Good People, Great Nation

Christian Rau, Lukas Weber | Mai 2011

„Good People, Great Nation“ examines, from the point of view of two graduating communication designers, the backgrounds of and motivation for nation branding in the form of a visual journalistic analysis.


Driven by a huge interest in design processes within the socio-political context and the question of the efficacy of brandings and visual identities, this study researches current images of states and nations.


To this end, different areas and points of contact with design in the context of nation branding, which depict an ambiguous image oscillating between identity and branding, are commented on: Which historically rooted stereotypical images describe a national identity? How do they correspond to their respective nation brands? In an increasingly mediatized and interconnected society, what types of identities and images are created beyond the supposedly controllable and consistent images?


In the form of two different research collections, textual and visual examples of selected research areas between the opposing poles of chiché and propaganda are presented.


Therefore, this paper does not claim to offer a complete or scientific overview of the topic. Rather, it is considered an impulse for the visual confrontation with political forms of representation from the viewpoint of the discipline of design research.


The goal of this paper is to initiate an open discourse with representatives from politics, economy, communication studies and graphic design taking a stand on the topic from different perspectives. The discourse initiated is supposed to be a basis of discussion for the topic of nation branding aiming to create points of contact between the various disciplines.


The core idea of the study is to reflect on the collaboration of individual participants in the process. We are particularly interested in the status the communication designer holds within basic political and societal structures as well as his position between responsibility and profitability.

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