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OHIO / Communications / VICO 1000 / Why study visual communication?

Why study visual communication?

Why study visual communication?


VICO 1000

Why study visual communication?

Tuesday August 29

Chapter 1: Introduction

- Why study visual communication  

• Our brain processes visual and textual stimuli in separate areas • Image processing is faster than textual

• Image processing elicits faster emotional response  

• Images can influence how we process other (textual and auditory) information  • Most of our knowledge of the world around us is used in visual communication  

• 60% of our brain deals with visual information in some way (includes combining  with other senses such as touch)  

• 20% of our brain deals with visual communication  

- Visual Animals  

What is visual language?

• We are social animals  

• We have a universal need to communicate with others  

• Part of that need is to have others see what we see, to see what they saw, and to  see and be seen  

- Visual Language  

• Has structure similar written language  

• Some of our perception of that structure is built into the physiology of the visual  system- hard wired  

• Some of our percentage is learn from culture  

• We get information from the visual structure of a message independent of the  content  

- Elements of visual language  

• Color, Movement, Faces  If you want to learn more check out kimberly evenson


What are elements of visual language?

Chapter 2: Light

- 3 types of visual perception  

• Mental: what we imagine We also discuss several other topics like dksam

• Direct: what we see

• Mediated: what we are shown this indirect imagery, created for an audience by  someone, is what visual communicators use  

- Aldous Huxley  

• Both direct and mediated perceptions follow this pattern  

• Learn- know- sense- select- perceive- remember- learn -…

• The more you know the more you see  

- Light  

• Light is essential for vision and elicits emotional response  

• Light facilities perception of color and effects out reaction to visual messages  • You can't make visual sense without it  

- History of light  

• Pythagoras thought light was particles

• Aristotle thought is was a wave

• Alhazeen writes about his observation of light, shadows, and reflection around  1,000AD If you want to learn more check out thyamin

• Galileo determined that light travels fast, faster than sound  

• Max Planck figures light acts as both particles and waves, noble prize winner 1918 - Light  

• We can't see without it  

• There are two basic ways to measure light

- Wavelength  

- Temperature  


• White light is only a small part of the electromagnetic spectrum that extends well  beyond what we see

• That spectrum includes, radio waves, microwaves, infrared, ultra violet, X-rays,  gamma rays

- Sir William Herschel

• Each color in the visible spectrum of light has a different measurable temperature  

• Temperature changes occur beyond the visible spectrum so there must be similar  energy that exists beyond what we see  

- Measuring light by temperate  

• Longer wavelength 1,000k <———————-> shorter wave length 60,000k • PIC

- Light  

• The direction, intensity, and color of light create shadows that imply texture, depth,  and distance, all things our brain is hard wired to detect  

- Why does it matter  

• For photographers the temperature of the light effects the color cast of the image  We also discuss several other topics like struthin

• Recording images beyond visible light is important to scientist and can provide  information we can't see

• For designers the effect if light can direct attention, imply depth, and effect the  emotional response  

• For audiences, light provides information, creates color, and elicits an emotional  response  

- What does it look like  

• Variation in color implies light, texture, and depth  

• Contrasting color draws attention to difference  If you want to learn more check out class 9 biology notes

• Intensity of colors elicits emotion  

- Conclusion  

• Visual communicators construct mediated messages  


• The more you know the more you see  

• Light is part of the electromagnetic spectrum  

• Light and colors, have measurable temperature and a relationship between color  and wavelength  We also discuss several other topics like gatech math 2552

• Humans have an emotional response to color and light  


Chapter 3: Colors  

- How we see color  

• When white light hits an object, the object absorbs most of the color spectrum.  The portion of the spectrum that is reflected is seen as the color of the object  

• We have special cells In our eyes that are detected to sensing color  - Perception  

• Color constancy  

- One of the unique qualities of our brain is our ability to adjust our perception to  correct for varied light source  

- Most camera are not able to balance a variety of light source colors  - How to describe colors  

• Subjective  

- Emotional response  

- (Warm, cool, exciting, calming)

• Comparative  

- This is like that

- (Sky blue, candy apple red)

• Objective

- Most accurate  

- (Temperature, LHS, CMYK percentages)  

- The colors wheel

• Relationships  

• Primary, secondary, tertiary  

• Harmony  

• Analogous or complementary  

- Analogous  


• Using three colors adjacent to each other on the color wheel creates aesthetic  harmony

