Friday, 22 October 2010

Integrated Theory and Practice: Visual Hierachy

Film posters:
Content is the most important thing to attract viewers, therefore the image tends to be the main thing that is used to attract an audience. In this Alice in Wonderland poster, the first thing we notice is the face. The contrast of orange and green emphasises this main point of focus, as well as it being in the centre of the page. Next, is the name of the film. It is quite small and in the bottom right hand corner, however being in white on top of a dark colour background, it stands out. Then is the type above the character at the top, also in white but on a lighter green background, and it is further away from the main focus, making it less noticeable. Then the date and place, and finally the film credits. This visual hierarchy shows how the size of an object or type can make us notice it first or last, as well as where it is positioned in relation to the main focus.
Vogue cover

This magazine would be on a shelf amongst hundreds of others, fighting for visual dominance. The first thing which stands out is the red title of Vogue due to the contrast among the green background and it being the largest type on the page. Next is the woman as a face will always attract out attention. Then the large '50' in red, despite it being a low weight typeface and then the 3rd red toy 'Kate Hudson'. After this, the white and black type catch out attention but are similar sizes. The huge amount of information on a magazine cover needs to be categorised into the most important and least important in order to not bombard the viewer with too much information at one time, which would risk them not being attracted by it at all. 
Some magazines, however, do not need to put so much information on at once as they can grab the audience's attention with perhaps a single image, like this Creative review (Jan 2010)

The black car on a yellow background instantly gives a striking visual effect, as do the bursts of red and white on the black. Our eye is then led up to the top left hand corner to the the 'CR' in black on white, again, a bold contrast and then the small type saying 'creative review', and finally the smallest type below that. 
If these two magazine were next to each other, the large block of yellow on a magazine stand would definitely catch someones attention first as yellow is the brightest and the larger the area of a colour, the more it stands out. 


On this cover, first in the visual hierarchy is the largest typeface; the main headline. The black and white contrast causes it to stand out, but even more so that the yellow and blue 'GI DIET' advert, as it takes up more space on the page. 3rd would be the image of Kiera Knightley or 'Daily Mail' due to the contrast of light and dark. Next is the 2nd image, and finally the smaller heading, then the body copy. Newspapers tend to put more importance on the main story with a large headline, than on the newspaper name as it is all about who has the best, most shocking story to cause the audience to buy the paper. Also, whoever may be on the cover, the same applying to magazines, could influence this decision as they are often celebrities and people want to find out about their lives, so they are a large focus of the front page stories. 

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