Sometimes Design Falls Into Your Lap
There are times when graphic design is too easy and those times are certainly rare for sure. But in some cases you will find that a situation simply comes to pass that design just means everything that is current and it was a given. The 45th so called President is one such case this week.
Given the terrible situation in Virginia over the August weekend of the 11th through the 13th of 2017 you would certainly expect the leader of your country to denounce hate and stand with the people for a greater good. However, that didn’t happen. And, it wasn’t long (in fact, this design existed before the events of that weekend due to an unknown street artist) that a certain design began to dominate the sentiment of those that couldn’t believe what their President was saying. It reminds me of my last post regarding the failed Los Angeles Olympic bid for 2024. As you saw in that post, the poor mixture of fonts with certain letters and numbers could very well be translated to a different meaning. Well, in today’s case of the 45 we see this again. Only this time I see we are witnessing a real truth to the design.
As a graphic designer I love to see meaning in whatever I look at. I can’t drive down a street without critiquing billboards, signs, shop fronts and so on for the messages they communicate. To me this is fun. I love looking at how a design came together and determining whether it was effective, or if it perhaps shows a different meaning than the designer didn’t catch. In the case of 45, the designer was very clear. There’s NO confusion about what is being communicated here.
But, at the same time, how did the administration miss this? Surely they must employ bright people that could anticipate such a situation and therefore advise to avoid it? Then again, perhaps not.
In a world where the Internet no longer brings us closer together but instead allows us to separate even further apart by finding just the right group we can feel safe in I feel that design plays an even bigger role in society than ever before. Effective design can combat hate. Effective design can combat inequality. It is up to us as designers to find creative ways to get the message out.
Certainly this particular design is a very pointed message about a singular event or individual. But, no matter what you work on, as a designer with a conscience, you should try to find a way to get the message out about equality for all. Design wins in the end. Creativity is freedom. And freedom never dies in the human spirit. And you can’t be creative if you are not allowing all possibilities in life to be a part of yours.
Below are some examples of how I see this design coming about, with the rainbow thrown in for effect to support all. And, as yet, I’ve not found out who has created this original design. I follow many street artists online and have seen this in sticker form in various cities. If you know who did the design please do let me know so I can credit the excellent work.