Welcome to today's lesson on propaganda. In this lesson you'll learn about propaganda and check out a few examples of it in practice. Specifically this lesson will cover:
Propaganda is the controlled dissemination and proliferation of symbolic messages in order to influence an audience's attitude.
It's a form of communication that is aimed towards influencing the attitude of the viewer or community towards a particular cause or position. It's usually by presenting only one side of the story or idea, or argument.
Design's connection to propaganda is best known for its war campaign posters, like the US propaganda poster depicting Uncle Sam below, which also has the US initials.
Now, Uncle Sam is supposed to be kind of a personification of the US government or US power, and the country. So it's suggesting that you join him by joining the US military and fighting with country. Now, illustrations and these war campaign posters were also often used to stereotype the enemy, like in this next poster below, titled "Jap Trap".
You can see that it's being used to demoralize the enemy and it's symbolically comparing them to rats. So this is going to influence the viewer's attitude towards these people or soldiers in a very negative fashion.
Now, design employs propaganda by repeating the symbol or slogan ad nauseum, which is another way of saying that it continues to be shown to the point of nausea or until it's tired out. It gets repeated regardless of whether the statement is true or if there's even a statement at all to be made. A symbol or slogan becomes credible simply by the amount of exposure it has received. So a really great example of this in practice is Shepard Fairey's Obey posters.
Shepard Fairey's an American contemporary graphic designer who came to be known for his Obey posters depicting Andre, the Giant. Now, these images have no message, there's no statement, and there's no idea he's trying to convey to you or convince you of anything. In fact, Fairey has said, "the real message behind most of my work is to question everything." He's also said, "the sticker has no meaning, but exists only to cause people to react, to contemplate, and to search for meaning in the sticker."
So again, the mere reputation was enough of a statement to be made, because it became credible simply by the amount of mass exposure, despite there being no real message to project. Shepard Fairey is also responsible for the Hope poster that has received such mass exposure and credibility as well.
This lesson looked at an overview of what propaganda is and how it is employed. You also got to see the connection between design & propaganda through common examples.
Keep up the learning and have a great day!
Source: SOURCE: THIS WORK IS ADAPTED FROM SOPHIA AUTHOR MARIO E. HERNANDEZ
Propaganda is the controlled dissemination and proliferation of symbolic messages in order to influence an audience’s attitude.