For anyone that’s spent time working in the design industry, the sheer mention alone of ‘stock library’ should be plenty enough to strike fear into their hearts. For the uninitiated: you know those images of girls with white smiles, grinning inanely into their call-centre headsets? The good-looking middle-aged business man offering a congratulatory handshake to the genial blonde woman as they close the deal on a contract with a major global rivet manufacturer? The caucasian, middle-class family scenario, a vision of domestic bliss – complete with brand-free laptop, perfectly-groomed dog (the sort that the wife just smiles at when it bounds in from their property’s extensive grounds covered in fox shit) and faceless ‘designer’ Italian furniture?
Well, those painfully glossy interpretations of modern living are the stuff stock library proprietors’ dreams (and young graphic designers’ nightmares) are made of. Enter the image-terrorists behind DIS Magazine, an influential ‘post-internet’ publication/website that serves as a provocative sneer towards modern product and image making; the subversive agitators turning their inciting attentions to the world of image libraries with the launch of DIS Images.
No stereotypical stock theme is left unturned, domesticity, business, technology… it’s all here, but with typical cynicism applied; plus size models in underwear replace the quintessential pretty faces, fetishism replaces the humdrum wholesome activities of young adults and many a tired metaphor is subverted to within an inch of its life. Functioning as a fully operating image library, this is brave and ballsy culture displacement just how we like it. Brilliant.