Notes for Final COP Essay 2

a)    relevant social, cultural and historical contexts

b)    form of the artefact in terms of shape, line, materials, texture, volume, weight etc.

c)    purpose and functions of the artefact

d)    target and/or potential audience, and their social status

e)    past and present significance


Don’t Buy It by Kimberly Cross

Anti-Iraq war poster, 2003.

Came as part of the surge in less famous designers creating anti-war artwork in their homes, was on Cross’ website where all material is available to download for free and are all copy-right free. Project gained momentum and more mainstream and experienced designers got involved.

After all, the Pentagon and the White House know how to market to the masses, so why shouldn’t the same slick tactics and polished imagery be used against them? “They’re using branding as a way of promoting their war agenda,” Cross says. “I thought, ‘I know how to do this. Let’s beat them at their own game. Let’s make peace the new black.’ ” Culture Shocked, San Fransisco Bay Guardian.

Target audience are mainstream people so no profane language used in posters.


Daddy, what did you do in the Great War? By Savile Lumley

From 1915, “During the First World War the majority of British Army recruitment posters were conceived not by government officials but by printing companies. Adept at commercial advertising they applied the same persuasive skills to army recruitment. This now notorious poster was published in 1915 by the London printers Johnson Riddle & Co. It arose from the director Arthur Gunn’s own feelings of guilt at having not volunteered himself. Seeing the persuasive potential of a child’s awkward questions to a shirking father in peacetime, Gunn commissioned a poster picturing such a scene. Although Gunn joined the Westminster Volunteers shortly after the poster’s publication, the poster became the source of much bitter trench humour on the Western Front. Such was the resentment towards it in post-war Britain that its creator, Savile Lumley, a children’s book illustrator, is said to have disowned it.”

Before conscription so recruitment posters were vital.

“tone of emotional blackmail” V&A collections website.

Colour lithograph on paper.

Parliamentary Recruiting Committee were the publishers.

Text embedded in image – necessary to portray point/aim of poster.

Very personal message, targeting potential soldiers.

Become infamous.


Eddie Adam’s Saigon Execution

Vietnam War: 1956 – 1975, between communist North Vietnam and government of Southern Vietnam. South was supported by anti-communist USA.

The photograph shows a uniformed South Vietnamese soldier, Major General Ngoc Loan, shooting a prisoner in the head.

35mm lens camera, black and white.

1st February, 1968.

It seems as though a brutal and savage crime is being committed against a civilian and so was used as anti- war propaganda.

This man’s name was Nguyen Van Lem, but he was also known as Captain Bay Lop. He was an assassin and a member of the Viet Cong (North Vietnam forces), and leader of the Viet Cong Death Squad. He had been targeting and killing South Vietnamese National Police officers and their families.

He was caught at a mass grave of around 34 men, women and children.

Photographer says he wish he hadn’t taken the photograph as he “killed the general” with his camera. “Still photographs are the most powerful weapon in the world. People believe them; but photographs do lie, even without manipulation. They are only half-truths.”

Played vital role in changing perspectives of US war involvement and played small part in ending the war.

It won the Pulitzer Prize for spot photography.

Photographer worked for Associated Press and had no idea how much of an impact it would have.

Appears to be a grainy action shot, seems extremely authentic and leaves you in no doubt of what is happening.

The target audience of Associated Press would have been Americans, however photograph was used by anti-war Americans and also the Northern Vietnamese troops to show brutality.



The Times, April 2014.


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