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Graphic Designer's Essential Reference by Timothy Samara

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Working with Imagery

Every pictorial element falls on a continuum between the literal, or representational, and the abstract. The method of making the pictorial element is referred to as its mode, and the degree of stylization and, therefore, interpretation, imposed by the designer is defined as mediation. A photograph of a figure and a stylized, geometric drawing of a figure are both representational—but if the photograph is lit dramatically and the figure’s position highly contrived (in contrast to the neutral presentation of the drawing), the photograph may be considered more mediated than the drawing. Still, photographic images tend to be perceived as “real,” or “believable,” simply because they depict an empirical experience. Illustrative ...

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