Gettin’ down to business

Hey guys,
1.  So O’Gorman kept making comments that we needed to make sure we included everything on the poster, or justify its omission.  With that in mind, I think that keeping the title of the company is important.
2.  As for colour coding, I agree that the pins looked a bit odd, but I think that colour coding the titles on the Polaroids has potential.  Note:  In the attached photo, I didn’t change the pin colour (laziness?)
3.  The corkboard texture used should be fine, it was just slightly smaller than the document size.  Keep in mind that the poster is only 11″x17″… zoomed-in views in PS will look low-res, but in actual size it will look fine (we could do a test page anyways).  Note that the ‘actual size’ option in Photoshop zoom function calculates it at 72px/in, meaning our 300px/in image will show up over 4x zoomed after hitting ‘actual size.’  Sounds confusing, but this link explains it:  http://www.keptlight.com/2011/03/photoshop-view-print-size/
4.  I modified the border, but it does look a bit cluttered… maybe a lighter colour will help fool the eye?  I tried moving some stuff around too.

Quick Update

I haven’t uploaded this to drive because I don’t know if it’s what people had in mind. CS100 was driving me insane so I switched over to this as a creative outlet. So all that’s been updated is the text on the poloroid. I tried to get a sharpie-looking font. Meaning Operation and Visual Structure colours match from the headings to the poloroids.

Is the font to your liking? Does including the company, ie: “Hawaiian Tropic” put too much text on the poster?

By the way, I think the font looks a little bit more sloppy from a distance. But the actual pixels, screen print (second image) shows that the font is quite basic.

EDIT: REMOVED PIN COLOUR CODING BECAUSE FONT COLOUR RENDERED IT REDUNDANT.

screeny4 screeny3

Evil Thoughts About Poster Text

Now that we’ve eased into our role as the evil group; I have an extremely evil idea that I think is a fair proposition we can take up with Prof. O’Gorman. I hope we also get bonus points for engaging in rhizomatic thinking heh heh.

To my understanding we are technically allowed to omit details in our poster if we are capable of explaining why in our papers. What I’m going to try do here is to present a line of reasoning that I think will be more than sufficient to justify why we are entitled to omit as much text as possible from the poster based on two points. Firstly, the purpose of the poster is predicated upon the goal of creating the most effective way of conveying meaning; I will argue that the inclusion of headings is entirely redundant. Secondly, Phillips and McQuarrie have misrepresented the nature of semiotics by imposing a 9-grid square utilizing only 9 categories as a basis for meaning between visual elements. The categories themselves are insufficient. I understand that this is a visual rhetoric course, but I’m making the assertion that the premise behind the square is wrong if semiotics is taken into account – in this instance, semiotics has to be taken into account because Phillips and McQuarrie are trying to present the processes behind visual meaning.

Anyways, my first point is the one I want to emphasize because it’s the most relevant to the outcome of the poster. Let’s begin: The goal of this poster is the production of a visually informative combination of image and text that conveys Phillips and McQuarrie’s 9 elements. We are being graded on how adequately we can package all this textual and visual information so that it is both aesthetically pleasing and cognitively simple to decode by a viewer. By making this poster, we are essentially asked to engage in a communicative process that involves two moments: the production and reception of meaning. If including text in the poster will not be conducive to the reception of meaning, we don’t need it.

So first, we need to understand the reception of meaning. Through the study of sign systems, we know that meaning is not objective. For example, a knife is cutlery in one context, a weapon in another and art in another still. The meaning of the knife is arbitrary. What we understand about anything is the result of how connotations are assigned to denotations. To borrow a quote from Stuart Hall, television violence isn’t violence, but messages about violence. How can any two people come to similar conclusions about meaning in varying contexts? Through convention. In a superhero movie, there is morally good and morally bad violence. In a gore movie, violence is the entertainment. There are certain cues and patterns we look for within these movies in order to draw these conclusions. Likewise, different types of media are subject to its own respective cues and patterns in meaning production and reception.

Moving onwards – If we are watching a movie that features a woman who is dating a neglectful and arrogant businessman, but by chance she meets a charming yet clumsy man, we know that the sweet guy will oust his arrogant rival despite his idiotic blunders. We understand who these characters are by using a variety of conventionalized cues. Background music, hairstyles, facial features and actors are some of the factors that are utilized in the process of meaning production. The producer and its audience use these conventions of understanding in order to form a symmetrical relationship so that the information that has been encoded will be decoded more or less the same on both ends. This is the same basis that allows us to understand things such as genre. I’m sure you knew my previous example was that of a romantic comedy even before I acknowledged it.