- Color harmony  

• Using two colors from opposite of the color wheel creates contrast that attire its  attention and signs difference  

- How to describe it  

• One objective method to describe the color of light is to describe by temperate  • Often used in photography lighting  

• Another objective method is LHS

• Another objective method is to describe color in printing is by percentages if the  cyan, yellow, magenta, and black ink that comprise it  

- How we reproduce it  

• We create color in one of three ways  

- Mix pigments (primary color)

- With light  

- With ink  

• Additive color  

- Red, green, blue  


- Projected color  

• Subtractive color

- Cyan, magenta, yellow, black  


- Printed color  

• Typical 4-color offset printing process  

- Each color is printed as a series of small dots (halftone)  

- Why does it matter  


• Color provides information  

• Color creates emotional response  

• Color attracts and directs attention  

- You'll see when we get to physiology

• Color carries culture-specific information

- More about culture in the next section of lessons  

- What does it look like  

• Color creares emotional responce  

• Use of analogous colors to communicate unity with some elements  • Contrasting color used to direct attention and convey difference  


Chapter 4: Eyes

- Eyes

• The eye is the first component in the visual perception process • The physiology dictates what we notice, and influences what we perceive  • Sight and perception are two separate functions  

• The eye funnels and focuses light of a small patch of special cells that convert  electromagnetic energy into electrochemical signals

- Eyes: outside in  

• The cornea starts the bending and focusing process  

• The inner lignin absorbs light  

• Light is inverted and focused on the retina  

• The fovea is an important part of the retina  

• Where the optic nerve exits there is a blind spot  

• The retina is comprised of two basic kind of cells: rods and cones  - Rods: see contrast, motion, peripheral, more of them, output bundled  - Cones: see color, fine detail, concentrated in fovea, each a direct neural  connection  

- Rods and Cones  

• We notice lines, contrast, and motion because of rods  

• Color attracts attention because of the cones

• Because the fovea only set a small portion of our field of vision, we have to keep  moving it around to get the details (saccades and fixations)  

- Conclusion  

• The physiology of the eyes dictated what we notice and influences what we see • Sight and perception are two separate functions  


Chapter 5: The Brain  

- Overview  

• The Brian is multi-system organ composed of test-specific areas

• Visual processing involves several systems that work both independently and in  concert  

• Visual processing is a two-day event with the brain filling in information as stimuli  come in from the eyes  

- Optic Nerve  

• The optic nerve has more direct neural connectors from cones than rods

• The two nerve bundles cross, and mix, at the optic chiasma creating visual  information redundancy  

• Visual stimuli travel at about 7 miles per hour  

- Thalamus  

• The thalamus is apart of the Limbic System  

• First phase of weeding out information  

• Must process and direct auditory information as well

• Where multitasking breaks down  

- Visual Cortex  

• The visual cortex (occipital lobe) deconstructs the stimuli

• Process where, what, color, texture, shapes, and faces  

• Passes some stimuli to Hippocampus for processing into memory  

• The sub-system of the occipital lobe processes information more efficiently than if  a single processor had to figure out everything  

- Conclusion  

• The brain uses multiple systems to more efficiently process the overwhelming  amount of information that the eyes provide  

• We use the thalamus and visual cortex to weed out stimuli that are not important  and ignore them (most of what we see)


• The visual system seeks areas we perceive as having potential for information  • We begin to match (identify) what we see with what we have seen before (Huxley)


Chapter 6: The Brain

- Overview  

• Once visual stimuli get occipital lobe, they are deconstructed and processed in  different subsystems of the brain  

• Perception is based on external stimulus and internal processing (remember the  three kinds of visual perception)  

• Because our visual system is two-way, out internal processing can speed our  perception, or lead it astray  

- What the brain sees  

• The basic “things” that the brain perceives

- Color

- Form

- Depth

- Movement

- Faces  

• Kevin Chapel and Lincoln Homes in the movie Brain Story, demonstrate how  different types of visual stimuli and processed in different parts of the brain  

• We are biologically hardwired to pay attention to lines (rods) and colors (cones) • The brain has subsystems that process just this information  

• We service depth based on light, texture, interposition, color, and time  

• Communicators use the brains tools to convey information in a 2-dimensional  format by directing you where to look  

• Perspectives  

- Conceptual (social)

- Geometric (primitive)  

- Illusionary (linear)


Chapter 7: Visual Theories: Sensual  

• In this course we deal with only four basic theories that try to explain human  perception  

