These days when a rock star sells out to a car manufacturer or Pepsi Cola my respect for them is diminished, particularly whenever they’re an artist I revere. But these ads from the Sixties make sense, if you’re going to sellout, at least sellout to the things that got you where you are. John Lennon shilling for Rickenbacker is hip. The Clash for Pontiac, not so much.
Tonight in New York, revered graphic designer Milton Glaser (do a Google Images search if that name doesn’t ring a bell) will take part in a panel discussion with Mirko Ilic about the creation of powerful politically driven graphics. The event is hosted by Reality Sandwich creative director, Michael Robinson
This panel discussion features graphic design legend Milton Glaser and award winning designer/illustrator Mirko Ilic focusing on graphic design’s ability to convey how power is effectively used and distributed, and justice is fulfilled. Based upon Glaser and Mirko’s book The Design of Dissent: Socially and Politically Driven Graphics, the authors will discuss how today’s image makers and corporate shamans can use design to create the more beautiful and just world we all know is possible.
This event is co-sponsored with Evolver/Reality Sandwich. Hopefully they’ll put a videotape of the discussion online soon.
If you’ve ever been exposed to any of the unbearable bunch of slick miscreants that comprise the mainstream marketing industry, you know two things about them—they think they’re extremely clever and they like to high-five. And you can just almost hear those proverbial high-fives in the background of the groan-worthy paen to supposed non-conformity that is the latest Chevy Silverado commercial.
The original spot features an everyman Silverado owner pondering the metaphysical implications of the admittedly greviously banal question “What do you do?”, meaning, of course, how do you make money? Problem is, that kind of dopey pondering is now as banal as the question itself.
Ok, so ultimately the message the commercial is trying to convey is the ol’ ‘Merkin corporate standby, “If you buy our product you’re a rugged individual who, like Thoreau, cannot be bound up by definitions or constrained by the strictures of society. And like Whitman, you contain multitudes. You’re not like everybody else, everybody else being sheep and ciphers.” In this, the commercial is only as egregiously awful as just about every other commercial ever made. It becomes uniquely terrible in trying to be specific about the unique multiplicity of the asshole—our hero—in question.
Thankfully the Goatsilk arts crew in Missoula, MT have struck back with a spoof that takes a nice, direct jab at the pretense. Check it out: