designer’s in practise

Paul Rand talk about designer’s role here, thumb it’s interesting… although a bit old but still..

“Because graphic design, treat in the end, deals with the spectator, and because it is the goal of designer to be persuasive or at least informative, it follows that the designer’s problems are twofold: to anticipate the spectator’s reactions and to meet his own aesthetic needs”
(Paul Rand,  A Designer’s Art, New Haven and London. 1985 p.xi)

Another one is from Paul Jobling and David Crowley (1996) which is another interesting view about designer’s practice is:

“In daily encounter with so much visual material, more often than not our experience of graphic design appears seamless and the myriad of images we confront so impenetrable that we scarcely take time to consider the ways in which they can signify the meaning of our won existence.”
(Graphic Design – Reproductions and representations since 1800)

rhetoric of images and language

When we want to start a conversation, viagra there’s always ‘something’ that we use as a ‘vehicle’ to communicate. This ‘vehicle’ could be anything, therapy an object, gonorrhea weather, people, feeling, history, memories etc. Indeed we talk/negotiate through shared ‘object’, but I’m not convince that object can do our talking for us. Object or material can inform others about us, or relates others to us but might not give the correct meaning about us. As the ‘vehicle’ of communication could be anything, one might have different meaning to each others for various reason. Take an example of a french words, that been adopted in English. Some of words has been used in different context and been given different connotation.

When we write, and sometimes we not familiar with language of others we write as how we think. We might think in our native language and write in other language. Sometimes, some word does not give enough meaning in one language so we use the language that have the meaning we one or that could bring deeper meaning of what we wanted to say.

For example, ‘Buah Hati, Intan Payung’ in Malay language is use to describe a very special person. One could call someone ‘buah hati’ and ‘intan payung’ to show the meaning without saying you’re special. The connotation behind it, is much more that the meaning itself. For me, it relates to the Malay culture, it will take me back to my childhood time where my grandmother use to call me (not now because it is use a lot to call children than adult) and it also will connect to nostalgic memories of old movies. The words itself have much more meaning than the meaning it shows.

But…can a nation be identify through their language? I remembered a scene where I was on the way to level 20 with the lift. There 6 of us waiting in front of the lift and I can’t distinguish the nationality any of us just by looking at physical, we all look the same, all asian. When the lift arrived and we enter, one of the girl start talking in a language that sound very familiar to me but at the same time it sound kind of different in some words, my guess it’s Indonesian. I immediately get connected without knowing the girl. I get informed where the country this girl might come from. Through language, with some knowledge, I received an information. If I talk back, I will be informing the girl about my self.

Very similar situation to the use of visual/images, the connotation of visual elements give deeper meaning, than what we see on the visual surface. Uniqueness is not only in the language, it also in visual, memory, nostalgia, elements, and representations. I have to say clearly here that I don’t see uniqueness in the same meaning as special. I see uniqueness to show typical or singularity, or perhaps a kind of information. It give a sense of connection to ‘something’. It could be one of the ‘vehicle’ to communicate to others. People relates to it and find them connected in it, that ‘something’ bring people together. It doesn’t mean that they special, it is just the sense of belonging.

“Malaysian student always get together, they like to get united”.

Is it mean Malaysian people are unique and different? I meet Mary from Adelaide in School of Applied Comm. GRC, and had a casual chat with her along with few of my friend. She mentioned about a research student of her in Flinders University and the student is someone I know. I asked her to send the student of her my regards. Then Mary say, this is very common, always she said that Malaysian student always get together and get united. She added that is it Malaysian attitude. I guess having Malaysian around her at the chat might convinced her thought and idea about Malaysian. Somehow in relation to this conversation we had, Marry have created an image of Malaysia through her small finding. Is it true that Malaysian like to get united and be together? Can this add in the uniqueness? How the idea of ‘united’ come? Is it stereotyping or just a claim? What inform Mary? The student behavior, her connections with her student, or others?

Like any other international student, or anyone whose being far from their home/country, when ever we get to know someone from our ‘home’, the memories and the visual that relates to ‘home’ appear. It somehow reduce the ‘homesickness’ or get in the comfort zon. We start a conversation with/through ‘home’ and even start automatically, speaking the ‘language’ we speak at ‘home’. We even sometime use some vernacular because it easier and understandable, or to get more information about the person (it’s a way to detect in which city the person comes from, as each city have different vernacular). Another reason could be language, culture and custom. Perhaps it’s easier to talk to Malaysian as being Malaysia, then to communicate to others.