- They are called sensual theories because they deal with the sensory process  - Others called perceptual theories because they deal with processing perception  • Sensual Theories  

- Gestalt

• Max Wertheimer first paper in 1912  

• We perceive patterns in our environment and assume they indicate meaning  and relationships  

• Principles: Proximity, continuation, similarity, common fate  

- Figure-ground dilemma: Vase or face  

- Necker box

- Gestalt Principles  

• A group of “rules” that explain the relationships and meanings we derive from  patterns we perceive in our environment. They allow us to predict behavior as  it relates to perception  

• Proximity  

- One of the strongest and most used principles  

- Placement  

• Common fate

- We see a relationship between things that have similar attributes  • Continuation  

- Sometimes called closure, we perceive a line or simple geometric shape - We fined this used in typography where letters are arranged along a line  • Similarity  

- We perceive simple shapes and relationships between those shapes  12

• Applied

- Here is how those principles can be applied to convey information  independent of the content  

- Gestalt principles are tools we build into a structure  

• Problem  

- While the gestalt theory does allow prediction if behavior, it does not explain  how we perceive or why

- Constructivism  

• Constructivism says that we build the image inside our heads  

• Alfred Yarbus

- Russian psychologist who studied eye movement in the late 1900’s - He proposed that we did not scan our surrounding in linear patterns, rather  we sought areas of information through saccades and fixations.  

- Free view  

- Faces

• Yarbus found similarity in how we view faces (remember that part of the  visual cortex is dedicated to recognizing faces)


Chapter 8: Visual Theories: Perceptual  

- Semiotics and Cognitive

• Both attempt to explain how the brain processes and make meaning of stimuli. - Semiotics Theory

- All things that aren’t the thing, are signs

- Signs refer to the referent

- The meaning of the sign is in the observer

- To understand this sign you must understand the symbol of this particular  combination of letters arranged in this order, in proximity, presented as this  color, within this geometric shape, of this color.  

- Together they indicate (sign) a meaning that you understand within the context  of the message.

• We are interested in three types of signs

- Icons

• Looks like the thing it represents, therefor it doesn’t have to be learned  - Indexicons

• Represents something else, makes specific references  

- Symbols

• Have to be learned  

- For the most part, visual communicators are more interested in icons and  symbols.

- We create messages using these two signs to communicate.

• Chain of Associations

- Roland Barthes  

- Codes are made up of grouped symbols 

- We see collections of signs:

• Metonymic — associations


• Analogical — comparison     

• Displaced — transfer meaning (sex)

• Condensed — new composite           

• Shortcomings of Semiotics

- While Semiotics explains our understanding and attachment of meaning to  visual stimuli, it does not allow us to predict visual behavior          - Cognitive Theory

- We are attracted to notice some things and not others based on individual  experience, likes, and desires.

- This is the only theory that has us active in the process

• Carol Bloomer identified nine factors that can influence perception: - Memory

- Projection

- Expectation

- Selectivity

- Habituation

- Salience

- Dissonance

- Culture

- Words

• Salience is the number one predictor of what will attract attention. - Stan’s Necessary Communication Components Theory  

- It posits that there are fundamental elements necessary to know to create any  effective communication.

• Three key elements necessary to construct effective communication. - Content or information (the stuff to communicate)

- Delivery stream or vehicle (the way they get it)


- Audience (who gets it)

• For communication it is important to understand that it isn’t a silver bullet — a one  shot and done —there are multiple factors that effect communication. Salience,  repeated exposure (rehearsal), and perceived personal value (including aesthetics)  give a message teeth.

- Conclusion

• The two Perceptual Theories include Semiotics and Cognitive

• Semiotics is the study of signs. We are most interested in icons and symbols  (understand the difference)

• Roland Barthes looked at how we read collections of signs

• Cognitive Theory has us active

• Carol Bloomer identified 9 factors that influence perception

• Stan’s theory of necessary visual communication components: content, vehicle,  audience


Chapter 9: Visual Structure  

- Visual Communicators use the knowledge of how our perception, both hard wired  physiology and the psychology of perception to attract and direct audience  attention.

- Stan’s Necessary Communication Components Theory

• Content: base information about Leonardo da Vinci such as when he was born  and why he is famous, some information about him as an artist and scientist

• Vehicle: a single presentation consisting of two 8x9 inch facing page that could be  printed in a magazine or shown as a static 16x9 electronic page

• Audience: A general audience of young adults

- We look at examples to determine how the designer planned:

• How do you know where to start on each page and what to look at next?  • How do they use contrast and color do direct attention?

