Monday, 7 January 2008

Communication 1: Where do I fit in?

The main purpose of this brief was to consider the questions ‘what is visual communication?’ and ‘where do I fit within this field of practice?’

In order to answer these questions, we have looked at some of the processes within Visual Communication in order to gain better understanding such as; problem solving, reportage, persuasion and narrative.
This enabled me to broaden my understanding of what is defined by the term ‘Visual Communication’ and understand some of the areas that I have not worked with before.
However, there are many other areas that are still applicable that I have not mentioned here.

Initially, I felt that ‘Visual Communication’ is a very loose term or so to speak. It does not denote what process should be used but only that it is a visual piece and conveys something to the audience or viewer, primarily through sight.

“Visual communication is the conveyance of ideas and information in forms that can be read or looked upon. Primarily associated with two dimensional images, it includes: art, signs, photography, typography, drawing, graphic design, illustration, colour and electronic resources. Recent research in the field has focused on web design and graphically oriented usability. Graphic designers use methods of visual communication in their professional practice.
Visual communication on the World Wide Web is perhaps the most important form of communication taking place when users are surfing the Internet. When experiencing the web, one uses the eyes as the primary sense and therefore the visual display of a website is important for the users understanding of the communication taking place”.

I still feel that the term ‘Visual Communication’ is very broad. It encompasses art, photography, graphic design, advertising, animation and film to name a few. And this is what I like about it – I can’t express myself through so many mediums and the possibilities in terms of not only experimenting but a career as well, are so broad with endless choices.

As a Visual Communicator, I believe that my skills lie mainly within Photography and advertising. This is because I have had an active interest in photography for a long time – I had my first SLR when I was 13 and my black and white darkroom kit when I was 14. I really enjoy photography and I find it easier to show my interests and my thoughts and feelings through my images rather than verbally or written. It also encourages me to go out and explore my surroundings and look at things more closely than a lot of people do.
As for my interest in advertising, I have a good working background of print production, television advertising, direct mail and marketing which, although I did have an interest in, I had not intended to get a job in! I think I was just in the right place at the right time, which I am very grateful for as I found it challenging, varied and enjoyable.

The most enjoyable part of this project was the trial project in which I had to take one of these processes and a subject matter that I was interested in and combine them. Obviously I took the subject of Photography and then thought ‘what process could I apply that would be to my benefit?’ I pondered on this for some time and eventually decided to use the process of design and work on a website for my photography.

I started by looking at other photographers website for ideas and I found quite a few that I likes, the only thing was, they were all very generic. I didn’t want mine to look like everyone else’s so I thought I would have a go at designing from scratch, ignoring what I had seen. The initial working process that I went through can be seen below in my previous blogs. The only thing I did keep from another site are the main background colours of the site. I really liked them and they looked warmer and more inviting than just a plain black, white and grey site.

Uploading was also rather confusing. I was lucky enough to have someone with space who could host the site for me as well as explain how to set up the program to upload directly to the site.

However, after I had built the site and finally uploaded, I came across a major problem. When viewing the site on a widescreen computer, all of the alignment shifted! Back to the drawing board! Because I had used Frontpage, I could not do a great deal about this so I rebuilt the site in Adobe Dreamweaver and used Adobe Lightroom for my galleries.

The website for my photography which is now up and running at

The hardest part of this task was the web building. I knew more or less what I wanted, but with no experience of the programme, I had no idea how to do anything. I managed to self-teach myself in an evening and had the main menu pages built.

As I have never used Dreamweaver before, there are changes and improvements that I would like to make to the site. I would like to add the boarders that I had originally intended to use, I would also like to add some slideshows and videos to the site but I have no idea how to use java in Dreamweaver! So, the site will change from time to time until I can get it exactly as I want it.

This is an example of one of the gallery styles I would like to use;

Although the site is not exactly as I would like it or as ‘snazzy’ as a lot of other photographers web sites, I am still very pleased with it, especially as I had to learn new software without any assistance in design and web writing.


Creative Review

Design for the Real World - V. Papaneck (Thames & Hudson)

What is Design – Marcus Fairs design.htm

Age of Propaganda – the everyday use and abuse of persuasion – A.Pratkanis and E.Aronson (New York, Freeman)

Cutting Edge Advertising – J.Aitchison (Prentice Hall, Singapore)

Making Documentary Films and Reality Videos – B.Hampe (NY: Henry Holt and Company)

Obey The Giant – R.Poyner (August Media Ltd)


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Photographer based in Dawlish, Devon. I'm available for weddings, portraits and commissions.

Please see my website for further details.

* Please note that all images in this blog are © Eleanor Stobbart unless stated otherwise. Please do not use these images without the permission of the copyright owner. *