Monday, February 2, 2009

Political Graphics and the role of Designer in Politics.

As seen in Steven Heller's lecture last Wednesday graphics have been used to sway or even control public opinion in totalitarian states. To hear more from Steven Heller go to this link to hear Jian Ghomeshi of CBC Radio interview Steven Heller about Iron Fits: Branding the 20th-Century Tolatarian State a book that presents an analysis of how the major dictatorships used graphics to propagate their ideologies. While it is easy for us to look back and see from our removed position the unconscionable quality of the works, it must make us evaluate what responsibilities we as designers have today.

After Heller's lecture one viewer questioned the role of design in our recent elections... Should we be swayed by the graphics? Even just a little? Or should the message be communicated with no outside coloration?

Articles have been written about design's role in the last few elections... Logo designs for Bush and Kerry have been analyzed and broken down into their component bits.
A more recent comparison would be the designs for Obama and McCain's entry page for their websites. Or even their logo designs-wich became more and more symbolic and less and less informative. Logos as opposed to logo types.

Design can have a massive impact on the perceived positioning, trustworthiness, and authenticity of a message—especially in our world of "connectedness".

Here is the topic for discussion this week:
What role do you feel designers should have in determining political climate and direction? Or what Social responsibilities do designers have?

Should we be impartial and unbiased or are we bound to reflect and back the political points of view we subscribe to?

You may want to also reference AIGA Articles on the topic to have a better informed perspective on the topic. Especially Milton Glaser's now famous article on Designer/Citizen.

Please feel free to express your own point of view on the topic.

Just make it well thought out and intelligently articulated.

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