The Topic

Shepard Fairey Photo by Blatchford, S. (SFUAD,edu)
Shepard Fairey Photo by Blatchford, S. (SFUAD,edu)
Bukue One Photo by Swanson, E. ( 2012)

For my essay I will be researching the effects that youth countercultures have on social groups, their influence on these identity systems and how it can be seen in a graphical context.

Some of the inspiration for this theme has come from a project through Santa Fe University Art and Design’s Artists for Positive Social Change,  a university-wide series of events, courses, lectures and performances exploring a specific theme relevant to society and the work of artists who push the creative boundaries of their profession.

The first two images are of Shepard Fairey for the 2013 theme “Art and Political Activism.” creating an A4PSC-themed “Make Art Not War” mural as a permanent art installation for the campus.

The lower image – Hip Hop musician, Bukue One visits in 2012, the year of hip hop. In its earliest days, hip hop gave a voice to voiceless people of the inner city, and its visual art form, graffiti, now  a dominant influence on popular culture internationally, was their way to make their mark on the world.

One of the ambitions for this project is to gain the necessary knowledge in order to teach the next generation how to deconstruct visuals and apply their understanding of different cultures to works that are relevant and meaningful. One of the topics this essay will explore how social and cultural function and the relationship with graphic communication are specific to these countercultures. I will also investigate why these countercultures and their specific areas of design should be studied to avoid misrepresentation, or idioms that may sent the wrong message to these groups.


Blatchford, S. (2013) Santa Fe University of Art and Design. Available at: [Accessed 06-19-2016]

Swanson, E. (2012) Santa Fe University of Art and Design Available at: [Accessed 06-19-2016]





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