COMD3504 - Section OL01 - Fall 2020

Author: Maisha Khan (Page 1 of 2)

Assignment 12

Resources : (Poltical underground movement) (logos, pathos ethos) ( ungerdround plus poltical views on dream crazy campaign) ( sassuare signs and symbols + barthas rhetoric)

Assignment for Nov 23

As we know it, contemporary art emerges from the complex issues that shape our diverse, global, and rapidly changing world. Many of the works of art consist of exploring any cultural or personal identities to refine art itself. During the process of creating, many artists raise questions without giving a solid answer which leads to curiosity. According to Heller, mainstream is somewhat derived from underground but is altered and folded into the mainstream. Contemporary design does the same to create vast art in different mediums that are far from mainstream all the while containing an underground aspect. This makes contemporary art unique and configured to what they think. Having underground ideas in mind makes contemporary art mainstream to a younger audience as well as the older generation.

Nike which is known for being a sports brand for sneakers and clothing, took a different turn by making an underground statement of controversy and huge risk for their advertisement to bring in revenue for the brand itself. Although Nike does propose mainstream advertising ideas, they have athletes to raise political awareness as well as through their advertisements. We can take Colin Kaepernick’s advertisement to be controversial with having him as the star of this Nike Ad. In August of 2016, Kaepernick decided to sit during the singing of the anthem, and then in 2018 he started kneeling, to protest for racial injustice and police brutality. Since Kaepernick had a platform to fight for social equality, Nike had Kaepernick bring awareness to what he was doing, and people had bought Nike products to show support. On the contrary, people also condemned his protest to be disrespectful to the military and country.

Nike took an underground approach that brought a negative response which was a huge risk for consumers as the hashtag #nikeboycott became a trend and motivated people to not purchase Nike products. The people that had been associated with a negative impact towards Nike have egotistical and stakeholder-driven motives. Despite the trend that had a negative impact, Nike’s online sales were up by 31% in the three day period after the ad was launched. Nike in general had come to terms with promoting political messages as it reaches out to younger audiences on a community and societal level. The people who had been associated with a positive impact towards Nike have value and strategy driven motives. Nike in the long-run has kept up with controversy and huge risks and will continue to do so in the future to build their brand and make revenue because any kind of publicity (regardless of negativity) is good publicity.


  1. CNBC, “How Nike Turns Controversy Into Dollars,” Sep 19, 2018,
  • Ferrer, Joshua. Colin Kaepernick & Nike,2019

  • Public Relations Review, Volume 46, Issue 2, 2020, 101856, ISSN 0363-8111, (

Assignment 9


– agglutinations

–  rudimentary

–  priori

– connotation

– innumerable

– alimentary

– Signified, Signifer

–  imbued with euphoric values

– arbitrary

–  quasi-identity        

– anthropological

– linguistic sign

– denoted


– anchorage and relay

-polysemous; polysemy

– nomenclature


– diegetic

– paradigmatic




– asyndeton


Questions on the essay meaning

 What defines the third message is precisely that the relation between signified and signifier is quasi-tautological ??? (page 154, 2nd paragraph)

What does it mean to be concerned themselves with the relations between figure and discourse (page 155 2nd paragraph)

 Since it is both evictive and sufficient, it will be understood that from an aesthetic point of view the denoted image can appear as a kind of Edenic state of the image; cleared utopianically of its connotations, the image would become radically objective, or, in the last analysis, innocent. ?? (pg 158)

The denoted word never refers to an essence for it is always caught up in a contingent utterance, a continuous syntagm (that of verbal discourse), oriented towards a certain practical transitivity of language; the seme “plenty,” on the contrary, is a concept in a pure state, cut off from any syntagm, deprived of any context and corresponding to a sort of theatrical state of meaning, or, better (since it is a question of a sign without a syntagm), to an exposed meaning. ??? ( pg 161)

Assignment for Nov 2

The image above from a Tampax shows a girl in a swimming pool and it shows that her top came off. And she was trying to cover herself so she isn’t exposed with the tagline “Embarrassments happen Leaks shouldn’t.” Using pathos to feel connected with embarrassments of menstruations and to avoid uncontrolled menstruations for the younger generation.


The image above from a Tampax shows a man that has layed out the bed and chocolates for Valentine’s Day. The man stands tall with light shining behind him emphasizing his purity. Although this ad has a focus on the man instead of just having a tampon reduce discomfort. The items that were presented as well show the man’s power to legitimize male authority over female bodies.


This image from an AT&T commercial shows the phone being held with hands that are painted as an elephant that symbolizes India and what they are known for and with the headline that goes with it is “Works in over 200 countries, like India.”


Oct 26 Assignment

As explained by Marshall McLuhan, the media results from a new scale that is introduced into our affairs. It influences humanity in either positive or negative ways. Considering automation, humanity is negatively affected because the new patterns of human association tend to eliminate jobs. On the positive side, automation also creates roles for people considering the depth of involvement in their work and human association that had been earlier disrupted by mechanical technology. The media also shapes and controls the scale and form of human association and action. The content available in media or the use of media, in general, are in varieties. The content displayed and portrayed by the media ‘blinds’ viewers and consumers to the character of the medium. Hence, people tend to reflect a mirror image of what is put out by the media. Finally, the media and technology have been interwoven from the earliest days of human communication. The media has created a seemingly endless amount of airtime for any and every voice that wants to be heard. It allows consumers to bypass traditional advertising venues and allow companies to be more innovative in trying to get the attention of consumers.

