Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Publication Research

Image Making.
I decided that my publication would be about image making as it is what I do and the way I work. I think that it is important to use images in work, it is a way which is universal, things such as toilet signs and no smoking signs. It doesn't matter which language you speak, you are able to see what they mean. With image making it means that there is no language barrier which is so important. This is something that I need to include in my publication, as well as showing how I actually work and the process that I go through. Therefore I thought that it would be necessary to do some research into image making and the importance of it.

Reasons Why You Need Illustrations

Publisher: Dmytro Nesterov (Marketing Department Officer)

In this article I want to discuss a few reasons why you may need illustrations for your business and why illustrations can be better than photographs and video.

If you are running a business you are very likely to need custom illustrations to be designed for various business purposes. Here are a few reasons why you may need illustrations and why illustrations are important in our life.
Conveying a message. Use illustrations if you want to convey an idea which is difficult to express or it would take a lot of time to explain and describe what you mean. The human brain functions in such a way that it perceives visual information more quickly, fully and holds it longer in the memory. Even when reading a book most people draw a kind of illustrations inside their heads using imaginations. Sometimes we need to convey messages which importance does now allow relying only on imagination but needs crisp and concrete visual representation. These are various technological advanced illustrations, sketches, flowcharts etc. it can also be useful for people with little attention span and for those with hearing disabilities.
Education. Illustrations and various kinds of images are used for education purposes from the very beginning of human’s life. A child begins perception of the around world as a number of objects since babies can think only non-abstractly. That is the reason why illustrations are used to educate children and to develop their imagination. That is why it is important to have good illustrations for children’s books. Illustrations help children associate words with objects and sentences with illustrated actions and what is important illustrations designed for children’s book are purposed to fascinate children with reading.
But, certainly, this is not the case with only children. Illustrations are widely used for teaching people of all ages foreign languages, for presentation of complicated scientific, engineering concepts etc. illustrations are needed for all kinds of instructional literature for better understanding of the material.
Advertising and Attracting Attention. Even if a person is not interested in the product you advertise at first, when he/she eventually comes to buying the product, he/she chooses the one he/she saw being advertised somewhere rather than similar products of your competitors who failed to advertise their goods properly. And this is especially important if you are launching a new product or company and trying to build brand awareness. Using visual presentations is a must in this case as visual information is better to remember.
Today people spend more time in the Internet activating their visual perception and that is why a presentation of an advertised product by means of various kinds of illustrations is not only one of the cheapest way to advertise online but also one of the most effective. You can also use video and photographs for advertising purposes, but illustrations, however, have a few important advantages over other types of visual advertisement, at least on the web, and namely:
  • Illustrations are mostly GIF or JPEG formats and are visible at once when a web page is loaded, unless images are disabled in the user’s browser, unlike embedded videos which require turning on and if triggered automatically are irritating and annoying;
  • Illustrations allow implementing almost any idea and this implementation is limited only by client’s and illustrator’s fantasy which is not the case with both photo and video advertising as brining into life certain ideas requires bigger budgets and longer time here;
  • Illustrations give possibility to easily represent something which is quite difficult or impossible to film or to photograph (e.g. biological process, extremely small objects, non-existent in real life or deliberately exaggerated objects etc.);
  • illustrations are easier to customize, modify, change, seamlessly add or remove elements;
  • illustrations can be previewed in preliminary sketches before the final illustration is done;
  • high quality illustration requires less expensive equipment than a high-quality photograph or video;
  • illustrations do not necessarily require models and can be done with participation of a single person;
  • Illustrations can be more easily adjusted for printing and using in other media.
Furthermore, illustrations (just as well as photographs) can be used to draw attention to certain information. Illustration is something a person sees first even before reading the text which is next to the illustration. Very often presence of illustrations determines whether a text will be noticed and read. Likewise, a good book cover illustration can determine the general success of the book, unless you are a well known writer who does not even need an illustration on his/her book cover to be noticed and purchased. Source

Someone emailed me recently to point out that illustration isn't included in Design Observer's list of "categories" — the list you can see below, on the right of your screen. Art, typography and photography are there, but not illustration. Is this omission a simple oversight, or does it tell us something significant about the current state of illustration?

