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Redesigning the Canon


Nov. - Dec. 2022, 3 weeks

Photoshop, InDesign

Advisor: Ben Kiel


Graphic design history is often portrayed through the "canon" –  a criterion, standard, and basis for judgement. There are "Great Artists" and "Old Masters" that appear in a conventional timeline, and their works and principles are taught to young artists today. The narrow perspective these teachings offer, whether it be cultural or social, are rather inconsiderate of issues regarding gender, race, politics, geography, and many more prevalent factors that influence the design world. 


In response, I researched and designed a timeline poster that highlights the evolution and historical significance of Propaganda Poster Design during the Communist Revolution in China. Often overlooked in western design, Communist propaganda art majorly shifted the cultural value and meaning of design.  Utilizing the major contextual influences from post-WWII Communist China, as well as exemplary sources of the design technique described, the timeline illustrates the political requirements and restrictions of visual design during the era. Artists were perhaps unable to view design as a freedom of expression; in contrast, their work was treated as stepping stones towards widespread, controlled, political proclamation.

View a high-resolution PDF version here.

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