Imagine, you conducted a very interesting research and come back with some convincing arguments. Of course, you want to tell the world about this research and the evidence you found for your thesis. However, the people you tell it to will all be different. How are you going to tell your niece about the content analysis you did? Or your friends about theories which you deemed important? Or, more broadly, how are you going to explain your research and its results to policy makers and fellow academics in a short and concrete way?
Audiences differ. However, research always has an audience. What do we want to tell, and to which audience? In the lecture Research communication and presentation, Kim de Vries explained that you have to ensure that you have a message, and that you need to understand your audience to get the message across. Ideally, your audience understands your message and does something with it. This applies to research as well. Research is not something you do for fun; you expect to come back with certain results and these should be communicated to the audience, who will do something with it.
As the world is becoming more fixed on visuality, it is important to incorporate this in the presentation of your research. Graphic designer Harco van den Hurk explored this in his lecture about logos. Logos might enable you to get your message across through only one image. This could also be used in the presentation of research. Especially as researchers need to engage their audience in a short time, a logo might help in getting the message across in a simple but clear way. The proces towards this logo, in which you define your message and audience, collect keywords and visual inspiration and make up new ideas, might already be a research on its own and provide you with new ideas for the actual research.
A good logo, then, can help in targeting several audiences with the message of your research. As such, you do not need to explain to your niece how you did content analysis, or elaborate on the theories used to your friends. More importantly, fellow academics and policy makers know at one glance what your research is about. A logo, in a way, makes the communication of your research easier.
This was particularly interesting to me, as my research will have several actors and audiences. Not only will I write a thesis, but my internship is a consultancy assignment. The thesisresearch, then, is specifically interesting for economic anthropologists or development sociologists. Additionally, the thesisresearch may provide recommendations for policy makers of the Ministry of Foreign or Economic Affairs. However, the consultancy assignment for the internship will be at a private organization on request of a non-governmental organization. This private organization also suggested I would meet people from the government. As such, several actors should understand what my internshipresearch is about. A logo could definitely help to reach the several audiences for these two projects. So, let’s start creating a logo!
Credits image: http://www.clker.com/clipart-man-drawing.html