Secondary research – Posters – Media Magazine.

Secondary Research . – posters – Media Magazine. February 2008 issue.

After having completed the primary step towards our research, and gaining a better perspective of how posters are constructed and analysing the posters ourselves commenting the different attributes such as colour schemes, layout, denotation, connotation and symbolism. Secondary research demanded we find posters that have already been analysed and we compare our finding and depiction to the ones that others have made. A useful source we used to conduct our research was Media Magazine,  the February 2008 issue.

“Composition, lighting, framing

“The photographer didn’t just point-and-shoot. Those images have been thought about, sketched, discussed, changed, sketched again. They have been shot a hundred times then reviewed by many people. The lighting levels may have been changed or imperfections touched up in Photoshop. They almost invariably will have been cropped. Because it is these elements – composition, lighting, framing – that make as much meaning for an audience as the subject itself. And that is before the image gets put together with copy, slogans, logos and pack shots.”

Firstly, They commented on composition which is something we always analysed during our primary research of posters. The mention of Photoshop altering lighting levels, is something we can relate to have mentioned during our analysis, however unlike this section of the article, we failed to go into the detail of the amount of times, one has to capture the same image over and over again when creating a poster.  We discussed the actual lighting and composition, whilst this article discusses the ideology and construction behind composition and lighting.

“The rule of thirds

Proponents of the rule of thirds think that the most aesthetic visual composition places the main features of the image along one of four equally spaced intersecting lines, two of which are horizontal, and two of which are vertical. Instead of placing the subject of the photo in the middle of the frame, positioning it at a third from the left, right, top or bottom makes a more interesting shot, with more visual power. A horizon, therefore, should be a third from the bottom or a third from the top, and a tree a third from the left or a third from the right.”

Similarly to our one, they refer to the ‘rule of thirds’ theory and go into profound focus, they are able to illustrate an image in the readers mind, exactly how the rule works, by using exact technicality of where the vertical and horizontal lines cross, they ensure the reader has a clear grasp of what the rule of thirds is. In comparison to our analysis Media Magazine are able to go into much further detail, perhaps this is because they would like to explain the rule of thirds, whereas, we merely wanted refer to it and portray its effect. To portray its effect Media Magazine used an example.

“The designer of our hypothetical ads, therefore, may have been very well aware of the rule of thirds when composing the shots. The car is speeding along the right-hand third, the open sky taking up a little more than the top third to connote freedom. The woman in a mid-shot in the shower has her golden shiny tresses falling down the left third, her exuberant expression on the top third.”

This is a brilliant example of denotation and connotation, the idea that open sky is a symbol for freedom is strategically outlined, this is similar to our deconstruction of images and their possible meanings when we were breaking down the posters for ‘Freedom Writers’ and came to a conclusion that the yellow font is a symbol for hope and the de-saturated face for a main image was a connotation/foreshadowing of mystery. They also comment on the ‘golden shiny dress’ which is possibly a tool used to reflect the product they are promoting, if it’s a luxurious car, then the luxurious dress would be mirrored, to make the audience crave that lifestyle.

Use of White Space

“(a.k.a. negative space): white space is not merely empty space, that the designer didn’t get round to filling up. Space not used by other visual elements becomes a visual element in itself. Most designs try to use some white space as it stops an image looking overly busy or cluttered. Conversely, leaving a lot

of white space creates a particular aesthetic. In this case, used alongside a close up of a child’s face, the use of white space draws the eye to the image. It also emphasises the isolation

of the subject, making him seem totally alone. But reading left to right, after the expanse of white space, we finish the print narrative at the Barnardo’s logo, the charity that is there to help him.”

The attention Media magazine draws to white space, is very useful for us, despite the posters we analysed not having a white space, Media Magazine, are commenting on an aspect that can be used to both support the features of having empty space on a poster as well as criticize it. The idea that having what space is a metaphor for isolation and the Barnardo’s print symbolizes that within this isolation they are present to help. This is crucial when creating a poster as we have learnt by having white space fused with the rule of thirds, in actuality one is emphasizing the message they are trying to convey or accentuating the product they are trying to promote. Thus even though in comparison to our analysation we never commented on the white space, it is something we plan to do for our final product.

Furthermore,  further down there is an article entitled “Reading A Film Poster”, which includes all the elements denotation/connotation, technical codes, anchorage, intertextual references, purpose/message, tone & register, target audience, representation, and finally effect & effectiveness. Within our research accentuating connotation and denotation is portrayed rather thoroughly. Anchorage refers to the presence of texts within an image which we will not be covering as it does not apply to us. However, the similarity of our analysation emerges when discussing intertextual referencing, our one included “get birdseed or die cluckin'” a parody reference to rapper 50 cents ” Get rich or die tryin’ album”, we went into extreme detail when summerising that strap line, which is what media magazine have done, both of our aims is probably the same, and that to highlight the comic factor within our posters. Ours however, is specifically placed within due to our target audience being the teenagers, it would have been appropriate to make teenage cultural references in order to satisfy our audience gratification, allowing our audience to be given the opportunity to make interpersonal reference.


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