Monday, 24 October 2011

Dissertation Imagery

Political Propaganda

M&C Saatchi:

''M&C Saatchi's co-founders, brothers Charles and Maurice Saatchi, have had a relationship with the Conservatives going back more than 30 years, having developed the "Labour Isn't Working" slogan that helped carry Margaret Thatcher to victory in 1979 at their previous agency, Saatchi & Saatchi.''

''The Conservatives have rekindled their relationship with M&C Saatchi, more than a decade after the ad agency last worked for the party in the runup to the 1997 general election with the Tony Blair "demon eyes" campaign. ''

''The Tories have launched a brutal poster campaign designed by the advertising firm credited with sweeping Margaret Thatcher to power in 1979.''

''In a highly personal attack, the posters depict Gordon Brown's smiling face alongside sarcastic "Vote for me" slogans.
The new campaign, created by M&C Saatchi, includes the slogan: "I took billions from pensions - vote for me" and "I let 80,000 criminals out early - vote for me".
Previously known as Saatchi and Saatchi, the firm was the architect of the famed "Labour isn't working" campaign depicting a long snaking dole queue.
The new posters are a turn-around from the Conservatives' previous efforts, which drew criticism for the "airbrushing" of smooth-looking leader David Cameron.
The Tories are now putting Mr Brown at the heart of their campaign because they believe he is a vote-winner for them. They seek to capitalise on his socially awkward demeanour and unlikely smiles during appearances on YouTube.
The posters - which will be displayed on 850 poster sites in England and Wales from Monday - also accuse the Prime Minister of increasing the gap between the rich and poor, and causing record youth unemployment.
Shadow schools secretary Michael Gove said: "Gordon Brown is asking people to vote him in for another five years but he and his tired Government will just make things worse."

Friday, 25 March 2011

Portfolio Task 6 - Theory Into Practice

Look at the CTS blog that Garry Barker has been writing to complement the lecture programme this year. Write a short response to one of the posts on the blog. Use the ideas that Garry is discussing to mount a short critical evaluation of one piece of Graphic design that you have produced on Level 5.

After reading Garry Barker's blog, I was interested in some of the ideas he brought up about sterotyping, and could see how it related to this particular piece of graphic design. I created this logo design for the YCN M&S Plan A brief, to be recogniseable as being the identity for their Plan A products and services. Plan A is M&S contribution to making chnages to help the environment and they want to encourage and offer advice on how people can do their own bit, so this logo had to reach environmentally conscious people.
Graphic design can help to form social and cultural identities, but from this stereotyping can occur. In the logo the colour green has been used to signify the environment and the 'green' way of life. The logo itself is based upon the Helvetica Bold 'A', and within its counter is a simplistic image of a tree, which is also stereotypically represents the environment. The docile body would see this and make the connection between the colour green and the tree, and the environment. This could be closely linked to the points raised by Adorno in his piece on 'Popular Music' about cultural standardization. Due to the colour and image previously being used within graphic design, they are recogniseable as being related to the environment, which means the information is pre-digestive. When designing the logo I knew this was the case, and therefore have unfortunately reinforced this idea of standardization.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Portfolio Task 5- Sustainability & Capitalism

Write a 500 word critical summary of the text which explicitly adresses the following questions
1. How is sustainability defined in the text?
2. What are the main characteristics or tendencies of Capitalism
3. Define a 'crisis of Capitalism'. Offer an example.
4. What solutions have been offered to the sustainability question? Are these successful or realistic? - If not why are they flawed?
5. Is the concept of sustainability compatible with Capitalism?

Within the text, sustainability is defined as an inter- and intra- generational equality in the social, environmental, economic, moral and political spheres of society. This means that the needs of the present generation are met, without affecting future generations. It also states that sustainability is a concept that needs everyone to buy into.
According to the text, the main characteristics of Capitalism are that it is constantly looking for new things to commodify, therefore is never-ending, and is constantly expanding. Capitalism thrives on creating new businesses, however it is not a linear system and can reach crisis, without the constant expansion of these businesses.
Capitalism can reach crisis when it's limitations are reached. However, to ensure this doesn't happen, capitalization is reinvented. An example of this could be the the greenwashing of companies, this is when they change their image to show how eco-aware they are, even if they aren't. This way of reinventing themselves creates a new consumer market, ensuring customers keep on buying into them, under the illusion they are helping the environment.
Bio-diesel is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to traditional diesel fuel. using bio-diesel makes customers feel good about the product they are purchasing as it has lower emissions. Biox Corporation is one of the largest proponents of bio-diesel. In 'The Ecology of Commerce', Hawken's outlines four points to follow in order of becoming environmentally responsible, including 'radically increasing the productivity of resource use', 'shifting to biologically inspired production', 'shifting the business model away from  the making and selling of ''things to providing the service that the ''thing'' delivers', and 'reinvesting in natural and human capital'. However there are flaws because the cycle of capitalism is perpetuated.

