Category Archives: Project One: Looking for visual communication

Identifying visual communication

Exercise 1

  1. Persuasion: “convince, entice or direct the viewer for commercial, political or social ends”
This is a leaflet from the 2015 protest. Used to notify people of an upcoming protest in London. The bold use of the green and red colour symbolise the left of the political compass. Trying to unify the parties against the conservative party. The use of this particular font adds a home made feel to the leaflet.
A company who focused their marketing on youtube advertisements. This company fuses information and entertainment to convince people to use their blenders. It’s a clever blend (pun intended) of persuasive, information, and authorial content.

Information: “delivering information or content”

In this image we can see assembly instructions. These have now come in a pictogram format for some time, to save publishing instructions in multiple languages.
Here is a classic example of information based visual communication. It is impossible to go into a doctor’s surgery in England without seeing this poster. Public Health England using easy to digest bullet points to stop people asking for antibiotics.

Here we have the classic disabled accessible sign. Often used on toilet doors. However there has been an increase in hate crimes (Home Office, 2018) towards disabled people and even as a wheelchair user I have been subjected to it.

This was designed by Grace in Scotland to include people with invisible disabilities.

Identity Design: “creating an emotive response or association with a brand identity, logo or other visual identity”

Here is a well recognised logo of Burger King. These brands have come to stand for a consistency across the globe. You know if you walk into a Burger King, or a MacDonalds, anywhere in the world the products are going to be almost identical.

I wonder what the discussion would have involved at the design company, did the company go with the executives wishes or was there room for freedom of design. A lot of these idents we recognise were established at a time before brand identity and continuity of message.

Here we have the Toblerone logo. This is a logo representing the Matterhorn in Switzerland. Did you know there was a bear on the mountain? Not only was one of the founders called Theodor, but it was also started in the city of Bern, whose city logo is a bear.

Here we see a video of the 2018 Coca Cola Christmas Truck. Coca Cola has used visual communication to change our entire perception of Christmas. Before this Father Christmas was either a saint, or an elf. Neither of which were dressed in bright red with a fluffy white beard (Coca Cola Journey, 2018).
The truck wasn’t added until 1995, and it was originally an advert made by Industrial Light and Magic (Staff, 2018).

Authorial Content: “aims to entertain, satirise or educate”

This is a comic by Sophie Labelle, she is also known as Assigned Male across social media. She is a trans woman educating society, whilst supporting the LGBT+ community. I think she is an excellent example of authorial content. These are topics that have become very controversial as the mainstream media has started to cover them.

This is a fan fiction animation from the My Little Pony Universe. I think it highlights how a fan fiction can become a cult classic in it’s own right.

Interactive Design:  “offer users the opportunity to get visual feedback, contribute content or to feel a part of something”

This is a range of websites designed to give information, but in an interactive way. The websites above are My Little Pony, Taylor Swift and Tool. Another interactive design would be within the gaming industry. These encompass everything from apps on your smartphone through to massively multiplayer online games.

Alternative messages:  subcultural and grassroots tool for protest, creating identities or alternative ways of communication. 

The main example I could think of for this is the #metoo campaign. The conversation started with a hashtag, this is a way to link conversations together on social media, and has taken on a visual communication in its own right. It is now used on t-shirts and posters at rallies.
Following on from this you have the Pussyhat project, and although many believe this is trans exclusive feminism, it has been a vehicle to add a cohesiveness to rallies and protests.
Finally there is Project Semicolon, taking an innocuous punctuation mark and turning it into an entire visual campaign to raise awareness on suicide and mental health. The strap line “my story isn’t over yet” is a clever use of the meaning behind the semi colon. The sentence could have ended, but it didn’t.
In this age of digital communication messages have become global, social media has exploded ways for grassroots protestors and cultural movements to find allies around the entire globe.