School of Visual and Performing Arts


Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design (MFA)


David W Meyer


Art, Branding, Graphic Design, Marketing, Narrative, Storytelling


English Language and Literature | Fine Arts | Other English Language and Literature


From folk tradition to film, story has played a critical role in connecting one person to another. The principles that undergird the construction of exceptional stories may apply to other forms of communication, including visual mediums. Although studies show that storytelling communicates more effectively than simply stating information, the field visual arts has neglected to apply this tactic in its craft. What makes a great story, and why does it have the capability of emotionally moving a person? Why not use the same principles that connect a person to a narrative within the field of graphic design? Because of this disconnection, there is a need to examine the use of narrative within the visual arts critically. Properly utilized storytelling principles may prove useful to the field of graphic design at large, and as a way to connect more deeply with target audiences. This paper seeks to take existing research in narratology and literary theory, and apply the principles gathered to the discipline of graphic design. The paper’s aim is to provide practical strategies to improve the discipline of graphic design by leveraging the principles of good storytelling and implementing them to create memorable and emotional graphics.