We live in a world filled with technology.
It demands our constant attention: alerts ding from nearby phones, computers, and tablets, their screens never ceasing to glow. Netflix and Hulu vie for our streaming hours while faithful Alexa waits to play our next musical whim. It’s a continuous cycle, dulling our attention span and limiting our capacity to absorb the world around us.
As designers, how can we create art that can possibly be heard above the never-ending clamor of push notifications?
In a different era, faced with a similar problem, Barbara Kruger spent her career trying to answer this question.
Kruger used design and art to create revolutionary “in your face” designs that challenged the norms of communication. She used striking color contrasts or unusual images to command attention, but always anchored her work in intentional thought. She refused to put the world in a box, saying,
“If we experience life only through the filters of rigid categorizations, and binary oppositions, things will definitely be business as usual. Good will battle evil. Objectivity will be enthroned and ‘politics’ suspect. Art will be high and popular culture low”
- Barbara Kruger
Combatting the new on-the-go mentality, Kruger created work that was big, bold, fearless, and with a distinct purpose.
As designers and communicators, we all want our work to be heard, seen, and appreciated—this never changes. But the way in which we communicate, must.
If there is one thing we can take away from the career of Kruger, it's inspiration to show our work boldly; to show our work bravely. For without both boldness and bravery, our work will fall flat and into the background of this noisy, fast-paced world.
Bold. Brave. Design.
- Abby Burgett
Creative Communications Associate