Sustainability discourse simultaneously blames capitalism for the current environmental problems whilst looking to it for solutions. However they are comaptible together, since the world is becoming more enivironmentally conscious and aware, sustainability is becoming a main factor in our everyday lives.
 Balser, E (2008) 'Capital Accumulation, Sustainability & Hamilton Ontario'

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Portfolio Task 4 - Communication theory

Use Shannon & Weaver's model of the communication process to write a 300-400 word analysis of a work of Graphic Design. Comment on the ways in which the piece of Graphic Design attempts to communicate to a specific audience, using techniques of redundancy, entropy or noise.

The Shannon-Weaver mathematical model was based on telephone and radio communication. It does not work perfectly for Graphic design as it focuses on message to audience, but does not have a feedback loop to the client to ensure the message is recieved correctly. This linear communication means that the message will only be successful if the reciever at the destination responds in the way that the 'information souce' intends them to.

Lasswell Maxim ''Who says what in what channel to whom with what effect'' relates to analysing the communication theory behind this McDonald billboard advertisement. The information source would be the designers and the message they want to send, which is then transmitted through their choice of type, image and composition. The advertisement in the form of a billboard is the channel of which it works in to get the message to the reciever. In this case the reciever would be the audience and the way in which the message is viewed, and the destination would be the audience being able to understand the message.

There are possibilities for noise at any stage of this model, which could reduce the effectiveness of this billboard. The designer needs to consider the simplicity of the design, to clearly portray the message. Only half of the burger has been used so it can fit the full height of the billboard without taking up too much room. Also, the white background and space used around the type and image, gives clarity to the design. The billboard could be in an environment with many surrounding advertisements, so it must stand out and make an impression on the viewer. Since the main type only says 'Gherkin or gherout?', it is short and readable in a short amount of time. The target audience for this particular billboard is people who already like McDonald's food, they would have to have the knowledge that the burger have gherkin's on them, and they would have to recognise the McDonald's logo, and know what it stands for. The destiantion means the audience would then answer the question on wether they have a gherkin preference, and possibly make them want to go and buy a burger.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Lecture 6 - The Media & Globalization & Sustainability

Media has a role in structuring how we think about the world.

Definitions of Globalisation:
Capitalist- The elimination of state-enforced restrictions on exchanges across borders and the increasingly integrated and complex global system of production and exchange that has emerged as a result.
- global
- system of production and exchange - profit
- positive - business
Socialist- The process of transformation of local or regional phenomena into global ones. It can be described as a process by which the people of the world are unified into a single society and function together. This process is a combination of economic, technological, sociocultural and political forces.
- working together with common interests
- communism
- spread worldwide

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
- like a dictionary
- definitions


Marshall McLuhan
- we can see the effect of other people's action therefore we become more conscious of our own actions
- society becomes closer - supportive of eachother

Wikileaks (Internet)
Sensory - empathy
- however, seeing the Iraq war as if we are 'participating' becomes de-sensitised - so is in fact the opposite of how we feel in a society
- the idea of the 'global village' hasn't happened in terms of equality
- 3rd world have no access to technology

Cultural Imperialsm
- global village
- certain values of a community
- a dominant country spreading ideas to other countries

Rigging the 'Free Market'
- media conglomerates operate as oligopolies
- owned by companies
- companies have to all answer to one company - control
- making it easy for single people to control the thoughts of a vast community

US media power can be thought of as a new form of imperialism
- forces their ideas/beliefs through broadcasting to their audience

