Assignment 1

Assessment 1. Looking with Fresh Eyes: Your title

Reflection on how the visual world communicates with us.

As a young graphic designer, my influences and ideas are based on visual aspects shown throughout how the global world presents itself to me and how I choose to interpret it. As a student who lives in the networked world where things are heavily controlled (Nicholas Mirzoeff, 2015) it is easy to interpret things for what they seem even if they are not exactly as they seem. The following artists and authors guide me through understanding how to view the world.

Visual culture theorist, Nicholas Mirzoeff published “how to see the world” which has enabled discussion among many varying perspectives involved in Historical differences in “Visual Culture”. An idea that influenced my thinking on how the visual world communicates with me is his example in comparing the ‘Blue Marble’ taken in 1972 by astronaut Jack Schmitt and the remake taken in 2012. The two images give off the idea that it was taken from a specific point, however this is only true for the first ‘Blue Marble’ photograph taken in 1972. The remake was created through a series of different satellite images constructed to create a single image. This technique is called “Tiled Rendering”. Mizzoeff then goes to say “It is a good metaphor for how the world is visualised today”(10). This example and quote spoke many words, helping me shape my conclusions on how to determine whether the things in the visual world today are as straight forward as they seem.


Well known American photographer and film director Cindy Sherman is one of the many artists that have helped shape my views on the visual world. In Cindy Sherman’s exhibition she addresses woman and its roles in society and how woman were depicted and presented today. (Cindy Sherman at City Gallery Wellington, 2017) However Sherman cleverly used the idea of distortion in her displays to symbolise the idea of manipulation in the 21 Century on how woman are now depicted in todays society. As a young woman these visual images speak a thousand words as I am constantly bombarded with false depictions on how woman look, or are through series of social media, allowing a false impression on how the certain individual is or how she is perceived.

The fundamentalists of Graphic Design written by Gavin Ambrose and Paul Harris discuss the design principles and thinking behind why certain techniques such as contrast, scale, colour, alignment etc… is effective in the visual world. An example of this is when Ambrose and Harris discuss the point of creating striking images for places that would be seen in limited time periods, such as advertising on buses or posters in town that you may pass by once or more times. “When communication is to be displayed a mobile media, such as a poster on a bus or taxi, it should focus on creating a memorable impression rather than providing extensive detailed information” (Ambrose and Hariss, 132). The idea of having a striking image to be memorable to the viewer within the short time period communicates the depth in thought including external environments, in this case would be time, exposure, relevance. This example helps me understand the fundamentals and the processes  design has on the world without being fully aware.

These artists and authors help me to understand how the things from the visual world can effect my outlook on the global world and its growing visual culture. As a young graphic designer it is important for me to understand the manipulation that can easily persuade mine and others perspective or outlooks on how we view things in the world. As young student exposed and surrounded by many visual images mainly through social media, it is important to understand there is more then meets the eye.


Reference list

Ambrose, Gavin, and Paul Harris. The fundamentals of graphic design. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2008

Mirzoeff, Nicholas. “Introduction”. How to See the World. London: Pelican, 2015. 1-27. Print.



Task 2

Cindy Sherman Field trip Gallery.

Sadly was not able to attend.

Task 1

venusSandro Botticelli, The Birth of Venus (c. 1486). Tempera on canvas. 172.5 cm × 278.9 cm (67.9 in × 109.6 in). Uffizi, Florence

This painting ‘The Birth of Venus’ is one of my favourite paintings. Mainly because it involves many of my favourite things including the study of the renaissance period and the influence the artists left in this time period. Renaissance style paintings are so old fashioned and different from the art today making them more appealing to me. The reason I love this painting is because I love mannerism, although it may not be to obvious in comparison to other paintings in this time period, with close analysis of this image you can depict mannerism. The story and time taken to create this is more complicated then creating a painting today which also makes it significant to me.

Drawing by Yasmine Gateau for a magazine.

Without having any information behind the story of this image, it is almost obvious what the message behind this is. However it is all dependant on how it is interpreted as there seems to be many messages this could be perceived to be. This image is appealing to me as it has a lot of composition and may suggest or tell more than one story. After a quick analysis I would say this image was about the amount of knowledge that you offer others, but after looking at the image for more than just a second I would say that this image could have many meanings. The flying papers could suggest the loss of information or the distribution. The people in lab coats walking into his mind could be a representation of the young gaining knowledge from an elderly scientist, as they have brown hair and the dominate figure has white hair. This photo is interesting to me as it makes you wonder and think hard of its initial purpose and how this visually communicates an idea in a clever and appealing way, which is important to me as a young designer.


In the reading “How to see the World” by Nicholas Mirzoeff, he acknowledges key points to alter our outlook on how we choose to see the world. An interesting example Mizoeff used is his example between two “blue marble” (earth)  images taken in 1972 and another taken in 2012. The two images look similar however the 2012 image was taken by several angles and put together into one. This technique is known as ’tiled rendering’. Mirzoeff then says “It is a good metaphor for how the world is visualised today”(10). I find this extremely interesting as it makes me wonder about the everyday things I see and whether or not they are as deceiving as the same example Mirzoeff uses.

Mirzoeff, Nicholas. “Introduction”. How to See the World. London: Pelican, 2015. 1-27. Print.


Tiled rendering –  is the process of subdividing a computer graphics image by a regular grid in Optical space and rendering each section of the grid, or tile, separately.