Friday, 25 September 2009

Visual Communication

Everywhere we look there are symbols controlling how we respond to the environment around us. From warning signs to recycling signs, we are submitted to constant visual directions.

For instance, think of the colour red...what does it make you think of? Danger? Love? Attention? Passion? I'm sure at least one of these were in your head. So why is it that this is the case? After all the colour red is just that - a colour. It has no meaning, does it?

When you are walking past someone in the street wearing red, do you immediately feel frightened? Why not? I mean red means danger doesn't it? What about love? Do you suddenly feel drawn towards them? Well maybe but chances are it is not because of the colour of top they are wearing.

Are designers to blame for these associations? After all, warning signs, whether you are in Britain or China, are all red. Red catches your eye and because of this Scientists have recommended it be used for signs that are supposed to grab our attention - it was only a matter of time before advertisers jumped on this bandwagon to sell products! Take for example, Coca Cola. When I asked the question before what you think of when you think of red, did any of you think of Coca Cola? It's hard to forget about 'Coke' though seeing as it almost presents itself to us everyday, whether on the shelves in shops or in sport (e.g. Olympics, football sponsors) we are aware of it. Originally designed for medicinal reasons it was John Pemberton who first discovered this addictive concoction that was a supposed cure of headaches and morphine addiction . Is it not ironic that now many people cannot go a whole day without their 'coke fix'? I am all for the use of colour helping us in everyday life but I don't want it to affect the choices I make. Scientists are using it to help us but designers are using it to sell their products, is this right?

With thanks:

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