• How did the designer use simple shapes, color, and lines to guide you through this  informational graphic?

• How do they help our brain process the extensive information?

• How do you know what things go together and which things don’t? - Beyond the biological hard wiring that controls and directs all human vision, culture  teaches us meaning and values that create differences in audience perception. Visual  communicators must understand both.

- Conclusion

• Visual Communicators use the knowledge of how human perception is hard wired  to attract and direct audience attention.

• Beyond the biological hard wiring that controls and directs all human vision,  culture teaches us meaning and values that create differences in perception. 

• Visual communicators must understand how to use both.


Chapter 10: Aesthetics and U.S. Cultures

- By the end of this unit you should understand and be able to recognizes some of the  aesthetic values in the United States and some of the ways they influence visual  communication.

- Aesthetics  

• Is a branch of philosophy dealing with such notions as the beautiful, the ugly, the  sublime, the comic, etc., as applicable to the fine arts, with a view to establishing  the meaning and validity of critical judgments concerning works of art, and the  principles underlying or justifying such judgments.  

It is the study of the mind and emotions in relation to the sense of beauty.  (dictionary definition)

• Is about what is considered pretty, and what is not  

- Chair exercise  

• If some individuals like, and others dislike the chair for the same reasons, what  does that tell us?

• The point is that the qualities of attractiveness are not inherent in the object, but  are rooted in each observer’s value system.  

- Aesthetic Values  

• Aesthetic values differ between cultures, yet can also differ within a culture and  create sub-cultures  

• Even within a culture aesthetic values change over time.

• The aesthetic values within a culture reflect changes in politics, technology, and  economics.

• How did fashion reflect the political climate of the time?

- Much as Cognitive Theory explains that our individual experiences, wants, needs,  and desires can influence what we perceive, in aesthetics what we find attractive is  dictated on an individual level based on the cultural values we embrace.

- Most people list such things as light colored hair (look at magazine covers in the  grocery store), physically fit, tan, slender, symmetrical features, small nose, and an  “innie” belly button as attractive attribute. Revealing clothing is considered an  enhancement to beauty.


- Understanding cultural values means that a visual communicator can better predict  audience reaction. Aesthetics becomes another tool to attract an audience to a  message.

- Conclusion  

• Qualities of attractiveness (and unattractiveness) are not inherent in the object, but  are rooted in an individual’s value system.

• Aesthetic values differ between cultures, but also within sub-cultures of a culture. • Aesthetic values change over time.

• Aesthetic values are learned.


Chapter 11: Aesthetics and Other Cultures  

- Aesthetics

• I about what is considered pretty, and what is not  

- Culture

• Part of any culture includes a shared group of values  

• They are a set of guidelines for behavior and for evaluating what is good and bad • The values conveyed (taught) to and adopted by a culture include aesthetics - There are some basic things that are common to all cultures as an expression of their  values

• Creation of art, music, food, and fashion

• Communication that appeals to a culture must reflect those values - Beyond culture, there are at least three factors that can influence aesthetics • Politics

• Technology

• Economics

- Politics

• The power structures that establish and enforce behavioral rules (includes religion). - Technology

• Influences what we value and what we emulate.

- Economics  

• What we value, available resources, and how we trade for goods and services  influences aesthetics  

- One example is the aesthetics of our constructed environment

• People will pay more for products if they feel the setting is more attractive  - All western art since the Renaissance is rooted in illusionary perspective, or is in  response to it


- Other cultures did not adopt Linear Perspective, but found other ways to  communicate depth (interposition and size are two methods). 

• While all cultures are driven by the same influences, they often express aesthetic  values differently. 

• Fashion is an easy way to see expression of cultural values and economics. - We accept slight deviations from the norms of our own culture more readily than we  accept the norms of some other cultures.

- Sometimes a culture will mimic the values of another group

• For example, Japanese aesthetics influenced Art Nouveau in the 1800’s. More  currently, Chinese aesthetics have influenced car design.

- The L’Oreal eyelash mascara line plays off of the Western adoption of Japanese  Manga and Anime aesthetic.

- While attraction to color is hard wired, the meaning of a color is learned within a  culture. 

• One example of culturally transmitted aesthetics is the color used to demonstrate  mourning within a culture is not the same across cultures.

• And because symbols are learned, the same symbol can have different meanings  in different cultures

- Conclusion:

• Aesthetics are the expression of a culture’s values.

