Capitalism Works for Me! TRUE/FALSE

 

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Steve Lambert, “Capitalism Works for Me!,” 2011

 

Em 2011 Steve Lambert contrui um enorme sinal em Leds com o intuito de levar o espectador a questionar-se sobre a sua posição face ao capitalismo, que circulou por várias cidades dos Estados Unidos, onde interrogou centenas de americanos sobre a sua posição e conhecimento acerca do sistema, as respostas foram compilados num video para ver aqui.

Capitalism Works for Me! TRUE/FALSE

Fake Case

Ai Weiwei: Fake Case é um documentário de 2003 que acompanha o processo judicial contra o artista, instaurado pelo governo chinês numa tentativa de o silenciar.

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O poster promocional do documentário, é uma fotomontagem feita por Neil Kellerhouse, que coloca Ai Weiwei nu, em posição de sentido na Praça Tiananmen, que combina com a natureza agitadora e provocadora de Ai Weiwei, que sem nunca se deixar intimidar, contínua a produzir trabalhos artisticos com uma gigantesca carga crítica, em particular face ao governo chinês.

Fake Case

Light Up The Sky

Em 2004, Milton Glaser conversou com Martin C. Pederson acerca da iniciativa impulsionada pelo designer, Light Up The Sky, esta tinha o intuito de chamar os nova-iorquinos que se opunham à presidência de Bush para se reunirem pacificamente no primeiro dia Convenção Nacional Republicana (26 de Agosto de 2004) , vestindo ou carregando algo que emitisse luz.

“We can gather informally all over the city with candles, flashlights and plastic wands to silently express our sorrow over all the innocent deaths the war has caused. We can gather in groups or march in silence. No confrontation and. above all, no violence, which will only convince the undecided electorate to vote for Bush. Not a word needs to be spoken. The entire world will understand our message.” Milton Glaser

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How did the idea for Light Up the Sky develop? 

What inspired it was the realization that the city was going to be transferred into the hands of the Bushies. And that the image of people confronting the police, being hit over the head, and taken away to jail would accrue to Bush’s benefit. If demonstrations become violent, it will further convince people that New York is full of nuts and psychos.
Yet the truth is there is no way to prevent people from expressing anger at the current political situation. So I thought there must be a benign way to do it. What if you did it as a kind of transparent effect that didn’t require a permit? What if people simply wore light, or some expression of light, and then went out on the street? So that everyone who opposed the president carried light—suits of light, lanterns, candles, flashlights. And everyone who lived with windows facing the street turned on their lights, so that at two in the morning the city was ablaze. And everybody understood what that meant.
My theory is that intelligence is simply an acknowledgement of what’s in your own best interest, and in this case what’s in our best interest is non confrontational, non-violent protest.

(…)

Do you think graphic design in general possesses the power to sway political opinion?
No. Most graphic design is in the service of business, whose agenda is not the same as service to the community. In most cases, designers are conveying other people’s messages. Every once in a while, there’s a degree of social consciousness among designers, but fundamentally they’re talking to themselves. Often it doesn’t go beyond that, because it’s more about relieving themselves of tension than communicating to people in an effort to change their minds. That’s a failure of design intelligence.

(…)

Do you remember a piece of graphic design that had a political impact?
I am sure that images have affected me, but it’s hard for me to recall what they are. There are of course slogans that persist in the mind, like “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself.” But when you move from that kind of narrative into posters, you don’t find too many that have the same affect.

 

A entrevista completa, em que Milton Glaser fala não só desta acção mas do papel do design na política pode ser lida no site da Metroplis Mag, e uma outra, que o designer deu à AIGA, exclusivamente acerca desta iniciativa aqui.

Light Up The Sky

It’s Not Very Nice That.

Em 2014, a galeria Lighthouse, em Glasgow, recebeu a exposição It’s Not Very Nice That. A mostra reuniu centenas de trabalhos de design gráfico focados em questões políticas, e durante o período da exposição foram dinamizados ainda workshops, conversas em torno da temática.
Uma iniciativa que demonstra como o design de comunicação pode estar intimamente ligado à política, e como pode faze-la chegar ao publico em geral.

