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To understand visual messages you have to know how to select visual elements, for example, how to recognise the main figure in a scene.


Reading a visual message requires the analysis of the following aspects:  The

physical support that contains it  Its medium through which it is transmitted  The purpose of the message  Its possible meanings


DIFFERENT KINDS OF SUPPORTS


The medium‌


The purpose of the image: expressive function


Discriptive function

“Informative” function


A cross can have different meanings: religion, faith and strength but it can also symbolize death.


In the entire perception process two types of aspects are united:

Objective

aspects Subjective aspects


Relations between shapes: 1. variations of size 2. overlapping 3. loss of intensity of colour


Subjective aspects depend on: 1.our believes 2.knowledge 3.our state of mind 4.necessity 5.motivation 6.cultural context


MOTIVATION

CULTURAL CONTEXT


 The combination of both aspects gives places to a PERSONAL interpretation  perception is different for each person

Some people will recognize a dinosaur, others a duck or a llama


Observation = is to look at the shapes and images with attention in order to analyse the objective aspects that we saw before (difference of size, colour, etc.)  perception is just a feeling produced by seeing an image Perception: the colour and the shape Observation: you see a pipe and smoke you start thinking about what it can be, you realize it is the exhaust pipe of a car and that the add might be against car pollution


2 fundamental aspects of observation 

Analytical observation 

Identify and recognize the colours, shapes, lines, etc. of all elements that make the object. For example, observing a guitar, of which we appreciate its profile, colour, texture, material, workmanship (acabado), etc.

Functional observation 

Is related with the meaning, function or action of the images. For example, when we watch ballet, we do not see the structure of ballet shoes but the action of dancing.


Developed by the German school called Gestalt Psychology  The

relation between the figure and the background  Termination or closure principle  Other perceptive principles


There is always a figure that stands out more than the other figures through its size, colour and position. ďƒ’ You cannot visualize the figure and the background at the same time. ďƒ’


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Even if a figure is not complete, if the directions are defined well, the sight tends to complete the figure.


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Intense light can separate the figure from the background.

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A simple figure tends to be observed before more complicated figures.


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We observe first the figures that we are familiar with.


Law of proximity  Law of similarity  Law of continuity (closure)  Law of contrast and homogeneity (symmetry) 


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The forms that are the closest together are perceived as belonging to the same figure.


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Equal or similar forms are perceived as one single figure.


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Forms pointed in the same direction tend to be perceived as one single figure.


ďƒ‰ Contrast

= the figure that stands out from the background

ďƒ‰ Homogeneity

= visual integration of the forms that make the image


Optical illusion can be created by a form that begins flat and ends up being a volume.  A drawing that is impossible to create in reality.  An interweaving of lines that look like they are moving if we move. 


Some examples of optical illusions (named after their creator)  The

dihedral of Mach (or the “reversable open book”)  “towards us – away from us”

 Schroder's

reversible staircase

 the planes can be the upper or lower part of a full or empty volume


 Impossible

 Kinetic

figures

figures

 Produce

the sensation of movement


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Visual communication is a process through which messages are communicated by means of images. ďƒ‰ For this process to take place, you have to consider the context in which the image and its meaning are found. ďƒ‰ Next to that several basic elements act in this communication process: the sender, the receiver and the channel or medium.


Signified  The

real or symbolical meaning that you give to a visual message (e.g. the dolphin).

Signifier  Refers

to the visual content of the image or the form(e.g. representation of freedom, strength and life).

Visual code  Culturally

defined systems of relationships between signified and signifier.


Sender  The

person who wants to realize the communication

Message  The

information that the sender wants to transmit

Receiver A

person or group that receives and interprets the information of the sender


Medium or channel  The

channel of communication through which the message is transmitted  E.g.

 The

photos, the press, television, cinema, etc.

medium is the physical element that supports the communication e.g. newspapers support the press


Communication through images requires an own language, called ‘visual language,’ that is used so that messages can be interpreted suitably. We need a group of rules in order to build or combine those visual elements.


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Rules ďƒ‰ The

syntaxis of this sign consists of a simple visual and geometrical structure to perceive it fast.


Objective visual language:  wants

to transmit only 1 possible meaning  uses geometrical forms or figures that are very similar to the reality 

Visual language of advertisement 2

objectives: the message has to be understood quickly + the images have to attract the receiver

Artistic visual language  has

to produce different feelings and sensations


objective visual language ↑

↑ visual language of advertisement

← artistic visual language


Static images  Can

be flat or 3-dimensional

 Flat

static images: a painting, a photo, a comic, etc.  3-dimensional static images: a sculptural, a building, etc. 

Moving images  Cinema,

telivision, video, theatre, dance, videogames, etc.


3 groups of images: brands, signs and symbols  Brands A

sign of which its functions are afirmation, notice or differentiation

 Signs  An

instruction, an order or a prohibition  quickly transmits information therefore its form is simple and clear  Symbols  Represents

an idea, a memory or a feeling  Change according to the believes, tastes and habits from the culture


Images can be classified according to their purpose into: informative,  exhortative,  recreational,  aesthetic. 


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The images are a suitable means to inform in a clear and direct manner. The informative images are used to identify people or groups; indicate actions, directions or places; describe facts or situations; or communicate news.


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Identifying images express or symbolise the philosophy of a company or an individual. Their purpose is to be recognised and distinguished among the other ones. For example: logos, brands and the images of flags.


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Indicative images try to show things through signs or notices. For example: pictograms which show us directions to follow or specific places.


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Descriptive images define places or figures explaining their different parts or qualities, normally through a simplified design. For example: scientific pictures of natural forms, designs of buildings and objects, diagrams and maps.


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Notifying images are the images of the press which accompany the informative texts or leaflets advertising events.


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Exhortative images try to convince the recipient to do what the message is proposing. They are mainly used in advertising to maintain the interest of consumers in the products.


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The main objective of recreational images is to entertain. A few examples of these images are: comics, films, theatre plays, puppet shows, some newspaper images, etc.


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The purpose of aesthetic images is to awake the admiration and the ability to enjoy the beauty. These images are works of Art which, through their subject, express among other things feelings and transmit a particular idea of beauty.


A brand

A sign

A symbol


We are going to analyze this photo from two points of view. LOOK CAREFULLY AT THE IMAGE AND WE MUST ASK OURSELVES SEVERAL QUIESTIONS: 1. WHERE IS THE SCENE SITUATED? 2. HOW MANY PEOPLE APPEAR IN THE SCENE 3. WHAT ARE THEY DOING? 4. ARE THERE OTHER ELEMENTS?

THIS IS A FUNCTIONAL OBSERVATION


Now we need to ask ourselves The following quiestions:

1.WHAT COLOUR IS DOMINANT?

THIS IS A ANALYTICAL OBSERVATION


Perception and reading images