Essay VIII: Meaning

Shannaine Franklin

Professor Trofimova

Topics in Graphic Design

May 18,  2018


Essay VIII: Meaning


Today’s topic was a brief explanation of perception. The lesson started in talking about context. Context comes in two forms, low and high. Low context countries like North America and Northern Europe create advertisements that can relate and come across multiple platforms easily without thought. High context countries like Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America advertise to an atheistic or shared cultural experience. To the outside world, they would need an explanation or background information to understand.


After context, it moves on the communicative quality of color. Color has a big impact on how people perceive color, receive color and evoke powerful emotions from people. Red is the most passionate color and evokes emotions relating to excites, adrenaline pumping, danger, love, anger, lust and fertility. Blue represents universally serenity and evokes tranquility, calming, deep depression, quality and expertise. Yellow is the brightest color and evokes cheerfulness, warning and suggest fear. Green represents natural, fresh, and health. Orange is the most edible color and represents good for food. Purple represents royalty, elegance, expensive, high quality and evokes spirituality. Brown represents earthly, flavorful and richness. It evokes warmth, comfort and mellowness. Black represents death, evil and elegance. It provokes mourning and darkness. White represents purity and clean. These color communicates as such more in Northern countries than they do in Eastern and Latin American countries.


After we understand how low context and high context countries advertise; and how the importance of color choice is. We move on do the depths of meaning. First level of meaning is perception. Perception are when people attracted to a piece of work through visual hierarchy, contrast, color and imagery. The second level is sensation. These is a tactic of organizing photos and images to force viewers to have a gut feeling. These feelings are usually between repulsed or aroused. Level number three, making people feel more; Emotion. Emotion appeals to viewers emotional side vs the logical thinking side. Advertising companies play on positive and negative emotions relating to love, fear and confidence the most. Those emotion are the foundation of selling consumers a product or lifestyle. They could only get through this brand. Number three counterpart, requirement of human interaction and comprehension. Level four is made to make people stop and think for longer periods of time, mostly focusing on those consumers than have stronger intellect. Rather than those that see and live emotions. These consumer see and live logic. Level five, designs meant to create deeper personal connection with the audience; Identification. Everyone has desire to be group, whether that is by organization, movement, design, emotion, and intellectual in attempts of forming deep personally connections with an audience.  Level six, reverberation. Reverberation is the use of nostalgic imagery through visually messages referring to history and tradition evoking comfort and dependability. And the final level of meaning, Spirituality. The use of timeless images, intellect, and emotion to transcend cultures, age groups, and ethnic groups to deliver a message. It draws the viewer in by attracting to their moral compass and artistic quality of conveying a message.


The more a designer is able to use these methods and build on layers of visual perception. Founding on a core idea and attractive solution. The more effective a designer connection to the consumer will be.