Rendering Fear: The Graphic Design of Al Qaeda

Fast Company’s Cliff Kuang has created an interesting slideshow showing the developing graphic design skills of Jihadists. As he says,

Al Qaeda and the myriad groups that seek to emulate it are evil, without question. But they also happen to be modernizing their public face, at break-neck speed, translating their message to the Web and to magazines. What they’re running into–in addition to annoyances with Photoshop and Pagemaker–are stereotypically Western middle-management questions of marketing and tone. And you can see that tension in the design of their materials.

Kuang illustrates the last five years or so of Jihadi design with some well chosen images. Here’s just one, with Kuang’s commentary below:

Usually, Jihadist imagery is gritty and terrestrial. Here, we get Jihadis IN SPAAAAAAACE. The poster praises Imam Anwar Awlaki, the “Osama of the Internet,” who reportedly had ties to Fort Hood mass murderer Army Major Nidal Hassan, “underwear bomber” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. It also praises Photoshop Elements, which provides those snazzy lens flares.

[view the rest of the slideshow]

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  • Anonymous

    That lens flare will strike fear in the infidels!

  • radiac

    That lens flare will strike fear in the infidels!

  • LBEARD

    I really like his cool horse. I bet he likes carrots. And oats probably

  • LBEARD

    I really like his cool horse. I bet he likes carrots. And oats probably

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