Designers in the design industry have been playing a huge part in war efforts for a long time and will continue to do so for as long as there is a war. The industry is a creative agency dedicated to building military group’s brand identities that tells the story they want to portray them, helping establish a strong visual representation through creative direction of messaging and carefully crafted design with a wide variety of primary sources on recruitment, training, morale, public opinion, censorship and the development of different forms of propaganda.

Designers are bigger than they think they are and are the game changer to any campaign that acquires us. Whether we are self-employed, working freelance or employed within a business, it is possible to say that all designers are soldiers working in a special division where our skills in visual communication and advertising are our weapons against the nation’s rivals and reaching out to our own people. Instead of brandishing a weapon or body armour like how every soldier is portrayed, we have then pen and storyboards. Winning the hearts and minds of the people while destroying the enemies.

Competition against rival groups design industry will occur no doubt as the enemies will have their own team of designers but it all comes down to the execution of the project and the technical knowledge, teamwork abilities and artistic skills that are developed and honed over the course of time and in our education syllabus of the designer and the team which will determine the final outcome of a success. Thus why designers should strive to be the best in their field and adapt to the ever demanding requests of the society we live in today.


How are we adapting to this event?

Charlie Hebdo carries on production of satire news and visuals to show that freedom of thought and speech is not suppressed by the extremists efforts.

Despite all that has been done by the extremist group’s effective use of the design industry, countries against them all around the world are countering their efforts by utilising their own countries design industry sectors. After the attack on France, the publication of the satire magazine by Charlie Hebdo continues as an act of oppression and a sign that the French are not petrified by the events and will continue to express their freedom of speech through art and publication.


A Japanese ‘meme’ in respond to the video by the extremist towards them

Japan countered with a more physiological method of warfare against the extremist group by attacking them with ‘memes’. A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols, or practices that can be transmitted from one mind to another through various imagery or speech. This show that the Japanese have embraced their losses but are not weakened by the extremists true intention of demoralising them and managed to make the best out of the situation by creating a little sense of humour for the people within the heat of the moment.

The United States and various other NATO countries directly fighting back with their own propaganda videos and other methods that require those in the industry to win back the hearts and minds of their people in order to dwindle the number new extremist groups recruits. Military recruitment visuals and videos are created with better content to attract locals to join up and go against them in the war against the extremist groups. Media coverage in combat also helps to show the world what their military is against the extremist group, helping bring up the morale of the people and weaken the enemies.

Speaking of the media in this war effort, countries such as Russia and Malaysia have their copyrighting and media divisions in taking effort to monitor and filter the contents while censoring the contents that are publicized by the extremist group to avoid them from further manipulating the minds of the people. A clampdown by tech companies, as well as online campaigns waged by hacktivists, have made this method of communication and propaganda distribution more difficult.


Social media platforms admins and user ought to do the same by sharing the right information keeping on a look out for members of the extremist group conducting any online propaganda. Users are advised to report to the admins and notify the authorities if any action is seen where actions will be taken. Talking on Social media, Australian has made use of the hashtag trend to re-establish the connection with Muslims who are afraid to show themselves after the attack with the tag #illridewithyou where non-Muslim Australians will ride along Muslim citizens on public transportation. This campaign was a success as this cleared the fear among Muslims from being branded under the same name as the extremist group and prevents islamaphopia and irrational hatred among the non-Muslim citizens while managing to inspire other countries to follow the trend.

How are we adapting to this event?

how effective was the extremist group use of the design industry on it’s enemies?

Many different parts of the world have been victims where their successful advertising and branding have managed to bring people’s attention and motivate them to commit towards a purpose that is well set up and delivered by the extremist group. One famously known event that tooked place in France was the Charlie Hebdo Shooting which took place on the morning of 7 January 2015 where two extremist attacked the office of the French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris and as the result of the attack, 11 people are killed and several more wounded. After the attack, people of France questioned about their freedom to express through art and design was being suppressed .

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Police rushing towards the hostage scene in Australia

In Australia, a similar scenario took place on the 15-16 December 2014 where a highly motivated extremist via the extremist group’s propaganda videos and social media connections with the extremist members took and executed hostages in a café located in downtown Sydney.

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Captured Jordanian pilot in one of the extremist propaganda torture videos


Japanese citizen captured by extremist on public news in Japan

Japan has also been a victim of the extremist group. A propaganda video prepared with a Hollywood style cinematic setting by them where two Japanese journalist were executed which made a massive impact on the people of Japan triggering all sort of emotions including fear, anger and sadness which is what the extremist group wants. Jordanian citizens underwent the similar scenario where a captured pilot was brutally executed but before he is so, the pilot is taken to see the bodies of dead people which the extremist group portrays them as the innocent people which the pilot has killed through the bombs he dropped and will pay for their death in the most gruesome way. This video not only affected the citizens of Jordan but those in the middle east too where they are moved by the death of their own and later motivated by the fact the video shows even the world’s best military force is vulnerable, giving them a sign of hope and to join the extremist groups cause.

