How to read an image and Representation

How does the spectator perceive an image as a result of the design decision?

Today we had a discussion with Cath Davies on how to read an image and representation. We all had to look at two different types of James Bond film posters, one from 1960’s and one from 1980’s. Both posters had a clear difference and to be able to sort these differences we had to create three columns, the first one was for description, the second for Analysis and the third for theory.

1960’s James Bond poster


From looking at this poster you get a clear description of James Bond and his characteristics. The first thing you notice is that Bond is wearing a suit, holding a used gun in one hand and a cigaret in the other. It is clear that Bond is a wealthy and powerful man and possibly someone that’s not to be messed with. The characters confidence shows as he is leaning forward and is designed to be bigger than the other characters making him physically distinct in the frame. It is clear that Bond is a professional from the way he’s holding the fired gun, he is very relaxed and confidant with himself, and the fact that he’s holding a cigaret adds to this effect.

The three first women on the other hand are wearing hardly any clothes, and the colour white suggest that they are vulnerable. The women are objectified and are designed to be smaller than Bond showing his power and their vulnerability. The fired pistol could also be referring to Bonds masculinity, suggesting that he has slept with the three women and now they’re changing back into their clothes.

The fourth woman is different, she on the other hand is fully clothed, but the slit in her dress still suggesting a sense of sexual appeal possibly between her and Bond. The woman is designed further away from Bond possibly to show that she is harder to seduce than the other women, and the fact that she’s an exotic character shows she is probably connected to the villain.

1980’s James Bond poster


Different to the 1960’s poster the woman has the most power, towering over Bond with a large gun . The woman is very masculine and robotic, whilst her racial identity is also very threatening to Bond. On the other hand Bond is in a state of panic, his open body language suggesting that he’s been caught off guard. He’s also wearing white suggesting he’s much more vulnerable. There is clearly more equality in the picture between how men and women are seen, the female character is emerging from the ground, suggesting she’s just as important than Bond and designed in a way so that she’s physically dominating him. Of of the main differences here is that the woman isn’t defined by sex, but by power and strength.




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