177/ (Accessed: 7 March 2018).

Jarvey, N. (2016) First Presidential Debate Breaks Twitter Record. Available at: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/first-presidential-debate-breaks-twitter-932779 (Accessed: 6 March 2018).

Trump, D. (2009) [Twitter] 4 May. Available at: https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1698308935= (Accessed: 5 March 2018).

Trump, D. (2012) [Twitter] 6 November. Available at: https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/265895292191248385 (Accessed: 5 March 2018).

White, J.B. (2018) Twitter explains why it will not ban Donald Trump (without mentioning his name). Available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-twitter-suspend-account-explanation-statement-us-president-north-korea-a8144631.html (Accessed: 9 March 2018).

Trump, D. (2012) [Twitter] 18 October. Available at: https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/258966137302315009 (Accessed: 6 March 2018).

Trump, D. (2012) [Twitter] 22 October. Available at: https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/260482827458592768 (Accessed: 6 March 2018).

Trump, D. (2012) [Twitter] 23 October. Available at: https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/260814133690249217 (Accessed: 6 March 2018).

Allen, N. (2017) US dismisses North Korea’s claim it has ‘declared war’ as absurd. Available at: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/09/25/north-korea-says-donald-trump-has-declared-war/ (Accessed: 9 March 2018).

Trump, D. (2018) [Twitter] 3 Jan. Available at: https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/948355557022420992 (Accessed: 9 March 2018).

‘Donald Trump on Social Media’ (2018) Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump_on_social_media (Accessed: 3 March 2018).

‘Donald Trump’ (2018) Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump (Accessed: 10 March 2018).

Hartmans, A. (2017) Donald Trump’s first-ever Tweet was a plug for ‘Late Night with David Letterman’. Available at: http://uk.businessinsider.com/donald-trump-first-tweet-2017-5 (Accessed: 9 March 2018).

Figure 1. Screenshot of Donald Trump’s Twitter page. Donald Trump, Twitter. Retrieved from: https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump Screenshot by author (11 March 2018)

CNN (2018) Donald Trump Fast Facts. Available at: https://edition.cnn.com/2013/07/04/us/donald-trump-fast-facts/index.html (Accessed: 7 March 2018).

ExpandedBooks (2009) Donald Trump – Think Like A Champion. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uJzZkgureo (Accessed: 7 March 2018).

Richards, P.J. (2016) Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton at the third presidential debate. Available at: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/2016-election-donald-trump-hillary-clinton-climate-change/ (Downloaded: 9 March 2018).

Barnes, T. (2018) Trump unveils ‘Keep America Great’ as 2020 presidential election campaign slogan. Available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/trump-2020-campaign-slogan-keep-america-great-again-make-presidential-election-a8250301.html (Accessed: 12 March 2018).

United States History (2018) Amendments Summary: 27 Updates to the U.S. Constitution. Available at: http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h926.html (Accessed: 6 March 2018).

Drake. (2015) Back to Back. New Orleans, U.S.: Cash Money Records.

Aiello, C. (2018) 17 School Shootings in 45 Days- Florida Massacre is one of many tragedies in 2018. Available at: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/14/florida-school-shooting-brings-yearly-tally-to-18-in-2018.html (Accessed: 10 March 2018).

Trump, D. (2018) [Twitter] 12 March. Available at: https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/973187513731944448?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bbc.co.uk%2Fnews%2Fworld-us-canada-43369991 (Accessed: 12 March 2018).

How does Bauhaus represent a particular way of thinking and is this evident through the institutions output?

The Bauhaus institution, the original name being Staatliches Bauhaus which was commonly translated into “School of Building” or “construction house”, was founded 1919, in the German city Weimar. The school was founded by Walter Gropius after he independently devised a manifesto and held the idea of combining fine art and crafts into one medium (‘Bauhaus’, 2018). This became influential on Graphic Design at the time because of how out of the box and unique it seemed. No one had even attempted at mixing two different mediums. For the first three years of its existence, it had become shaped by pedagogical and aesthetic ideas of Johannes Itten.

Johannes Itten indeed taught at the Bauhaus school through 1919-1922 by cultivating students on the basics of “material characteristics, composition and colour” (‘Johannes Itten’, 2018) and a lot of workshops within the institution were motivated by him (Bauhaus Archive Teaching, 2018).

The idea of the school and it’s blueprint was thought out many a time, changing very frequently but one aspect Gropius was confident about was experimentation. Experimentation along with thinking organically was highly encouraged in the school as the Bauhaus movement was “set out to change society”; you wouldn’t be able to accomplish this without thinking outside of the box or delving into the range of distinctive techniques the institution had to offer.


Bauhaus Ideal course structure and student pathways (Gropius, 1919)

The teaching methods that remained in Bauhaus was aimed to replace the traditional pupil-teacher relationship and form into more of a social and community bond. For example, Itten refrained from rectifying students work in concern that it would crush their “creative impulse” (‘Johannes Itten, 2018). The objective was to integrate art in everyday life through design, architecture and they would do so by bringing several different practices all under one roof as well as assimilate modern technology with historic techniques (GreenGinger, 2016). There were carpentry courses, mathematics, photography, weaving, ceramics as well as theory classes (Whilsere, 2017). The famous pedagogical diagram seen above contains layers of classes, the biggest being the foundation and the core holding mastery (Tallman, 2010).


