Purpose. To explore
issues relating to the visual clichés often used in the
portrayal of specific European nationalities in public communication.
Assignment. To design
a poster advertising a fictitious conference on the subject of
xenophobia. As the European Union expands to the east, many countries
are going through a process of re-appraising their past, looking
critically at the present and establishing new aims for the future.
An over-riding message is that it is the differences between our
countries, rather than the similarities, that make the concept
of a European Union so exciting. Graphic design, often using a
homogenized international style, has frequently played a regrettable
role in the diminishing of national identities.
In this project we will explore the concept of national
icons. These icons might be cultural, social, industrial, scientific...
or any area of activity which might embody characteristics appropriate
to the specific identity of each country. Some icons might be well
known internationally, but are tired clichés to the host
country: France's baguettes, Italy's Mafiosi, England's umbrellas.
Perhaps we might find less well known but more genuine icons to
help to bury the myths, the lies, and the outdated.
As well as "images" in the traditional
sense, students will also be expected to explore the idea of "text
as image", looking into such artifacts as typefaces, logos,
layout styles, etc., which might have perceived national characteristics
(Germany and blackletter types, for example).
Format. A2 (420 X 594
mm or 16 1/2 X 23 3/8 inches)
Time. One semester,
three days a week.