A designer is never isolated from the environment: the working environment or lived context, the place of habitation with its regional relationships; and the physical environment, the climate, the chemistry and physics of existence. In all of the current hoo-ha about the environment and climate-change agreements – well, disagreements - and the constant, parrot-like repetition by the American President of his core ideal: “Make American Great Again”, one is left wondering about sounds and meanings. The situation finally gets one down when circumstance and reality appear to clash with such irrational, silent, violent vigour in spite of the blandly, blindly persistent, ‘positive-thinking’ restatement of the catchphrase.
Soon it is realised that the call to follow, to believe, holds its own demise in its own soundings, scoldings that truly grate – both shred and rasp: tear up agreements while spruiking annoying noises. A graphic can declare the impact of this reality, in both full colour and black and white, ready for the T-shirt - one size fits all:
v. grat·ed, grat·ing, grates
1. To reduce to fragments, shreds, or powder by rubbing against an abrasive surface.
2. To cause to make a harsh grinding or rasping sound through friction: grated her teeth in anger.
3. To irritate or annoy persistently: It always grates me to get put on hold.
4. Archaic To rub or wear away.
1. To make a harsh rasping sound: an old gate grating in the wind.
2. To cause irritation or annoyance: a noise that grates on one's nerves.
A harsh rasping sound made by scraping or rubbing: the grate of a key in a lock.
[Middle English graten, from Old French grater, to scrape, of Germanic origin.]
The Eugene Burdick and William Lederer 1958 novel, The Ugly American comes to mind; as does the pejorative usage of the title:
"Ugly American" is a pejorative term used to refer to perceptions of loud, arrogant, demeaning, thoughtless, ignorant, and ethnocentric behavior of American citizens mainly abroad, but also at home. Although the term is usually associated with or applied to travelers and tourists, it also applies to U.S. corporate businesses in the international arena.
Truly 'grating' rather than 'great.'
The reproduction of the graphic is interesting. Although not all fonts are able to be displayed in the blog on the various gadgets, the graphic still works, even with random changes and variations in both setout and letter styles. The original intent of the image is seen in the screen shots. ‘MAKE’ and ‘AGAIN’ are in Comic Sans; ‘AMERICA’ is in Liberation Serif; and ‘GRATE’ is in Impact. The fonts tell the story too.