Criticality- Research Adbusters


I started this project by looking at the work collected on the Adbusters website. I thought how the designer or artist would manipulate and play about with massive companies current branding/logo to communicate some sort of meaning can be quite powerful.

They play a lot with the logo of McDonald’s as this is a company that is so so so problematic and there is something shady about it not just from the fact that the food they serve is literally killing people but from the way they sell themselves as a family friendly company but they treat their employees like garbage and are money sucking. This is clear in some of the images that are on Adbusters website. This is true for the Grease Advert spoof below where the Ronald McDonald has been restrained and looks like he wants to tell you something but he can not as he is been held back by the company (the ‘e’ being the McDonald’s logo).


This manipulation could be a way that I go forward into this project to create a creepy horror style piece of design.


Criticality- Brief

This Project was to take a topic and create a design around it that said something critical about it in an interesting way. This could be through a number of ways whether this was changing an existing design or creating a new one. I really struggled with this project I am not totally sure why, to be honest, maybe it was my brain not working after handing the dissertation in or I had chosen a subject that I was perhaps not fully invested in.

I found it incredibly hard to get to grips with what critical design actually was. Like was it just design that makes the viewer think about it but not as straightforward as that as it doesn’t just outright ask the questions but does it in a clever and surprising way. When I looked over the notes I took in Theo’s lecture it came that it could be anything it was so open and this was slightly terrifying.

Competions Relfection

I chose to work on an ISTD set brief for this project. I really liked the sound of both Mark My Words and Food for Thought. Looking back now I had a much stronger idea for food for thought than Mark my Words. If I had done Food for thought I would have done some sort of piece on how chip shops have played an important part in the Northen working class looking at no meat of Fridays for Catholics. Deep fried mars bars the death of a British seaside resort. The role of women in the food industry, ect…

Instead, I Went for Mark My Words which make I focused on the phrase Fake News. I choose this as it had just been announced as word of the year by Collins Dictionary. When splitting it into separate words I found that Fake has an extremely interesting history as no one quite knows where it came from.

What is the brief?

To explore where a word or phrase comes from. Has the meaning changed? The target market is anyone who is interested in Graphic design or linguistics. Outcomes must be text based but can be in any format. I had decided to do an editorial as the topic will involve a large amount of content research as it will explore a number of different aspects, to fully explore where the word came from how the meaning has changed and the history of fake news.


This project has two parts to the research one is gathering content and the other is gathering inspiration.

Screen Shot 2018-05-14 at 02.14.12Throughout this project, I collected a large number of images of an interesting design of different places from editorial to a Lichtenstein Exhibition in the Tate Liverpool. This opened me up to new ideas of what the design can do when it comes to typography. I also found a twitter account that makes Trump’s tweets look that a child’s handwriting so type can say something and be senses of humour.

Out of this small selection of what I looked at I was most inspired by the “Blackout” Spread as I used a lot of the highlighting and bright colours. This was also inspired by a Lichenstien Exbhition I went to in The Tate Liverpool with the colour halftone effects and bright colours.Screen Shot 2018-05-14 at 02.24.55.png


This stage helped me get my thoughts together and see other possibilities and brings me back to the design a total control that I do not have when doing it on a screen.

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I kept the colours simple to fit in with how much I focus a lot on fake news and the colours are those of the print presses. But maybe when I start talking about anything that is to do with a digital format I should have used RGB. Then to make the pages fit together I add a purple as this is the colour that is most connected to fake as this is one of the things that come to mind, but maybe blue would work as nothing is naturally blue. Screen Shot 2018-05-14 at 02.32.13


Font Development

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I decided To use Calmetta this was because I felt like it had a really nice tail on the ‘K’ and as I will be using the word ‘Fake’ a lot this is a positive thing. I then played about with the laying of fake as it creates a difficulty in clarity so that you don’t know what is real and connected to the right bits.Screen Shot 2018-05-14 at 02.37.30Screen Shot 2018-05-14 at 02.44.50


This was the first cover design for the cut out of this image is extremely messy. But I played about more with the layering over eyes of a figure. Then I tried with the layering of the words in different CYMK colours. In the end, I crossed out faces with the title at the bottom. Covering the eyes shows that there is something fake about the words being said. Another word for fake is a lie and the eyes can be an indicator that a person is not telling the truth and coving them can mean that the person is hiding something.


This is a timeline of the history of Fake News. This Page was way too cramped so I bought it on to two pages but when it printed it could be on a page that folds out. I did not realise how hard doing a timeline is and how much accuracy is needed.

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I made a number of single pages with Trump’s tweets and ones related and they were quite dull and I could expand on them and make them more expressive and it will break up the pace of the magazine.

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I really like what I have done for this but I really don’t think that I have done enough on this project and that I went off topic.  I did not spend enough pages on the origin of the word Fake. I think that this is only the start of something and that if I get time I will take it, father.

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