Many designs that appear in today’s society will circulate and encounter audiences of many different cultures and languages. With communication comes responsibility; are designers aware of the meaning and impact of their work? An image or symbol that is acceptable in one culture can be offensive or even harmful in the next. A typeface or colour in a design might appear to be neutral, but its meaning is always culturally dependent. If designers learn to be aware of global cultural contexts, we can avoid stereotyping and help improve mutual understanding between people.
Politics of Design is a collection of visual examples from around the world. Using ideas from anthropology and sociology, it creates surprising and educational insight in contemporary visual communication. The examples relate to the daily practice of both online and offline visual communication: typography, images, colour, symbols, and information.
Politics of Design shows the importance of visual literacy when communicating beyond borders and cultures. It explores the cultural meaning behind the symbols, maps, photography, typography, and colours that are used every day. It is a practical guide for design and communication professionals and students to create more effective and responsible visual communication.
About The Author Under the name Untold Stories, Ruben Pater creates visual narratives that support solidarity, justice, and equality. This often starts as a collaboration with other disciplines to create new perspectives on complex social and political issues. Visual stories that reach a wide audience through publications, installations, interactive media, or film. His Drone Survival Guide (2013), received worldwide attention as a dicussion piece on military drones. In his book The Politics of Design (BIS Publishers, 2016) he looks at the responsibilities of designers in visual culture. He teaches at the bachelor of graphic design and the master Non-Linear Narrative at the Royal Academy of Art in the Hague, the Netherlands.
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