In The Audience, Meggs discusses the evolution of symbol and sign systems and its relation to creating graphic design based on the visual literacy of the intended audience. This responds to a specific culture's shared signs, experiences and vocabulary based on variables such as economic status, ethnic or religious background, social background and age groups.
Kathrine McCoy states in Graphic Design in a Multicultural World that just as print design is diminishing, so is mass communication. This change replaces broad communication with tailored products that target specialized audiences with "focused messages and eccentric design languages." She states that the post industrial revolution "age of mass" is over. "This functionalist design philosophy of 'form follows function' is based on the standardized processes, modular systems, industrial materials and a machine aesthetic of minimalist form." Due to high technology channeled communication becomes a necessity born out of the "explosion of subcultures" in the 1960s and development of a diverse group of trans-geographic communities that can be linked through shared variables such as religion, moral or social issues, business, sports, hobbies, parents, gray panthers, etc...It replaces the producer-centered system with the user-centered system. "If we are to create meaningful and resonant communications, we must give appropriate new character to a more varied, idiosyncratic, and even eccentric graphic design expression." McCoy argues that the model of communication needs to be also be re-evaluated at the receiver's end of the equation, just as it has been developed for the sender and message. She overviews various techniques such as age oriented communication, specialized language or knowledge, and attitude.
In Local Lingo by Alice Twemlow, argues that contemporary design culture is a global system that, "pushes for seamless interchange" of ideas, communication, and output. This requires the development of new alternatives to coperate and global branding by working locally with a specific reference base. "...the more we are aware of everything that’s happening everywhere the more we want to connect with something, somewhere." Despite this effort for localization in design, it is difficult to effectively connect with the viewer on a trans-national level.
Linda Tischler discusses the implementation of the new Coke machine in Pop Artist. Coke represents a company that is actually a system. "In a company as colassal as this one, no single designer can pretend to control every permutation of every product in every far-flung fast-food joint." In that, David Butler, the VP of Coke's global design, has a job to create a centralized system that is flexible enough to become global without losing its focus. He wants to sell more stuff, make more money and create a sustainable planet. "You have to think big; you have to think scale." In the design of the new machine, each selection has a specific tailoring, but it encompasses a wide range of locations and cultures. This drives the identity of Coke on a global level.