Soap and the Newspaper

By Sarah Jones.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In 2004, The Age newspaper proclaimed that it is “The world’s most livable newspaper”. This proclamation firmly situated the newspaper in the realm of the domestic. To be classified as livable, a shelter or structure must be deemed fit to live in. It must facilitate a sense of ease and a moderate degree of comfort. A livable setting provides its occupants with a sense of security and control as well as the confidence to invite others into that space. This livable structure in turn becomes a social structure. When we are comfortable and confident with the quality of our setting, we invite others in, forming social networks, which provide companionship and community.

This paper investigates how graphic design systems and structures influence and shape our emotive and social relationship with society. It examines how
graphic design within ephemeral artefacts of the everyday, such as the newspaper, gives visual expression to social myths, shaping narratives of ordinary people’s lives into soap operas, which we consume voraciously and somewhat unconsciously.

Keywords: Design, Social Theory, Everyday, Society

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp.75-84. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 990.987KB).

Sarah Jones

Lecturer, Department of Design, Faculty of Art & Design, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Sarah Jones has worked within the visual arts for the past sixteen years both as a collaborative and solo artist. Exhibitions since 1990 include West Space, Platform, CCP, Linden, Para/Site Art Space Hong Kong, Annandale Galleries, Centre for Contemporary Photography, and the Ian Potter Gallery. Sarah co-founded West Space Inc. with Brett Jones in 1992. She has worked with various arts institutions in Australia and overseas to produce experimental art catalogues and books. Sarah is a lecturer in Visual Communication at Monash University, Faculty of Art & Design.


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