this is an essay on how activists and graphic designers can work together

Essay by robins78University, Master's January 2003

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For many years graphic designers have been influencing human behavior and thought through the use color, placement, font, and imagery to present specific moods or reactions in order to create a desired effect. When this is done for political purposes we have come to know it as propaganda. Many times throughout history people have utilized this power for great evil. For instance, both Hitler and Stalin used propaganda in the 1930's to bolster support and help initiate new recruits into their cause. These days propaganda has become much more subtle in nature. And used lightly because of the bad reputation that was instilled upon it in reaction to acts performed by Hitler.

Anti-War protestors have become smarter in the recent years, starting to realize the need to expand into the different types of media to spread their important message. Because of this they have forced themselves to create a relationship with designers who can create posters, fliers, newspapers, magazines, and websites to name a few.

In a way that will reach a much broader ad more diverse group of people, protestors are imagined by many as the longhaired, flag burners that we saw much of in the 1960's. In response to this many of the decision-making republicans, and business people are discouraged from becoming allies with protest groups. As graphic designers we are able to define our audience and use many types of media to get a message to that audience. We have a great responsibility to use our skills in a moral and productive manner.

Many organizers are working to change their image and as a newspaper article in the New York Times put it "many organizer are trying to sound a note of patriotism and distance themselves from the stereotypical images of angry flag burners or scruffy anarchists."...