Images make arguments by presenting a message to an audience. The image is intentionally trying to convey some type of message. The position, the colors, the subject, where it’s physically placed, if it has any text and so many more factors lend into the argument. Think about it in school, people tend to put posters above water fountains. You eyes are bound to see it when you bend down or standup. That means you need to see the poster and there’s a sense of importance behind it.
As soon as I read the prompt I knew exactly what image I would write about. The place I went to for after pre-k, kindergarten and after school care had all kinds of motivational and informational posters. The only poster I vividly remember from the school was a poster about imagination. It was a picture of an ice berg. The very top was above the water and didn’t look big. However, majority of the poster was the rest of the iceberg below the water. “Imagination” was written underneath the ice berg. There was a quote that read, “What we can easily see is only a small percentage of what is possible. Imagination is having the vision to see what is just below the surface; to picture that which is essential, but invisible to the eye.”
It made an impact on me because the image itself was simple, but the message could be applied and interpreted a few different ways. The first thing I thought of was understanding there’s always a bigger picture. That’s what came to my mind before I read any of the text on the poster. Then after I read the text, I realized that imagination helps you to see the bigger picture. It’s a useful tool that needs to be used at a very young age.
I think it made such an impression on my because I was five or six when I first saw it. The imagery was eye catching and immediately drew someone in. But then without reading anything, you could surmise the message of the poster. There is always more than meets the eye, and most every situation has a bigger picture that can be hard to see at times. I think this picture resonated with me so much because it’s simplistic, yet effective. I could understand what it meant at a young age and that’s why it has stayed with me for such a long time.
I learned one extremely important lesson from seeing that poster for the first time. Messages or visual arguments don’t have to be complex in order to be effective. The saying “simplicity is key” reigns true for a lot of visual arguments. I think if you want to make the largest, most effective impact you need the image to be concise. If you do anything more than that, your main message can be lost in the image. Too many messages to attempts to convey something can completely drown out your original point. That’s why the best messages are simple and effective.