Politics and Graphic Design

Really enjoyed this lecture as it brought up a lot of really interesting views, opinions and topics as well as got me thinking and understanding more the importance of politics in regards to the effect it has on me as a member of society and a Graphic designer. Think one of the most important points I noted was that as graphic designers we are visual communicaters and are quite often the people who create something or a piece that communicates a point. Therefor it is important to be able to interpret the messages that are out there at the moment especially in regards to the election so that we in turn can create effective piece of graphic design that communicate messages as well.

It was also interesting to see that political “propaganda” and micky takes towards society and politicians have been around for a long time and are not just something that occurred due to social media etc. however it has helped make it more readily available. It was happening a long time ago and people such as William Hogarth were back in their day creating pieces which depicted what was happening (not literally) but in theory.

Gin Lane by William Hogarth

William Hogarth- Gin Lane

www.theguardian.com

This piece really cleverly depicts the undercurrent of society at the time. Although not a true representation (you wouldn’t literally see this happening in London) it is a heightened version of what was going on.

I think that this type of graphic communication is still very evident today. Lots of illustrators, artists and even just the general public create modern day versions of Gin Lane which communicate the feelings and ideas of themselves and society. Cartoons as well are a big political communication tool and can easily portray a message in seconds without even having many words.

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Cartoon by Leslie Gilbert Illingworth

Think this cartoon is a good example of the way illustration, graphic communication and art can say so much about the world. Although this isn’t a true representation of what actually happened it is a theoretical one but it to me it really does tell me the ideas that were going on at the time without the use of words of descriptions. This is still evident today with many newspapers still using cartoons.

Presentation Result YAY!

So happy with getting a first for my presentation in relation to my essay. Despite being relatively confident at other times presenting and standing up in front of people is always something that I have struggled with. Id quite often find myself extremely nervous when having to talk and would quite often shy away from making eye contact when faced with this task. The only way Ive been able to get through presentations before is to read off a power point or write a complete script which I would then just regurgitate on the spot.

However this time round I was determined to get a good presenting marking and prove to myself that I had enough confidence to be able to do it sucessfully and I think my mark reflects this. I decided not to write a script this time but only use a small amount of prompt card notes for specific information that I needed to remember and this really helped. It meant I had a chance to look up and address my audience by making eye contact instead of just looking at a piece of paper I was reading from. It also probably helped that I was talking about something that I am not only passionate about but that I have researched thoroughly and had a wide range of knowledge on.

This has also given me a boost of confidence for the task ahead that is writing my essay because a fair amount of the information I mentioned in my presentation I will include. It implies that I have been reading the relevant information for the subject and debate that I am addressing which is undoubtedly a goos starting point.

Presenting is also something that I will have to do on a day to day basis if i do eventually decide that the teaching route is for me as well as being something I will have to do If i decide to go into the industry with presenting to clients so I am pleased that I am starting to feel more at ease with it. I think I will undoubtedly get better each time I present and so I look forward to doing more and each time trying to improve, looks like practice does make perfect!

Consumerism Talk

Although I couldn’t attend the consumerism talk by the visiting lecturer I felt that the follow up talk after was beneficial in consolidating and highlighting certain issues that had been talked about. One of the major points talked about was the fact that as students of a Graphic Design degree we are undoubtedly going to be entering in to a field of work that is plagued by consumerism and it is important that we go in educated about the subject and with somewhat of an open mind but at the same time still having an opinion on it.

Think that the most surprising thing to me was that I didn’t realise how much of a consumer I really am and how susceptible to advertising I find myself. I probably am one of the people that would go out and buy something “just because” and not necessarily because I needed it for purpose. I do think however that I am becoming less susceptible to it the more I become educated about it because I quite often find myself questioning the need for something and asking whether it is just a want because of an advert I have seen from it.

Another thing that I am going to take more of an afford to consider is where I actually spend my money in future and if the companies that I invest in have ethical values etc. Companies such as Primark are playing up to consumerism in the fact that they provide cheap merchandise in the styles that other companies create but at a higher price point. They are ultimately playing up to the fact that they sell cheap clothes that the majority of us can afford in a time where people only have very small amounts of disposable income. Although they do help us as consumers of the high street they don’t necessarily give back dividends to the people that actually manufacture their clothes in foreign sweat shops and I think this is a major issue of consumerism. This is why I want to start to become more aware of where spend my money so that I start to become less of a consumer in things that are not necessarily ethical.

I think the main thing that needs to be realised is that the type of career I am most likely going to be entering into is one that will contain a lot of element of consumerism and it will be difficult to escape. However I do feel equipped to the point that I have a view and standpoint on the issue and Im somewhat educated about the factors that need to be considered.