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It’s Not Very Nice That is an incomplete inventory – a slice through contemporary politically engaged graphic design which aims to chart some of the modes of practise currently used by designers to explore, document and respond to political affairs.

It’s Not Very Nice That.

I wonder what it’s like to be dyslexic

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Estima-se que 5 a 10% da população tenha dislexia, Sam Barclay, através de manipulação tipográfica constrói um livro dedicado a facilitar a quem não é dislexico, uma compreensão visual desta condição.
Sendo Sam Barclay dislexico, explica que apesar de haver material adequado para a aprendizagem das pessoas que têm esta dificuldade, não é algo que seja explicado aos outros ou que na generalidades as pessoas compreendam

I wonder what it’s like to be dyslexic

Comics for Change

Comics for Change é uma série de 10 livros ilustrados, promovida pela Know your City, uma organização sem fins lucrativos que se concentra em familiarizar as pessoas com a história, comunidade e cultura do Portland e Oregon.
Esta série foca-se em ilustrar as lutas da população de Oregon, nos Estados Unidos, pelos direitos cívis, um projecto que tem como propósito, através de um meio descontraído, trazer à comunidade a história do seu país, com o intuito de tornar as pessoas mais conscientes, e civicamente activas.

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Comics for Change

Why Shrink-Wrapping A Cucumber Is Actually Good For The Environment

Book Review by Mark Wilson,11.14.12, posted on fastcodesign.com

I remember the first time I saw a piece of produce shrink-wrapped at the grocery store. I was infuriated that big industry had decided to waste plastic on something nature had already managed to protect just fine. And I, like many others, was entirely wrong in this assumption. That shrink-wrap is actually a net gain for the environment.
It’s one of many lessons I learned in Why Shrink-Wrap a Cucumber: A Complete Guide to Environmental Packaging (Lawrence King, 2012). It’s a completely readable introduction to the environmental impact of the consumer goods industry, touching on everything from Heinz’s eco-friendly plastic squeeze container to telltale signs of “greenwashed” products. And of course, the titular cucumbers.
As authors Laurel Miller and Stephen Aldridge explain, an unwrapped cucumber will lose 3.5% of its weight after just three days of sitting out. Shrink-wrapping slows evaporation, keeping the cucumber fresh longer: A wrapped cucumber loses a mere 1.5% of its weight over two weeks.
In the U.K., a third of all food is simply thrown away. We all buy produce with good intentions, but often it rots before we remember to fish it out of the fridge for dinner. For cucumbers, shrink-wrapping prevents food waste. It means less fertilizer, water, and pesticides are used growing more cucumbers to replace wasted ones. It means less fossil fuels are spent transporting additional harvests, and less methane is produced by landfills where rotted produce is tossed.
As the book documents, these facts didn’t stop the Daily Mail from launching a nationwide campaign against the prepackaged cucumber. The newspaper convinced a major supermarket chain, Co-op, to instead pack cucumbers in a large, plastic-lined box that would lengthen their shelf life without the shrink-wrap.
The catch? In practice, the individually wrapped cucumbers stay fresher longer, the authors say. And those new plastic-lined boxes? They’re not reused like many produce crates can be.
It’s an excellent lesson in environmental packaging. On one hand, lightening an environmental footprint is generally good business. On the other, if the consumer doesn’t understand the logic behind a packaging redesign, the best ideas can completely backfire.
The book is full of other interesting insights: Most of us assume glass is environmentally superior to plastic, but its footprint is generally far worse than recyclable plastics. Plastics can be tough to dispose of, but creating them is relatively environmentally friendly: The process is a byproduct of existing fossil fuel production (in the same way chicken nuggets find a use for every last scrap of the bird). And things are getting better, often invisibly: The modern beer can weighs one quarter what it did in the 1960s.

