A STUDY TO EXPLORE THE IMPACT OF GRAPHIC DESIGN ON POLITICAL CAMPAIGNING, FOCUSING ON VISUAL COMMUNICATION WITH THE SINGAPORE YOUTH
Nanyang Technological University (SINGAPORE)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2013 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Conference name: 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2013
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:This study explores the impact of graphic design on political campaigning, focusing on visual communication with the youth in Singapore. As observed, both the 2011 General Elections and Presidential Elections in Singapore respectively saw the most number of candidates contesting since post-independence. What previously existed as a myth that Singaporeans are politically apathetic was quickly dismissed, as Singaporeans divided amongst themselves to pledge their support towards the different political parties and presidential candidates. Fuelling this increased interest in politics is the growing group of local youth who are more open to political change, unafraid to voice out their opinions and more susceptible to the influence of new media.
In terms of political campaigning, Singaporeans did begin to see more consideration in the implementation of graphic design and unorthodox uses of new media. However, there is still a lack of good and thoughtful design to complement the parties’ causes, failing to achieve their full outreach potential. Perhaps this is still a case of Singaporeans being designapathetic, a lack of design sensibility and placing it at a low importance in our society.
The project, inspired by theories of political philosopher Thomas Hobbes, examines political marketing, emotional branding and design of national identity. Through extensive case studies, research, and the survey of local youth, a specifically tailored graphic design system was constructed. Based on Hobbes’ formula, the project was split and the information categorised into three components — the Body (sensations), the Man (how Man relates to Man) and the State (designing for society).
One of the focus points of the project was to find out what design elements visually communicate with the target group of the Singaporean youth, in the context of local politics. This was a topic yet to be extensively explored. Through data collection and extensive research, a visual system of communication was created, emphasizing the importance of good graphic design as a powerful tool of communication in political activism, which advocates change. In the long run, with this improvement in design, Singapore’s own design identity would also be promoted. This refocuses the objectives of both politics and design; both centre upon the people, and strive to help society, inclusively engaging the citizen.
Keywords: Design Research, Visual Communication.