Malaysian-united is the most interesting words I think. What create this image? Is it the ‘Malaysian Truly Asia’ adds that goes around the world promoting Malaysia give the ideas of united? Does the idea of united adding values to the notion of uniqueness? Or is it the Malaysian student behavior that create this image, or both? One might inform another or one might stabilize the other information. In a way, the image of Malaysia is created, through the representation of its nation, the visual representations, and the rhetoric of language. ‘Object’ or ‘something’ connected and informed people about something. It says things or talk to (as what Neal would say). But it also have more than that, these ‘something’ is also capable to give impact to others by changing their perceptions, depending how deep the information they have about it.

Coming back to the image that been created just by few information, or stereotyping the image, it is not really about ‘something’, it’s a reason to start a ‘something’, in this context a conversation. One want to get connected to others, therefore having a small information about the others, that could be ‘something’, would  be a reason to be accepted by others, or would give meaning that one have a knowledge about others.

I’m not sure if I’m on the track or off track but I will let it float in  you mind for a while..I think I’ll stop here. Back to you…and here’s are what I think we should be focusing at in our discussion from my side.

The questions you wrote in you blog is a good start..

Am I Investigating about :

The roles of communication designer in shaping Malaysian NCID? (action/behavior/practice/experience)

or

The roles of communication design materials in shaping Malaysian NCID? (impact of design/product/object/element)

The object/impact or the practice? I think it’s the practice that I’m after for now.

Another important questions that would be interesting to discuss is:

What is the different between communication design and graphic design?

Now, seriously back to you Neal…

The uniqueness of identity – a myth or ?

Creative Commons License
“The uniqueness of identity- a myth or ?” by Nurul Rahman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 Australia License.

 

By nature, medicine we desire to have connections with ‘something’. It is a feeling of acceptance, more about to be part of someone, group, nation, country, culture, lifestyle, class and etc. People speak about where they come from, the custom they practice, the language they speak, their preferred kind of food, the style they adore, lifestyle and fashion, and sometimes the weather, depending on situation.

Through the discourse or through other communication mediums, people received perceptions and categories one from another. Others would perceive this information and categories one in a group one belongs to and give a name for it. It’s what some people would describe as an identity. Gauntlett, David (1998) on Foucault’s (1977) ideas on identity, people just wants to have ‘something’, a reason to start a conversation. ‘It is a discourse’.

However, can it be said that the notion of unique identity is emotionally attached, through elements such as icon, label, object, symbol, behavior, product and etc. This notion of uniqueness is powerful. It is powerfully built around the emotional connection of nostalgic memories, historical relations, personal interest and childhood experiences. It creates a sense of chivalry and injected patriotic spirit to the people that dwell in a country. Some would call it the spirit of nationalism. Others would describe it as singularity belief. Believing in ‘something’ that has an on going intimate relationship with oneself. Susan Stewart in her book ‘Longing’ wrote an interesting example in relation to people and their antiquities in england. Through the object, nationalism becomes romantic nationalism. ‘Between the time of Camden and the time of Victorian antiquatirians, nationalism became romantic nationalism in England, a venerations of pastoralism, decentralization, and a collective “folk spirit”.’(Stewart 1993 pp143).

Another examples on people emotional attachment with objects and their connection with country is as Englishman Joseph Hunter explains, in the preface to his Antiquarian Notices of Lupset, the Heath, Sharston, and Ackton, in the Country of York (1851):

“There are two sorts of countries that divide the face of the globe, new countries and old…which of these two sorts of countries would a man reflection, a man of taste, a man whose heart beats with moral perceptions and feelings, a choose to dwell in?… I conceive it to be one of the advantages which the fortune of my birth reserved for me, that I was born in an old country…I love to dwell in a country where, on whichever side I turn, I find some object connected with a heart-moving tale, or some scene where the deepest interests of a nation for ages to succeed have been strenuously agitated, and emphatically decided [Hunter’s ellipses].” (Hunter quoted in Stewart pp. 142)

What creates the intimates relations between the ‘object’ and people? How can  the ‘object’ connect and become strongly attach to us? Is it the emotional connections between the people and ‘objects’, that creates the notion of uniqueness, describing, that the place where we dwelling is somehow different and unique?

