Sydney Daugherty (American, b.1999) is a graphic designer who explores the power dynamics within a space and how they affect those who inhabit that space. She relies on research and the perspectives of others in her design practice to point at the effects of a dominating culture.
Daugherty's current work, Inescapable Landscapes Part 2, explores the power dynamics between brands and consumers. Her work includes a video of brand colors and slogans along with interactive flashcards to understand our association with brands. Daugherty will receive a BFA in Graphic Design and a minor in Communications from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 2022. Her work is currently on view in the 2022 BFA Senior Thesis Exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art at UTC from March 29th through April 8th.
Images from “Inescapable Landscapes Part 2,” 2022
Our society and visual culture are dominated by consumerism and product advertising. Large companies surround us with their brands to the point where we become immune to their efforts. These brands rely on language, signage, jingles, colors, and our exposure to the brand to embed themselves into our daily lives. We inhabit, personify, and embody these brands as they influence our thoughts, beliefs, and actions. Once I explored the power dynamic between these brands and us in my project Inescapable Landscapes Part 1, I questioned how we go about memorizing the brands.
We are exposed to large brands at such an early age much like the fundamentals of learning. Similar to how we learn our shapes, colors, and match letters to animals, we learn our slogans, brand colors, and match logos to companies. In my current work, Inescapable Landscapes Part 2, I incorporate kindergarten curriculum books about reading foundations and letter recognition. Children learn through the act of associating language with objects. They memorize through repetition. We memorize a brand's identity by constantly being flooded with its imagery.