Category Archives: Brief 1 Research

Research: New Image Colour

So after starting all over for my assignment, I decided to look at the use of colour and hue

In the selfie image I enhanced the saturation, exposure and made it brighter and added a warmer colour filter. The effect of all of this resulted in the image looking very vibrant and ‘instagram-like’ with the added filter. The warm tones made the image seem happy and glowing skin enhanced this effect. The brightness had to be increased so that the eye would be drawn to is as well

I experimented with a green hue on the hands to give it a more sinister look, unfortunately this made it look a bit too evil and also resembled hulk hands! I opted for the normal colour in the end.

A black a white image obviously lacks colour, but it also symbolises a lack of life or an older era. Black and white images can be very powerful especially when used in an image that uses very vibrant and saturated images. The juxtaposition of a black and white against a colourful image will allow the viewer to compare the two images and make a distinction between which one is desirable and which one is not. Often this technique is used in infomercials, the ‘before’ scene of a woman vacuuming is often in black and white and looks very dull and monotonous, in contrast to the introduction of the ‘new vacuum’ the image is in full colour and has life to it.

I used this same technique with my image, it shows the selfie as being vibrant and artificial almost and the image of the real girl is grey and uninteresting.


Image Draft #1: Progress so far!

So I had an epiphany! After struggling to find ways to make my other ideas look photo-realistic, I decided to change my angle into something simple yet hopefully effective.

I want to explore the idea of the obsession going to an extreme where girls completely fabricate another reality to post online. In reality we actually do this, we tidy our rooms a bit before a bedroom selfie, we adjust the angle and make sure that the image is conveying the message we want to send.

I have played around on photoshop and this is what I’ve come up with so far! might changes bits around over the next few days, but hopefully this is okay so far!

Please let me know if you think this image conveys the themes of a fabricated reality, obsession and false reality

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 8.26.37 pm

Things to note:

  • The TV is showing an image of a rainy alley which will be the background of the selfie, but its not reality
  • The onions on the table are there to help her cry false tears
  • The reflection on the table shows her true self, she’s not a depressed goth-type teen, but a happy girl

Principles of Design


Principles of Design:

These are the overarching truths of the profession. They represent the basic assumptions of the world that guide the design practice.

I have chosen five principles that I would like to explore deeper so I can effectively utilize them in my visual image. These five are; balance, symmetry, rhythm, proportion and dominance

Balance – visual weight that creates balance in either a symmetrical form or asymmetrical form.

Symmetry – allows for comparison. I will use this principle as I want to compare the idea of real worth vs Facebook like worth in a vertical manner.



Rhythm – when the intervals between elements are similar in size or length.

I feel that having rhythm will help with comparison as they can easily align and compare the adjacent images. For example at a glance you can compare the woman and the mask because they are relatively in line. Progressive rhythm will also show the change in perceptions in teenage girls of what reality and virtual reality is.


I could use this image as inspiration to show evolution from an ape to man on computer to a large computer with the man inside.


Proportion – size matters, by increasing size the importance also increases as it occupies more visual space.


Dominance – visual weight, where eye goes first.

Because my image will be trying to compare reality and virtual reality, a dominant image will not be useful unless the two main comparisons together create the dominant image.


Visual Research References

Information taken from AUT Week 3 power-point slides

Unpicking the article

As I read through the article I identified all the key themes to help me decide an angle. I acknowledged the following:

  • Selfies are frequently taken
  • The art of a selfie
  • Control of images online
  • Self esteem
  • Confidence
  • Identity
  • Approval
  • Addiction

In addition, themes I inferred from the article are

  • self-promotion/advertising
  • Value/worth

These are the two underlying themes I would like to communicate through my image as I feel they are at the heart of this article. I will also target the young teenage girl demographic as this is the target group of Teen Vogue.

Using my knowledge of semiotics I listed all objects that relate to the two chosen themes

Self-promotion/ advertising

  • Merchandise
  • Billboards
  • Times square
  • Advertising
  • Add to cart symbol
  • Facebook


  • Money
  • Price Tags
  • Medals
  • Ticks and crosses
  • Points

The message my image will communicate will be that “self promotion on social media determines self worth based on the response.”



Semiotics: Use of signs and symbols in communication

“A picture paints a thousands words”

A familiar phrase no doubt, but what is the logic behind it? why is it that an image of a salute conveys more meaning and evokes more emotion than simply writing the word ‘salute’?

Semiotics, the study of signs and symbols aptly explains this phenomenon. Depending on the persons status, culture and age, the same image can have multiple meanings. Over time certain signs like ‘‘ represent standard meanings which the advertising industry relies on to convey messages to the masses through a single image or sequence. Through the process of denotation (the literal meaning) and connotation (what is implied) a person will uncode the information within the image.

In this assignment, I will endeavour to create an image using universally accepted signs and symbols to reduce confusion and that reinforce the main theme of the chosen article. I will also try to combine different symbolic elements within the image to convey the different ideas behind the chosen article.