• Aesthetics are also influenced by politics, economics, and technology.  • Western aesthetics are connected to Illusionary perspective.

• The meaning of color is learned from culture.

• The same symbol can have different meanings in different cultures 21

Chapter 12: The Renaissance

- Before the Renaissance

• Art from various cultures all depicted depth in Primitive or Social Perspective.

• Depth is communicated through interposition, size, or vertical placement on the  canvas.

- The Renaissance

• A period in Italian history starting in the 1400’s and running until the 1700’s where  there was a rebirth of interest in the science and art of the Classic period.

• Most of the visual presentations in western culture are a reaction to Linear  Perspective.

- The effect

• Western culture becomes obsessed with the visual illusion of depth and reality. • It is ingrained in much of how we represent the world around us.

• To help improve the accuracy of Linear Perspective and make reproducing scenes  easier, people invented all sorts of devices including the Camera Obscura and later  the smaller lighter Camera Lucida.   

• Summary

- Renaissance produces a radical change in visual representation in Western  culture.

- Linear perspective.

- Brunelleschi, Raphael, da Vinci.

- Illusionary perspective.

- It takes a lot of skill, time, and patience to create images that look as though  they have real depth.


Chapter 13: Neoclassical, Impressionism and Beyond  

Chapter 14: Grind and Non-Grind

- The Renaissance

• The Renaissance saw the development of linear perspective and art that created  the illusion of reality. Most of the work was commissioned by or for the Church and  featured religious themes.

- Neoclassical

• Skip ahead a few hundred years and the invention of the printing press wrestled  power from the Church.  

Western art has refined Illusionary Perspective, is balanced, and is called  Neoclassical—new classical.

• It is similar in detail and realism, only the subjects have changed.

• The subject matter is often nobility or depictions of historical events — even  though the artist was usually not at the event.

• Linear or Illusionary Perspective is pushed to hide brush strokes to add to the  realism.

• Paul Delarouche is one of the leading painters.

- Introduction of photography

• Then, in 1839, France announces and gives to the world the art process of  Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre to record scenes accurately without having to  draw them by hand—photography.  

• The art world is never the same.

- Impressionism

• Monet, Renoir, and Pissarro sit by the river and paint the impression of what they  see.

• Their brush strokes are visible, and the paintings lack the detail of Neoclassical • Initially considered crude and unfinished

• Painting moved beyond recording what is seen to what is felt. The subjects are  everyday people, places, and things.


• Painting abandons the job of recording important people and events to  photography, and begins to express feelings.

- Expressionism

• Expressionism takes it a step further and became what the artist imagined rather  than just what they saw.

• Here the brush strokes become more exaggerated.

- Art Nouveau

• Influenced by Asian art (non-linear), non-grid based, organic.

• Early influence on graphic design, advertising, and publication illustration with the  advent of lithography.

• Harper’s Magazine was an early leader in visual presentations.

- Cubism

• Sought to present reality without Illusionary perspective.

• Picasso most noted

- Industrial Revolution

• The Industrial Revolution brought huge changes into the lives and landscapes. - World War I

• World War I started with horses and ended with tanks.

• It was the most widespread death and destruction the world had known. • Mechanization brought killing and chaos into the modern age.

- Dadaism

• In response to the horrors of WWI, the Dadaist respond with cynicism • The collage tears up and remakes with sarcasm

• Non-grid and orderless

- De Stijl

• Order, grid-based, abstract but rooted in simplicity and utility.

• Piet Mondrian most noted.


• Introduced the concept of modular based on the Golden Section. - Bauhaus

• German architecture and design school. Taught that “form follows function” • Elevated all art forms  

• Rise of sans serif fonts

- Art Deco

• Curvilinear lines, sophisticated, celebration of rich and powerful

- Pop Art

• Celebrate popular culture.

• Andy Warhol noted.

- Non-Grid

• After Linear Perspective, some art movements shunned structure.

• Art Nouveau, Dadaism, Cubism, Art Deco, and Pop Art are examples of these non grid based art.

- Grid based

• In reaction to the chaos of WWI, De Stijl and Bauhaus sought to bring order to art  and design.

• The concept of modular starts in De Stijl and is manifest in Bauhaus. • The Wassily chair

- Modular Design  

• Grouping elements in a design and using a standard grid pattern to align elements  became a hallmark of De Stijl where the term “Modular” originates, and in  Bauhaus.

