Image and Text

They say a picture is equal to a thousand words, but adding some of those words to an image can change the way it is interpreted entirely. The same can be said for the image that you choose to associate a word with.

Assignment #3 has two parts. The first is to take an image and give it five different type treatments, thus, changing the meaning. The second part is to take one of those type treatments and change the image associated with it.

This assignment appeals to me in a lot of ways, as I have difficulty picking one final piece, but at the same time, it kind of gives me a foreboding feeling. I have a hard time with typefaces. I always see amazing things that people do with typeface and love the things it’s capable of, but I feel like I’m awful with it. I can never get the right font, arrange the letters in just the right way, and don’t even get me started on how frustrated I get when photoshop starts doing weird things to letters for no discernible reason.

My current fixation got me thinking about the posters that circulated for the movie The Social Network. I’m sure anyone who reads this is sick of hearing me talk about it, but it’s topical, I promise.

First I’ll address the fonts chosen – Klavika and Futura. As mentioned Klavika is the base for the font actually used on Facebook. Both Klavika and Futura are excellent fonts for superimposing over an image – good for readability, making a point and feeling modern without going over the top into futuristic. Nothing gets lost, even in the complicated background of Jesse Eisenberg’s face on the movie posters.

Now, take the way this font was applied to the following images:


This is the default movie poster. This is the same phrasing that was used on the movie box. Now see how the feeling changes when you look at some of the promotional posters that were hung up and digitally broadcasted when the movie was being promoted: (note, some of these have been defaced, which also lends to a change in feeling when viewing them).

Imagine the posters with only a single word, conveying only a single meaning instead of what you just saw. It changes something about the way you view the subject of the poster. It changes the way you think about the message of the movie. All of the words are important, falling back to the same message I talked about in my last piece regarding the different layers of people – what’s important in this message is the different perspectives people have of Mark Zuckerberg.

I wanted to illustrate the different feeling, not only by removing different words from context, but also the feeling having so many words over one face looks. In my search for a blank image (I know they exist because the parody posters exist) I found this post on tumblr which includes a link to a photoshopped blank. Perfect. Now let’s see how things look when we play with them. Immediately we see that the one that says “prophet” and the one that says “traitor” conjure up wildly different feelings just by the connotations of those words. “Punk”, for some people, resides more closely to “traitor,” in emotional feeling, whereas genius does something else. This is just an example of the power of words when intersected with images. Now, as the assignment suggests, I’m going to pick a word and stick different pictures in the background. Obviously, this is just a rough representation with not a lot of effort put in, but the last one in particular changes the meaning drastically. (images to be added later. They’re on my other computer)

I’ll continue to try and come up with ideas of how I’d like to go about this assignment into work, but this is me just processing it.

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