Visual Logic?

I’m behind in my blog posts for our readings. I want to comment on the main  advice about visual communication I found in last week’s readings: in Visual Architecture, “[v]isual architecture is a technique that demands constant refining – it’s a subtle art.” This, I think, is an obvious point, but it’s important to keep it in mind as we read more about visual communication.

Last week’s readings offer some great advice. The small diagrams of web pages in Wrobewski’s article were the most useful for me, mainly because they are specific. I know I can use them with a web page. I also appreciate the excellent advice about links from Jakob Nielson’s article. It was nice, two weeks after updating the links on my portfolio by underlining them, to read, “[t]o maximize the perceived affordance of clickability, color and underline [my emphasis, not Neilson’s] the link text” in his page.

I do not like, however, Carole Guevin’s examples, even if I found the main advice from last week’s readings at the end of her article. While I understand her broader point, I just did not understand her examples as she explained I would. For figure three, for instance, I did not infer “blindness” from a pair of sunglasses or “drink milk” from a carton of milk. With figures eight and nine, Guevin writes: “the reflection of the woman is the first thing your eye sees but the eye gets lost . . . [in] Figure 9, the first object you see is the chandelier – the source of light . . ..” That does not describe my experience with the paintings. The first things I noticed, when I first looked at the paintings, were the woman’s face, her shoulders, and the chair behind her. That is to say, my eyes went to the darker portions  and the center of the painting. I wonder what the art historians in the class would say about that.

The upshot of this for me is that I need to be careful about what I think is the “logic” of visual images. It is too easy to look at an article that draws connections between two visual elements on a website and conclude, “eurika! This writer found a fundamental rule of the way people process visual information!” As a corollary, I need to take another piece of Guevin’s advice and look for visual “logic” on my own. I should look at advertising, other websites, building architecture, and many other specific examples in everyday life for inspiration for the architecture of my final project.

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3 Comments on “Visual Logic?”

  1. alesanu Says:

    I was also confused by the examples of Carole Guevin. For example, in the figures eight and nine, I began my analysis of the image with the light source in both images. So, in figure 8 I started from left to right and in the figure 9 the other way around. Anyway, I agree that every image has to be structured in a way, and even if the artist doesn’t have this in mind, the reader will always design her own grid to interpret the image.

  2. […] April 4, 2010 by alesanu This week I commented on Laszlo’s post on visual logic. […]

  3. robes Says:

    awesome article.


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