Signs of Our Time

Op-Ed

Signs of Our Time

Chatterjee, Ashoke

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Anil Sinha is an educator who has brought into his classrooms an enviable record of service to clients of the National Institute of Design (Ahmedabad), representing in his work and teaching the attitude toward 'professional education' which has been the hallmark of NID. This book collects cases that demonstrate the process which professional designers use to help understand and resolve the needs of their clients. Prof Sinha offers us an insight into the creation of visual identities upon which so much now depends in a crowded market where competition is the name of the game, and in a chaotic visual landscape where a myriad images shout for attention. The need for expression through symbols has been with humankind since time immemorial. Few civilizations are as rich in this language as India. Our lives are marked by symbols, from birth to death. Every stream of India's rich diversity has contributed to this confluence, suggesting a powerful resource --- is well as an important responsibility --- for designers in our time. The Freedom struggle drew on the inherent power of symbols in the Indian psyche, whether it was the charkha or a grain of salt picked up at the beach in Dandi. This lesson has not been lost on subsequent social and political movements, whether in the search for symbols that can win elections, or protect the environment, or be used to destroy unity and peace. It is this complex cultura...
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