In our latest class reading, which was the article, “Images, Power, and Politics,” written by Martisa Sturken and Lisa Cartwright, they discuss the power of images and how it has changed alongside the evolution of photography.
Images are used for a multitude of reasons in our present time. The most general use is simply for representation, which is what Sturken & Cartwright refer to as “the use of language and images to create meaning about the world around us” (12).
Before images were extremely widespread and accessible, they were used to represent historic events, time periods, and eras. An example of a time period that was heavily photographed to depict the hardships many Americans faced was during the 1950s and 1960s when images were used to “record a particular moment in time in the racially segregated American South” (19).
Many of these images are still used at present time to inform students and citizens of our nation’s past.
Today, many companies use imaging as a way to help brand themselves through their logos. Through their logo they are able to spread their company’s mission statement and ideology or their “broad but indispensable shared sets of values and beliefs through which individuals live out their complex relations in a range of social networks” (23).
A perfect example of a company successfully using their logo to not only establish their brand but also to spread their mission statement is the Vancouver-based athletic wear company, Lululemon Athletica. They have their simple red & white logo, which many consumers recognize and wear proudly to associate themselves with the company and it’s ideology.
Additionally, on all of their products’ price tags and on their shopping bags, they have their manifesto, which is a image of their entire mission statement. This mission statement is basically a conglomeration of all of their beliefs and values they share with their consumers.
This is one way Lululemon Athletica has become such an outstanding company because they created a very recognizable logo for their company, which simultaneously encapsulates their ideologies.
Some questions to think about in regards to images as brands:
1) What are some other companies who have successfully created a brand through their logo, and how so?
2) Who are some people who have become icons through images?