• Their influence is still seen in publication design today that is modular. 25

Chapter 15: Building Blocks: Design  

- Today’s big question: What are design building blocks and how do I use them

• By the end of this unit you should be able to explain and demonstrate the CVI and  C.R.A.P. design principles and see how they are used as tools to build a message  into the visual structure of communication.

- There is information embedded in the visual structure of communication. - Design is organizing the content elements through structure that reinforces the  message of the content.

- Design principles are tools that have physiological and psychological foundations  used to create visual structural in communication messages

- The names of the design tools can vary between design textbooks or practitioners,  but the concept is the same. These are tools to build visual structure into a message  that an audience reads and understand just like the content.

- Contrast

• Attracts attention an signals differentiation (physiology).

- Repetition  

• Signals unity in content.

• Repeated internal spacing adds cohesion and signals unity.

- Alignment

• Signals order, relationships, and progression.

- Proximity

• Signals relationship and differentiates elements (lack of, or irregular). - CVI: Center of Visual Interest (or Impact).  

• The thing that an audience is directed to look at first.  

• (remember the physiology of the eye and the brain)

• It can be an image, graphic, or text.

- Human’s are hard wired to notice things that they perceive as closest to them first 26

• (remember all of the physiology of the eyes, brain, and color perception) - Remember that there is a physiological and/or psychological basis to what “feels  right” in design.

- Placing elements, especially text, too close to the edge of the page or a line makes  reading much harder. We need the space for our eyes to detect the contrast of the  letters and the continuation of the lines of text. We will discuss that more in  typography, but the point is that giving the audience some space around elements  helps them extract the content (rods detected edges).  

Sometime designers will call this “clean design” or giving elements “some air.”

- Centered design is the most stable and formal, but also is the most boring. Large  blocks of text that use centered alignment lose the alignment on the left edge that  helps us read. Therefore, centered type and alignment is most effective in small  batches where stability is part of the message. Otherwise, differentiated alignments  (within reason) creates some contrast and draws more attention.

- Summary

• Design builds visual structure that communicates to an audience independent of  the content.

• Design principles have different names in art or design textbooks, but the effect is  the same.

• There is a physiological and/or psychological basis for each principle and what  “feels right” in design.

• CVI and CRAP are ways to dictate the order and relationships that an audience  gets from the content.


Chapter 16: Building Blocks: Typography

- Humans are social animals who are driven to communicate.

- Starts of human written communication  

• Easiest human paintings (visual communication) about 40,000 years old  • Very wide spread, found around the world  

- Language  

• Language (including imagery) allows us to consolidate and pass on knowledge

• Written language is based on icons or symbols (the combination approach did not  last)

- Icons and symbols  

• Egyptians create written language based on icons and symbols • Chinese create a written language based on icons

- Sumerians:

• start of symbol-based language

• About 6,000 years ago

• Cuneiform

• Stylus

- Phoenicians:

• 22 symbols

- Greeks:

• Added vowels

• Add a “Y”

• 24 symbols

- Romans:

• 26 letters

• add baseline


• add “J” and “W”

- Anatomy:

- Serif, sans serif

- Stroke

- Counter

- Baseline

- Kerning

- Leading

- Points

- Ascenders

- Descenders

- x-height

• legibility

• readability

• The use of all capital letters in text makes it very hard to read. Many times such  treatment is meant to add emphasis to the words. Unfortunately, it only serves to  make the words harder to read. The exception is words that are very common.  Often the text to explain the legal component of a document or warranty  limitations and restriction are presented in all capital letters.

• A little reverse type can create contrast and draw attention.  

• But, if you over do it, if you use funky colors and lots of type reversed out of  another funky color, even a little, you reduce the audience’s ability to read. In fact,  the eye strain can drive readers away before they ever get to the message. So if it  is very important to get people to pay attention, use reverse type, and colored type  carefully.

- Prior to the printing press all books and writing done by hand (monks, scribes, the  Church)

- Chinese invent the first movable type


- JohannesGutenberg:

• Is credited with inventing the movable type printing press in 1450 (500 years after  Chinese)

• Movable type and the press allowed faster and more consistent reproduction of  messages

• The first book printed on the Gutenberg Press was the Bible

• Leaves (pages) were hand decorated afterwards

• Start of a major communication shift driven by technology, and politics - Summary:

• Humans are social animals with a need to communicate experiences. Language  (including visual) is a means to consolidate and preserve knowledge.

