Graphic communication designers, (in a ‘Western’ context) have historically foregrounded ideas of agency through the realms of aesthetics, expression and semiotics in clear response to the proliferation of services and industries that have required their expertise. Indeed, graphic communication designers have been busy, very busy, bringing organisation to complex information, alongside the shaping and interpretation of messages. More recently, the arrival of cultural and social contexts for communications, in response to ideas of personal cultural capital, (amongst others), has marked an interruption to the former process of design within which ideas translated into output so deftly.
Meanwhile, audiences following a cue to inhabit more diverse worlds and alternative media plat- forms, have found that the experience of living and belonging within these new realms bears no relationship to the types of lived experience they once knew. As a consequence, design has drifted away from the precise ‘input and output’ rule it faithfully followed. In its place a new reflexivity in design is emerging; one which is willing to be expansive in its outlook but also more ethical in precisely what is being transmitted between parties, and who it can empower as the authors.