The professional world of illustration is widely believed to be in poor shape. As Steven Heller noted recently: "I am an advocate of illustration and saddened by its loss of stature among editors who feel photography is somehow more effective (and controllable)." There are, of course, many reasons for illustration's fading stature other than the commercial world's hard-nosed preference for photography over the arty vagueness of hand-rendered imagery. The ubiquity of software that allows graphic designers to generate their own imagery is another factor, as is the rise of illustration stock libraries. Yet perhaps illustration's current status owes most to its near-total eclipse by graphic design. To understand the contemporary state of illustration, we need to look at its relationship with graphic design.

There was a time when graphic design and illustration were indivisible. Many of the great designers of the 20th century were also illustrators and moved effortlessly between image-making and typographic functionalism. Traditionally, most designers viewed illustration with reverence; many even regarded it as inherently superior to design. And with good reason: design was about the anonymous conveying of messages, while illustration was frequently about vivid displays of personal authorship. Like artists, illustrators signed their work, and some were even public figures (no graphic designer ever enjoyed the fame of Norman Rockwell, for example). As Ed Fella, a practitioner with feet in both camps, sagely noted: "Whereas graphic design is more anonymous, all illustration is sold for its particular and individual style."

But during the 1990s, illustration's "individual style" became a liability. Visual communication was colonized by tough-minded, business-driven graphic designers who gave their clients what they wanted: branding, strategy and the precision-tooled delivery of commercial messages. Even amongst more idealistic designers — designers who embraced theory, political activism (no big-name illustrators signed the First Things First manifesto), and notions of self-authorship — it became apparent that highly expressive graphic design could achieve some of the conceptual and aesthetic impact of illustration. The outcome of all this was that designers seemed to lose the habit of commissioning illustration, and most illustration was relegated to mere decoration.

Buy why?

It's a much-touted nostrum that we live in a visual world. Sure, the media landscape is saturated with images, but these images are nearly always accompanied by words signposting us to some sort of financial transaction. Graphic design's eclipsing of illustration is explained by illustration's lack of verbal explicitness. Graphic design is almost exclusively about precise communication, and its facility to combine words and images makes it a far more potent force than illustration. Milton Glaser has said: "In a culture that values commerce above all other things, the imaginative potential of illustration has become irrelevant... Illustration is now too idiosyncratic."

I was made aware of the main reason for graphic design's supremacy in the commercial world from an unlikely source. In his book What Good Are the Arts, the English academic John Carey sets out to discover an absolute measure for artistic worth. Dealing with the visual arts, Carey concludes that there is no defining yardstick: anything we choose to call art, is art. It's really a matter of personal choice. But halfway through his book Carey puts the case for literature. He sets out "to show why literature is superior to the other arts and can do things they cannot do."

For Carey, literature is the pre-eminent art form: "unlike the other arts," he writes, "it can criticize itself. Pieces of music can parody other pieces, and paintings can caricature paintings. But this does not amount to a total rejection of music and painting. Literature, however, can totally reject literature, and in this it shows itself more powerful and self-aware than any other art."

The attributes Carey applies to literature also apply to commercial communications. Words rule. Explicit language coupled with explicit images (devoid of ambiguity and nuance) is the lingua franca of advertising and marketing. We seem to have reached a point in Western culture where the abstract is no longer tenable. We demand explicitness in everything, which perhaps explains the contemporary appetite for endless news, reality television, the depiction of graphic violence and hardcore pornography.

Graphic design's ability to deliver explicit messages makes it a major (if little recognized) force in the modern world: it is embedded in the commercial infrastructure. Illustration, on the other hand, with its woolly ambiguity and its allusive ability to convey feeling and emotion, makes it too dangerous to be allowed to enter the corporate bloodstream. Our visual lives are the poorer for this. Source

All of this research will really help me further understand the importance of image making, and it will inform my publication, when I start producing the content.

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