To strengthen my research, I thought it would be interesting to find out the motivational desires of my class mates and recognise their beliefs regarding my selected topic. I felt the best method in achieving this, would be to create a questionnaire. Firstly, I asked the participants their gender, as this factor could influence motives.  Below are the other questions I presented:

1. Do you believe in Self-Actualisation? (A state of complete satisfaction and contentment within oneself).

  • Yes
  • No


2.  If you had to choose one of the following, would you rather be:

  • Intelligent
  • Physically attractive


3. What do you think determines our characteristics:

  • Our DNA and genetic make-up
  • Our upbringing and surroundings
  • A combination of the above


4. If you had to choose one of the personality traits listed below, which would it be?

  • Adventurous
  • Charming
  • Confident
  • Conscientious
  • Cultured
  • Dependable
  • Encouraging
  • Exuberant
  • Fearless
  • Friendly
  • Helpful
  • Humble
  • Imaginative
  • Impartial
  • Independent
  • Intelligent
  • Meticulous
  • Motivated
  • Obedient
  • Observant
  • Optimistic
  • Persistent
  • Precise
  • Reliable
  • Sociable
  • Suave
  • Trusting


5. Do you feel people judge you based on your appearance?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Sometimes


6. Do you wonder why people act the way they do?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Sometimes


7. Does the thought of performing a complex or technical challenge excite you?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Sometimes


8. Do you feel the need to fully complete a task once started?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Sometimes


9. Do you desire recognition by others?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Sometimes


10. Do you seek dominance over others?

  • Yes
  • No


11. Is having close relationships important in your life?

  • Yes
  • No


12. Do you strive to obtain wealth?

  • Yes
  • No


13. When you greatly want something, do you push yourself to the limit to achieve it?

  • Yes
  • No


14. If you were given three wishes, what would you wish for? Please rank your answers (1 being the most important to 3 being the least).





In order to answer my brief affectively, I felt it would be beneficial to enhance my understanding of perception. A perception is a process in which people think, feel and behave. This procedure can be broken down into various categories:

  • General Perception – perception of objects and environments.
  • Social Perception – perception of people.
  • Self-perception – perception of self.

People say that the world we live in is one constant perception, that we continuously perceive things, whether its objects, environments, people or ourselves, thus having a fundamental influence on social interactions and relationships. People may perceive things differently to others. Abstract art, for example, could be seen as controversial; one may see it as a thing of beauty and mentally stimulating, yet another may perceive abstract as dull and uninspiring. In essence, opinions and beliefs (and perhaps judgements) are personal constructs made up from individualised cognitive processes by which we all vastly differ from one to another.


Within our modern society, we constantly meet and see new people. We as humans unconsciously form first impressions and judge others on physical appearance, especially attractiveness. People who are perceived as physically attractive are said to benefit from the “halo effect”. The halo effect is “a tendency to attribute additional positive characteristics to someone who has one salient quality”. It can also be referred to as the “what is beautiful is good” stereotype. A theory suggesting individual’s attractiveness assumes a number of positive attributes, such as warmth, friendliness and intelligence (Dion et al., 1972). In addition, other researchers have constructed studies and suggested that the halo effect for physical attractiveness impacts on society more than we think, for example, Hamermesh & Biddle (1994) found individual’s perceived as attractive were issued lighter jury sentences and given higher salaries. It is then no surprise that we, as a modernised society strive for the best. This western civilisation we now live within forces competition into every aspect of our lifestyle. It is biologically written that we will progress further in life should we look and perform to the best of our ability.

The better we look the better we are perceived by others.

(To assist me in writing the above, information obtained from “Psychology 6E – Robin Kowalski and Drew Western 2011”).

Whilst conducting my research, I discovered an interesting piece of information/history (displayed below) in a recently published psychology book. Although, it is short, it is connected to my chosen topic.

“The concept of instinct played a major role in early psychological approaches to motivation. Many psychologists, inspired by Darwin’s (1859) theory of evolution, which argued that humans and animals differ only quantitatively, identified human instincts that would explain human behaviour”.

(Obtained from “Psychology, The Science Of Mind And Behaviour – Richard Gross 2010”).

I found this particular quote interesting, as I feel it can be connected with relationships and people’s sexual drive. Attraction can be perceived as an instinct or drive and can be a huge influential factor in determining an individual’s behaviour. If you find someone attractive, you change your behaviour to impress. In the animal kingdom, males are programmed to reproduce and display a sense of dominance. Females contain the power of selection of which whom they choose to mate with. They crave for the best. I believe that this genetic make-up present within the animal kingdom is identical within our modern society. I believe that we as humans are unconsciously programmed to behave in the same manner.

Abraham Maslow (April 1, 1908 – June 8, 1970) was an American psychologist who became commonly known for his creation of “Marlow’s Hierarchy of Needs”, a study that focuses on the justification of personality and motivation; the journey/need for “Self-Actualisation” and realising who you are. Maslow believed that we all are exposed to two motivational states or forces:

  1. Those that guarantee survival by sustaining basic physical and psychological needs (physiological, safety, love and belongingness, and esteem).
  2. Those that help one achieve self-actualisation, the process of achieving your full potential intellectually and creatively. Maslow described this process as “becoming everything that one is capable of becoming”.

To validate his findings and bring a sense of understanding, Maslow constructed his hierarchy of needs within a prism.