‘Object’that we collected have becomes part of our life, and live in our memories. Every time we see something similar in shape or color, or even a representation of it, somehow it could trigger the connection again.

These are some of the elements or ‘object’ that been used in the advertisements and some printed materials for the purpose of selling and communicating. The representation of the ‘object’ appeared again and it attracts people to relate it with their longed memories. The ‘object’could be anything. It can be antiquities, behavior, nostalgia, glance of a narrative and etc. It is through the visual representation of these objects, we relates to our past. Perhaps, some object can takes us to a journey towards future. A vision, a dream or a myth!


   

David Gauntlett is Professor of Media and Communications at the School of Media, Arts and Design, University of Westminster. http://www.theory.org.uk/david/

See Objects of Desire, on Longing by Susan Stewart. Duke University Press 1993.

~l=”license” href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.5/au/”>Creative Commons License
“The uniqueness of identity- a myth or ?” by Nurul Rahman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 Australia License.

 

By nature, we desire to have connections with ‘something’. It is a feeling of acceptance, to be part of someone, group, nation, country, culture, lifestyle, class and etc. People speak about where they come from, the custom they practice, the language they speak, their preferred kind of food, the style they adore, lifestyle and fashion, and sometimes the weather, depending on situation.

Through the discourse or through other communication mediums, people received perceptions and categories one from another. Others would perceive this information and categories one in a group one belongs to and give a name for it. It’s what some people would describe as an identity. Gauntlett, David (1998) on Foucault’s (1977) ideas on identity, people just wants to have ‘something’, a reason to start a conversation. ‘It is a discourse’.

However, can it be said that the notion of unique identity is emotionally attached, through elements such as icon, label, object, symbol, behavior, product and etc. This notion of uniqueness is powerful. It is powerfully built around the emotional connection of nostalgic memories, historical relations, personal interest and childhood experiences. It creates a sense of chivalry and injected patriotic spirit to the people that dwell in a country. Some would call it the spirit of nationalism. Others would describe it as singularity belief. Believing in ‘something’ that has an on going intimate relationship with oneself. Susan Stewart in her book ‘Longing’ wrote an interesting example in relation to people and their antiquities in england. Through the object, nationalism becomes romantic nationalism. ‘Between the time of Camden and the time of Victorian antiquatirians, nationalism became romantic nationalism in England, a venerations of pastoralism, decentralization, and a collective “folk spirit”.’(Stewart 1993 pp143).

Another examples on people emotional attachment with objects and their connection with country is as Englishman Joseph Hunter explains, in the preface to his Antiquarian Notices of Lupset, the Heath, Sharston, and Ackton, in the Country of York (1851):

“There are two sorts of countries that divide the face of the globe, new countries and old…which of these two sorts of countries would a man reflection, a man of taste, a man whose heart beats with moral perceptions and feelings, a choose to dwell in?… I conceive it to be one of the advantages which the fortune of my birth reserved for me, that I was born in an old country…I love to dwell in a country where, on whichever side I turn, I find some object connected with a heart-moving tale, or some scene where the deepest interests of a nation for ages to succeed have been strenuously agitated, and emphatically decided [Hunter’s ellipses].” (Hunter quoted in Stewart pp. 142)

What creates the intimates relations between the ‘object’ and people? How can  the ‘object’ connect and become strongly attach to us? Is it the emotional connections between the people and ‘objects’, that creates the notion of uniqueness, describing, that the place where we dwelling is somehow different and unique?

‘Object’that we collected have becomes part of our life, and live in our memories. Every time we see something similar in shape or color, or even a representation of it, somehow it could trigger the connection again.

These are some of the elements or ‘object’ that been used in the advertisements and some printed materials for the purpose of selling and communicating. The representation of the ‘object’ appeared again and it attracts people to relate it with their longed memories. The ‘object’could be anything. It can be antiquities, behavior, nostalgia, glance of a narrative and etc. It is through the visual representation of these objects, we relates to our past. Perhaps, some object can takes us to a journey towards future. A vision, a dream or a myth!


   

David Gauntlett is Professor of Media and Communications at the School of Media, Arts and Design, University of Westminster. http://www.theory.org.uk/david/

See Objects of Desire, on Longing by Susan Stewart. Duke University Press 1993.

