Engl 706 Application of Method


Since my project is focused around Chesapeake Bay conservation, I wanted to find an advertisement the foundation is currently using to analyze for our methods assignment this week. The artifact above, an advertisement geared at preventing fertilizer and chemical run-off from farms, is gives me the perfect opportunity to apply my Foucault and Latour based Frakentheory.

Though there is not obvious (at least to me) evidence of action on the viewer’s part upon first glance, the ad’s word choice and visual elements do show considerable action on both the designer and viewer’s part. First, the designer chose to use a bass as the main image for the ad, a fish many are familiar with and eat on a regular basis. The designer could have easily decided to use another creature from the bay, a heron perhaps, but chose this image because it invokes more familiarity and probably because of the more direct connection to water and human consumption. By using the text to shape the image, rather than supplying text below or above a realistic depiction of the fish, the designer almost forces the viewer to take in the entire message. The designer also made deliberate choices with the font, using slightly different typefaces, styles, and colors to emphasize particular words and to ensure the viewer reads the text as intended. I also find it fascinating that the text seems to mimics the popular children’s rhyme “the woman who swallowed a fly,” but clears paints a darker message with the use of font and color (starts out whimsical, and then turn deadly).

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