The above structure was designed to highlight that:

  • Needs that are positioned lower down the hierarchy scale must be fulfilled before we can progress to needs situated higher up. These are seen as basic needs and should be satisfied naturally, for example, if you feel hungry, you know you should eat or if you feel tired and restless, you know you need to sleep.
  • Higher-level needs are seen as a state of evolution and humanistic development. They are needs that still predominately satisfy survival.
  • As we advance higher up the hierarchy, biological reasoning is reduced and needs become linked to life experience. These needs are filled with ambition and contain advanced skills. The higher we progress, we begin to learn and understand people and the world that surrounds us. It is a stage of nurture, wanting to become a better person and having the ability to recognise strengths and utilising them effectively.
  • Succeeding to the top of the hierarchy and achieving Self-Actualisation can be complex. The higher up we go, the more difficult it becomes to achieve the need. Individuals may take a number of routes to eventually reach Self-Actualisation and there is no set timeline. Some individuals may take longer to progress than others. Once Self-Actualisation is accomplished, you feel content and complete. You know the person you are and are able to continually express yourself in order to grow further.

I am particularly fond of Maslow’s study of hierarchy of needs. He manages to take a complex subject and transform into one of simplicity.

“A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be” (Maslow, 1968)



(To assist me in writing the above, information obtained from “Psychology, The Science Of Mind And Behaviour – Richard Gross 2010”)

I felt the most affective way to start this project, was to approach the brief from a psychological perspective and define motivation itself.

Motivation is “the moving force that energises behaviour”. It’s a force that can also be linked to emotion. Emotion is “a positive or negative feeling state that typically includes arousal, subjective experience, and behavioural expression; also called affect”. Both of these words share the same Latin root, movere, which means “to move”.

(Quotes obtained from “Psychology 6E – Robin Kowalski and Drew Western 2011”)

Motivation is related to why people act and think the way they do. It is a form of behaviour that is “goal-directed” and contains a sense of purpose. It is a state that is perceived as a need as well as a drive. Motivation can be influenced biologically, socially or psychologically. We all will experience motives throughout our lives. Trying to determine where these urges come from can be difficult and complex. To help us understand this behaviour, motivation can be divided into types/forms:

  1. Internal – motives that are triggered within. An individual may not necessarily be aware that these urges exist and can emerge and be discovered at any stage throughout a person’s life.
  2. External – motives that are heavily influenced by your peers or environmental factors.
  3. Innate – motives that are genetically imbedded within DNA. These are motives that cannot be changed and develop naturally.
  4. Learned – our learning can be enhanced with the willingness to expose ourselves to varied life experiences. New experiences can trigger new motives and we can learn how to nurture them into their true potential.
  5. Cognitive – is the process in which we perceive things; seen as our mental approach and way of thinking. A procedure that can be unique and individual. The way we perceive and process our world around us will determine our motives.
  6. Conscious – we are fully aware of our motivations and desires.
  7. Unconscious – thoughts and memories that we cannot retrieve and gain access to. We have motives but don’t necessarily know why we chase them because they are buried within our unconscious.

Motivation is a key subject within Psychology and a number of psychologies have studied this behaviour and attempted to classify different kinds of motives. You will either believe that motivation is triggered due to one sole purpose or generated due to a combination of reasons; similar to the “Nature vs. Nurture” debate. Are we the individuals today because of our DNA and genetic make-up? Or are we heavily influenced by our surroundings and environment? Some would argue that it is both.

(To assist me in writing the above, information obtained from “Psychology, The Science Of Mind And Behaviour – Richard Gross 2010”)



For our major project for Graphic Design Print, we were given the opportunity to construct our own brief based on a topic of our choice. Displayed below is the brief that I have set upon myself.

Project Title: NEVER CONTENT (30%)
Project Start Date: Thursday November 22nd
Project Submission: Tuesday January 15th


To ask and identify the motivational factor of life and question the motives using varied design techniques. It’s an opportunity to explore the ambitions of individuals. Within modern society, we crave success and strive to be the best we can possibly be. Although, this may not be perceived as a negative quality, we unconsciously judge one another and the lifestyles people lead. I see life as a never ending competition. I will explore and investigate why:

  • We want to be successful?
  • We want to achieve an established career that pays well?
  • We take great pride in our appearance? (For example, the desire to obtain the best body and wear quality and fashionable clothes).
  • We want to seek and mould perfect relationships?

I understand that not everyone will have the above desires and may appear perfectly content with the lifestyle they lead; however, I believe that if an individual had an opportunity to improve their lifestyle and become the best they can be, they would change it instantly.

  1. Gather extensive research and built an understanding of the topic.
  2. Create a collection of images that challenges and answers the brief using the Adobe Suite and various elements of photography.
  3. Create one or both of the following:
  • A small book using BLURB that contains all of the work created.
  • A variety of posters or bill boards that portrays and raises awareness of one’s desire to achieve perfection.


I will aim to:
  • Develop my awareness of the Graphic Design process from the initial investigation into research, concept, development and production.
  • Display a progressed understanding of the importance of marketing factors influencing design.
  • Evidence of understanding of the fundamental principles of Graphic Design Print (e.g. typography and type hierarchy, composition and layout, printing processes, formats and resolution).
  • Generate multiple ideas at a concept level associated with the set brief.
  • Design in a cultural, economic, environmental, social & professional context.
  • Use the appropriate IT and production processes to generate final design solutions.
  • Demonstrate self-motivation, independence and initiative.
  • Manage one’s own learning and development including time management, capacity to organise to meet deadlines, organisational skills and show awareness of professional design expectations.
  • Contribute effectively to group dynamic, accept critical evaluation and engage in reflective learning.
  • Present work to a professional standard.




Posted: October 30, 2012 in Graphic Design (Print)

Below is my final piece for task 1 of Graphic Design. As mentioned in previous posts, I have altered the type within the spray can, eliminating the “rivers” between words and changed the background colour to white. I also changed the colour and texture of the spray pattern and enlarged the phrase “One Man’s Art May Be Another’s Trash”. I am pleased with my final piece and feel it portrays my research topic successfully.