From slogans to aphorisms

David SargentDVA0 Comments

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The Images you Compare Yourself to are Not Real 2016
digital illustration

In an effort to consider the written content as well as the visual, I spent a bit of time looking further into prevention campaigns that combat body image related issues. The result was the above aphorism (my definition: kind of like a slogan, but with a bit more substance behind it).

An interesting point I had previously read but forgotten about was that building positive body image has been proven to be a successful tactic in the prevention of negative body image. Interventions that also seek to generate critical discourse on cultural influences are the most successful. The above aphorism was developed from a 2005 study by La Trobe University in Melbourne which focussed on testing key messages and their effectiveness with adolescents. It’s a combination of two messages ‘images of people in the media are not real’ and ‘don’t fall into the comparison trap’ that they found resonated highly with their audience.

I think it’s a critical message, especially as ten years on technology now allows anyone with a smart phone the ability to digitally modify photographs that they publish and distribute. As Fred Ritchin notes, reality is increasingly being seen as the ‘first draft’ that needs to be improved and enhanced. It’s important to remind ourselves that those enhanced images are not a true reflection of the world.

I’ve also continued my exploration on a mixture of lettering styles to promote the idea of diversity and imperfection. While probably not as successful as the animated experiments in this area, I hope it still gets the message across. The elongated and compressed letters blatantly ripped from the excellent new identity for Parsons by Paula Scher and a Issey Miyake logotype I spotted in Tokyo a few months ago. This idea of dramatic distortion is something I would like to explore further.

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