This is Just Wrong!


This is Just Wrong!

It’s amazing to think how much times have changed. This isn’t an ad that we would ever see today. This is a good example of an unethical advertisement that is taking advantage of their consumers. Marketing and advertising always finds ways to attract their consumers, some being more ethical than others. But in my opinion, this ad goes a too far by using a baby to promote a product that we all know is unhealthy.

Even though they have a baby in the ad, their target audience is parents. Every good parent wants to do whatever they can do make their children happy and healthy and I’m sure during this time era, parents might not of necessarily know how terrible pop is for people let alone babies.

As we’ve talked about in previous classes, advertisements typically use “attractive” babies, or people in general to sell their products. This is one of the design elements that they most likely strategically used for this image.

Aside from the baby, they did use some strategic design elements in their ad as well. For example it’s monochromatic. They use black and white through the image, except for the colour green to highlight the 7up and make it stand out.

Most of their font is in black, but they use green to highlight “does it” in “Nothing does it like Seven-Up!” I think it probably would have been more affective to highlight “Seven-Up” instead because I would assume that’s what they want their audience to remember.

The photo uses the rule of thirds and contrast between font sizes. I found it interesting that they made the smaller text, so small that it was difficult to read. That seems slightly suspicious to me!

What this advertisement represents is wrong in many ways. However, their use of design probably made this crazy image actually sell their product.

Using Photoshop For the Wrong Reasons


bad ways to use photoshop

Today I read an article about some images of the North Korean military hovercraft landing on a deserted beach. These images were supposed to show a combat-ready army, ready to attack at any time.

The article said that the hovercraft image might have been tampered with to make the exercise appear more threatening than it really is.

This shows the power of tools like Photoshop. Photoshop can be a great tool for photo enhancing and marketing for example, but when put in the wrong hands it can be used in a negative way to make people feel threatened.

They are being accused of altering the image to make it seem that there are more hovercrafts than there actually are. Many of the eight hovercrafts look like digital clones of one another. The article said, “Another craft raised suspicions due to its “soft edges, lack of visible wake, and color oddities”.

The photo has been distributed internationally and there are so many people who don’t even know what Photoshop is, which can be taken advantage of. Thankfully there are people who are able to tell the difference from a photo that is Photoshoped or not and can inform the people that the photo has been altered.

Overall Photoshop is an awesome tool for many reasons, but it can also be used in a negative way to try to make people think a certain way or stretch the truth. Just like the photos of the hovercrafts in North Korea.

MSVU billboard ad


MSVU billboard ad

Last week I was driving down Barrington Street when I came across this Billboard. It initially caught my attention because as a Mount Saint Vincent student I always notice these ads. I saw the three men on the cover and was surprised when I read what it was for, celebrating remarkable women. Later on that day I caught myself continuously thinking about the ad and wondering what it was all about.

The billboard advertisement has been getting some backlash on social media. For example one of the tweets that I came across said, “Let’s support women by having bigwig male leaders on our billboards. #not”

I love the Mount and I think the ad and the overall campaign has great intentions, but initially when I saw the ad I thought it was very strange. I couldn’t help but wonder why there aren’t any women on the billboard. I think it’s great to see men supporting women, but I questioned how they didn’t forecast the negative feedback they’d be getting for not having any women on the billboard.

As we’ve learned this semester, sometimes shocking images will work and sometimes they wont. I don’t know if it was the most effective ad as it seems to have had mixed reviews. But like I said I continuously found myself thinking about the billboard that day. This led me to do a bit of research and that’s when I realized that maybe that’s what their intentions were when they designed the ad. Perhaps, generating discussion was part of their communication strategy and they were hoping people would do exactly what I did, which was to do their homework and find out more about the campaign.

I’m still unsure of where I stand with this billboard ad. What do you think about it, strategic or injudicious?

Magazine design and layout


Magazine design and layout

The more I learn about the principles of good design and programs like Photoshop and InDesign, the more I seem to analyze the design layout of various mediums. Before learning about these things and would describe them as either looking good or bad but now I’m able to understand and explain why I think that and what makes them look that way.

I thought this magazine was a great example of awesome design and layout. I think that each page draws in the reader with the bright colour choices and contrasting sizes shapes and colours. I love that they make use of white space making it look very clean, crisp and modern.

On the second last image talking about Amsterdam, I really like how they chose to bold the “I Am” in I Amsterdam. I think without that contrast, the text wouldn’t have the same affect to the reader. I think it’s smart that when they want to highlight important text they don’t just make it bigger, but they use colour to help it stand out from the remaining text.

I notice that each page is very different in terms of colours and pictures but what keeps them all in harmony is the consistency with the alignment of text, assymetrical approach in regards to the photography and diagonal lines, the simplicity, and use of white space.

When I read magazines that look this nice it makes for a more enjoyable read because not only is it informative but it’s also creative and artistic!

Real estate ad gone wrong.


Real estate ad gone wrong.

This print advertisement is an example of visual communication gone wrong. I found it difficult to even figure out what the ad was for at first glance. After reading through, it turns out that it’s for a real estate organization, called Puravankara.

I’ll start out on a positive note by saying that the colour choice of yellow and blue works nicely together, because as we’ve learned in colour theory, they are complementary colours and a good example of contrasting colours.

