The main purpose of design is the creation of the appropriate, aesthetic and visually appealing work that would draw the attention of the target audience. The design needs to include functionality, legibility and must be effective in the transition of the intended message. However, “the effectiveness of visual communications is not guaranteed in the visually-cluttered environment of the 21st century” (Technology & Business Journal, 2015, par. 2). Color and contrast are the basic elements that can ensure the efficiency of design and can make the message decoding easier.
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In the logo of the World Wildlife Fund, the black and white image of a panda bear is represented. The visual contrast in this logo is strong. In both physical and digital contexts, the contrast and the chosen colors ensure the high level of readability and minimize the level of the image perception subjectivity. According to the Gestalt psychology, some visual forms and methods of the organization make the image more recognizable and easy to comprehend, for example, circles and rounds are considered as “good” forms (McManus, Stover, & Kim, 2011). The design’s soft and roundish lines and the appropriate proximity of its elements contribute to the effective visual organization that in turn helps to reduce the possibility of misinterpretation of the design’s conceptual content.
WWF addresses the international community, the representatives of different social statuses, genders, ethnicities, and cultures. The perception of each person depends on the experience, the personal and cultural background to a large extent. However, WWF’s logo can be considered efficient in addressing the multiple populations because the message can be easily recognized. There are less than 2.000 panda bears left in the wild, WWF thus states the urge for preservation by picking panda as a symbol. Although not everyone may know the facts about the animals that are endangered and face the threats of extinction, the panda bear is the animal that has the appeal and is loved by many people worldwide. WWF’s logo, therefore, draws attention and effectively fulfills its purpose.
Advertisement Poster: Lanvin Chocolat (ca. 1950)
“Vision deals with the raw material of experience by creating a corresponding pattern of general forms, which apply not only to the individual case at hand but to an indeterminate number of other, similar cases as well” (Arnheim, 2004, p. 46). The visual design can be regarded as a method of communication and correspondence between a particular object of design and physical, cultural, and mental reality.
The current analysis is devoted to the evaluation of the visual content in the Lanvin Chocolat vintage poster by Harvé Morvan. Along with the textual message, the poster depicts three objects: the girl, the chocolate bar, and the wolf. The plot of the advertisement design is grounded on the allegory – one can find here a reference to the “Little Red Riding Hood” story.
According to the Gestalt theory, the human brain “is capable of organizing and structuring individual elements, shapes or forms into a coherent, organized whole” (Jackson, 2008, p. 66). The brain also tends to find the meaning in distinct parts of the artistic works. The composition of the elements in the design plays a crucial role in the uniting of the different elements into a whole and decoding of the meanings and messages implied in them. The parts of the design must be cohesive and connected by a “grouping tendency” (Pipes, 2003, p. 182). In the given poster, the distance between the objects can be regarded as a cohesive force. The color pallet is consistent and harmonic as well, and overall, the image has a dynamic quality, it has a movement that facilitates the cognition of the design’s semantic content.
The Lanvin Chocolat poster offers a unique perspective on the well-known tale that can be easily recognized by the people of different ages. The product is effectively integrated into the storyline, and the smart principles of the design’s composition provide the high possibility that the initial message will be interpreted as it was intended by the author.
Arnheim, R. (2004). Art and visual perception: A psychology of the creative eye. Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press.
Harvé Morvan. Lanvin Chocolat advertisement poster [Image]. (n.d.). Web.
Jackson, I. (2008). Gestalt – a learning theory for graphic design education. International Journal of Art & Design Education, 27(1), 63-69.
McManus, I., Stover, K., & Kim, D. (2011). Arnheim’s Gestalt theory of visual balance: Examining the compositional structure of art photographs and abstract images. I-Perception, 2(6), 615-647. Web.
Pipes, A. (2003) Foundations of Art and Design. London, UK: Laurence King.
Technology & Business Journal. (2015). Color Research; Study Findings from University of New South Wales Provide New Insights into Color Research (Colour, Contrast and Gestalt Theories of Perception: The Impact in Contemporary Visual Communications Design). NewsRX. Web.
WWF logo [Image]. (n.d.). Web.