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Visual Language for Designers by Connie Malamed

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PRINCIPLE 6CHARGE IT UP

“The brain states and bodily responses are the fundamental facts of an emotion, and the conscious feelings are the frills that have added icing to the emotional cake.”

JOSEPH LEDOUX, The Emotional Brain

What raises the voltage level of a graphic and gives it a charge? Why do visuals with that special spark grab attention and sustain interest? Some viewers find the compositional aesthetic compelling. Others may be moved by a poignant image or visual symbolism filled with personal meaning. Some are amused by humorous and entertaining pictures. One thing is certain—good design creates an emotional response.

The common assumption that art evokes emotion is reliably supported through brain research. When viewers look at both ...

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