Sunday, November 7, 2010

Word and Image: Brand Baby

Rolling Stone, MTV, Coca Cola, Mercedes, Levi’s, McDonalds, Hershey’s, Nike, Barbie and the list goes on. Our culture is so overly saturated with brands some are more recognizable to children than political and religious figures. Children are a primary target for advertisers, through vibrant colors, the use of older role models, product placement and constant saturation of commercials though television kids are unable to distinguish between what is an advertisement and what is not. As shown above we are feeding our children culture made up of consumerism from the time they are born. The image above is making a strong statement using word and image about how our capitalistic society operates and the ethical issues that are arising as our society becomes more brand oriented.

Through the use of logos and symbols that are associated with commonly known companies the designer of this image is able to convey their disapproval of the direction of modern culture. To deconstruct the image using the philosophy of Rene Magritte this image is made up of pixels on my computer screen that create a photo of a mother and child covered in a compilation of pictures and words that symbolize companies that make up American culture. This image has reached me through a modern form of technology which speaks about the concept of the image. As media and culture develop so do the means by which people use them. Advertizing has become even more prominent through the advancement of technology. Resources such as the internet, cell phones, television and e-mail are all all outlets which have taken shape over the past hundred years and allow brands to more aggressively market themselves.

"Baby Brands" addresses the interaction between image and text through the lack of caption and the logos themselves . The image is so powerful it does not rely on any more clarification. In Understanding Comics Scott McCloud describes the relationship between language and image. He claims that the more realistic an image is the further it moves away from language and abstraction. On the other hand, the textual words that occupy the baby's body have become images. No longer do people need to read the words in which the logos consist of, the viewer does not need to speak the same language to understand what a the word is representing. Logos capitalize on creating a uniform color scheme and typography in order to hopefully create an icon that is recognizable to a large variety of possible customers.

Designers have an ethical duty to society to ensure that what they are designing contributes to the bettering of their community, after all , design is Utopian and strives for perfection. However, when designing logos or advertisements designers can too easily pass the buck and relinquish accountability for what they are creating due to their employment by larger companies. But individuals must be held accountable for their actions. They are apart of the social system and contribute to the formulation of it. Designers yield a molding power over culture and society and therefore must be continue to create with a higher consciousness of the repercussions of their designs.

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