Date of Award

Spring 6-2-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Graphic Design

First Advisor

John Caserta

Second Advisor

Alicia Cheng

Third Advisor

Hammett Nurosi


Lingua Franca examines how graphic design and art are used as a common language between people who speak the same language, speak different languages or have distinct cultural backgrounds.1 Understanding languages as living systems that are in constant movement and in direct relation with cultures, this thesis looks at graphic design as a platform for coding and decoding language, shaping and reshaping it.

My fascination with the relationship between culture, language and linguistics led me to investigate topics such as context collapse, the evolution of Spanish in Latin America, and notions of identity, gender and translation. In a moment of global political, economic and social chaos, Lingua Franca is a place for actions, reactions, interactions and counteractions that translate into criticism, proposals, and optimistic projects. As a way of acknowledging the subtleties, ambiguities, politics and power structures that lie within languages, the projects of this thesis pay special attention to language as a significant tool for graphic design.

Lingua Franca is a celebration of language, of its intricacies and possibilities. It uses graphic design as a vital mediator, a translator to a common language that enables criticism, fosters conversations and activates responses.



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