the Play

To look is to learn if you listen carefully | Per Arnoldi


Producing 10 visual interpretations from a given list of words and expressions focusing on the experimentation of producing ideas and concepts, was the aim of this project. Using the visual rhetorics (i.e. contrast, emphasis, repetition, drop-outs, simile, pun, hyperbole etc.) I was able to find a relation between word an image. I followed a certain style to unify the 10 visuals and grouped them in a small booklet entitled the Play.plays.jpg


From the brief:

Using a visual vocabulary, invariably, leads to the use of an enhanced verbal vocabulary, used by designers to explain or evaluate their work: for example the degree of recognisable equity in a mark has a value to an organization, as does the degree of recognition, legibility and readability.


Readability also involves the wish or the desire, or not, to read an image.
A graphic image or typography may be legible but because of the way in which it has been designed the reader may not be interested or inclined to read it. The design could be dull, old fashioned, boring, fussy, too busy, too pure and sterile, complex or too confusing. A design could

be too full of ambiguity to a point where the reader tires too quickly and looses interest in unraveling the meaning: the reader doesn’t want to play your particular game.

Symbolic meaning, significance, association and emotive or emotional effect are also part of the business of graphic communication.

Graphic communication is all about perception. The way in which we perceive the messages in what we see. And not just simply the way in which we see what we see, i.e. if you can only see the trees you often cannot see the wood.


Often there may be a logic in the original analysis of the brief but an illogical way of looking at the results of the analysis or an illogical way of responding to what may seem to be the obvious. This illogical logic produces ideas. It is a lateral way of thinking, rather than a linear one.

An asymmetric view demands a reaction to complete what is being seen rather than a symmetric view in which in itself makes a form of equilibrium without any necessary contribution from the mind of the viewer.


It is normal to think of graphic design as often creating marks to identify an event or to brand an object, and that a graphic image is communicating a message or an idea. Alan Fletcher, partner in Pentagram design studio, points out that ‘daubing, branding and scarring’ (i.e. tattooing) is also part of creating a personal identity. These expressions of identity are often also saying something about the person who is involved in the deed of for whom they are communicating the message, by the nature of the message or its affects upon others.


In their book A smile in the mind, the authors say that for them the development of ideas often involves: sudden jumps, skips, somersaults and reversals in the mind. The familiar interpretation, and the graphic cliché and the play on the familiar or reversal of the cliché produces recognition (because the idea seems familiar – we’ve seen it before) but it also provides the surprise of the unexpected, a new interpretation (because it didn’t turn out to be what we thought it would be).


Explore posts in the same categories: Design, Experimentation, Graphic design, Illustration, Pentagram, Visual Communication, Visual Rhetoric, Wit

One Comment on “the Play”

  1. BOUCCi Says:

    great work as always!!! how come i ‘ve never seen this?
    ur work is like fairuz’s songs each day i still discover a new song for her and a new project for you hehe :P:P

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