“A visual metaphor is a device for encouraging insights, a tool to think with” states Noël Carroll in his book Beyond Aesthetics. Looking around at some of the world’s greatest ads, there is little doubt that one of the most powerful ways advertising communicates a message is through visual metaphors. It is an art in itself. To strip down an idea to its essence, then represent this through a powerful and visually engaging metaphor, making it easier to communicate the message to an audience. Our Advertising and Digital Media students produce an original photographic visual metaphor in our Digital Photography classes.
The first challenge of taking a great photo is coming up with a great idea. In this assignment, students nominate a client, product or service and develop a photographic ad to solve a specific communications problem. After a series of lessons in digital, studio and lifestyle photography, students take an original photo and retouch and composite it with a headline, typography and a brand logo.
“The first step is to nut out the core message, then sketch out visual solutions. Taking the photo is where the executional expertise comes in” says Digital Photography lecturer Simon Cardwell.
Simon runs the Digital Photography unit at our Sydney campus. In addition to being an accomplished fine arts and portrait photographer himself, Simon embodies Macleay’s principles of delivering student and industry focused education with industry expert teachers, project-based learning and a hands-on approach to learning.
Advertising student Ray Phan (now working as a Designer at We Are Social) wanted to surprise his audience. His visual solution for Kinder Surprise – a chocolate egg with a hidden toy, was to remind us that eggs have long hidden unexpected hatchlings.
International student Carlos Alcantara (now working at Magna Global) approached his casual employer Des Renford Leisure Centre and offered to create an ad to help clients get their ‘muffin top’ into shape.
Recent Bachelor of Advertising and Media graduate Sophie Robertson created a soft and beautiful image of firm, round peaches to discreetly create awareness around screening for breast cancer.
After taking time-out of her creative career to start a family, art director Helen Metlenko wanted to up-date her digital skills, and in the meantime, found out she was a pretty keen copywriter. Her visual ad for Patrick’s Barbers was pitched specifically at their male clientele.
Sam Harley (most recently Junior Creative at Host) topped the Diploma of Advertising course, and also came up with this crafty visual solution for the craft beer bar next door to the college.
Callam Hanks always had a creative ‘outside-of-the-box’ idea for his assignments. This was a very unexpected solution to the visual metaphor assignment, comparing the cost of a new car to the cost of raising a child. The ad was specifically aimed at getting teens to rethink their choices around unwanted teen pregnancy. No need to say Callam has gone on to create some innovative and out-there solutions in his new job as Social and Content Manager at Infinity Squared.
If you would like to know more about the Digital Photography classes, part of our Advertising & Media or Digital Media courses read on.