Research Return to Del Bosque Design
From the desk of Paul Del Bosque:
In addition to my creative services, I maintain ongoing research projects in graphic design culture and theory, in order to better understand how the work I do fits into the historical narrative of graphic communication. I believe artists and designers should understand their role as historical figures, and I have made it part of my job to do so.

Beginning in 2006, my initial goal is researching design culture was to identify the ways graphic design has been used to craft Mexico's visual imagination and in turn, how graphic design has been used as a cultural/political/commercial tool inside Chicano communities.

There are two narratives that emerged from that initial project. The first documents how the commercial sector of the United States views its Chicano citizens, and the second documents how Chicanos view themselves. There are undoubtedly overlapping elements of both narratives, as local communities often co-opt, or "reclaim," commercial and sometimes stereotypical renderings of the identity that mainstream US commerce has designated for them. Graphic design can stir this pot of reclamation and appropriation. It will always be a powerful method for local communities to assert control of their self-image and their messages.

Considering the ongoing trends of immigration to the US and its forward linkages to digital communication and technology, understanding design culture will continue to be incredibly critical when it comes to the business of media-crafted messages, which must certainly resonate with people as they move, interact with each other, and live trans-national lives. If graphic designers expect to play a role in the tide of modern American demographics, they must maintain an understanding of social issues like immigration and the dynamic ways people evolve their own communities.

As of 2010, my more current research efforts focus on public displays of typography as a tool of rendering ethnic cultures. I am constantly on the lookout for signs, ads, packages, and public art that demonstrate the illustrative power of language and letters, especially when the message of that sign or ad is encoded with an ethnic identity. I am also eager to meet others interested in design and type culture, and I welcome any conversation and contribution to these topics. If you discover an interesting poster, a peculiar box of frozen food, or maybe a grafitti stencil that affects our evolving visual imagination, please let me know and we can set up a forum to discuss, dissect, and inform.