Graphic Designers Get Political


Pin design from Sagmeister & Walsh’s latest project

As Americans await the second debate this weekend with less than a month to go to election day, there are some graphic designers who are taking a stand.

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Fashion Week: When Does It Become Dangerous?


Fashion week is here again. It’s fun, it’s festive, often ludicrous, but is it also dangerous?

During her presentation this summer at “Here London 2016,” visual artist Yolanda Domínguez talks about how we define ourselves by the images we see. Domínguez points to the abundance of images that are young, white, and female and asks what happened to everyone else? She goes on to point out the ridiculous poses that we see in fashion advertising and the adjectives that go with them: docile, submissive, available, and violated. Advertising as shown in the image above serves to reinforce a society where violence against women is perpetuated and accepted. It’s not just ludicrous, it’s dangerous.

In 2015 Domínguez decided to show fashion brand launch images to a group of 8 year-olds with her project, “Children vs. Fashion.” The results were very revealing. The children decoded the images and exposed the differences in how women and men are portrayed. They thought the women were scared, sick or drunk and many wanted to help them. Men on the contrary were seen as happy and heroic.

In other projects, Yolanda Domínguez engages her audience to participate and asking for volunteers to take part in staging events to raise awareness. Her current project is called “Little Black Dress.” She is looking for volunteers; she asks participants to pose in this classic fashion icon—regardless of their size and ethnicity. Domínguez calls upon us to shatter the existing fashion tropes, and create new images that are representative of actual women.

As you catch a glimpse of the beautiful, amazing, and ridiculous outfits that are revealed this week, also consider the dangerous side effects of consuming these images.

Contact Yolanda Domínguez if you’d like to participate in “Little Black Dress” and watch the full “Here London 2016” presentation here:


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Subverting the Narrative

photo by Justin Dingwall

photo by Justin Dingwall

It won’t come as news to most of us that Photoshop and the multitude of photo apps that alter images have led to unrealistic views of ourselves.

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I know the man’s name is Pence, but I can’t help seeing “Penance,” and wondering what we’ve done wrong as a nation that was so bad to deserve this.

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Celebrating African Activists

Nigerian artist Fred Martins uses the symbol of the Afro Comb to celebrate significant African activists, who were jailed fighting for freedom and fairness.

Nigerian artist Fred Martins uses the symbol of the Afro Comb to celebrate significant African activists, who were jailed fighting for freedom and fairness.

Nigerian artist Fred Martins is making a name for himself as a graphic design advocate.

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Battling Visual Plagiarism

Illustration by Adam Quinones

As a graphic design educator or practitioner, battling against visual plagiarism can be frustrating and daunting.

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Incorporating Earth Day into our every day practice


3 x 3 foot display created by Graphic Design student Cristina Torres, made entirely from recycled products

Happy Earth Day 2016! As scientists offer dire predictions of doom due to global warming, it’s inspiring to see how some global citizens are making changes.

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Teach our Girls to Code!

Poster design by Mariah Salter

Poster design by Graphic Design student Mariah Salter

Historically, women are woefully under-represented in computing and technology fields.

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The Devil We Live (and Die) With

Cape Mongo, a film by Francois Knoetz, was featured at the 2016 Design Indaba conference last week. 

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White lies—unethical, or an act of kindness?

kind man with devil shadowVisual persuasion is at the heart of a graphic designer’s job. Taking information and ideas and forming them into communication that engages and invokes is what we do.

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