Visual Communication

#2

Familiarity is easier to accept.

When designing something do you automatically think it’s got to be new, exciting and never done before? Will this idea always produce a great design or will creating something so new be too unpredictable for what the world is used to?
Redundancy is the key to communicate clearly; a higher degree of redundancy is easier to understand. We are used to a traffic signal at red to mean STOP. If a new law was introduced that changed this colour to purple would the world find it easy to understand or would it cause an extreme increase in accidents?
If new design is introduced it must have a familiar degree of redundancy for it to be a good design. Most new design are entropic, these messages don’t travel very well and tend to close the channel of communication until we get used to them. Modern art was entropic and still can be, when it was first introduced no one really understood it, but now there are modern art museums everywhere – the world seems to ‘get it’ now.

A lot of designs are produced to create a meaning, an advertisement, but technically mean nothing at all. It is what the viewer, user or reader interprets the message as. Red is the colour of love, passion, hate, danger, warning, death; or does is simple mean nothing – it is just a colour. We simply associate red with love and love with a rose because it’s what we know; when all a rose is, is a flower. Connotations of the design are what makes it appealing; how the design does this is all down to its context. The meaning is created by the receiver not the sender.

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