Sunday, March 29, 2009

New Leaf

It’s time to roll into a new phase with this blog...

I believe that colors were an important start to the study of visual rhetoric; colors have the power to persuade both subliminally and blatantly. But it’s time to start a new leaf. I have given you the tools- now you need to know how to use them. Like I’ve said before, every experience (and modern rhetoricians share this same view) is relative and each individual person sees the world through his or her own lens. There can be no finite map for the study of rhetoric because it relies on preconceived notions and individual perspective.

With that being said, I have decided to focus on the “Sex Sells” aspect of the media. We have all heard this term. We have all encountered it first hand. But why is sex so affective? It certainly hasn’t always been. The next posts are going to be dedicated to “speculating” the answers to these questions. How and why does sex sell? Why is it so persuasive? Are we even aware of how these sexual images shape and mold our standards of beauty, normality, and attraction?

When studying rhetoric, it is vital to understand that there is no right or wrong answer. Many of us have different views on sex in the media. We like having standards because if we somewhat resemble these iconic images, we are glorified. But if we differ from them, we are shunned. It’s a matter of opinion…

What’s yours?

Monday, March 9, 2009

1984- Conformity versus Independence

The Macintosh 128K was released on January 24, 1984; it was the first commercially successful personal computer to feature a mouse and a graphical user interface rather than a command line interface. Macintosh was also the first lucrative personal computer to use images, rather than text, to communicate.

1984, the name of the commercial, used an unnamed heroine to represent the coming of the Macintosh (indicated by her white tank top with a picture of Apple’s Macintosh computer on it) as a means of saving humanity from "conformity." These images were an allusion to George Orwell's noted novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, which described a dystopian future ruled by a televised "Big Brother."

What are your thoughts?
What is the symbolism in this contrast between black and white?

The location of the dystopian society is very bleak, dreary, and dark. But note that the heroine in the advertisement is wearing a white shirt and she has almost white hair...

more on white in the coming posts...

Symbolism of darkness

(It is hard to read, but the text on the bottom reads, "smoking isn't just suicide, its murder.")

This is a very persuasive and almost morbid anti-smoking advertisement. Let's take a different approach to analysis than we have in previous posts, shall we?

This is a very dark advertisement with a very dark message.

Is a black background appropriate?

Does the blackness in the ad present a specific mood?

What kind of symbolism does the black background have?
(use the explanation of the color black given in the previous post)

The answers to these questions can be quite personal... The dark nature of the ad can be interpreted as evil, as power, or even as emptiness. I am interested to hear your analyses.

"It is still color, it is not yet light"

Black is associated with power, elegance, formality, grief, death, evil, and mystery.

Black is a mysterious color associated with fear and the unknown; therefore it usually has a negative connotation.

Black gives the feeling of perspective and depth, but a black background diminishes readability. When designing art or photography, you can use a black or gray background to make the other colors stand out. Black contrasts well with bright colors. Combined with red or orange – other very powerful colors – black gives a very aggressive color scheme (as we saw in the Chick-Fil-A ad).