Márcio Pedro Serrado Fernandes

From CMYK to RGB. Keeping communication designers skills up to date.


Américo Mateus, HEI-LABS / DELLI - ULHT, Portugal;
Susana Leonor, IADE | Universidade Europeia, Portugal;


This project will use a strategy focused on communication design professionals, and make use of methodologies based on the ideas(r)evolution concept these methodologies are validated and make use of action research, and model building, we will seek to understand the mechanics between training, technology and the job market.

After analysing and comparing the collected information, models should be tested to provide effective results that identify the "current career status" of the designer, and, based on his own career goals, give indications on the type of training that the designer should acquire and even what entities (Schools or training centres) can provide it.

We will try to perceive if it is possible to create one learning model that allows communication designers to discover their own training gaps and be oriented to the training offer that will bring better chances of integration in the reality of the labor market.

Keywords: Technology shifting, design career, action research, model building, ideas(r)evolution.

Technical Description

The challenges of this project lie in the complexity of the data to be collected and the treatment of this information.

The results based on the information obtained will certainly justify the relevance of this subject.

The second major objective is to enable designers and society in general to use the guiding model that will take in consideration skills already acquired and will generate a training plan regarding the user ́s objectives.

The third major objective is the production of a computer application that has as algorithm of the model obtained through the investigation.

Research plan and methodology

Due to the requirements of the theme and objectives of the project, methodologies common to social sciences will be used.

It will preferably be based on the perspective of systematic ethnographic research and traditional and modern methods of data collection, analysis and comparison and systematic explanation of results.

Specialised bibliography will be consulted, as well as essential statistics. Self-awareness forms will play an important role in this study.

In order to achieve this objective the following methodologies will be used:

  • Action research: What makes action research distinctive is that the practitioners research have their own practices, that are different from of social science the traditional forms, where a professional researcher does research on practitioners, being themselves a part of the context and asking if the work is on the right way, if it need a necessary improvement, if it ́s already satisfactory to make a evolution and produce evidences. (McNiff, J. & Whitehead, J., 2011).
  • Model Building: A model is an “explicit interpretation of one’s understanding of a situation, or merely of one’s ideas about that situation” and a “description of entities and the relationships between them” (Wilson, 1984). The main concern of the study is to avoid the stagnation of the communication designer's career by producing a reliable and sustained guiding model that analyses skills, technologies, and the state of the job market.

The interest and importance of this work lies in the attempt to orient the career of professionals in an area in which skills tend to become obsolete and fragment very easily.

This investigation will enable us to evolve the state of the art, firstly by gathering and consolidating useful information about the career of communication design professionals, as well as in future research works within the same scope this information could be used.

Another key factor for the evolution of the state of the art will be the possibility to systematise or automate a model that can be used and applied to any space time, if the necessary variables are provided in order to generate calculation that will make use of the algorithm based in the model that is expected to be created by this investigation.

The core of the project is the systematisation of the interaction between the 3 axis: TRAINING - TECHNOLOGY - MARKET in order to have a real-time update of what skills are required (in the analysed time) for a designer to have a successful career.

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  4. Davis, M. (2006). Raising the bar for higher education. In S. Heller (Ed.), The education of a graphic designer. New York, NY: Allworth.
  5. Dziobczenski, P. R. N., & Person, O. (2016). What is sought from graphic designers ? A first thematic analysis of job offers for graphic design positions in the United Kingdom. In P. Lloyd & E. Bohemia (Eds.), Proceedings of DRS2016: Design + Research + Society - Future-Focused Thinking, Vol. 2 (pp. 705-718).
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  8. McNiff, J. (2002). Action Research for Professional Development. Retrieved from
  9. McNiff, J. & Whitehead, J. (2011). All you need to know about Action Research. Sage. London
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