Can illustration change the world?

Since my first affair with illustration started, I was always intrigued by the power illustration carries and can have upon an audience or, in fact, the world.

Looking at how it can be used to sway our decision-making, opinion-forming, who we vote for, our societal preferences, the way we act and what we believe and maybe even change the course of history, thus showing just how we are manipulated by illustration and bringing examples to attention that prove my point.

However in order to discuss how illustration works in combination with those principles, we need to understand the science behind it and what makes humans make certain choices and under what circumstances are their opinions most vulnerable and easy to take advantage of.

Satirical cartoons and messages in editorial publications have always been influential at relevant times of publishing. I will look at just how they can be used to appeal or offend people and thus change perceptions. I would specifically like to bring up the illustrator of Charlie Hebdo and how his studio’s work influenced certain individuals.

Lastly mentioning the effects of illustration in the use of propaganda and political communication with links to their respective target audiences. The sense of urgency they were able to create using the aid of visuals, compelled people to act and therefore changing the course of events. Examples such as the Uncle Sam poster or even going as far back as the Join or Die poster from the age of US revolution can be analyzed to prove my point.


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