Designed for conflict

Science fiction author, William Gibson once wrote that the target of terrorism was not the building being bombed or the individual being killed but the media. He argued that the purpose of an act of irregular warfare is to get media attention and that, in out media-saturated world, the media is not merely reporting on terrorism, but is the stage on which it is played out.

To this end, Hezbollah has hired an advertising agency.

According to a report by Kevin Peraino in Newsweek International Hezbollah is very aware of how images influence hearts and minds and is producing slick propaganda. No real surprises there, but what is interesting is that it is intended for Western - primarily American - consumption and to that end is being produced by a design agency, Idea Creation.

Peraino spoke to Idea Creation’s creative director Mohammad Kawtharani:

Islamist propaganda was once known for its densely impenetrable Arabic, peppered with quotes from the Qur'an. But Kawtharani says that in this campaign, Hizbullah has made an effort to get "straight to the point" with its slogans. The international public "expects a clear and single message," he says. "That's the language of the media these days." So Hizbullah settled on the simple and catchy "Divine Victory" slogan, and repeated it over and over.

Of course, in some sense graphic design as a discipline is the bastard child of propaganda but it is interesting that a group such as Hezbollah now put so much stock in the need to connect with modern Western audiences.

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