Now, instead of blurting out more theory, I just want to ask if we’ve reached a point in the course where the encoders and decoders have reached a point of symmetrical understanding. That is, if we were to bring a piece of paper that featured 9 advertisements structured into a grid, does every individual within the room have the capacity to understand not only what it is, but what each square means? I think the answer is yes, because the class has already conventionalized the meanings conveyed by the poster. In effect, whether the headings are present or not cannot affect the efficiency of meaning reception. We can still include titles such as “Juxtaposition-Similarity” but all additional text does not aid the poster in conveying meaning. If what I’ve said is valid, then all we need to focus on is producing aesthetics.

Breaking News

Greetings fellow evil-doers.
I thought this blog post could explain what I’ve done to the poster today, as well as pose some questions.

First: the sticky note. I’m not sure what the text should read, so I put our group name and the assignment name from the syllabus. The only other thing I could think of was including “quinnlenamatttim.wordpress.com” in even smaller type below, but I thought it might just contribute to “clutter” (Alex White bonus points?). I also added a meme face that is looking to the right to add to the way-finding effect. The meme face and the font on the sticky note were both free downloads from dafont.com. It’s a great site to find free fonts, and the “handwritten” category was particularly helpful for our realistic poster. The font for all of the text on the poster is called “Mari David” and comes in regular, bold, and extra bold. If the drop shadow is not executed very well on the sticky note it’s because I never really know what I’m doing with drop shadow, so feel free to make it look better.

Second: the pins. Whoever added the very first pin to the .psd deserves the credit here. I just duplicated the original for the other 8 polaroids. Each visual structure (juxtaposition, fusion, and replacement) correspond to a different pin colour. I simply focused on colour-coding the pins; I did not worry about what colours I was choosing. If someone had a better colour scheme in mind, it’s an easy fix. Another thing we can consider is whether or not we want the pins to be in the top-left corner of each polaroid, and piercing at the same angle. It makes the design have more unity with all the pins being consistent, but this makes the poster lose some realism.

Third: paper headings and other pins. The other headings are just downloaded ripped paper stock photos. Again, the drop shadow may be shoddy. The font on the headings is from the same family as the sticky note, it just happens to be the regular version (the sticky note features the bold). I chose dark blue to make it look somewhat like a pen, or a blue sharpie. Also, as discussed in class, I included a different type of pin for these headings so that our design choices show intent and classification.

Forth: the axis. I figured out a way to fit the “Complexity” and “Richness” axis on the poster even though the “Visual Structure” heading overlaps the border. I placed them in the bottom right corner rather than the top left, which seems to work. I don’t know that it’s a problem that the arrows point at the words. (Look at the original matrix on pg 116 of the original article to see what I mean.) For the labels here, and the arrows themselves, I read a tutorial to make a chalk-like brush. It was fun!

So, some questions:

  1. Can whoever made the original border, make it thicker? Maybe another 50%? The “Complexity” and “Richness” labels are too squished. I didn’t want to mess up the border.
  2. Should we keep the pin arrangement as is? Or make them more sporadic?
  3. Should we keep the pin colour-scheme as is?
  4. Should anything be removed from the sticky note? Or should anything be added?
  5. What do you guys think of the font choice? I know we have to keep a logical pattern with our text. So far, the same font is used everywhere (albeit one is the bold version). I think it looks good right now, but should we use a different font for the poloroids?

Screenshot below, .psd on Drive.

screeny2

Cheers.

Filling in the blanks

Here is my best guess at filling in the blanks.  Unfortunately, they are hard as hell to fix.  Here goes…

ALSO.  It appears I found all of these on Ads of the World.com.  To be honest, I found them all over, it just kept pointing me back to this site.  Cool eh?

Let me know what you think.  My only concern is that the replacement-opposition ones rely too heavily on ‘the abstract’ — not representing a product, but rather what the opposite of that product represents. 

Fusion-opposition

http://adsoftheworld.com/media/print/department_of_state_health_services_share_air_guests_0 (without text)

–          The negative connotations from the cigarettes make the food look gross; without that implication, the food looks great

–          The gross products together become a burger (fusion)

–          The burger is made of smokes and stuff (opposition)

  • You wouldn’t eat cigarettes, why inhale them

Replacement-opposition

http://adsoftheworld.com/media/print/hyper_batteries_green (without text)

–          The energy of the device is replaced by the guy sucking air

–          The product is missing (replacement)

–          The replacement shows the opposite of the product’s potential (opposition)

Replacement-opposition

http://adsoftheworld.com/media/print/vermont_department_of_health_smoke_baby (without text)

–          The clean air is replaced by dirty smoke (replaced)

–          The smoke is obviously not good for you, clean air is promoted (opposition)

Replacement-opposition

http://adsoftheworld.com/files/images/MADD2.jpg (without text)

–          The sign to turn left is replaced by the right to turn right (replacement)

–          The sign is pointing in the opposite direction of where to go (opposition)

 

 

Quick post before class

I have this written down but our matrix is looking close to complete again. We can compile this quickly before class and show Prof. O’Gorman again to see if our ads check out. What I’ve posted below is up for discussion, they are just what I think are our best examples.

