I’ve read through the Screen, Rhetoric and Manifesto discourses, and I want to summarise the main issues I have gathered, proposing a relation between all of them. Please let me know if you agree or contend with my summaries.

So it starts from the development of Screen in the modern environment to Web 2.0. There are new platforms and a Global scale of participation. This obviously leads to more content, both good and bad, but no doubt rich which variety. The audience for this content is also globally huge.

The ever increasing possibilities of these new platforms, and their interactivity, allow for more exposure to consumerist based marketing and advertising. It has been accused that the culture of art and media has lessened because of the growth of content from the ‘average joe’, but also because of this massive increase and over saturation of content from advertisements.

Graphic Designers are questioning their purpose in the design field partly as a reaction to this. Designers are known for being trained to sell things, or plant a desire into viewer’s heads. They are the basis behind the commodity culture, and the commodity culture, with emphasis on the need and desire of objects that aren’t necessarily needed, is fast becoming recognised as the cause for many growing environmental and social issues. Gradual recognition of this, between designers and consumers alike, is creating a negative association with design. With recognition of the old associations of negatively applied rhetoric, people are more aware that they are being sold something to the advantage of someone else.

With Web 2.0, the platform is not just over saturated, it has allowed the consumers to take control a little. No longer does the authority gatekeepers for any cultural medium have sole control or input. What ever effect this has had on the quality of content, it has forced these gatekeepers to try and integrate with their market more, and use new tactics to make themselves more relatable and believable to us. This, in comparison to the ‘old’ rhetoric, has allowed us to see the possibilities such a new form of approach and communication could have as a reaction to the problems earlier mentioned.

Authorities are forced to de-mystify their tactics and design theories, and use positive methods of persuasion, building a relationship with their audience which, in turn, promotes longevity in their messages. They are applying the concept of a ‘new’ rhetoric to their marketing.

It has been said that this kind of new approach to design and branding is what is needed to start  improving the perceptions of design culture. Designers are partly the causes of this consumerist environment so they should take responsibility, especially if they want to start feeling that they are using design for something more valuable and creative than just ‘selling’. It is far from being fixed and, of course, there are many more arguments that these new platforms have created, however, design needs to become more about Information design. The public need to slowly be exposed to the idea of considering issues rather than new things to buy, the idea of opening debates is an extremely strong and positive one.

If designers are in agreement in this, they should consider the role of ‘Cultural Agent’.

My queries are that many of these issues seem to been repeated throughout history, whenever new technological advances have ensued, and ideas to resolve these aren’t new either, even the ones mentioned above. If things like this keep happening, and no one listens to suggestions of a new direction, are things really that bad? Why do people keep ignoring this?

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