Textual and Visual Analysis

http://www.dpvintageposters.com/cgi-local/detail.cgi?d=7688

David Pollock Vintage Poster
Artist: HENRY LE MONNIER

At first sight, this image caught my eye with a sharp contrast between cool and warm colors; the upper background is dull blue while the objects in front of it are bright orange. My attention was then drawn to a spherical figure in the middle, which I immediately asked myself whether or not it was the Earth. If so, how come is the Earth so orange?

I cannot deny having a little bias towards this kind of poster, the beverage advertisement. Personally, I don’t like all kinds of media that support alcohol drinking. I know that it sounds old-fashioned and for the most part, perverse. This advertisement just serves the purpose of increasing the sales of the products and many people drink alcohol anyway. However, I still don’t want any more children to see this kind of advertisement and tell themselves, “See, it is okay to drink.”

The poster features a beautiful woman in a flowing yellow dress stepped out of the orange globe with a bunch of grape vines. The artist makes use of many different sizes of circles and the gradient of blue color in the background. Since the globe is also circular in shape, the powerful geometry stands out in this image after putting objects and background together. The letters on the top are white, the same color as that of the woman’s skin. Likewise, the letters at the bottom is yellow, which matches the woman’s dress. These create the balance of colors between the top and bottom of the picture. Besides, the font is easy to read, and black background at the bottom makes the yellow motto saying “Ses Chablis Authentiques(Authentic Chablis)” prominent.

At first, the only thing I understood about this picture is that it displays the woman, as a presenter, stepping out of the weird-colored globe with a bottle of wine so as to exaggerate the superiority of this beverage. There is no reason to support why this brand is better than the others, so the message conveyed is not considered an argument. However, once I went deeper into the research regarding the context of this picture, I found out that this woman is not an ordinary human-being.  Rather, she is “Amphictyonis”, the goddess of wine in Greek mythology, who is leaping off a golden-grape globe to promote this beverage. With this interpretation in mind, it is certain for the customers who hold strong belief about the Greek goddess to find it effective evidence that substantiates the high quality of this product. With this supporting evidence, the image can be considered an argument. Thus, whether or not this picture is an argument could be answered differently according to the belief and background knowledge of the readers.

Similarly, the effectiveness evaluation of this advertisement can be different from one person to another. The picture definitely has an influence on the ones who get the entire message across, and certainly doesn’t on the ones who do not even appreciate the beauty of this artwork. Nevertheless, for me, all my biases were broken down by its creative and vivid design since the first time I saw this poster.

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