The revolutionary Bayer Universal Typeface which only contained lower case letters (Bayer, 1925)

Herbert Bayer was a student at Bauhaus for 4 years and was taught by stars such as Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky. His printing style had developed and formed over the years; he had become associated with “using lowercase, sans serif typefaces and having a crisp style for the Bauhaus publications” (‘Herbert Bayer’, 2018) and was eventually anointed director of printing and advertising by Walter Gropius. The project was exciting for Bayer and he managed to create “Universal”, a typeface with required no upper case and was simple (Design History, 2011).

Lastly, the school would close its doors for good 14 years later, in the year 1933, after the German Nazi’s forced it to shut down (Moholy, 2018). Although the school was shut, the structure of the Art and Design used within the Bauhaus school as well as the material taught is still as relevant and useful as it was back then to this very day!



Bauhaus Archive Teaching (2018) Teaching at the Bauhaus. Available at: https://www.bauhaus.de/en/das_bauhaus/45_unterricht/ (Accessed: 8 February 2018).

‘Bauhaus’ (2018) Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bauhaus (Accessed: 10 February 2018).

Bayer, H. (1925) Universal Bayer. Available at: http://www.theartstory.org/movement-bauhaus-artworks.htm#pnt_2 (Downloaded: 1 March 2018).

Design History (2011) Typography Teachers at Bauhaus – Experiments in Idealist Typefaces. Available at: http://www.designhistory.org/Avant_Garde_pages/BauhausType.html (Accessed: 10 March 2018).

GreenGinger (2016) Why is Bauhaus still so influential today? Available at: http://greengingerdesign.co.uk/why-is-bauhaus-influential-today/ (Accessed: 20 February 2018).

‘Herbert Bayer’ (2018) Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbert_Bayer (Accessed: 9 March 2018).

Gropius, W. (1919) Bauhaus Famous Pedagogical Diagram. Available at: http://judithbaumann.com/bauhaus/ (Downloaded: 15 February 2018).

‘Johannes Itten’ (2018) Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johannes_Itten#Influence (Accessed: 1 March 2018).

Moholy, L. (2018) Bauhaus. Available at: http://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/b/bauhaus (Accessed: 6 March 2018).

Tallman, S. (2010) Learning Styles. Available at: https://www.artinamericamagazine.com/news-features/magazines/bauhaus-curriculum/ (Accessed: 18 February 2018).

Whilsere, A. (2017) Learning in the Bauhaus School: five lessons for today’s designers (and five ways the web still is Bauhaus). Available at: http://trydesignlab.com/blog/bauhaus-school-five-lessons-for-todays-designers/ (Accessed: 15 February 2018).


Analyse and consider the relevance of Martha Scotford’s “Is There a Canon of Graphic Design History?” in todays culture.

Martha Scotford, an American teacher, architect and designer, constructed and created a catalogue with the desire to measure out if there was such thing as a “canon of graphic design history” (Scotford, 1991). But what does this mean and what can be considered or become apart of this canon? She described a canon as being “a basis for judgment; a standard; a criterion; an authoritative list.” (1991, p. 37). The National Gallery (2018) has described a canon within Art to be “art history attempts to question these rules of ‘greatness’, considering issues of gender, race, class, and geography among others.” However, the word was originally used to designate the books of the Bible officially recognised by the Church (‘Biblical Canon, 2018)

Scotford did this by analysing and comparing five different books which she claimed to be the best representatives of graphic design within the last 20 years.

She would also look into the beginning of graphic design work, some which would date back to the 1850’s. She set out an aim to understand which demographic was typically at the top of the canon, whether it was unintentional or not as well as establish which graphic designers may have been wrongly praised by having work that did not belong there or graphic designers that had been overlooked and didn’t receive as much appreciation as she believed they should.

Originally, the list was crowded full of 205 designers and was cut down into a smaller list of 63. She looked into their gender, the year of their birth, the total number of work reproduced, the amount of large productions and so on.

For this instance, Scottford employed the research methodology of quantitative data which is typically recognised as the better option. Why is this? Due to Scotford’s tally-like checking scheme, quantitative data is scientific. It uses allows large amounts of data to be analysed statistically compared to qualitative which can be affected by a persons mood, the weather or even your background. This means that it’s more susceptible to bias unlike quantitative data (Churchill, 2011).

Screen Shot 2018-01-22 at 20.36.55.png

Scotford’s canon highlighting the amount of times a designer has been recognised (1991)

Scotford ended up establishing eight canons of graphic design, which were “Herbert Bayer, Afonse Mouron Cassandre, El Lissitzky, Herbert Matter, Laszlo Maholy-Nagy, Joseph Müller-Brokmann, Henri De Toulouse Lautrec and Piet” (Scotford, 1991)

So what is the relevance of the canon today?

The positives of the unintentional canon being invented? The blueprints for future and current graphic design students to learn about the best of the best; the works of designers that changed perspectives and are considered fundamental pieces of information to learn about.

However the negatives of the canon; all designers of the canon were male. This could potentially discourage female designers, whether this was unintentional to have an all male list or not, it does dawn down that our genders aren’t equivalent and could look into the fact that male work will always have a higher chance of being praised. However, this could also provide a push of motivation to create better, distinctive work.



‘Biblical Canon’ (2018) Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_canon (Accessed: 3 February 2018).

Churchill, E.J. (2011) Is Quantitative Research Better Than Qualitative Research. Available at: https://emilyjchurchill.wordpress.com/2011/11/25/is-quantitative-research-better-than-qualitative-research/ (Accessed: 2 March 2018).

Scotford, M. (1991) ‘Is there a canon of graphic design history?’, AIGA Journal, vol.9 (2) pp. 37-44

The National Gallery (2018) Canon of Art History. Available at: https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/glossary/canon-of-art-history (Accessed: 18 February 2018).