• Written languages are either based in icons or symbols

• The Sumerians, Phoenicians, Greeks, and Romans each contributed to the English  alphabet

• Typography has anatomy, and can effect readability of a message. • We read the top half of words and recognize most words by shape • The printing press technology changed communication


Chapter 17: Building Blocks: Photo Constructs

- Leading factors  

• Content is the leading factor in audience attraction, attention, and recall of images.

• Light, moment, emotion, and aesthetically pleasing compositional techniques are  additional attractors that help audiences perceive the 2 dimensional representation  as reality.

- Photo Constructs  

• Compositional techniques - tools to construct images that drive viewers to the  subject and the information of a communication photograph.

• There are a number of photo constructs — ways of aesthetically leading the  audience to understand the message.

• The reading lists most of them but here are a few:

- Shallow depth of field

• Uses the physics of the lens to render elements in front and behind the subject out  of focus.

• Film plane (or sensor) where image is recorded

• Area of apparent focus (variable) parallel to the film plane.

- Dominant foreground and a contributing background

• The subject with both foreground and background context with editorial relevance,  complexity increases recall

- Introduction of color into a monochromatic scene

• The color draws attention to the subject and has meaning

- Symmetry

• Reinforce content message — stable or equal

- Framing

• Establishes context or relationship

- Quality of light

• Elicits emotional response and conveys information


- Leading lines (linear perspective)

• Leading lines drive viewers to the subject

- Silhouette

• The subject is rendered dark against a lighter background

- Rule of Thirds

• Placing the subject at the thirds junctions

- Juxtaposition

• Alignment of elements that communicates a relationship

- The point is:

• Photo constructs are compositional techniques that direct viewers through the  information and drive them to understand the communication in a photograph.


Chapter 18: Building Blocks Motion  

- Just like Photo Constructs build meaningful structure into still images that  communicates information, there are construction tools for motion pictures that add  visual information independent of the content.

• sequencing of shots creates a narrative

• the pace of cuts (changes from one shot to another) signals a tempo

• to help the audience orient, the camera angle never crosses the imaginary center  line

• because the shots are not created in sequence, the editing is called non-linear

• The construction of shots conveys information just like in still photography and  design.

• Examples include camera angle that can convey either power or weakness

• The shot can signal context (sense of place), relationships, intimacy, or direct  attention to something else going on at the same time

• Motion is information

- Different Shots  

• Truck shot moves the camera parallel (or relatively) to the subject

• Dolly shot moves the camera closer or farther away without  

changing the focal length (not a zoom)

• Zoom is a change in the focal length (magnification in or out)  

It also changes the aesthetic (depth of field, perspective)

• Pan is the camera movement pivoting horizontally (how wide)

• Tilt is pivoting the camera up or down (how tall, or far up or down) - Audio

• Audio adds information

• Because it is initially processed through the Thalamus, it has strong emotional  response

• We do not process incongruent audio and visual information well 33

- Audio vs Visual

• the Thalamus acts as a gate, allowing stimulus from one source through for  processing while down sampling the other. We either listen and don’t see well, or  we see and don’t hear well.

• We don’t notice unless the visual stimulus and the auditory don’t match and we  miss something.

- Motion and Audio Explained

• An animated short that is supposed to be a humorous review of the effects of  motion and audio on perception

- Summary:

• Motion pictures (and video) are constructed with tools that add visual messages  independent of the content and should reinforce the message.

• Motion pictures are constructed of individual shots edited together to create a  narrative.

• Audio adds information and can reinforce, or confound the message. • We do not multitask auditory and visual information well.


Chapter 20: How we use it: in design  

- Graphic design

• combination of visual and textual

• bringing art sensibilities to communication

• illustrated text (Book of Knells)

• term emerges in 1900’s

• Art Nouveau influence

• De Stijl/Bauhaus influence 

- Book of Knells

• Irish illustrated text

• created between the 7th and 9th century

• handmade

- Innovations

• faster, cheaper

• lithography

• linotype

• cold type

• digital age (1984)

- Saul Bass

• movie posters

• title sequences

• logos

- Mario Garcia

• Eye-Trac® researcher, and international publication designer - Julie Elman  

• Book and newspaper designer


- Art’s influence

• non-grid based

- Art Nouveaux

- Art Deco

- Pop Art

• grid based

- Bauhaus

- DeStijl

- Modular

• DeStijl

• the underlying grid

• speeds design

• communicates 

- Summary

• Graphic design evolved with technology • Influenced by art movements

• Saul Bass major influence

• Mario Garcia influenced communication design 36

Chapter 21: How we use it: Photography invention  - Humans need to communicate  

• To show others what we have seen

- Camera Obscura

• First camera (giant eye)

