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Words and pictures #social media

You can get quite a powerful message across to your audience with an image that is not just a picture but contains one or two words as well. Today’s picture contains just one word and gets across a Victorian image for no particular purpose. I designed the image as an exercise just to see what I could do with a photograph. People make assumptions when they view photographs and although we see thousands of images in a year on television, in magazines, newspapers and online they all have some effect on us. Words and pictures combined have an even greater effect.

words and pictures

Scrooge the movie

I had Scrooge the movie in mind when I designed this particular image. The word Scrooge conjures up an image all by itself but combined with a Victorian style passageway and a film style border and we have an advert for a movie or even a title page. The lamppost at the end of the passageway is a Victorian design but when you first looked at the image did you perhaps assume the children at the end of the passage were dressed in Victorian style clothes? They are, in fact, dressed in modern clothes but the image is deceptive in many ways.

Words and pictures

Photographs with words added to purvey a message or idea are quite common on social media and the purpose of the message is often to spread fake news or create division. Images using pictures overlaid with words is often all it takes to create a meme that will be shared or copied many times. These memes spread hatred and division and often use images of famous people to promote ideas that in reality have little to do with the person in the photograph. You can also spread a positive message using words and pictures. The poster spread across that bus during the Brexit referendum promising millions of pounds extra for the NHS if we left the European Union was a powerful message repeated when the bus was photographed and so appeared on television, in newspapers and on social media. It was all a lie. The combination of words and pictures is a powerful way to spread a message.

The spirit of Christmas

The Spirit of Christmas is contained in messages everywhere at this time of year. As an admin of the History of Wednesbury on Facebook, I have been using such images since the beginning of the month. I’m also posting Victorian images and some drawings by a local artist. It all comes together to promote the spirit of Christmas. Will it offend Asian people in my community? That is what one meme that spreads on Facebook suggests. We can’t say Christmas, we have to call it the holiday period! Of course, that is just racists stirring it. I was in the library on Saturday and half the children visiting Santa were there with their Asian parents. I know people who are practising Buddhists who still celebrate Christmas! It is the spirit of Christmas, the spirit of goodwill to all men, that is important and you don’t have to be religious to celebrate that.


I’ve written more than 500 words today so I’ll end with some photographs. As you look at the photographs consider whether they are positive images or negative images. Every image has some kind of influence. Those that use words and pictures have a powerful influence.

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