Friday, 6 November 2009

Portfolio Task 1 - Schumacher & Ettlinger and Savile Lumley image comparison

Response to:
Compare and contrast the two images in relation to the following:-

1. The choice and organisation of font and style of illustration.
2. The purpose and meaning of the image.
3. The target audience of the image.
4. The social and historical contexts relevant to the production of the image.

The Uncle Sam Range (1876) Advertising Image by Schmacher & Ettlinger, New York

This image emphasises power, class and society. It is an advertisement selling an Uncle Sam cooker. At a glance my eyes are immediately drawn to the man sat in wealthy looking clothes and the man with a world for a head. The well dressed man looks to be sat round the table for dinner with his family. His body language is very open and upright showing his power. This imagery mirrors images of Abraham Lincoln and that of a president. It is aimed at middle class/ lower class men who want to buy the cooker to become like the man pictured. He is glancing over at the 'world' and offering him food from the cooker, representing their ability to feed the worlds needs. The 'world' is sat writing a list of countries and foods they eat. This shows ignorance towards the worlds needs because the only food written under the Irish section is potatoes, and different way to cook them. The 'world' has a joker-like smile on his face, blissfully unaware of his ignorance; he looks like he is the well dressed man's partner.

This picture target audience is emphasised by the use of colour. Everything is red, white and blue with stars, in the style of the American flag (curtains, carpet, wallpaper, clothing), to show they are patriotic American's. The colours are also very bold to create a rich, luxurious, appealing feel too attract potential customers. There is a clock in the background, however it doesn't have the normal 1-12 numbers on it, the hands are pointing at the dates 1776 and 1876. America became independent in 1776 and the clock represents a century of independence. The American's are asserting their independence and new found power upon the world by offering them their goods and a product which gives you authority and power. Also, in the background there is an image of an American building symbolizing a celebration of America's birth and freedom/independence.

I find it interesting the fact that the cooker is what is being advertised, yet it is half way off the page, the man and the world are the focal point. Advertising campaigns are the same today; celebrities are used to advertise a product and make it more appealing. For example a celebrity will be holding an ipod. The ipod is tiny and the celebrity takes all the lime light, you are buying the celebrity because of their status, wealth and beauty not the company/product.

Poster by Savile Lumley 1915

This is a propaganda poster from the war, aiming to encourage men to join the war. It focuses on emotion and direct questioning. Admissions to the army dropped dramatically after the initial surge, due to bad stories and deaths. It is trying to make the audience feel guilty or how they will feel when they have kids in the future and they ask ' Daddy, what did YOU do in the Great War?' and they have nothing to say because they didn't fight for their country. He is staring right at you with a cold look in his eyes, which engages the audience immediately. It creates worries for people who have not yet enrolled in the army as to weather they will still be a man if they do not take part. There is symbolism of patriotism, the boy is playing with toy soldiers, these soldiers are galmourised. Soldiers who are fighting in the war will not wear these red, typically English suits. This is a typical outift for soldiers who are protecting the Queen. This gives the impression that if your fight in the war you are fighting for the Queen. The boy shows that he idolises the soldiers, showing that they are a great image and he wants to play with them because they are something to look up to.

Girl is looking is a history book, reading about the war. The war has gone down history and the father is not part of it. The poster describes the war as 'Great' assuming that we are victorious. It is also written with capitalisation showing it is an actual name now.

I would say this poster was aimed at middle class citizens because the working class would have already enrolled by this time and the middle class are happy dodging the war, so they need some gentle persuading and gilt tripping to put the numbers of soldiers up.

In comparison

In the uncle Sam's picture the colours are very vivid and rich to emphasise wealth whereas in the war poster the colours are muted and warm, to represent a standard family's house so that it relates to the audience more. Sam's picture is about the dream of becoming like the well-dressed man, whilst the war poster is the reality of what could happen if you don't join the army. In both images the type is quite small and not in your face, but the images are both composed so that your eyes naturally flow to read the text at the bottom. Sam's pictures chose to use a font that looks quite authoritive, as if to be in command and ordering you to buy his cooker, in comparison the war posters font is swirly and looks like handwriting to make it more personal. Both posters are persuasive but aimed at different target audiences. For a start uncle Sam's is for America and the war poster is for Britain. Both posters I think are aimed at middle and lower class citizens, trying to sell the ideal thing, status. The war photo was made in 1915 when the war had started trying to liberate people to take part for their country. Uncle Sam's picture was made in 1876, a century after America gained independence, and also is patriotic and is showing what 'America' can do for you.