In my Intro to Visual Communications class, we were assigned to make two posters based on a utilitarian object that we picked at the beginning of the semester. One poster had to have a "denotative" meaning (what the object literally is) and the other had to have a "connotative" meaning (what is the deeper importance/meaning of the object.)
The object I chose was a staple gun.
For the denotative poster, I wanted to show how the object looks, showing off all the visual characteristics of the tool, as well as how the tool would be used.
Since the staple gun has now become such an easy tool to use, I wanted to use the title "DIY" to show that this tool is so easy, you can do it yourself. I showed this by creating an open design, something not too overwhelming, in order to convey the meaning of simple, easy to use.
The staple gun looked like the letter D, and the cord felt like a nice opportunity to use as a line, so I created a capital "D" ligature to a lowercase "i," uniting the staple gun with the title text.
For the connotative poster, I chose the title "Contemporary Empowerment" to communicate the idea of being empowered to make things and craft things, a different and new way of feeling empowered compared to the past. I also wanted to communicate the overall risk of using the tool.
The design for this was meant to be much more visually intense than the denotative poster, mainly because the idea of empowerment is so strong. By using many people's hands (both male and female,) and having the people clench their fists, I was able to represent the idea of protest, political movements, or riots. The suit coat on the largest hand in the poster is there to show that you don't have to be a craftsman to use the item either.
The band-aid on the largest hand is highlighted to show that the object, as powerful and empowering it is, can also hurt you. This reminds the viewer that there is still safety to think about when using the tool.
I used a very intense red, since red is a powerful color, as we psychologically connect the color red with "stop" and "danger."