Academic journal article Journal of Media Research

Communication, Image and Aesthetics in Web Design: A Hermeneutical Approach. Case Study: Aesthetic Meanings of Black in Web Design

Academic journal article Journal of Media Research

Communication, Image and Aesthetics in Web Design: A Hermeneutical Approach. Case Study: Aesthetic Meanings of Black in Web Design

Article excerpt


In this study we intend to start a interdisciplinary analysis concerning the aspects of artistic communication presented at the level of web design. We intend to analyze the type of artistic communication specific for web design via qualitative research methods specific for communication, hermeneutic and aesthetic fields of research. In the first part of this study we will discuss the specific of the image as a symbolic form of communication taking into consideration the web design as a postmodern variety of applied art, and than we will underline some aspects concerning aesthetic components of web design. In the third part, we will present a qualitative research, interpreting the aesthetic meanings of the use of black in web design and finally we will draw some conclusions.

Keywords: web design, postmodern culture, communication, image, aesthetics, black in web design.

We mention that the reason for the selection of this subject is the important role that image plays as a form of symbolic communication in the context of web design, especially the various aesthetic pertains of black. The symbolic meanings of image, in particular the ones associated with the use of black in web design, may draw the attention of receptor. These can make web design more expressive and can generate a special type of aesthetic experience. The elements that compose the image at the level of web design, as symbols, signs, colors, graphic effects, the structure of composition, characters, have a definite role. First, this role is to capture the attention of the receptor. Secondly, it is to communicate ideas or messages about the specific of the web page or the site involved. Than, it is to produce a certain type of experience or aesthetic emotion for a certain time period, degree and intensity.

1. The specific of image is a form of symbolic communication in web design. The image is a form of communication, because in order to transmit a message we do not only use words, but also images. The relation between words, text and image is a complicated one. Different philosophical and linguistically orientations analyze this relation in different manners, for example, the written text can also be considered an image, according to Derrida. The sentence is, according to Wittgenstein, an image of events. If we take into consideration the image in a broad sense, there is not only the visual image involved, we can observe that literature also operates with images. The concept of image has a very wide meaning. That is the reason why we have to underline that here we take into consideration the meaning of image as a visual image, and, that is the reason why, the examples are from the field of visual arts focused on web design as a form of art. It is clearly that the web design in not the purest form of visual art because we cannot set aside the functional aspects of web pages or sites: any form of design is the design of an object. On the other hand, web design is not only a tool, meaning that it does not only have functional purposes.

We must classify the fast dissemination of web design as a postmodern phenomenon, the web design itself being a sort of postmodern form of art. We think that web design is a postmodern form of art for the following three reasons. First, it uses art trends from all sorts of time periods and cultures, it is well known that postmodernism celebrates a return to different cultures and trends. Postmodern art is designing the future by recovering the past. Secondly, web design, as all forms of postmodern art, represents a collage, a mixture. The third reason is that the postmodern art represents a mixture of aesthetic values with economic values, and web design is also a form of art dictated mainly by the desire to promote a service or a product in order to sale it. As Jobling and Crowley underline: "a business, for example, is not valued by the things that its workers produce but by the way it is represented on the stock exchange and the confidence that shareholders have in its image" (Jobling and Crowley 1996, p. …

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