My interests as a creative practitioner by far, involves positive social change and awareness campaigns. I have a fascination that lies with the relationship between graphic communication and social and cultural function. It is my opinion that graphic design solutions are significant players in the evolution of culture since they contribute both to cultural stability and cultural change through innovations in forms and techniques.
There was an entire movement that arose somewhere in between the post-Vietnam era and the onset of the Aids epidemic. Art against hidden issues, against silence and invisibility. I believe this was a direct response to post WW2 where propaganda and art were heavily used by the political system to convey one message resulting in an intersection of persuasion that created a society of people who accepted their messages as truths, (an inhibition of reality of sorts you could say.) This awareness exposed hidden issues through methods of expression about third world poverty, AIDS and the social issues of homelessness in America. However, one might ask have there been design solutions that promoted misrepresentation, even going beyond what is necessary to communicate highly informational content?
One of the most successful campaigns was led by a group known as the NAMES Project, the well-known memorial, the AIDS quilt. The inadequacy of early representations of the disease and the failure of agencies to educate the public on issues like safe sex, brought about outrage and obscenity to political art. In the midst of the mass confusion was the desire to mourn for the dead. Presently, there are so many parts of it that only a small portion of it can be displayed in any one space. As the quilt travels, it connotes many names and many places, unifying humanity with the political and social functions of art.
Goldstein, D. (2006) Article: What’s in a Name? AIDS, Vernacular Risk Perception and the Culture of Ownership Available at: https://www.loc.gov/folklife/events/BotkinArchives/Botkin2006.html [Accessed 11-04-2016]