Over the past couple of years the world has been shaken by accusations that major popular decisions – like the 2016 US election and the Brexit referendum – were shaped and influenced by the infiltration of fake news. It has since been confirmed that bots, trolls and phoney websites churn out false propaganda at an unprecedented scale.
In their latest project Daily Noise, graphic designers Annika Soja and Lena Manger explore the public’s relationship to fake news and question why the phenomenon is so successful in shaping public opinion. The duo first met during their studies at Hochschule Mainz, where they realised that their seemingly distinct aesthetic styles were complementary to one another. Since then, Annika and Lena have worked on multiple projects together and will continue to do so before moving to respective cities at the end of the summer; Annika to Berlin and Lena to Leipzig.
“Daily Noise addresses the psychological reasons why fake news stories are spread and why we believe them, as well as encouraging the reader to question their news consumption as part of this problem. When we started the project, the term ‘fake news’ was becoming increasingly present in the media. The internet and all of its social media channels offer new possibilities of spreading lies faster and therefore blur the boundaries between real information and entertainment,” the two designers tell It’s Nice That.
In order to replicate the bombardment of information we receive from our television and smartphone screens, Annika and Lena have recreated striking headers and hashtags that extend across their text-heavy spreads. “The bold captions are reminiscent of newspaper headlines and blogs, while repetitions of certain words represent the daily flood of news sites, comment fields and tweets. These are intensified through the publication’s digital background,” the designers explain. The duo carefully balance aesthetic impact with content clarity, rendering Daily Noise a comprehensive and thought-provoking book.
The publication’s harsh, monochromatic colour palette evokes feelings of uncertainty and mistrust of news-watching, a routine part of our day-to-day lives. “By working with elements we are familiar with like comment fields and hashtags, the publication lends the reader a different perspective on their own media consumption. ‘Fake news’ might sound like something that can’t affect you, but in reality, we’re surrounded by false information every day,” Annika and Lena say. In its austere colour combinations and bold textual layouts, Daily Noise prompts us to reconsider the news as a form of narrative crafting that is shaped and moulded according to its context.