Workshop: Editorial Image

The purpose of an image in an editorial piece is to attract attention, accompany the text, engage the reader, all while not giving the story of the article away. An effective technique used regularly in editorial pieces is a visual metaphor, adding meaning and context to the article but often only making full sense once the article has been read. An example of a visual metaphor is a hair dryer in different contexts. On a dressing table next to make up and a mirror, a hair dryer can represent beauty, femininity and glamour. Next to a bath full of water, a hair dryer can represent danger.

When creating imagery for my editorial project, it will be important to consider the following questions: What message is the image communicating? Is the image the appropriate style? How does the image communicate the message visually?

Our challenge was to create a suitable image for a given article in a small time frame. My group were given an article about the dangers of eating red meats; a particular focus on recent studies that claim to have confirmed that ‘bacon causes cancer’. It also claimed that bacon is now considered in the same category as asbestos, alcohol and tobacco. Catrin, Emmeline and I agreed that this statement seemed extreme and slightly humorously ridiculous, and so of course we chose to play on it. We wanted to completely over exaggerate the extent to which red meat is considered a danger to our health, blowing it completely out of proportion. We considered using a ‘Beware of the dog’ sign and replacing the word ‘dog’ with ‘bacon’. We considered illustrating worried mothers chatting over a cup of tea, one saying “I think my son is doing bacon”, playing on the idea of mothers being worried about a son/daughters drug or alcohol habits. We looked into an ‘over 18’ sign being photoshopped onto a pack of bacon, and caution tape partially covering an image of bacon. One of our favourite ideas that we felt would appeal massively to our own age group (millennials were mentioned as being the generation being willing to spend more money on organic food in order to eat healthier) was the idea of using a classic scene from a the film Monsters Inc., a popular film from our childhood. In the film, a monster is touched by a child’s sock and as a result sent into contamination and is treated accordingly. We wanted to photoshop a piece of bacon where the sock would be in the film scene, illustrating the over exaggerated modern attitude to bacon, mirroring the attitude towards the harmless child’s sock in the film.

At risk of not being totally understood, we decided to go with a more simple and much more effective visual metaphor. Catrin and Emmeline began photoshopping bacon and sausages into a cigarette box, showing the danger of red meats on our health in the same light as cigarettes.

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