Now on a more critical note, this image looks like an absolute mess of information. I’m still unsure of what exactly I should be looking at. I don’t know what the focal point is supposed to be or how many visual elements are supposed to be in the image. When considering the principles of CRAP, this image is certainly lacking in the proximity department. Because the text is centred and so close to the other text it’s hard to tell whether or not some of it is supposed to be separate or together.

There is no consistency in terms of font choices. There’s a fluctuation between serif and sans serif, upper case and lower case, bolded and italicized, etc.

Overall I think this is a boring image but there are so many minor things they can do make it more appealing to potential customers. Maybe by aligning the text to one side of the ad and by being more consistent they would be able to get better usage out of the space they have to work with. If the organization reconsidered the layout of this print advertisement, a lot more customers would probably want to contact them.

Retro Fun in the Sun


Retro Fun in the Sun

I found this advertisement for OPI nail polish while scrolling through Pinterest today.

I don’t know if it’s just me who wonders this, but what is it about these nail polish colours that make them considered “retro”? To me it’s just an assortment of pretty colours. Nothing about the polish shouts out retro to me but what does is the advertising.

I think that the curled hair, red lips and the red full-piece polka-dot bathing suit work as a semiotic for retro style. It seems very Marilyn Monroe-esk, which we often associate with a retro look.

Even the font seems retro to me. I like how they use contrast with the font. Using red for the word sun makes it stand out and tie into the colour of her outfit.

There’s also contrast in terms of the overall colour scheme of the advertisement. The light blue and red work really nicely together because they’re so different.

They use repetition in the advertisement to showcase all the different colours of nail polish. I thought it was interesting that they put the green and yellow nail polish next to each other because they are so similar and there is so little contrast between the two. But they did separate the red and pink colours.

They effectively use the concept of rule of thirds by putting the models face in the right hand area of the ad. This helps make a simple image look a bit more interesting and help draw the viewer’s eyes to the subject.


Taste Chocolate


Taste Chocolate

After talking about business cards this week in class, I decided to search for a few interesting ones online. Since I am such a chocolate lover, this card immediately caught my attention. But what kept my attention was the overall design of the card.

Before even reading the words on the business card I knew it had something to do with chocolate. I think the colour choice, along with the bite out of the side works as a semiotic for chocolate. I really like the bite out of the side of the card because it’s a creative and playful way to set their card apart from the standard rectangle card. Like we talked about in class, it’s the type of card you would want to hang up on the fridge.

The card is actually quite simplistic and easy to look at. It isn’t over crowded with words and there is plenty of white space, or in this case, brown space left.

They use a sans-serif font throughout the entire card. I like how they use a bright aqua colour for the word ‘taste’ and a cursive font for the word ‘chocolate’ because it makes both words equally stand out.

I really like the layout and alignment of the card, it looks consistent and organized. The most important things stand out.

There are so many business cards that look exactly the same and end up getting thrown in the trash. I think that they took a very clever and simple approach to making their card stand out from the rest. I would certainly hang their card on my fridge, or better yet, I would become a customer!


monochromatic pooch


monochromatic pooch

Hello everyone!

Today I decided to use a photo I took of my dog Max. The reason I wanted to talk about this image was based on more than just his adorable looks. I have this picture hanging on a wall in my house and it always seems to be a conversation starter. It also happened to get quite a few likes on Instagram. So I wanted to know, what is it about this photo that makes people drawn to it?

Initially I assumed people liked it because it’s simply a cute picture of a dog. Now knowing what we’ve learned so far in class, I realize there are several visual elements that automatically appeal to the eye.

Originally I took this photo from far away, which left more of the background elements in it. Being further away, I felt like there were too many focal points, which made the image look too hectic. I wanted this to be a photo where Max was the only focal point and I think after cropping, I achieved that.

Because the photo is in black and white it has no saturation or hues, which makes it both monochromatic and achromatic. I didn’t realize at the time but when I changed the picture from colour to black and white, it helped pick up on the different textures and brought out more contrast. For example, Max’s fur as well as the trees and water in the background became a lot more distinguished when shown in black and white.

As much as I like to think that Max deserves full credit for the amount of likes and comments he got on this photo, I know the visual elements I talked about might also play a part!


Heineken’ Jammin Festival image


Heineken' Jammin Festival image

As I scrolled through a series of advertisements, what initially caught my attention with this image was the bright stage. It wasn’t until I looked at the image for a few moments that I realized what was going on. The advertisement is showing the Heineken’ Jammin Festival held in Venice. I like the angle they chose for the photo. The bird’s eye view creates a different perspective and shows the enormous crowd with their arms in the air. Seeing all these people creates repetition and shows the unity in the crowd, which I think promotes the festival well. I thought it was interesting that they used the lights and the stage to create positive space of what I’m assuming would be a glass of Heineken’ beer. They place this positive space in the dead centre, which makes the beer hard to miss. The negative space would be anything black in the image, like the back of the stage and the audience without light shining on them. I like this image because I think it promotes the festival and the beer well without using text. If you look closely in the bottom right hand corner it shows what the ad is for, but I think in order for people to know what the ad is about, the image has to capture the them first. I like this image and I think it says a lot without having to use much text.