Tessa Spierings


The power of symbols in visual propaganda (2021)

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Symbols are tools in the field of visual communication through which information can be disseminated. They convey ideas and beliefs, and through repetition they can come to serve as a logo for a brand. This thesis and project aim to identify the power of symbols in visual propaganda through analyzing political logos and flags. Political symbols ranging from the far left to the far right are compiled and analyzed in a historical and visual manner. The red star, the hammer and sickle, the cogwheel, the clenched fist, the circle-A, and the cross are some of the symbols under analysis. Their appearances in history are traced from first known appearances to contemporary representations and they are discussed together with their developments, connotations, meanings, and uses. The theoretical part is supplemented by a project, in which the symbols are dissected so that graphical components and colors are presented and elucidated. This research shows that symbols can be employed to signify a political objective. It also demonstrates that shapes, colors, and context determine the understanding and connotations of a symbol.

Link to archive: https://comum.rcaap.pt/handle/10400.26/37056
Thesis and graduation project | Escola Superior de Artes e Design (ESAD)