Posted: Sunday, 21 March 2010 | Posted by Adam Townend | 0 comments

These are the fronts of the two newspapers I have been working with. These will be two sources I analyse using semiotic theory.

Essay research

Posted: Saturday, 20 March 2010 | Posted by Adam Townend | 0 comments

I've kindly uploaded the Bignell text I have annotated which I have been referring to a lot in this essay.

Task 5 - Triangulated view of First Things First Manifesto (2000)

Posted: Tuesday, 23 February 2010 | Posted by Adam Townend | 0 comments

The 'First Things First' self proclaimed manifesto, rewritten by the graphic design elite in 2000, is a call to action focussing on Graphic Designers everywhere to stand up and be counted. This was re-introduced to spark a movement from the commercialised designing that helps sell products such as 'diamonds, cigarettes, credit cards and designer coffee' which we are told we need but only for consumerist belonging, and to boost our social status. The manifesto outlines plans to pursue more worthy problems, such environmental and cultural crises.

There were contrasting views on what this manifesto meant to people and how it was received by other designers especially. Rick Poynor, a man who was directly involved with the reprise of the manifesto, writes 'For many young designers emerging from design schools, they now appear to be one in the same. Obsessed with how cool an ad looks, rather than with what it is really saying, or the meaning of the context in which it says it'. This shows that Poynor feels the young designers do not realise the ethical and moral repercussions of their actions as a designer. I tend agree from this perspective as we all falsely believe that in some way the latest mobile phone does show progression, as though its something to celebrate, yet it only makes the most trivial parts of our lives better.

Overall Poyner reiterates the the responsibility for misleading the consumer, or 'citizen' as he wants them to be known, lies directly with the designer. He ends his argument with the quote '... it is possible for visual communicators to discover alternative ways of operating in design.'

Writer Matt Soar comes from a neutral perspective in his article about the revival of the Manifesto by inserting quotes from signatories Milton Glazer and Rick Poyner. The first page makes the manifesto seem like the kick up the backside everyone needed, however, Soar begins to question not only the Manifesto itself but also the agendas of the signatories behind it. Soar writes 'the usual suspects might be understood as the "upper class", or professional elite, perhaps speaking above the heads of, or merely down to the to, the rank and file'. Soar goes on to say that this could be looked at as some sort of dictatorship for what they regard as the right way to design.

Soar quotes Michael Beirut, partner of Pentagram and president of the AIGA, who initially reported that he believed the manifesto was 'intelligently written' but soon had reservations himself reporting 'the dominant response "out there" in the first few weeks of its appearance had been frustration and alienation: a "that's-easy-for-them-to-say" kind of response.' This response could only act as a revolt against the manifesto as the designers involved have already made a name for themselves and are sitting comfortably. Professor Austin Lowery also had reservations about the manifesto calling for an inquest into what practical level of involvement the signatories had with the values espoused in First things First.

I can only agree and question the manifesto as well. My feelings are that no matter how many signatories there are bound by the shackles of ever making any money to survive, as designing solely towards an ethical point of view will never help a designer eat or cloth themselves. I do, however, believe the responsibility is with the designer in some respects, and the line has to be drawn somewhere. I do believe there has been some change for the better as campaigns to re-use plastic bags and recycle have all been successful and has not been at the cost of the designer. There are ethical and moral issues involved in designing for a corporate market, but we have to ensure we can do all we can without hindering the lives of the future.

Essay Research

Posted: Sunday, 21 February 2010 | Posted by Adam Townend | 0 comments

I have begun my research for the 2,000 word essay and all is well thus far. I bought three newspapers (the times, the sun and the mail) I decided to go for the mail over the guardian as both the times and the guardian had similar headlines. I got most of the books I wanted as well as one other I didn't originally state.

I now want to look at journals of the theorists I have stated in my plan, as I can get direct quotes from them rather than relying on books about the subject.

I plan to use the newspapers as the focus and leave out the other media such as tv and radio for the dissertation.

Task 4

Posted: Sunday, 14 February 2010 | Posted by Adam Townend | 0 comments

Essay on Tv by Adorno. Annotated by my good self.

Essay Proposal

Posted: Thursday, 28 January 2010 | Posted by Adam Townend | 2 comments

A proposed essay title or topic
Reading the media: A critical reading of the mass media (newspapers, radio, TV, and the Internet) and it's ideologies. - not a final title

The main issues addressed by your argument (in bullet points)
- The genderisation in music and television and newspapers - Man's world
- Trends in newspapers Tabloids vs broadsheet (coverage of social against political factors)
- Class distinctions (who buys, watches, listens to what?) does what we listen to, watch, shape views (can we change those views)
- The use of language (what language is used across media, how does it relate to class, gender, race)
- Politics and the mass media, who controls it? (westernisation) (News manipulated to include propaganda)

Any visual material that you will look at (include hyperlinks if possible)
Three newspapers of the same day (The Sun, The Times, The Guardian)
Music videos (Pop culture)
Television programmes (BBC News, GMTV) Reality TV (X Factor, Big Brother)

What theoretical approach / methodology will you use? e.g. marxism, the gaze, psychoanalysis etc
Critical Theory, Semiotics, etc

Which specific theorists / writers will you refer to?
Marx, Adorno, Althusser, Foucault

At least 5 books / articles / resources already located (referenced using Harvard)
Bignell, J. (1997) Media Semiotics: An introduction. Manchester University Press.
Fowler, R. (1991) Language in the news: discourse and ideology in the press. Routledge.
Sturken, M. & Cartwright, L. (2009) Practices of looking: an introduction to visual culture. Oxford University Press.
Semiotics for Beginners
Marcuse, H. (1991). One-dimensional man. Routledge.

2,000 word essay: brief

Posted: Wednesday, 23 December 2009 | Posted by Adam Townend | 0 comments

Now I have had all the lectures for this year, I need to start thinking about an area of focus for my essay and a topic of interest to base my writings on. From all of the lectures I have found the lectures on 'Institutional power' and 'Communication theory'. I obviously have to look a suitable subject that I can link back somehow to Graphic Design practice. With that in mind I would consider communication theory to be a more worthy subject in relation to graphic design as I can look at decoding advertising and look for connotations and hidden meanings within them.