  1. Juxtaposition-Connection: Edding correction pen World Cup or Miss Teen USA ad.
  2. Juxtaposition-Similarity: MagLite monk/halo ad.
  3. Juxtaposition-Opposition: Hawaiian Tropic two-page tan ad.
  4. Fusion-Connection: Disneyland Paris Santa ad.
  5. Fusion-Similarity: Shoppyland toucan ad campaign, example shown is the jester one.
  6. Fusion-Opposition: N/A
  7. Replacement-Connection: Alberta Tree Movers floating squirrel ad. OR Bosch drill ad. (Both attached to this post)
  8. Replacement-Similarity: Harribo orange ad.
  9. Replacement-Oppositon: N/A

wax_albertatreemovers_squirrel

printadm

 

The Root of All Evil (Another Ad Post)

Although I’ve found a handful of evil ads since last Thursday, I’m posting the ones that are simple in terms of semiotics (relatively low Sign manipulation) and therefore rhetorically simple. We can discuss if we should replace some of the previous ones after looking at these. EDIT: I just read over the recent posts and I realize some of these overlap
joy_of_pepsi_straws^ Juxtaposition  – Opposition; the Pepsi can and “non Coke” can are juxtaposed but Pepsi is the only drink of the two that does not repel the straw.

0318-o
^ Replacement – Connection; The Post-It note is an extension of memory. It can be assumed that the guy will forget her name unless the Post-It is there to conveniently remind him.

500301242383250

^ Fusion – Similarity – This gum is cold as ice

maglitebuddha

^ Juxtaposition – Similarity; the MagLite is similar to the glory of a spiritual halo

printado

^ Replacement – Connection or Similarity? This ad is slightly evil. The Hulk is wearing a band-aid, suggesting the product is good enough for superhuman injuries but it can also be said that the user feels like Hulk upon wearing the band-aid.

Here are also three more, which I think are duplicates of some of the categories I just presented –

Picture-5Document 5Picture-4

Let’s Try This Again

Here are a couple of new suggestions to replace our rejected ones.

This first one is for Shoppyland, a German mall, and it’s an example of Fusion-Similarity – so this is only useful if Quinn’s Disneyland advertisement is connection after all, and I believe it is.

ImageProfessor O’Gorman kept stressing that fusion works best when the logo is involved, and that’s what’s going on here. They basically took their logo and turned into a series of advertisements comparing their mall to different things. In this case, it’s a carnival, but there’s also one for summer in the shape of a popsicle and an Easter one made out of chocolate.

This, or the very first toothbrush-lightsaber ad would work for the category.

I’ll update this post over the weekend with some more ads.

Moving Forward.

I should start off by saying that that I was very tempted to change the background image to Dr. Evil.

I’ve been extra critical in my new search of ads. As a result, I’ve only found two I am completely comfortable with in a considerable amount of time.

1. Disneyland Paris Ad. Fusion-Connection. I didn’t get this ad until I read the comments where it was posted. At first, I was thinking that the glasses were representative of a famous French person (but then I put my finger on who the glasses reminded me of… Ghandi… who wasn’t French). The glasses are key to understanding the fusion of this ad nonetheless. The combination of the glasses and the nose form the iconic shape of Mickey Mouse’s head. Professor O’Gorman was looking for ads that had fusion with the product logo, and I think the logo is fused onto Santa’s face here. I’ll be honest, I’m not sure what the connection to Santa is though? Depending on our explanation, I suppose it could also be Similarity. It’d be nice to know the official explanation there.

fusion-connection

2&3. Edding Correxion Pen. Juxtaposition-Connection. Below, I have posted two different print ads from the same campaign and for the same product. The idea is that the white-out-thinger can fix mistakes, and can rewrite history. The juxtaposition comes in with the image on the left, and the right, while the product is placed in the middle to show the chronology, connecting the images on either side. The first ad displays the infamous headbutt of French soccer star Zinedine Zidane (white) on the Italian Marco Materazzi (blue). France went on to lose the game, and Italy won the tournament. The pen corrects this “mistake” and the image on the right shows Zidane celebrating with the World Cup trophy as if France had won the tournament. The second ad works the same way, but instead features the hilarious Miss Teen USA South Carolina incident in 2007. I’m sure you’ve all seen or heard of it. The pen can fix her answers and ensure that she wins the tiara! juxtaposition-connection2 juxtaposition-connection

A Last Minute Change

Alright then, so going over the ads for the presentation, I noticed that the ad I posted for fusion-opposition falls more readily into the replacement category. Here’s a different one:

ImageStill creepy, I know. Fusion-opposition was surprisingly hard to find, since advertisers don’t often like to associate their products so closely with negative aspects.

This ad is for the Beijing Women and Children’s Development foundation, so their service is the safety and health of the child, which is manifested through food in this case. However, the fusion of dangerous or just plain nasty things with the apparently safe food also provides opposition.