Pratt BFA Communications Design Thesis

Mai Saito Graphic Design



To be invisible is to be unseeable to the human eye; hidden away or ignored. I plan to investigate the different modes to which we can unearth what is invisible to us and figure out why and how they have been tucked away. “Invisible forces” affect all of our lives. It’s a cause for uncertainty, fear, and mystery merely because we cannot attribute a tangibility to them. But so much of what really matters is impossible to see. I hope to explore these forces in my own life as well as in others, in hopes of creating a collection of stories that showcase the unseeable and its power.

How can an unseeable subject be designed or explored when design is such a visual medium? Using the other senses—taste, touch, smell, sound, (emotion)—to get a better grasp of these invisible subjects, and using these methods to translate them into the visual world (through design) in a way that is accessible and easy to understand. Research on the practical side—such as the science and mechanism of the visual light spectrum, distant galaxies, etc—as well as exploring the mythical side—invisibility in fiction as a superpower and it’s theoretical uses, are some ways I investigated the subject.

From there, I have collected a series of narratives and embody them through “explainer” motion graphics to bring a sense of certainty to a very uncertain world (or at least lessen our fear of it). A lot of my work in the past has been about storytelling and creating things that are accessible to anyone, so I hope that with my thesis I can create a chronicle of clarity. Whether you yourself feel invisible or feel that invisible forces influence you, it is about attributing certainty to an unseeable thing.