Tuesday, September 11, 2007

SOCIAL ISSUES
Should Graphic Designers be More Involved in Social Causes?
Bruce Nussbaum comments on the level of social involvement typically (perhaps stereotypically) attributed to graphic designers. His September 10th article appearing in BusinessWeek.com points to the recent nervous response by Miss Teen USA contestant Caitlin Upton to a question about geography posed during the competition. Upton plans to go to Appalachian State University to study graphic design.

Nussbaum generalizes that graphic designers, unlike industrial designers and architects, are not interested in using their design skills to help people in, say, rural Africa or Asian villages. But is he right? Graphic design can be a powerful force in capturing people's attentions and making them aware of important social issues. "With great power comes great responsibility," says the adage about superhero powers. Graphic design can be just as powerful, and graphic designers can be just as heroic when they are involved.

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