The Open UniversitySkip to content

Skills for Creativity in Graphic Design: Testing the relationship between visualisation, written comprehension, and graphic design creativity

Jeffries, Karl K. (2017). Skills for Creativity in Graphic Design: Testing the relationship between visualisation, written comprehension, and graphic design creativity. PhD thesis. The Open University.

Full text available as:
PDF (Version of Record) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (4MB) | Preview
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


This thesis explores the relationship between skills, creativity and domain. It is situated within an evolving topic of design creativity; an emerging field that interfaces between creativity research, which has often occurred in the field of psychology, and design research often associated with the fields of engineering, art and design.

Through five interconnected studies, and the domain of graphic design as the basis for experimentation, the research culminates in testing the relationship between creative output and skills considered important for competent performance in graphic design.

How to assess graphic design creativity in a manner credible to both the creativity research and design research community has been a core challenge for this thesis. The method selected - the Consensual Assessment Technique (CAT) - before this thesis had yet to be used as a reliable measure of graphic design creativity in experimental research. For this reason, three of the studies were directed at establishing the reliability of the CAT.

• One undertook the first systematic literature review of the CAT in design research;
• a second tested the assumption that a graphic design CAT would show acceptable levels of inter-rater reliability (as researchers had found in other domains of design);
• a third focused on optimising the CAT to measure graphic design creativity.

Additionally, given the wide range of graphic design competencies available, a conceptual framework was developed to prioritise those most important, and suitable, for experimental study. Two were identified (mental visualisation, and written comprehension) and each was tested for its relationship to graphic design creativity.

Where other researchers have suggested or found a relationship, in this study, no significant correlations could be evidenced for either mental visualisation or written comprehension with creative output. Such a finding is likely counter-intuitive to many in art and design, thus, the implications of this study impact upon debates within design creativity research, design education, and graduate skill gaps for the Creative Industries.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Copyright Holders: 2016 The Author
Keywords: creative ability; creative thinking; design; graphic arts
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Engineering and Innovation
Item ID: 50274
Depositing User: Karl K. Jeffries
Date Deposited: 09 Aug 2017 10:18
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2020 17:50
Share this page:

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU