Vector art in propaganda

While I was reading week-old International Herald Tribune issues the other day, I chanced upon an article by Alice Rawsthorn on the problems of today's typographers when dealing with pixels. While typography is such a fascinating field that combines technique, technicality and artistic touch, it finds fast-paced advancement in technology threatening. Pardon the alliterations yet again.

With the prominent but unacknowledged digital movement in 21st century art, professional and starter designers must keep up and learn new skills to apply trends. But I've always hesitated liking primarily vector-based art. They all look alike, heck. Argue that they have had 3D and shadows lately, and Web 2.0 has changed interface upon interface on the Internet, and almost everything can be turned into vector. Thing is, today's scattered communities of designers haven't really come up with real art out of vector graphics.

And what is real art anyway, you question? I think I'm talking of standards here. And I realize that although graphic design has always been distant from the highbrow appeal of painting, it at least had personality. Think art deco days of Lautrec, or even a more contemporary Leonardo Sonnoli. There's discipline and texture and character -- all of which I think vector-based posters today are short of. There's no identity and no signature, and no one is steering it towards a more disciplined direction.

Or maybe I just haven't heard of anyone doing so.

Posters, the integral medium of visual communication, have inherently had political motives. So I don't know why the Times still had to entitle one of its slideshow presentations on this article "The Poster as Propaganda," as if it's anything novel. Too much stating the obvious.

Some propagandistic vectors in abundance. You judge:
swiss propaganda poster
swiss propaganda poster
This next one is way better, don't you think? It has the appeal and directness of early propaganda art, even though it's vector.
swiss propaganda poster
More vector! And cartoons!
swiss people's party
But then, who am I to make appraisals? I can only comment on form. Function-wise, these posters lived up to their purpose as as effectively as a well-oiled machine:
A poster was widely cited as having galvanized votes for the Swiss measure but was also blamed for exacerbating hostility toward immigrants and instigating a media and legal circus. #

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