1. What new roles did graphic design take on as a communication tool during the first half of the twentieth century? Use direct quotes from the lecture and reading to validate your answer. Cite the quotes and sources correctly using MLA style.
2. What distinguishes a design that is considered nationalistic? Use direct quotes from the lecture and reading to validate your answer. Cite the quotes and sources correctly using MLA style.
There were many new roles for graphic designers during the first half of the 20th century; art directors, information designers, code analysis, public interest posters, documentary photography, wartime propaganda. Art changed from making things pretty or making a statement to making something with purpose. We learned that “meaning is made in presentation” (Graphic Design History a Critical Guide) Sigmund Freuds nephew Edward Bernays “used strategies of unconscious motivation and manipulation in highly successful campaigns for products and politicians. (Graphic Design History a Critical Guide) This uncovered a human characteristic regarding what changes our paradigm, that knowledge changed the way goods are presented to us from then on. Designers need not just put together a layout for an ad or describe what a thing will do or have. Designers became responsible for everything from how a company is perceived by its audience, the brand, to convincing people that brand would satiate desire, feelings, and the climb toward status. During this weeks reading I began to wonder why the term “modern” has been used to describe the “now” for over 100 years. I know in the art world there have been terms applied to eras over that time such as postmodern but as a people we continue to think of modern as a bracket of time that moves with us. I found an answer in the book reading. “Designed images disseminate concepts of what it meant to be modern and sold modern aesthetics to popular culture.” (Graphic Design History a Critical Guide) We bought what they were selling and are still buying it. Designers create corporate identities but thing ahead to how that identity will then be applied to the audience as well. This idea began with propaganda during war times convincing civilians to buy war bonds and woman to temporarily set aside the skirts and join the work world. It happened again when designers figured out not to just sell based on need but to systematically push out an advertising campaign. Information designers turned out a visual language of graphs and charts that did more than just suggest a feeling which could be denied they confronted the audience with facts that could not be argued with. “Meanwhile, another form of graphic information was on the rise, as wartime engineers raced to develop machines capable of processing massive amounts of data for such purposes as high-level cryptography. The code work laid on t of the foundations for modern computing…” (Graphic Design History a Critical Guide)
Nationalism is distinguished by the use of symbols colors, “often, icons can be found that have been derived from a place. There is a set of national icons associated with the United States of America like the eagle, the Statue of Liberty, the Stars and Stripes, and Uncle Sam.” Subsets of nations, divided by geography, social status or economic class exist within nations and need to be identified and understood when designing. “Norman Rockwell and his imitators romanticized a particular version of Americana based in agrarian values and small-town traditionalism. National stereotypes emerged, in part, from designers’ efforts to create imagery that reached its target audience through details of style and form as well as content.” (Graphic Design History a Critical Guide) “It follows, therefore, that there are unique images and icons for the different countries around the world.” (Designing with icons and symbols)
Designers need to be familiar and have access to information to become more familiar with a nation we are designing for. Icons have different meanings in different places. It is our responsibility to know the subtle differences and not misrepresent or offend with our designs.
Graphic Design History a Critical Guide first edition, pages 200, 231, 241, 249
History and Analysis of Design week four lecture, Designing with symbols page 1
My Professors comment:
Excellent work, Tiffany. You detail the changing roles as well as the reasons behind the roles very well. The second response is spot on as well. Well done!