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Why Shrink-Wrapping A Cucumber Is Actually Good For The Environment

The Politics of Design

It is no secret that the real world in which the designer functions is not the world of art, but the world of buying and selling. For sales, and not design are the raison d’etre of any business organization. Unlike the salesman, however, the designer’s overriding motivation is art: art in the service of business, art that enhances the quality of life and deepens appreciation of the familiar world.
Design is a problem-solving activity. It provides a means of clarifying, synthesizing, and dramatizing a word, a picture, a product, or an event. A serious barrier to the realization of good design, however, are the layers of management inherent in any bureaucratic structure. (…)
Unless the design function in business bureaucracy is so structured that direct access to the ultimate decision-maker is possible, trying to produce good work is very often an exercise in futility. Ignorance of the history and methodology of design — how work is conceived, produced, and reproduced — adds to the difficulties and misunderstandings. Design is a way of life, a point of view. It involves the whole complex of visual communication: talent, creative ability, manual skill, and technical knowledge. Aesthetics and economics, technology and psychology are intrinsically relate to the process.
One of the more common problems which tends to create doubt and confusion is caused by the inexperienced and anxious executive who innocently expects, or even demands, to see not one but many solutions to a problem. These may include a number of visual and/or verbal concepts, an assortment of layouts, a variety of pictures and color schemes, as well as a choice of type styles. He needs the reassurance of numbers and the opportunity to exercise his personal preferences. He is also most likely to be the one to insist on endless revisions with unrealistic deadlines, adding to an already wasteful and time-consuming ritual. Theoretically, a great number of ideas assures a great number of choices, but such choices are essentially quantitative. This practice is as bewildering as it is wasteful. It discourages spontaneity, encourages indifference, and more often than not produces results which are neither distinguished, interesting, nor effective. In short, good ideas rarely come in bunches.
The designer who voluntarily presents his client with a batch of layouts does so not out prolificacy, but out of uncertainty or fear. (…)
Frequent job reassignments within an active business are additional impediments about which management is often unaware. Persons unqualified to make design judgments are frequently shifted into design-sensitive positions. The position of authority is then used as evidence of expertise. While most people will graciously accept and appreciate criticism when it comes from a knowledgeable source, they will resent it (openly or otherwise) when it derives solely from a power position, even though the manager may be highly intelligent or have self-professed “good taste.” At issue is not the right, or even the duty, to question, but the right to make design judgment. Such misuse of privilege is a disservice to management and counterproductive to good design. Expertise in business administration, journalism, accounting, or selling, though necessary in its place, is not expertise in problems dealing with visual appearance. (…)
Deeply concerned with every aspect of the production process, the designer must often contend with inexperienced production personnel and time-consuming purchasing procedures, which stifle enthusiasm, instinct, and creativity. Though peripherally involved in making aesthetic judgments (choosing printers, papermakers, typesetters and other suppliers), purchasing agents are for the most part ignorant of design practices, insensitive to subtleties that mean quality, and unaware of marketing needs. Primarily and rightly concerned with cost- cutting, they mistakenly equate elegance with extravagance and parsimony with wise business judgement.
These problems are by no means confined to the bureaucratic corporation. Artists, writers, and others in the fields of communication and visual arts, in government or private industry, in schools or churches, must constantly cope with those who do not understand and are therefore unsympathetic to their ideas. The designer is especially vulnerable because design is grist for anybody’s mill. “I know what I like” is all the authority one needs to support one’s critical aspirations. (…)
The creative arts have always labored under adverse conditions. Subjectivity emotion, and opinion seem to be concomitants of artistic questions. The layman feels insecure and awkward about making design judgments, even though he pretends to make them with a certain measure of know-how. But, like it or not, business conditions compel many to get inextricably involved with problems in which design plays some role.
For the most part, the creation or effects of design, unlike science, are neither measurable nor predictable, nor are the results necessarily repeatable. If there is any assurance, besides faith, a businessman can have, it is in choosing talented, competent, and experienced designers.
Meaningful design, design of quality and wit, is no small achievement, even in an environment in which good design is understood, appreciated, and ardently accepted, and in which profit is not the only motive. At best, work that has any claim to distinction is the exception, even under the most ideal circumstances. After all, our epoch can boast of only one A.M. Cassandre.

Paul Rand

from “A Designer’s Art”

The Politics of Design

We the Designers: Reframing Political Issues in the Obama Era

Politicians, journalists and pundits use language. Graphic designers use visual language. Drawing on two realms, designers unite visual and verbal content in compelling communication.
In a divisive era when words alone are not enough, can design thinking help unite citizens on the issues?

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Exposição de design no Aiga National Design Center, Nova Iorque, 2013

 

We the Designers: Reframing Political Issues in the Obama Era