Through its objective of delivering understandable messages to the public, visual communication is subject to the constraints of meaning. The visual representation, produced in part using graphic design, fits into a semiological framework inherent to the commission and its communication objectives. The visual representation that accompanies the message uses various tricks to make the meaning of the images consistent with the discourse. This is the case of “graphic codes”. Conversely, other graphic artifices contribute to aesthetics without providing semantic value. You can get the services of Best Graphic Designing Services Agency.
The term “semiology” is used in this article in the sense of “graphic semiology”, a discipline which seeks to study the meaning of sign or language systems allowing the graphic translation of information. The term “semiotics” expressing the study of signs and their meaning may be preferred.
Through its application to all sections of society, visual communication exploits bodies of representation specific to each segment of economic activity. These groups are composed of assemblies of elements such as colors, patterns, fonts, angle of shots, arrangement of details, texture from what I would call “graphic codes”.
Conversely, what I call “visual effects” corresponds to visual stagings that only fulfill an aesthetic function. If the codes have the advantage of making it possible to associate representations with a symbol and thus with a meaning, the same is not true of the effects which apply to create a graphic rendering without significant value whose sole objective is to be pleasing to the eye.
It is not useless to make the difference between effects, graphic codes and originality within the framework of a response to an order to find the adequate balance, between the requirement of differentiation of the project and the will to link it visually to a business segment.
There is a fine line between code and effect, since depending on each use, what may correspond to a symbol in one embodiment may have a simple decorative value in another.
If the graphic codes come under the semiology of the image, of the typography, even of the forms and that a study or an analysis makes it possible to identify them, to apply them sparingly or not through a form of dosage, the use of graphic effects is a priori only due to the affection of the graphic designer or the sponsor for a particular aesthetic.
If the graphic codes are well applied in a communication in the service of marketing, they are less so in the cultural communication more ready to exploit graphic effects.
This is particularly true for packaging creation, a form of design closely linked to marketing which uses graphic codes, original elements, brand or range identification elements. In view of the particularly fast purchasing process for packaging on the shelves, using graphic effects on packaging is not necessarily legitimate.
The Use Of Graphical Codes Is Not Without Flaws.
When a graphic design uses a set of these codes in a systematic way and these associations end up being remixed, duplicated by replicating their most obvious characteristics, they tend to lose their interest through the repetition they generate. The systematic use of codes applied in a similar way tends to accentuate the resemblance between other realizations of the same segment, and although they allow the identification of a particular market segment, they no longer allow the differentiation of one product or service from another.
The Craftsman Of Graphic Semiology
The role of the designer is to provide a detailed analysis of the different layers of meaning that he inserts into his creations. He organizes what comes from symbol effect, originality by seeking a balance adapted to the objectives. A good understanding of the visual mechanics at work makes it possible to evaluate the real originality brought to a project and to optimize the innovative elements with regard to what may seem superfluous or unjustified. This search for coherence thus makes it possible to orient the creation towards more meaning, but also towards a refined aesthetic of useless artifacts.
Identify Graphic Codes
The identification of graphic codes is part of graphic semiology through the study of the different significant components of the image. Technical literature, the study of art history and a permanent observation of the evolutions of the different fields of visual expression of our societies allow us to broaden our knowledge of signs and their symbolism.
General works covering the breadth of the subject are rare. Given the diversity of approaches, it is preferable to turn to the study of each specialty. See the few examples of works dealing with graphic semiology at the end of the article.
If the mastery of graphic codes requires knowledge to assimilate, the effects are more a matter of simple attention to the flow of images that we are constantly fed. Here are some major families of graphic effects that are frequently encountered:
The Visual Effects Of Textures
The software used in DTP provides tools which are recognizable among a thousand and which are generally, given the number of users, very quickly outdated. The texture effect is obtained by simply applying a filter, adjustable or not, to an image. While some effects serve as simulations, for example to express volume or shading, a significant number of effects have the sole ambition of adding an aesthetic layer necessarily subject to changes in mode.
The Photographic Effect
If the effects are applied today mainly through image processing software or directly from the menus of digital cameras, they are largely based on filters from film photography. Polarizing, UV, diffraction filters are a small sample.
Applications like Instagram offer, among other things, vintage effects derived from “ Lomography ” inspired by the rendering of Russian LOMO cameras and “Lo-fi” photo practices. Technical innovations such as HDR , or “tilt-shift” (a mock-up effect obtained by adjusting the depth of field when shooting) complete a very wide range of visual effects.
Certain effects retain a semiotic value in communication if they are used in coherence with the message. The “motion blur” effect can, for example, if used appropriately, express speed. Learn more