Advertisements

Questioning the potency of graphic design

With the slogan “Slogans in nice typefaces won’t save the human races,” artist Tim Fishlock AKA Oddly Head sums up the growing powerlessness of the entire field of graphic design. #design #art #poster #banksy #graphic #illustration
Slogans (2017) by Oddly Head (aka Tim Fishlock)

Shepherd Fairey’s iconic “Hope” poster helped electrify the Obama campaign in 2008. Yet, it was Trump’s simplistic “Make America Great Again” red baseball hat that helped spread his message during the 2016 election. The fact that the cap looked undesigned was its greatest asset. Bad design makes an indelible impression too.

Evaluating the impact of graphic design

We are living in a surfeit of graphic design just as we are taking an excess of photos without giving careful attention to them. Writes Edwin Heathcote in the Financial Times:

“When there were fewer images, they could be more memorable. We are now awash with slogans and signs, hashtags and memes so that they burn brightly but fade quickly. Perhaps there can be too much graphic design.”

Barack_Obama_Hope_poster.jpg

Barak Obama Hope Poster by Shepherd Fairey

Like most of the Internet-based content, it gets created, consumed, and then promptly forgotten. With the slogan “Slogans in nice typefaces won’t save the human races,” artist Tim Fishlock AKA Oddly Head sums up the growing powerlessness of the entire field of graphic design. His poster features now at London’s Design Museum’s new show, aptly titled From Hope to Nope.

“We’re living in an epoch of demagoguery and debacle. As a result, there is a process of inner migration, an opting out of reality. As a species, we’re running 21st-century software on hardware that hasn’t been updated for 50,000 years and we’re not coping at all well. Have we ever been so vulnerable and so self-absorbed? Against this backdrop, my work is an investigation but also an admission of my own fallibility.”

There will always be new and old texts to rally around, perhaps none more potent than Britain’s “Keep Calm and Carry On.” But there’s just too much of the fodder in our daily feeds, particularly on visual-first mediums like Instagram and Pinterest. Time will tell if Shepherd Fairey’s gun control posters stick.

Ultimately, the durability of any political art and graffiti rests on the strength of the issue at hand.

Since you are here...

  1. Everyone should blog. Share your art by creating a site on WordPress. Read my tutorial on how to set up a blog for more. 

 2. Download the best FREE writing tool on the planet, Grammarly.  

3. Increase your productivity with scientifically optimized music to help you focus 

Disclaimer: If you click on any of the links above, I may get a commission from WordPressGrammarly, or Focus@Will respectively, which helps support all the expenses and work I do for this daily blog. 

Explore More Posts

Advertisements

Published by wells baum aka bombtune

A daily blogger who connects the dots between beats, culture, and technology.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: