Project 10: Symbols, personality and values


In my first posts on this project I adapted a photo of me into a symbol and noted a little about the history of the standard accessibility symbol. A number of years ago a modified symbol was proposed – see it here – based on more active values than the original. I recognise the need for such symbolism and signage because of the hostile physical environment but wanted to explore injecting the symbol with some personality. So that is today’s task.

In this first tranche of symbols I played with both shape and colour but concentrate on the later.


It’s amazing how simple changes can have such a profound effect. Colour matters but so does the bounding, with those symbols on a white background offers a much more open evocation that those bounded within a frame. For example, the simple addition of a green line within the frame makes the symbol resonate off of it and transforms the effect.

In addition the use of two colours and or textures moves the symbol from being just a symbol into something else. I then went on to explore texture, colour and shape in a little more depth and gave the images more radical treatments.


More thoughts
I know it’s rather obvious but the exercise reminded me of how very simple changes can have profound effects on connotation. My personal favourites from this work are shown below. I like this first image because it offers multiple evocations: its graffiti rather than an administrative sign; it’s been made to look like it’s been present for a long time; and I have used the cross of St George to inject another form of symbolism into it – nationalism.

Symbols 2 (32 of 34)

This work led to a second image where age played a role. I hope the image engenders a sense of the symbols being painted on an ancient wall in Rome or Greece through my use of a background layer of old cracked paint and the repetition can be suggestive of a race and so my play on the old Olympics.

Symbols 2 (33 of 34)

In fact this multiple use of the symbol has given me an idea….


About Pete

South Londoner struggling with life, art and photography.
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