Pratt BFA Communications Design Thesis

Rebecca Lamm Graphic Design

Retracing Translation

Type Design

My thesis, Retracing Translation, has focused on how language is used by people and what its untranslatable intricacies can tell us about wider social constraints, structures, and ideologies. Through the combination of my modular language system, in which parts of speech are given a form, and the desire to investigate the usage of language through a dynamic and social lens, I structured my thesis project this semester through two case studies. These case studies were conducted with two individuals fluent in Japanese and Spanglish, with a heightened focus on metaphor, to help uncover a dialog around what certain phrases and parts of language might require multiple voices and inputs to reach a better understanding. I plan to continue investigating language, translation, and metaphor to keep learning, evolving and expanding upon my process and methodology. I have discovered that not only are metaphors and translation shared tools to reach a deeper understanding, but that design is my vehicle in which to help share these insights with others.