I found Marshall McLuhan’s idea of “hot” and “cold” mediums to be interesting and a perspective that I had yet to hear, but I’d hardly say this idea was accurate as it has no scientific basis behind it. Besides this lack of testing and observation, the idea tried to define mediums that are fluid and constantly changing, not only with time but from item to item. What I mean by this is that not every individual had the same quality television (or vision) or the same signal for example. Lower quality or poor signal on television (or someone who has poor vision) would require more participation to decipher the fuzzy images coming through than one that came in clearer.
However, I do believe “the medium is the message” to have truth to it. The medium in which we intake information has a huge effect on how we process that information. We react differently when seeing a tragedy versus reading about a tragedy. In a recent photography class, I had learned about the effects of photoshopping in newspapers and something that stood out to me was the removal of color in wartime images. A black and white image hid things like gruesome wounds and blood in a way colored images on the internet could not. These different mediums affected how we saw tragedy like this, and how we responded to it as a whole. This is why digital photography and the internet helped push the idea that war was awful and gruesome, something newsprint and radio could not convey in the same way.
I think this idea that the medium has a huge impact on our design work should be at the back of our minds constantly. What medium would add to our intended meaning instead of subtracting? How can we communicate the most effectively with our audience? I would hate to push a message of nature conservation and the reduction of our plastic use, and have it be printed on giant, non_recyclable plastic signage. Design is more than just what we communicate, but how we chose to communicate it!