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17:30 - 20:30 16 March 2011

The ethics of graphic design? Social commitment and visual communication


Old Refectory | Wilkins Building (link Map)
Gower St | London | WC1E 6BT | United Kingdom

Open to: Academic | Alumni | Public | Student
Ticketing: Pre-booking essential

Speaker information

Ken Garland
Richard Hollis
Silvia Sfligiotti
Annelies Vaneycken
Annelys de Vet

The process of translating messages into images or facilitating visual communication is an activity that involves responsibility towards the public on the side of the author. Even when occupied with commercials, corporate identity, or other so-called non-political goals, designers are actually making decisions towards the preservation and reinforcement of social and cultural assumptions.

Since the days of the Modern Movement there has been a great deal of debate on questions as to who the actual clients are and who should take part in the negotiation process from which design emerges. A few years ago when the Helvetica typeface, one of the icons of the modernist search for the standard, celebrated its fiftieth anniversary, these questions were revived. This seminar draws on these questions, which developed alongside the whole history of the graphic design profession, and explores notions as design ethics, social commitment and public role of the designer.


Gabriele Oropallo


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The ethics of graphic design