Category Archives: 1 Visual literacy

Visual Literacy: A visual diary

The first item that I will include in my visual diary will be a BoConcept catalogue. It is a Danish furniture manufacturer. I got their catalogue a few years ago and I kept it. I like the way the items are photographed and shown in the catalogue. it is full of simple images, usually on the white background. The item sometimes seem raw as they are displayed in a minimalistic manner with no adds-on to make it look more appealing or easier to fit in.

20140720_143245_resized (1)  20140720_143338_resized  20140720_143415_resized

The colour scheme is very attractive and complements the type of furniture that BoConcept make. It is full of ‘cold’ colours like white, black, brown, pale blue or grey, but every now and again you do get a pop of some strong colour.

Even if it is not for furniture, the catalogue is still worth a look for the interesting and clean way the items are shown, for their no-nonsense approach and for their autumn-like colour palette.


The ad of Paul Smith shoes caught my eye:


It is interesting the way the colour of shoes and the background are nearly the same, but the product still manages to stand out and is clearly visible. the idea of a pair of hands holding the shoes instead of some posing models wearing them is refreshing and unexpected. The sheen on the shoes makes them look expensive and of good quality. The text is minimal, but the most important element which is the maker’s name is unmistakable.



I came across this page while flicking through a fashion magazine. I find the mix of images, colours and fonts very pleasing to the eye. the see-through bottles filled with the warm-coloured liquids look well against the white background and the black text completes it nicely.



This ‘Sleep Quiz’ add from the National Geographic magazine is simple yet effective. The contrastive colours are striking and it is a good example of how very simple illustrations can work well. In a magazine like the National Geographic-full of beautiful photographs such a simple illustration attracts the eye as it looks a little out-of-place.



I find the idea if displaying news on unussual. It groups news stories with similar content. I guess it works for somebody who wants to see everything displayed at once on one page. The colour groups make knowing what is where easier. On the other hand I can see how most people would find it messy and cluttered. Unless you really want to have it all on  one page, a less busy display might work better and be less confusing for the viewer.


The next 3 images are Polish ads and magazine covers from the 1920’s and 1930’s.

20140720_145536_resized   20140720_145624_resized   20140720_145644_resized

I have always liked the illustrations from that time. I based one of my cards for Assignment 1 on these type of illustrations. They are always so graceful and artistic. The two magazine covers are very colourful and so different from what we can see now on covers. The ‘Pani’ magazine is a monthly title published to this day and it still remains a very popular women’s magazine.


Those two booklets are from two museums in Dublin:

20140720_145750_resized  20140720_145826_resized

The front of the first booklet represents current exhibition; Costumes Parisiens, Fashion Plates from 1912-1914. The illustrations give you an idea of what you can expect to see at the exhibition. The two blocks of text at the top work well giving visitors  all the essential information.

The second booklet works in a similar way. It advertises different events in Dublin with the work of Patrick Scott, an Irish graphic designer and architect, on the front page.


The following 5 images are taken from ‘The Picture Book’ by Angus Hyland.

20140720_150051_resized  20140720_150111_resized  20140720_150201_resized  20140720_150234_resized  20140720_150406_resized

I bought this book recently to get some inspirations. It has all kinds of illustrations in it, from very basic to ones that require a lot of skill. I am hoping to use some elements from this book as a source of inspiration in my future work, it contains over 400 illustrations and they all are so different and inspiring.