The influence of graphic design on politics, protest and power

Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, and a giant inflatable rubber duck. The latest exhibition at London’s Design Museum, ‘Hope to Nope: Graphics and Politics 2008-18’ (named after the iconic Shepard Fairey poster of Barack Obama, and the viral Trump meme, respectively) is shocking, surprising, and sometimes overwhelming.
A deep dive into graphic design of the last ten years – a decade that has seen catastrophic shifts in global politics, economy and the environment – the exhibition features everything from beer mats and badges to flags, posters and placards, with plenty of new media and technology, emphasised as perhaps the most insidious way to create and disseminate political ideas.


They say, don’t know exactly who ‘they’ are but anyways, ‘they’ say that graphic design can’t save/change the world … I disagree.

Graphic design is one of the main reasons why I shifted slightly away from practicing architecture. The main influence was the work by Sister Corita and the graphic design imagery (from all sides) from WWII.

Obama and Shep’s imagery was big time. Simple typography of MAGA is also big time.

Yes, graphic design can save/change your world.

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It never ceases to amaze me how gullible “the public” can be in general, and how much of a need for sensationalism and vindication there is.
This MIT study (though somewhat flawed) really points this out.


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