- increase of consumers buying into skin whitening creams
- white seen as cultural and dominant - due to mediaChomsky & Herman (1958)
- Propaganda model - 5 basic filters
1. Ownership
 - Rupert Murdoch - control over news we get
- 'The Sun' - determines outcome of general elections
- controls what certain audience think
- whoever cuts him a deal - he will support
- reporters (news)
2. Funding
- payments - ads - companys control over were the ads are seen, and what they don't want them seen next to.
3. Sourcing
4. Flak
- US-based global climate coalition (GCC)
5. Anti Communist Ideology
- our way of life - better than everyone else's
-oppose their way of life - ridicule it

Al Gore (2006) An inconvenient Truth' (film)
- America have caused the most damage, however we are the solution

Global warming - global emissions
Making things 'Green'
- to be more environmentally friendly
- so you will buy into it
- bulbs, hybrid cars
- creates a new market

'Sustainable development is the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’

Brundtland Commission, (1987) ‘Our Common Future’

'Sustainable development, sustainable growth, and sustainable use have been used interchangeably, as if their meanings were the same. They are not. Sustainable growth is a contradiction in terms: nothing physical can grow indefinitely. Sustainable use, is only applicable to renewable resources. Sustainable development is used in this context to mean: improving the quality of human life whilst living within the carrying capacity of the ecosystems.'
- McDonald's change from red and yellow to green and yellow - to show how eco aware they are, however they aren't, they just seem to be.
'Most things are not designed for the needs of the people but for the needs of the manufacturers to sell to people.'
Papanek.V, 1983, p46

Monday, 7 February 2011

Seminar Notes - Communication Theory

-Critical Communication

The Shannon-Weaver Mathematical Model, 1949
-based on telephone and radio communication
-doesn't work perfeectly for GD as it focuses on message to audience, but does not have a feedback loop to the client to ensure the message recieved is correct
-linear communication (A to B)
-it is only successful is B responds in the way A wants it to.

Communication problems
-level A - technical problems - accuracy of message
-level B - semantic problems - how precisely conveyed
-level C - effectiveness problems - how effectively does the recieved message affect behaviour.

-static - technical
-what work is amongst/up against
-not intended - but then can become the message

Redundancy Vs Entropy
-Entropy - strengths of message fades - seaps out
-Redundancy - nothing is lost - message is not changed in any way
-aim to maximise redundancy in erms of audience, audience decoding, message encoding of ideas
-simplify message increases redundancy
-makes message more predictable/conventional


Phatic Communication
-communication at a base level - without knowing its happening
-e.g. a handshake with someone saying hello, you already know how to respond, by shaking there hand and saying hello.
-if a person shook your hand with an electric buzzer you wouldn't know what they are tying to communicate.

Redundancy relies on convention
Entropy is radical/shocking

Tracy Emin
-some would understand and get alot from it
-some others wouldn't class her work as art

- sterotype - grass skirts - cocktails - cocunut bra's

Book - 'Introduction to Communication Studies - John Fisk

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Portfolio Task 3 - Essay Ideas

I have chosen to focus my essay on the idea of the passive female, and how the idea of this has been constructed throught he use of female orientated advertising/marketing.

I will focus on:
-The Gaze, specifically the male gaze and how men percieve women - and the power it gives them
-Active male/Passive female
-Objectification of women - sex objects
-Consumerism - 'you are what you have' (Berger)

The advertisements that I will discuss:

Lynx TV Ad:
-the man is shown to have power over women
-it invites the spectator to want to be like him
-the way in which the girls are percieve, at first they are shown as sexy, aggressive in competition with eachother, but when it is shown that they are running towards a man it makes them look needy and dependent.

Tom Ford Fragrance Ad:
-woman is objectified and dehumanised
-spectator has the power and can envisage himself were the perfume bottle has been placed
-'lf you do not measure up, you won't be loved',
-the beauty myth
-women allow themselves to be passive, because when they make themselves look beautiful they are allowing/wanting, others to look at them and be attracted to them.

Key text:
Books -

Berger, J (1972) Ways of Seeing, London, British Broadcasting Corporation
Coward, R (1984) The Look, London, Patadin
Lupton, E (1993) Mechanical Brides, New York, Cooper-Hewitt
Wolf, N (1991) The Beauty Myth, London, Vintage
Loeb, L.A (1994) Consuming Angels, New York, Oxford University Press
Tillotson, K (2004) retro Housewife, Singapore, Collectors Press

Internet -

Chandler, D (2000) Notes on 'The Gaze',