Every Colour Tells a Story…

Creativity is paramount in media and in conveying a message or telling a story. Every aspect in media serves a purpose and colour is a strong, effective tool in portraying meaning in posters, ads and all kinds of media. Some examples that stood out to me:

McDonald’s now offers wifi in their restaurants! And after seeing this ad, you’ll never forget the amenity or what restaurant makes that offer.

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The red and yellow colour scheme is a McDonald’s staple, and it’s worked for years and years – after all, “billions and billions served”, right? So, why veer from what works? However in this particular poster, the marriage of the plain red background and the already golden delicious McDonald fries help each other hand in hand in terms of colour scheme and tradition. Add to that the very simplistic, but universally understood sign for wifi internet and McDonald’s has an effective, comprehensive, mouthwatering meaning.

One of the most unnerving and classic movie posters ever, Jaws, uses colour effectively. Again, keeping it simple, the poster features predominantly red, white and blue to illustrate the impending attack on the unsuspecting bathing beauty. The Great white shark and blue water usurp the viewer’s attention while the completely white background negates any distractions from the terrifying shark. The bold, red letters add the final, reassuring touch of certain bloodshed soon to come. 

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An image I’ve ogled for at least minutes on end multiple times is the ‘blown away man’ on the Maxell CD cases. The image has always conjured up in my mind the idea of someone’s listening experience being akin to tornado like chaos. As a fan of hardcore music, characterized by thrashing, flailing, wild dance moves, this ad has always appealed to me and has lingered on my mind for a long time. The image is merely black and white, but somehow it’s simplicity and concept resonated with me and that has made it an effective media. 

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One of my favourite movies of all time, Jurassic Park employs the most exciting imagery in movie poster history, I think. I guess I’m a sucker for simplicity because that has been the recurring theme in all my favourite images in media. But the all black, ominous background with the Tyrannosaurus skeleton bathed in blood red was an iconic image in movie history then and now. The poster spoke volumes about the new concept that was to grace silver screens, and did so without revealing any of the magic (CGI’s and robotics) that went into creating the film. The poster and it’s simplistic, powerful colours sold the film effectively.

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