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.



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