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The Extremist groups effective use of social media can be seen somewhere closer to home. In Malaysia, cybercrime division and authorities have managed to arrest at least 29 alleged supporters of the extremist group where they use social media to connect with the extremist group counterparts and carry out online activities, such as planning and plotting attacks on Kuala Lumpur. Their social media platform has also managed to recruit Muslim Malaysians to join them.

how effective was the extremist group use of the design industry on it’s enemies?

How did the extremist take over the design industry part 3


A direct mailer done by members of the extremist group based in London which was put into every mailbox .

Old methods like paper or life media are still used by the extremist in their propaganda. With modern day tools like Photoshop, Indesign and Illustrator along with skilled professionals at the go. The result, high quality, violent and well executed propaganda visuals right down to the typeface used produced. These media is used to overcome the excessive use and dependency of social media to propel their message while giving a more grim notice to the public who have in their hand a solid and life proof that the extremist group is not just a social media gossip topic, they exist and live among us.

Besides that, the media used is applied in ‘educating’ it’s audience with the aid of illustrated and meaning full information that will help them understand their cause more well versed thus intensifying their message


A zine with content publish by the extremist which is will edited and organised 

How did the extremist take over the design industry part 3

How did the Extremist Take Over the Design Industry part 2


Extremist group social media page

Of course videos weren’t the only modern method of propaganda delivery they utilized from the design industry. Today the social media platform is widely used just by anyone who has a device that allows them to have access to the World Wide Web in which connects them to people from different parts of the world. The people of the modern day design industry of course took  the first step in Electronic advertising as an alternative to old fashioned methods and developed it over the years. It’s a tool that provides users the means to build, mix and promote community engagement, conversation and user-generated material. You can also share content, such as blogs, & link them all together.


Extremist member on social media

Why Social Media? Well now you can tell millions about your products and services in record fast time. You can spread your message far and wide or you do as we prefer to highly target your lead generation we prefer quality leads who will potentially turn in to happy clients for repeat business as opposed to as scatter gun approach.

For example:

YouTube allows you to: Rank well with its owner Google. With video marketing you can really amplify your message. You can also increase your brand awareness. Another serious benefit is that you can Laser target your audience. Get away from the clutter and noise of the internet and use YouTube’s huge lead generation potential with appealing, informative videos with a call for action maybe in the annotation as you see here or in the description. You have access to some very cost effective marketing with lower cost videos.

Twitter allows you to: Get instant feedback from your followers, if they don’t like something you tweet that will soon let you know! A social media policy is essential for businesses even a one person business. We think the first point of any social policy should be if so much as a drop of alcohol has passed your lips turn your twitter off. Twitter also allows you to quickly and easily identify those who want to engage personally with you and your brand.

You can discuss topics of the day, best to keep to your specialist subject. If the like what they read in your tweet others will Re tweet your messages but we feel it is best to retweet others first before seeking retweets from others.

Facebook ‘s Sheer Volume makes Facebook hard to ignore and it’s highly personalized messages are able to be left there with many even going so far as telling what they have eaten for breakfast and putting a picture of their said breakfast up fro all to see. Bless them!

Facebook has a wall for you & others to paste material on. You have an option of having both a Personal & a company page. On Facebook you also have the advantage of being able to use Multiple keyword optimized pages. Do it right and you will have a strong audience retention, and a solid advertising platform.

Google dominates the internet, so it makes the rules: Google is the worlds most used search engine so common sense tells you to be there. They deliver relevant content. Influencers are there who might miss you elsewhere.

Google Plus also enables group meetings, conversations, or demonstrations. It allows for longer discussions to build relationships

The extremist group used that to their advantage and published their propaganda on mainstream social media platforms like Facebook, Tumbler, Instagram and Twitter. While they managed to reach to many people, admins and sever maintainers have disrupt their efforts by removing all related content they publish. But this doesn’t stop them as they again turn to the industry and developed an app specifically for their cause. It is an Arabic-language Twitter app that’s called ‘The Dawn of Glad Tidings’ where thousands of their followers installed it. This app allows the extremist group members to use their accounts to send out centrally written updates. Released simultaneously, the messages swamp social media, giving them a far larger online reach. The Dawn app acts as a medium to pumps out news of their advances, gory images, or their new videos. As the number of members grew, so does the name of the extremist group being the most distinguishable around the world.


