I realised that today, in this culture, we are suffering from somthing I have named ‘visual immunity’. We are bombarded by so much visual media today, on the street, in the home, while travelling, on the way to school, on the way to work, that now we don’t actually ‘see’, or even notice half these things. We are visually immune to them, because we have been over-exposed to these media a lot. How many ads, posters, or web banners do you actually even notice anymore?
And like most forms of immunity, I believe this is a good thing. Most of the visual information inflicted on us is anyway useless, and is mostly just encouraging us to buy things we don’t need, or perpetuates stereotypes, or creates unrealistic scenarios in people’s minds which they then struggle to aspire to. So visual immunity is a natural outcome of an overdose of all visual information around us.
Like my friend sanjay pointed out, posters are dead as a medium. And even the no-smoking sign is dead in some ways. People just ignore it quite often. Visual messages are not having impact, and not changing human behavior in any way.
This visual immunity is creating new challenges for designers, especially graphic designers, as we have to find new ways to overcome it. And we also need to realise which mediums are actually extinct, what is the scope for new mediums, and whether we really need to give out so many messages to people all the time. That is the core question.