“In the hands of a designer who knows how to command composition on a purely visual level, and who can conceptually select and manipulate content, an image is by far the most profound communication tool available.”

  1. Image “mode” is determined by the designer based on emotional qualities of the content, the number of messages to be differentiated, expectations of the audience, and production issues.
  2. How “mediated” an image is can be evaluated based on how realistic its physical interpretation is, or how complex vs. literal the messaging is.
  3. Semiology: The anthropological field of studying what signs symbolize.
  4. The medium carries meaning in terms of feeling (softness, hardness, fluidity, and stiffness) and concept.
  5. The directness of photography allows the viewer to digest the information more quickly, accepting it as “real” and processing mediated elements on a secondary level.
  6. Any time a letter or word takes on pictorial qualities, it becomes an image in itself and creates a “supersign” with new levels of complexity.
  7. Image styles need contrast as well as demonstrate some similarity in order to achieve a unified message.
  8. Semantic Content: Conceptual, verbal, and emotional messages that are not literally represented in the subject.
  9. The moment two images are juxtaposed, the viewer will try to establish a meaningful connection between the two. Every photograph influences the others around it.
  10. Some ways to establish visual metaphor are by (1) using an object to define the form of something else, (2) depicting one thing acting like another, or (3) combining seemingly unrelated images to create a new meaning.

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