An extremist user using twitter to post death threats to US soldiers

 It’s also the job of a designer to find what the people want or the trend of the season to gain and capture more interest. In 2010, Twitter introduced “Trending Topics” on the Twitter front page, displaying hashtags that are rapidly becoming popular. The use of hashtags to focus-group messaging and branding concepts is very well known to be used in companies today. Now other social media networks have picked it up and worldwide searching for hashtags including the Dawn of Glad Tiding app. Members repetitively tweet hashtags at certain times of day so that they trend on the social network making the extremist group popular. Retweets of existing tweets only helps makes the hashtag trend more and as it gains traction, more users are exposed to ISIS’s messaging. As a result of these strategies, and others, they are able to project strength and promote engagement online.

Social media platforms are really platforms that allows user to do just about anything, even branding an extremist group.

More reading :

How did the Extremist Take Over the Design Industry part 2

How did the Extremist take over the design industry Part 1


The extremist didn’t take it over, more like they finally understand the true power of the industry and pushed it to the max resulting in effective propaganda and audience gathering for their cause. We see brands in the making every day; either new brands for start-ups, or redesigns for long established companies. However, seeing the branding of a dangerous and powerful Extremist group right before our eyes is something all graphic designers should take note of.

The use of videos, direct mailers, online social media marketing, and more were used for commercials on everyday matters. Helping boost up sales, recognition of an established company and spreading the news to the whole world. The design Industry was recognized for just that by majority but through history, we can see the real power of the industry. The extremist group we are speaking about today merely created a new impact, they just learn from the past and adopted it to present times.


Back when Al Qaeda, another Extremist group which had the spotlight before the extremist group today took over, videos were their method of propaganda. Thou it was an effective  media to propel their message to the world, their videos were filmed using poor equipment and lacked delivery power thus making their propaganda only effective on a small scale.  Today however there’s a real plot to them, a story designed to exonerate the new extremist group’s barbarism while painting its enemies as the real evil which is proven with the high number of recruits and influenced individuals on attacking the groups enemies abroad. To back it up, it’s said professional designers who are skilled in their field are applying design elements such professional editing techniques as well as animation and effects in their work making it more appealing for viewings to fall for it and get hooked easily.

The use of multiple language was by far the greatest application to their videos, widening the target audience range and scripting of speech. The use of powerful words to influence or to give a sense of purpose to those who don’t have one, sort of like delivering your Single Minded Purpose Message to your clients and target audience in the coperate world.  isis-k2

A video propaganda by the extremist group where the use of a child to show that anyone can join their cause and can learn from young while the use of russian and english subtitles can be seen for the use of targetting audience in Europe and Western Sectors of the world 


Movies are the best way to strike your target audience. Whether if its a motivational movie or a patriotic movie like the just recent released of Lone Survivor and American Sniper, the message of the movie is delivered in the most visually elaborated way and usually and effectively motivates, inspires and educate us. The extremist group spared no expenses and made their own movies. As far as anyone knows, the extremist group  has came up with their own Hollywood style movie productions titled’ The Clanging of Swords IV’ and ‘The Flames of War’. Again the design industry plays it’s role in creating these movies. Vice Journalist Aris Roussino said that “its high-quality equipment that they’re actually very technically skilled at using, in a way that the other rebels aren’t”. The people making these videos are good at what they do and so far its again proven effective as right after the movie was released, a day after an invasion happened and the defense force protecting that captured area claim to have fled in fear of being their victims after watching the movie with it’s visually elaborated message that the extremist are coming for them


The opening title for the Extremist made movie

Many of their videos have been made over the time they started till today and countries are doing their best by censoring or removing them from the people to avoid being brain washed by the extremist’s video propaganda effort. Malaysia and Russia are adapting to the situation by having their own design industry where the censorship and copyrighting along with media industry to fully eradicate any content that may come from them to target their people to join their cause.

How did the Extremist take over the design industry Part 1

The Design Industry


In the Graphic Design Industry there’s more to offer than just producing visually pleasing visuals for advertising or marketing purpose. When a company wants to standout and have a re branding, the industry can help them by establishing a strong visual representation through creative direction of messaging and carefully crafted design. 

The industry can be broken down into 2 major fields which are graphic and communication design.

Graphic Design

Graphic design is the art or process of visual communication that combines text and graphics to convey an effective message to a particular group of target audience. It is also a collaborative process between a client and a designer. It is linked in conveying messages, So it is part of communication design too. Composition is one of the most important features in graphic design, especially when blending the colours together and using pre-existing materials or different elements. The message behind it should be simple, clear and precised for people to comprehend.

Logos, magazines, advertisements, product packaging and web design are some of the common items which use graphic design.

Communication Design

Communication design is a mixed discipline between design and information-development. It involves how the media communicate with people by inventing new media means to guarantee the message reaches the target audience. Communication design seeks to draw attention, create desires and encourage the people to respond to messages, with a vision to make a favourable impact to the targeted body, which can be either be brand-building, moving sales, or for humanitarian purposes. The process includes strategic business thinking, utilizing market research, creativity, and problem-solving.


The Design Industry