Category Archives: stereotypes

Categorising People – Exhibition concept

So this is part of the concept for my exhibition/campaign piece on categorising and labelling people – developed from my final major project theme on stereotypes. Inspired by the use of categorising and stereotyping in graphic design and advertising (from toilet gender symbols to Lynx adverts), I decided to question the process of categorising other people, and even ourselves, and how such a process could be considered to undermine identity as far as it attempts to create it.

The first exhibition piece was inspired by the type stamping/printing process that the term “stereotype” originates from, questioning the application of name labels to people, and confronting the viewer with the idea of labelling themselves (the centre image will be a mirror). The last two designs were inspired by tick-boxes and drop-down-list forms that deconstruct our identities, intended to be more subjective, questioning and interactive – created as a hand-out postcard format.

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Noma Bar: Wallpaper Cover Illustrations

Beautifully illustrated, bold, spacial renditions of eye-catching but clichéd, questionably imaginative and wholly inaccurate stereotypes.

These  cover illustrations for Wallpaper magazine, by Noma Bar (portfolio here), have me mentally contradicting myself, and feeling rather hypocritical for liking. I have to admit, aesthetically the set are fantastic, and I’d quite like to have a copy of each – and the indoor concept plays nicely with the bold, block-colour style, which could otherwise feel generic. And, as Noma Bar’s illustrative style is quite recognized for, the shapes and images play well together, creating some optical-illusion connoting merging of images that do exhibit Bar’s visual creativity (especially with the incorporation of 3D elements). Though, visually, they’re stunning, playful and imaginative, they do prove how much designers and illustrations rely on stereotypes; there’s no way these covers would be as striking without the dominance of over-used stereotypes, but (regardless of the 3D styles) do they do much to present anything other than these rather two-dimensional, stereotypical representations of the countries referenced? Then again, they are beautifully created, and, it could be argued, intentionally playful. But personally, I much prefer his other work, that showcase a huge amount of visual creativity and double-entendres, without relying on outdated stereotypes.

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