Monday, February 8, 2010

Understanding Comics Chapter 2

McCloud describes icons as images that "represent a person, place, thing or idea." They must bear some resemblance to the thing that it is representing, else words and symbols would be considered icons too; these are too abstract for McCloud. Once operating inside the world of icons, one must decide how realistic it will look. This directly affects the effectiveness of an icon. The more detailed and realistic an image is, the more it is focused on specific details of the person, place, thing, or idea. This can be used to target a specific audience, but will also alienate some. The more vague and "generic" an icon, the more broadly it is recognized and accepted. A good example of this is icons used to represent male and female restrooms, they are used almost universally with no need for altering. The figures include so little detail that they do not imply any nationality or body structure, but are accepted to represent males and females (even though they do not look anything like human bodies as McCloud observes).

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