In the past 10 years we have seen unprecedented levels of political dissent across many countries and cultures. From the Independence and anti-authoritarian battle in Hong Kong, the global success of Extinction Rebellion demonstrations, to the Black Lives Matter movement reaching the international stage; we have seen it all unfold through our screens.
As a student, I view this as a kind of cultural phenomenon, and a promise for how younger generations will be encouraged to be politically engaged. As a designer, I know that visual communication can broadcast these messages effectively, condensing often complex themes into icons.
My Book ‘Dangerous Symbols’ aims to do just that through asking: How do the symbols we use in communication affect our political landscape? In protest, symbols are catalysts that unify desperate, angry and passionate people, visually defining that movement and its values. Through ‘Dangerous Symbols’ the reader can both see the socio-political value symbols have, and use the stencils of those symbols to engage in protest creatively; to ‘Protest. Stencil. Campaign. Create.’
I believe it is important for designers to take up this unique, politically charged role of social communicators, as they have the tools to reach broad audiences and create work that is simultaneously arresting and surprising. As someone who started working with sculpture and then moved to graphic design, I appreciate the value that raw materials and symbolism have, and the importance of a strong concept.
See my Behance below:
On Instagram: @ricky_knappert_
Adobe Portfolio: https://rmknappert.myportfolio.com/
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