Does the Image Make a Design?

9 May

Pictures can tell a thousand words, though that does not mean that words are not needed. While there are some instances where images are so strong that they can stand alone and deliver a message effectively, most often images are best utilized when they can enhance and add a greater meaning to a verbal message, than the verbal message would otherwise carry on it’s own. Contrary to popular belief, images alone rarely make a design. What makes a piece strong is the clever integration of an image with the verbal message. A good example is the Polish travel advertisement below:

Print Design for Visit Poland Campaign by Polish Chamber of Tourism

In this case neither the word or image could stand strongly on its own, however, to together they make a powerful and memorable statement. The image displays an intriguing close up of the British flag, of which a piece has been emphasized by a box. The area of the image inside the box depicts the Polish flag, which effectively reinforces the verbal message “We’ve already been in your place It’s time for you to visit us.” In addition, the image of the dominant British flag draws out positive sentiments towards nationality and a sense  of duty.  To build upon those initial feelings, the ad lists Polish contributions to British society, creating a connection, friendship, maybe even a small sense of obligation. Together the words and images develop a clear call to action.


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