In the current age of digital media, design has never been more important and inflectional to how this country will evolve and progress

Design has influenced the publics political ideology since the creation of the print press. We as humans rely heavily on visual stimulation to validate or contribute to our principles, whether that be what ketchup we buy or who we vote for. With the increase in digital media and communication, design has never be so important to how we move forward as a country.

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Moral Responsibility to Inform Voters

The political design firm, Three(i) Creative Communications, which is based out of Memphis. They have worked on the visual material for candidates on the local, state, and federal level, including the campaign visuals for Shelby County mayor Lee Harris, as well as California congresswoman Maxine Waters, as well as Tami Sawyer, a county commissioner in Tennessee.

“Our mission-driven communications firm believes in supporting political organizations that lean towards the left”

The firm always works with politicos who are in line with their own outlook. “Our mission-driven communications firm believes in supporting political organizations that lean towards the left,” said Domenica Ghanem, the firm’s content director. “Our team is made up of young progressives, and pride ourselves helping candidates who share our values, so when it comes to supporting political campaigns and organizations, we’re pretty partisan.”

we see it as effectively informing voters

- Domenica Ghanem

Design Can Change the System

Politics is becoming irrelevant to ordinary people and needs a redesign, the panel agreed, and designers can help by communicating ideas for a better world that both politicians and the public can understand. "Fifty percent of Dutch people don't feel engaged" in politics any more, said fellow panelist Rudy van Belkom. "They feel like the system is broken. They have a lack of hope; they don't trust the system any more." Van Belkom, who describes himself as a "transition designer", asked the audience of around 150 people how many of them belonged to a political party.

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People have disengaged with politics

"If you are, please stand up," he said. "So that's like none. Zero. Oh sorry, there's one. So there's one member of a political party, so it's kind of an endangered species almost."People have disengaged with politics, Van Belkom said, pointing out that the Dutch election process has hardly changed since it was introduced in 1918 and is now irrelevant to the way people live."That's a hundred years ago," he said. "I think design can help to change the system, not only the political systems or the politicians, but also citizens because I think most people don't vote that informed."

Design Sways Voters

Who you vote for may be influenced by what you see. Graphic designers in the political science field must take a number of factors into account when creating campaign posters and protest signs. In America, political posters act as a supplement to the advertisements that run on radios, televisions, phones and the internet. On the other hand, in countries such as Japan, posters are the primary tool used to promote campaigns by those running for office.

According to Nathaniel Smith, an assistant professor of East Asian Studies at the University of Arizona, “Japanese elections are highly regulated [with] no television and radio ads. Instead, for just one or two weeks prior to the parliamentary vote, there are public boards erected to feature similarly-sized posters from each candidate.” Psychological strategies such as these aid graphic designers in their conquest to create compelling political campaign posters. An American example of this is evident in Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign poster entitled “Hope.” The poster employs a balance of the country’s trademark colors of red, white and blue to symbolize unity.

Graphic designer Shepard Fairey, who created “Hope,” said in The Harvard Journal of Law & Technology, “I thought a good way to convey the convergence of red states and blue states was to illustrate Obama with a shadow dividing his face down the middle with blue tones on one side and red on the other.”

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