Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Liverpool Map

There are other techniques to improve salience within the design process such as some of those mentioned by Laszlo Moholy-nagy in his essay from 1925 ‘Contemporary typography – Aims, Practice, Criticism’, ‘tension introduced into layouts by contrasting visual elements such as:

• light/dark
• empty/full
• multicoloured/grey
• vertical/horizontal
• upright/oblique’ (Blackwell, 2001, p. unknown).

An excellent visual map that beautifies, enlivens, and has an excellent salient ability is ‘Liverpool the centre of the creative universe’ designed by Burn, fig. This was exhibited at the Tate Liverpool but this certainly grabs the user/readers attention and it categorises the content into Topographic landmarks of the city, such as The Docks, The Walker Art Gallery, Tate, Bluecoat Art Gallery, Liverpool College of art & also by The Beatles. The subtle harmony with tinges of Pink Framing (arrows/lines) the main Landmarks in the foreground and the background framing of the Blue linking particular people across these Landmarks are excellent. The framing (Kress & Van Leeuwen[1]) also has many different styles from varied iconic and well known pointing hands, to hand drawn, dashed lines, rounded edge bubbles, rectangular, organic grey shapes, speech bubbles all used in distinction to there landmarks. The use of varying saturations of black with the monochrome bubbles and introduction of illustrations of birds & eyes, some iconic others mimetic (realistic photos) create a magnificent balance of word & image.

The layering and differing tones of grey create great depth and the information value is immense because it is so visually engaging and stimulating you to read/interpret and identify The Beatles as being something you know of. You follow the linked bubbles further and may discover Brian Epstein, ‘Who is this?’ is a reponse the name might elicit. This would then hopefully inspire the map reader/user to research this name, usually via Google (preferably, or ‘Who is Peter Blake?’ That would certainly inspire and stimulate creativity upon discovery.

[1] Kress, Gunther & Theo van Leeuwen wrote three aspects of visual composition: Salience, Information Value & Framing in Reading Images: The Grammar of Visual Design. London: Routledge (1996), (Chandler, 2006, p. sem_04).

Blackwell, Lewis. (1998). Twentieth-Century Type, New and Revised Edition. Lawrence King, London


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