Another GRC…

Another GRC past, pancreatitis and I realised that my time is running fast, price hopefully I could catch up with it. GRC went well, anesthetist apart from the amount of work I need to cope with in 6 month period time.

I need to continue reading, the more the better and keep on writing and make some mark and point in my research. I have to explicitly articulate my argument in my research. I come to realised that this research is not so much about Malaysian Identity, it is more about the image and visual representation of it, and how it create the perceptions?

Clearly design plays significant roles in these process. But what is it and how does it plays the roles is an interesting areas to investigate as what I’m researching now. It is fascinating to discover some things in this research. I’m discovering another Malaysia, its representations of identity and designer’s roles in this. I asked these questions in my GRC and would be nice to hear some thought about it.

Can it be said that part of designer roles is also capturing the history and record it through their creation. Do designer deliberately re-use this elements of history to modify, and provide perception as a way to communicate with the audience? Can it be said the designers are partly responsible perpetuate the myth of national cultural identity?

Here’s an interesting quote that might give you some ideas about what I’m trying to say up there:

“Advertising and design have more in common than the postmodern trend for vernacularism (or the anesthetization of timeworn artifacts) reveals. Advertising and graphic design are equally concerned with selling, communication and entertaining. To appreciate one, the other is imperative. But more important, if graphic design history does not expand to include advertising and other related studies, it will ultimately succumb to the dead-end thinking that will be the evitable consequence of being arrested in a state of continual adolescence.”
Steven Heller, ‘Advertising the Mother of Graphic Design’, from Eye, no.17. vol.5 summer 1995.

Look again and think a head…

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‘Look again and think a head’ by by Nurul Rahman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 Australia License.

I was looking at some of my advertisement collections and try, tooth again and again to analyzed it. I started with a formal lenses, then change the roles to communication designer’s and then to a researcher. It is an interesting process. I had experienced and I have to admit that I’m enjoying every minutes of this process.

It is shocking and frustrating to imagine that everyday we will have to face and sometimes we might consume, images and ton of information each time we walk on the street. Accompany by billboard and posters, nearly every second we turn our head around, we look and unconsciously we gather this information in our memory bank. At home or sometimes in the cafe or bar, adding to this process we have other media such as television, internet and radio surrounding us. Just imagine that! How do we as a consumer cope with this? Our brain must did an excellent job then, recording and remembering these images and recall it again to view, every time we look at other object and managed to recognized it.

Such scene that I just describe is a normal scenario in most of the main city in the world. What actually influences us in consuming material? Do we need them? Is it important to have them or just because be like them, and want to own them? Even if we are aware of if, we cannot say the we can escape from this scenario.

Who are the people that responsible in this process? Advertising, marketing, company, artist and obviously designers. I would say graphic designers, communication designers and interaction designers are not much less responsible that others. Now, in a global world, this scenario cannot be stop. Information is at our fingertip and amazingly easy. We, as a consumer actually play a significant roles in this as we continue consume the product, and therefore there is a market for the product.

I’m not saying that we should not buy anything, but would be good if we take our step in slow motion and think a head before some rhetoric visual and text in the advertisements influences our thought and desire. Just try and explore this process, please be aware that it can be dangerous (dangerous as you might end up using your credit card or use your saving), you might end up buying something at the end.

I’m very interested in this process, investigating the communication designer’s position in this, and how we contribute in shaping the lifestyles. Are we deliberately use the rhetoric of images to communicate? or we didn’t actually think about the impact we created? Well, clearly we managed to see the product or at least we manage to get the information in the market.

Advertising is the mother of graphic design, as how Steven Heller claims in the ‘Eye’ magazine 1994. Clearly that graphic designer contribute most of their work in advertisements, that because at that time, there was not that much job available for graphic designer. Some might be in the printing company as DTP artist, some might be at the hotel as display artist etc. Is graphic designer’s role is minor in the process of creating the visual?

“The history of advertising is more interested in how Marlboro cigarettes tested a variety of trade characters before stumbling on the Marlboro Man as a symbol of manliness. While graphic design appears negligible in the cultural analysis of this campaign, understanding the relationship of this symbol..to the larger mythology provides insight into how the American myth was perpetuated.”Heller, 1994.

So what do this mean, that graphic designer are part of creating these myth? I will take further investigation in my research….it is significant..