• Alhazeen 1000 AD

- Camera Lucida  

• Second camera, Drawing aide

- William Fox Talbot

• From Leaves of Nature

• Pencil of nature  

• (More notes on him below)

- Joseph Niepce: Heliographs

• Single image

• First permanent photograph (1827)

• Niepce’s garden: first permanent photograph 1827 - Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daugerre

• Daugerreotype (1839)

• Single image

• French Academy of Science

- William Fox Talbot

• Calotype (1840)

• Negative process

• Multiple copies

- From a mechanical art tool to a tool for communication. - Roger Fenton


• Crimean War 1855 - Matthew Brady

• Wet Collodion process • Alexander Gardner • Shown in galleries

- George Eastman

• Roll film

• Kodak / Kodaking

• Easier, cheaper

- Lewis Hine

• Early 1900’s

• Social issues

• Child labor

- Jacob Riis

• Early 1900’s

• Social issues

• “Robbers’ Roost”


Chapter 22: How we use it: Photography Modern  - How has photography been used in communication - Farm Security Administration

• 1930’s

• “New Deal” public relations

• Roy Stryker

• 80,000 images

• Public domain

• Life, Look, and Survey Graphic magazines

- GordonParks 

• Essays

• Life magazine

- Dorothea Lange

• “Migrant Mother”

- Marion Post Walcott

- Walker Evans

- Arthur Rothstein

- Charles Moore

• Montgomery Alabama newspaper photographer • Civil Rights movement

• Life magazine (1960’s)

- Vietnam

• Journalism separates from nationalistic approach - EddieAdams

• 1960’s conflict

• Camera gear smaller and lighter, film better


• Unfettered access

- LarryBurrows

• Life magazine Vietnam Conflict coverage

- CarolynCole

• Los Angeles Times

- James Natchwey  

• Most noted modern conflict photographer

- Because of the power of the image to influence behavior, it is used in commercial  communication — to get people to want

- AnnieLeibovitz

• Rolling Stone magazine

• Fashion and celebrity portraiture

- StevenMeisel

• Vogue magazine

• Fashion


Chapter 23: How we use it: Motion Pictures  - Perception of motion  

• Perceptual processing  

• Frame rate  

• Illusion of motion  

• Directs and limits attention  

- Edward Muybridge  

• Leland Stanford  

• Use of photography as proof  

• Multiple cameras  

- Mutoscope  

• Popular entertainment  

• Single-viewer  

• Arcades and Nickelodeons  

- Thomas Edison  

• Kinetograph  

- 1891

- William Dickson  

- Devise that records on a singles strip of form  - Repeated imagery  

• Kinetroscope  

- Viewing devise  

- Individual experience  

- Lumiere  

• Cinematograph  

- Auguste and Louis Lumiere


- Portable  

- projected/cinema  

- Documentary  

- Motion images in communication  

• Newsreels  

• Television  

• Shared experience  

• Motion is information  

• We watch and react to motion images differently than stills  • Motion increases the illusionary perceptions  


Chapter 24: How we use it: Animation  - Motion  

• Attracts and directs attention  

• Adds to the perception of reality  


Chapter 25:

- Platform effect

• Eye movement differs by platform

• Difference in user expectation/behavior

- Web

• Since invention of the World Wide Web 1991 users expect visually driven  experience. 

• GUI: graphical user interface

• Eye-Track® research — navigation point of entry, read more • My research shows that users want more visual content.

• Motion and audio are attractors and problems.

• Meaningful content (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9-sEuFdvD8) • Logical navigation (http://thewhalehunt.org/) 

• Culture specific aesthetics.

• Logical organization of content.

• Color schemes that reinforce content organization.

• Audience “friendly” design.

• Visual feedback.

- Mobile:

• Different behavior than with print or web. 

• Move to responsive web

• CVI point of entry (tablet) 

• Readers search for salient content

• Prefer horizontal presentation/swiping

- Virtual and augmented 

• device dependent


• hyper-reality

• ethical issues 

- Summary:

• The delivery platform influences audience behavior • Eye-movement differs by platform

• Audience expectation of design with new platforms • Electronic delivery design considerations • Virtual and augmented (hyper) reality


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