I understand that it's a brand, but it still feels so wrong. Especially the Instagram screenshot... James Foley, about to be executed, with "Jihad it coming" written underneath. How the f*** is that supposed to be funny? Show some respect.
I'm sure his time and talent could've been put to better use...
Agree on the Instagram thing. That image was striking in the worst way, but I admit to smiling at the knife-plus-happytears-emoji thing.
Generally I found this post pretty hilarious up until that one point. The way it highlights the absurdness you see in branding exercises: putting circle overlays on the mark, tote bags, millennial model comps, etc... I think it's just a publicity stunt in bad taste, but not unethical.
I also thought it was a somewhat nice satire up until that picture. The t-shirt, tote bag and letter template made me feel uneasy, which I think was part of the point of this project. But using a real picture of somebody they executed and making a joke about it was just too much for me. I don't know how I would've reacted if I was in Foley's family.
If you're going to do something like this don't apologize for it. We need more people who aren't afraid of expressing controversial opinions in multimedia and design.
edit: This was meant as a top level comment, oops.
I hate that this guy had to apologize for satire, no matter how dark and "distasteful." The internet is turning into an outrage factory. Everybody is bored and looking for things to get upset about. Our own taste for salacious click-bait is what made us click on the article. Yet, after getting exactly what we wanted, we then jump into the herd of faux-outrage to get more likes for parroting the prevailing view. It's absurd.
Mockery and satire are some of the best tools we have for disarming extremist ideologies that takes themselves way too seriously. I wonder what kind of "faux-outrage" response Chaplin would have gotten from white yuppies if the internet existed when The Great Dictator was released.
I think the issue is that ISIS is very active online, and this post gave them tips/criticisms on how to more effectively engage with people.
The Great Dictator didn't give suggestions on how to further the reach of Nazi Germany. Not to mention it was created before the world knew of the atrocities being committed.
Mockery and satire are some of the best tools we have for disarming extremist ideologies that takes themselves way too seriously.
Agreed, everyone in this thread would be doing themselves a favour if they watched the film 'Four Lions'
It's obviously in bad taste but "jihad it coming" made me laugh
In his updated post:
"On behalf of all graphic designers, my deepest apologies."
What did we do?
Guys, be chill. It's satire. Just read it:
Because all content is black and white, the environmental footprint is small and professional death threats can be written with black toner alone.
The point is to consider the ethical implications of the clients your work represents, and the author illustrates this with an extreme example (as you often do with satire).
The iconography of terror is also an academic subject, and there's a fantastic book on the matter.
This "mock" post has powerful imagery, mockingly supporting the rebrand of a high-profile terrorist group.
We, as designers, have great power in what we can create. We can use design to move people, motivate movements, and create organizations. Should we use design for people, movements, or organizations (in this case ISIS) that would enable or grow in the harm or destruction of others? Is it wrong?
IMO, it's really black and white in this case. But what about pro-gun campaigns? Design for cigarette companies? Large-seed companies?
If anyone else is late to the party like me, you can see a copy of the original post here.
I'd appreciate if you removed this
Interesting…so is that how it feels like?
What are you implying?
Where is the original?
To be fair their brand is absolutely solid. No need for a rebrand.
Look into what design classics the Nazis gave us some time.
"Good design" doesn't automatically come with ethics unless we impose them.
Check out ISIS's official videos sometime, the fact the production values are so high is haunting and shows how much they realise media is also a battlefront in the modern world.
I understand it is intended as satire. I just think it's in bad taste.
So controversial! Its like he wanted the attention or something?!
He should take the next step and head over there to pitch them.
Woah I'm really shocked you removed the content because of the pressure of an arbitrary morality. I'm living Paris and I know some victims who survived the attacks. I've been emotionally affected with those events but It doesn't mean we should leave any form of reason. The French government is becoming more and more totalitarian and today I'm more afraid of the French police than terrorists. So please do your sarcasm and make me laughing : this is the best therapy.
Please post back your ISIS redesign !!
i wouldn't call it unethical. i would call it a really offensive, shameful joke.
i dunnooo, I don't have a problem with someone dissecting and analysing the 'brand'/flag, but mocking up an Instagram post with a guy about to be beheaded crosses the line for me. Not sure if that was mean to be humorous but I find it bad taste
I'm Rad White, head of digital design at thebingbing(http://www.thebingbing.com/) and even this is cringe for me.
Perhaps a hypothetical rebranding a terrorist organization is in bad form, but I don't think it's unethical, per se. The author is primarily looking at the formal qualities of the mark. Putting an ISIS t-shirt on an unsuspecting model, or adding the Instagram beheading is where this crosses the line for me.
All I have to say is hats off to the author for creating something controversial that would slowly grab some attention and lead to exposure. I think this is simply what it is. No more, no less. He took this right out from the book "Trust Me I'm Lying" by Ryan Holiday.
There are dozens of amazing charities and non-profits that could highly benefit from a branding redesign to make them better known and more recognizable. Yes, this is technically satire that isn't suppose to be used, but neither are 99.9% of unsolicited redesigns that people do in their spare times.
Of all the groups one could have chose to redesign, even for satire, this person chose this.
The original content of the post was removed?
yeah and he's only allowing comments from sociopaths like him who approves his disgusting "joke"
This is untrue. All comments are allowed and automatically public. A lot of people are understandably upset – I've issued an apology. I don't know if there's anything else I can do.
Grow up and be civil.
Check out this book. Saw the author present at an AIGA NY Event a year or two ago. http://www.amazon.com/Branding-Terror-Logotypes-Iconography-Organizations/dp/1858946018
Was gonna post this. It's a really interesting book! But I think the issue is where this book is research and his project really is just a bad joke in poor taste with no real commentary.
Does something either have to be ethical or unethical? I for sure don't think this is unethical. Is it in bad taste? Maybe, and only because of the mock James Foley Instagram post. This guy obviously had some time on his hands and wanted to ruffle some feathers. It's satire and I'm fine with that. If Anthony Jeselnik was a designer...
this seems like "material support for terrorism".. i would be concerned about a knock on your door @cody-iddings
It's a hypothetical rebrand. Not sure how ethics roll into this as it's not actually work done for a client. Just someone fixing a shitty flag, and researching terrorist breeding.
Such a horrible idea. Even though it is a satire, you have to be held liable for the outcomes of your work. I'm glad he removed the post.
What would the outcome be? You think ISIS is going to re-brand now and capture a larger share of the terrorism market?
Yes, that might be one of the outcomes. Are you trying to rule out the power of branding in 2016? I thought the conversation had already moved on from this after companies like Coca-cola and Nike proved that branding is important (yes that is such a simple statement but your comment seem to deny that). ISIS is actually very clever in their branding and marketing efforts, using social media, video, and magazines. I think the design we are discussing only puts more wood in the fire.
Reminds me of a pretty girl posting a picture of her boobies on instagram to get attention.. well done dude.
Total waste of designer talent unless you are for the cause.
Of course not, oh my god... This is the lowest level I've ever seen in my professional life. Good for him actually. He might never get a job. that'll teach him a lesson. This guy cleary did a supporting job. And this is just unacceptable. How could you even think about to "clean design" for those freaks. Seriously, I can't think even straight to write. I'm furious.
A bit of an overreaction don't ya think?