Notes from the lecture. Representation as a critical theory to investigate the culture world through language systems. “Representation is an essential part of the process by which meaning is produced and exchanged between members of a culture”. “It does involve the use of language, signs and images which stand for or represent things”.

Representation, A mediated process – encoders/practitioners as gatekeepers/filters.

Representation as influential – gender/ethnicity/class etc – language systems that are used to become expressive of that culture.

Stereotypes labels and schemas, Ideology a system of ideas and hidden underlying messages/themes.

Questions, What are your ideas and believes? How do they appear in your work?

We were asked at the end of the lecture to comment on the lecture express any views that we have, try to make them critical or evaluative, not of the content but of our thoughts on the issues. Reflect on been a practitioner/theoretician. Identify a representational issue or group. Find images/moving image to express your area or interest e.g. representations.

Here is my response.


Representation is very important in a modern society in my opinion, we need to be able to make quick decisions in certain circumstances. When you have a language system of stereotypes, labels and schemas it is clear to me that they usually work. Over time they have developed and they are usually correct however there is certain instances were they don’t. It’s the same as “don’t read a book by it’s cover” you can usually tell if a book is going to interest you from the cover but every now and then there will be a hidden gem, I think the same rules apply to stereotypes and labels.

As a Graphic Designer I think it is important to go along with stereotypes as you may face obvious problems with ineffective advertisements etc. Stereotyping can have problems of its own, people can receive the wrong message or even get offended. This can sometimes do more damage than ever thought, it can cause people to single themselves out from one another e.g. higher and lower class. Whether or not people believe it to be wrong I think it is necessary.

This ideology did not happen on purpose, it is something that has developed and progressed over time. It has now become a major part of society and generally people use labels and stereotypes whether or not they intend to. With these reasons alone I do believe that, I as a Designer need to learn and understand how to show and progress these hidden messages and themes in my work to create a greater impact.

Representational issues and groups,

I think the big representational issues lay within upper and lower class and gender, this has for many years now been a huge problem. The whole idea that one person is a bigger and better person because of the assets they carry, by which I mean money, houses and clothes etc. This is not the case but there is this eagerness to live the dream similar to the American Dream stereotype.

Concerning the gender issues we face at the current moment in time the labels given to each gender still exist in design because they work. For example become a man is something that is always been pushed into young male adults and there is design work to go with it.

Apothecary 87

On the other hand for the women it there is completely different take, I don’t think there is an issue here I’m just identifying the labels given to each gender and reflecting on the labels each gender are given.

Here is an example of how using these language systems can cause problems but it also shows the difference between adverts aimed at men and women.


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