Project Information Close

The Consumption of Rituals

Communities have come together to celebrate various occasions for centuries. Using rituals as a way of overcoming different experiences, feelings and emotions. Consumerism made its claim when the traditional symbolic world had ended and a new one had not yet emerged. With money being the modern world’s primary focus, rituals have taken a different shape. Today rituals used by communities are dominated by consumerism and other personal rituals have become increasingly individual and solitary.
Graphic Elisava 2020

Lots of things tend to happen during a graphic.elisava master’s program. Mountains of research. Maybe one or two existential crises. Designing so much that you have nightmares about mismatched hex codes.

In some weird twist of fate, this year’s biggest ‘thing’ ended up being a global pandemic. We were forced to embrace digitalism over presentialism, do more with less, and channel disillusionment into positivity. In school, the lesson comes before the test, but life often takes the opposite approach. We think we’re better for it.


For this year’s degree show we decided to continue the digitalist lifestyle that we’ve come to know. Pills replace name tags, thumbnails replace handshakes, and ingenuity replaces normality in order to illustrate how we view topics like “design ethics”, “comfort”, “manifestos”, and “freedom”.


This is graphic.elisava’s digital Degree Show. Find out more about the program at


Many thanks to this year’s students in the Graphic Design and the Editorial Design master’s degrees. The 2020 graphic.elisava Degree Show – both the platform and the campaign that precedes it – wouldn’t have been possible without the indefatigable work of a group of design students making time for it in the middle of their end-of-year presentations.

On the typeface

Thanks to Non Foundry for letting us use their Non®Natural Grotesk throughout the website and campaign of this digital Degree Show.

Visit to find out more about their work.

Project Information

The Consumption of Rituals

How consumerism turned rituals to ashes

Does modern society have a place for rituals in the same way as in the past?

Rituals are actions which act as guides for society to process particular feelings, festivities and moments. They exist in our everyday life, as a way of helping us make sense of the world.

Rituals are legitimized in different ways; when plenty are born out of religious beliefs, others are bred from family traditions, cultural significance and historical respect.

Traditions and rituals are part of our culture heritage, they shaped our community and gave a sense of belonging to each society in our fragmented world.

A new medium of exchange, that we now call money, is what mainly broke our traditions apart and reshaped the way we behave in communities. We shifted our focusing onto working, producing and consuming more.

This part of the book demonstrates how the act of consumption in some parts of the world can be seen to have replaced religion and faith, and in turn helped to make rituals an increasingly individual act, becoming removed from community and more focused on capitalist values. It discusses how consumerism is a powerful ritual “machine” that makes up for the modern world’s lack of values with new rituals and symbols.

With the rise of capitalism, advertising is used to communicate the feelings of needs that must be fulfilled in order to feel complete or happy. It’s a different type of comfort. Advertising redefined our traditions and therefore appropriated in capitalism’s own visions.

To conclude the book we wanted to look towards the future and question how future forms will evolve and be shaped by technology.

Marta Córdoba Paloma Almodóvar

Idiot free food para
idiot free gente.