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VCD Theory Purpose

Purpose.

Why are visual communications made differently?

Reasons for visual communications

A distinction between purpose and function

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Euro Cuisine PER12 Stainless Steel Electric Coffee Percolator - 12 Cups. (https://www.sears.com/euro-cuisine-per12-stainless-steel-electric-coffee-percolator/)
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1970s Sears coffee percolator add.(http://www.voicesofeastanglia.com /2013/07/kitchen-utensils.html)

Model purpose analysis

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Diana, Naomi Watts, directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, 2013.

Sample question

Sample answer

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Purposes.

Demographics are facts about an audience.

Advertise

To advertise is to present a product or service for the express purpose of sales or financial gain.

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Examples of advertisements are;

  • posters,
  • signs,
  • multi-media kiosks/ displays,
  • post cards,
  • billboards,
  • magazine ads,
  • flyers.
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Discuss

Model analysis

The poster at left is advertising apples. The fresh green apple contrasts strongly with a vibrant red background. The shine across the format emphasises the freshness. The information 'Apples' and price are presented clearly for the target audience. It is clearly intended for selling apples.

promote

To promote is to present a product, service, idea, concept, belief or ideology for persuasion of an audience for the better of the individual, community or society as a whole. Promotion may be confused with advertising as the techniques are similar. However, the easy way to distinguish is to ask, does the visual communication lead directly to sales and financial gain? If not, it's likely to be promoting something.

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Examples of promotional products include;

  • political campaign materials,
  • Church posters,
  • posters to engage audience in social issues,
  • flyers to engage audience in healthy eating,
  • symbols.

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Discuss

Model analysis

This poster at left is intended to promote apples by communicating the idea that eating them is healthy. It uses simple images composed of stylised shapes and bright contrasting colours. It also uses the metaphor of love hearts, hovering over eyes to show that apples bring health and happiness when eaten.

Identify

To identify is to enable easy recognition of a person, company or location.

A written or visual mark like a logo is used to help people recognise a brand.

Logos and other visual devices are often registered as trademarks to ensure exclusive use by the owner.

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Examples of identifying products include;

  • logos,
  • trademarks,
  • colours,
  • monograms,
  • icon,
  • signs,
  • webpage banner,
  • newspaper masthead,
  • badges,
  • heraldry and coats of arms,
  • flags.
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Discuss

Model analysis

The presentation at left shows apple logos on clothing. They identify a company for a target audience. Colour and simple shapes have been used to contrast with their background to enable instant recognition for this company.

Depict

To depict is to make an image or model of something. Depictions are often used in visual communications with other purposes.

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Examples of depictions include;

  • freehand illustrations,
  • two and three dimensional illustrations - 3rd Angle orthogonal, paraline and perspective drawings,
  • paintings,
  • prints,
  • photographs,
  • digital 3d models,
  • holograms,
  • video installations,
  • model making,
  • dioramas,
  • prototypes,
  • mock-ups,
  • schematic architectural drawings,
  • pictograms,
  • icons.
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Discuss

Model analysis

The illustration of an apple is intended to depict this lovely piece of fruit. It uses realistic colours, stylised shape and tone to represent form.

Teach

To teach is to facilitate learning. To teach usually involves simplifying information into a sequence or steps. To teach may be confused with to guide, and inform. One way to differentiate between them is to ask, does the visual communication explain something with a sequence?

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Examples of teaching products include;

  • webpages (like this one),
  • magazine and book spreads,
  • posters and wall charts,
  • post cards,
  • videos,
  • models,
  • digital apps,
  • explanatory diagrams.
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Discuss

Model analysis

The chart at left is intended to teach someone how to peel, cut and eat slices of apple. It uses simple shapes and colours that contrast well with the background to illustrate the process. Teaching how to peel, cut and eat has been broken down into steps. Symmetrical balance, contrast and figure-ground have been used to ensure clarity.

Inform

To inform is to provide information or facts. As distinct from to teach, to inform does not seek to enable learning but to communicate information such as a rule, date, or event.

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Examples of informing products include;

  • posters,
  • flyers,
  • webpages,
  • post cards,
  • billboards,
  • multi-media kiosk screens,
  • brochures,
  • map,
  • symbol.

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Discuss

Model analysis

The image of a calendar page marked with an apple over a date is intended to inform the audience that this day is significant for apples. Colour has been used to attract attention as the apple is shown in a cool green which contrast sharply with the rest of the illustration which is made in warm red tones.

guide

To guide is to provide directions or information to assist someone to locate something. As distinct from to teach, to guide shows a member of the audience where something is and/ or how to find it in relation to other features. The goal is location not learning.

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Examples of guiding products include;

  • maps,
  • brochures,
  • posters,
  • instructions,
  • diagrams,
  • websites and webpages,
  • interactive multi-media kiosks,
  • digital way-finding apps.
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Discuss

Model analysis

This fruit tour map is intended to guide members of an audience to an apple store. It uses line, shape and colour to create roads, a river and fruit shapes.

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Determining purpose.

Try it for yourself

Shown below are seven images of visual communications. Follow the directions in the task panel below them to improve in your understanding and application of purpose.

Purpose examples

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1. Screen shot from Apple iPhone Maps app. 04 January 2019.
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2. Brandsmart store, 288 Whitehorse Rd, Nunawading. 2019.
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3. Detail of page from Lego instruction booklet, Christmas 2018.
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4. Page from TAC website. (http://www.tac.vic.gov.au/road-safety) 2019.
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5.Victoria Gardens Shopping Centre, 620 Victoria St, Richmond VIC 3121, 2019.
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6. Brandsmart store, 288 Whitehorse Rd, Nunawading. 2019.
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7. Cover of Ikea instruction booklet number 20463, 2019.
 

tasks

Understand purpose
  1. Identify the purpose of each of the visual communications above. Refer to the images when you give reasons for your answer.
  2. Choose one image and identify one design element and one design principle used effectively. Explain how the elements and principles you have identified support the purpose.
  3. Choose another image. Suggest a different purpose and explain how it would need to be changed in order for it to suit a new purpose. In your answer refer to design elements and design principles.