Background Image by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Since our childhood we have been hearing the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words”. When I was a kid, I often used this phrase as an excuse for not reading my school textbooks as most of them hardly had any images. Many years have passed since I have left school, but this phrase comes up most frequently, even today.

So, What Exactly is Imagemaking?

Photo by La-Rel Easter on Unsplash

Imagemaking is a design technique that is used to convey a message to an audience with the help of an image. It is perhaps the first step that we, as a human, learn to communicate effectly. I am no paediatrician, or a child psychologist but what I think is imagemaking is something that we all did when we were a baby. Seeing something, picturing it and making a meaning out of it, is something that we would have been doing to understand anything as a baby. Well, we don’t often remember how we used to perceive anything as a baby. So, let’s consider the times when we developed our conciousness and we all learned that “A is for Apple”. But how did we know that a certain something is an apple? We saw it, analysed its shape, its colors, its textures, and used many different ways in which we recognised that object as an apple. In design perpective, imagemaking is something where you use an image along with some design elements such as lines, shapes, colors, textures, or other images to make a meaning out of that image.

Making Meaning out of an Image.

Photo by Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis on Unsplash

Let us continue with the example of an apple. If I provide you with an image of an apple, and ask you to make different meanings out of it, what all meanings can you come up with? I’m sure that our wondering minds will make millions of connections to convey many different messages out of that single image of an apple. Maybe, we can think of the tech giant, ‘The Apple’, or we can link it to Snow White story, or we can think of the phrase, “An Apple a Day, Keeps a Doctor Away”. Moreover, we can add design elements like adding three vertical lines above the apple image will convey that the apple is falling, or adding an image of Sir Isaac Newton below the image of the apple can convey the story of the discovery of gravity, or an image of a knife pierced into that apple can convey betrayal, or just wrting an ‘A+’ on the apple image can signify academic exellence, or we can just simply convey the message that the image is just itself, an apple. With many different meanings and stories linked to the image, the possibilies are endless.

If a single image can convey so many messages, just think of the fact that how many messages can be conveyed just by compositing images and other design elements.

Living Life in Every Breath.