- Stuart Hall argued that all texts/images are initially encoded with meaning and then subsequently decoded or read.
- “… we are all inclined to judge pictures by what we know rather than by what we see.” (Ernst Gombrich)
- We are used to certain graphic codes that allow us to comprehend event and emotions in pictures.
RED – Danger or anger. Red can also indicate passion.
BLUE – Serenity or sadness. Blue can also signify coldness.
YELLOW – Happiness, cheerfulness.
GREEN – Peacefulness, or nature.
BLACK – Could mean evil or danger when darkness fills the page. When worn, black clothes could mean villainous, or a witch. In western societies it could also mean mourning.
PINK – Girlishness.
ORANGE – Warmth. An orange hue could also show that something is old, like a sepia photograph.
WHITE – Purity. White areas on a page are uncluttered, illuminated.
B&W – Reminiscent of the past, or ‘draining’ of colour.
Shades of colour. Light and bright represents happiness. Darker shades portray tension or misery.
In the picture above, the forest is dark, grey and made to feel scary by its bleak and uninviting colours. When Jack returned to his natural state, the sky turns blue, daisies grow and the forest is a greener place. By brightening the colours in the second picture, sense of danger Browne previously created has been removed.
Different hues are associated with different moods or feelings. Muted colours in Granpa are used to make you feel that he is becoming fragile and the sepia, that he is thinking of the past.
Saturation: Vibrant colours represent happiness. Muted colours give a more gentle feeling.
The book below is about the transatlantic slave trade. Using black and white seems appropriate. The black and white illustrations capture the despair of these people. The colour drained from the picture as joy and hope is drained from their lives.