In our modern culture, this 1936 series of images may be perceived as 'racist' . This is because we understand that not all individuals in the 5 'groups' that are shown here, appear as depicted in the images. But we do understand from seeing these images, what the 5 groups are. I believe that this boils down to our reliance on stereotypes. Again, daily we are reminded and taught not to judge individuals by common stereotypes, but in terms of communication design, stereotypes could not be more useful as made explicitly clear here. Although ethically, it may be unwise to reinforce them, stereotypes are a designers dream. They are instantly recognise able and almost everyone has them. It is for this reason that from a communication design view, it's undeniable that this piece delivers information, clearly, quickly and effectively.
© Ethan William Frisby, all rights reserved