Technological progress despite having many advantages also has its disadvantages. For example, technological advancements that are to bring about alleviation of physical stress can bring on psychic stress that may even be much worse. Modern technology no doubt has gained a presence in our lives that it has become so addictive as people are now glued to social media and smartphones to the extent that relaxation and sleep is now impacted. This, therefore, causes even more stress than was present before technological progress came into light. Also, we are too prone and likely to make technological progress and instruments the scapegoats for the sins of those who wield them. The nature of the media is to creep inside participants and consumers unnoticed.  Hence, media; a product of modern science is not in itself good or bad but it really depends on the way it is used. The way it is used is what determines the value. If the formative power in the media is the media themselves, a whole lot can ensure that which would also adversely affect the purpose for which the media was created.

If we go back in time, and trace the history of the human culture, it can be observed there is no example of a conscious adjustment in the various factors involved in the creation of new ideas except the efforts that have been put in by artists and designers. An artist works to pick up the message of cultural and technological challenge decades before the transforming impacts are felt. Also, an artist is one who can function in any field; scientific or humanistic and grasps the implications of his actions and of new knowledge in his own time. The artist is vast in knowledge and must possess integral awareness. In other to successfully create new ideas, the artists must be able to correct the sense ratios before the blow of new technology which has numbed conscious and practical procedures. When he notices them, he can correct them even before numbness and subliminal reactions begin to surface. I am sure we all can agree with the saying “two heads are better than one”. In light of this, artists can work collaboratively with one another to ensure fresh ideas are created. When artists work together, they can pull ideas, resources and experience together to create top notch ideas.

The media a designer used to distribute information is only a path to success. The media used is not the final product which brings about positive changes in the thinking of the consumers or positive influences. The final work is responsible for these changes, hence, the work is placed significantly higher than the media which is used to create that information. Again, society is dependent on the outcome of the work put out by the designer, much care is not given to the media through which the output is being made. The designer however may take the media into consideration as it would help to create positive results. Nonetheless, consumers only are attracted to the final output of the process. Finally, the work of a designer is subordinate to the media used in achieving it, because the work is what the consumers feast on. They are usually oblivious of the process by which it was achieved but only consume the final product.

Assignment for Oct 19

According to Jan Tschichold, design should be simply based on how it is read and legibility from a readers stand point. As for having an alignment, we should avoid putting text centered on a page since it is difficult to read and limits variety on what can be done. Having a logical sequence of the content is also very critical for the person trying to evaluate the content. As for the last thing on how one should design is to be objective and to adhere to the quality of work that should be done. From the old typography to the new, we take away ornaments that are used heavily and focus more on type that should provide the right way of communication without any distractions.

As for Karl Gerstener, a different approach was used to find a systematic way to come up with a broad range of designs. He had Incorporated art with science with this he connected this system to the evolving field of computer programming. As a designer, creating an outline or a blueprint of what will be used in terms of typeface, color, appearance, and placement of typography should be picked out before getting into the designing part of the project itself. A systematic way for placing type and illustration that should be used is a grid. Designers need to be able to use a grid to ensure a structure and an organized way to put elements on a page without having to guess where elements should be placed.

Design must have a structure as Joseph Muller-Brockmann popularized the grid with swiss typography. The use of the grid became a way a functional way to fix the problems that would arise without the grid of subjectivity. To enhance the design appearance, one must think mathematically as well as in cooperating with the aesthetic element as well to the piece. As constructivist design follows laws into practical solutions such as the grid being used, with strict formal principles to ensure directness, and intelligibility.

Assignment 4

According to these authors, art has lacked in the past by creating schooling for work that can only be done creatively within the individual itself. In the readings  “Walter Gropius “Theory and Organization of Bauhaus” they had talked about “the academy” in which they discussed how artists have been misled, knowing little of the fact that art cannot be mastered by studying. It can only be a work of art depending on the talent of the person who creates it even though the bare minimum that schools can provide is the foundation for the creative effort that is put into the work. But with the development of the academic’s folk art dying, which brought about the talented individuals trained in industry and handicraft in the 21st century.

We must consider the many factors that language along with typography, photography play in art and design. In the design world, we take the notion of language being a universal communicator like how we understand a language, we must know both the vocabulary and grammar. To others, a person who creates a work of art must consist of vocabulary which consists of elements of form and color and their structural laws. As for the creator themselves, they must create the idea which the language or message is conveyed through their work of art.

 In “László Moholy-Nagy; Typophoto” the new form of typophoto emerged form the use of typography and photography. With the new combination of the two, we can have illustration in the form of replacing the texts which institute more of a conceptual, visual continuity were it the new visual literature of today. Linear typography communication idea is the link between the content and the communication between the person which typophoto does.  In “On Typography” by Herbert Bayer, typography can be very overwhelming if a lot of text is put but more of an informational aid for visuals. As Bayer said “ the more we read, the less we see” for that being said as humans we tend to be drawn into visuals more than text as the saying “ pictures speak a thousand words” can be applied to design.

New art has been emerging with the idea of grouping in short lines to take in the fact as humans get a eyesore after reading heavily text to grab the attention of the view with the visuals doing more communication with the text as an aid to the design. As we know, technology is sweeping the new art world with the replacement of book with microfilms, and having all books converted to e-books. The new art world will possess the new realm of adapting to the new forms of expression and what the nature of things may hold for us. 

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