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Applied Graphics Tutorial
A disrespectful digression into traditional love symbols

The above symbol is one we all know! - It's the traditional symbol for true love, the phenomenon of being struck by the arrow of Amor. It's familiar and reassuring isn't it?

Yet, this symbol is all wrong! - That's a lethal hit by an arrow in the heart we see. Like there's a deathwish in the symbology. - This is clearly no good. The modern graphical artist needs to convey the message more clearly and precicely!

In short, we need to change this symbol to make it communicate better! - Like this:

Notice how a comparatively simple change of the *type of arrow gives the symbol a much clearer meaning. Being struck by this type of arrow lets you live to marry the girl! - Which is a whole lot better than dying before the first kiss!

Notice also how secondary association is at work here. This kind of arrow will hit with a 'smack' reminiscent of a kiss. A real sucky one at that. Chances are that you'll like a kiss in the real life situation we try to depict. So you see how this new symbol is, not only more descriptive, but more positive and useful than the old one.

Always imagine the situation i real life! - Try it out if you need to! Communicative graphics depend on research and understanding of the subject matter. - In this case we're talkin about falling in love! - What we have to imagine is doing just that.

Let's say that you see a wonderful girl. - (Female readers please use a mental gender switch if you feel the need!) - She's magnificent and lovely beyond description! - Endorphines and various other, yet undiscovered biological signal substances rush though your every vein and artery while you look at her! - Pheromones ooze from your pores with an almost audible sound!

You get shortage of breath and your heart goes, boom,budi, boom, - or rather 'smack,smackkety,fompf,smack!

This will describe that feeling:

Notice how the arrows poetically explains the uneven thumping of the heart experienced!

Then comes the moment of truth! - She looks at you! - And smiles!

Wham! - You're hooked! - That's another misapplied metaphor by the way. 'Hooked' does in no way describe what happens!

This does however:

This then, is true everlasting love folks! - It's the ultimate graphical symbol for it! That thing is made wet before it's smacked on there! - It'll sit there and suck indefinitly! - Hmm.. that didn't sound quite right...

Never mind! - On to the 'Achey, Breaky Heart' symbol:

The discriminate reader will already have noticed that this traditional symbol is no better than the first one we adressed. The viewer is given the impression that the heart is made of some hard material, like stone or glass! - Not good at all! - The viewer will of course feel less sympathy for the broken heart when it's made of such a unflattering material.

Again, the real feelings needs to be looked at and analyzed. It's the duty of the modern graphical artist to depict those feelings truthfully, gruesome as they are!

So, imagine again the wonderful girl from earlier. We change only the ending of the story. This time she doesn't smile. She looks at you blandly instead. Remember that you probably have a bad case of puppydog eyes at this moment:

She says: "Let's just forget it, dude!"

And this is what it feels like when she pulls one like that. - The heart is of course made of a soft and supple material, and will fold into a ball of painful wrinkles when the insides leave through the spout. Drawing it in that state is useless as a symbol though. There's two reasons for that. It looks like a prune, and it would simply be too tasteless!

So now you see that we can make these symbols communicate better when we put our minds to it!

Flawed symbols abound in this area! - An example is flowers used as a present and symbol of your love and affection. For some obscure reason girls insist on real flowers, - decapitated ones at that! - Need I remind you that these will wither and die within days! - A wholly improper subliminal message right there!

Much more pertinent to what you probably want to say is flowers made of plastic! - These will keep for a lifetime. They can be cleaned and wacuumed for cobwebs whenever needed.

Next consider the often heard metaphor 'heart of gold'! - This too is flawed as the first thing that springs to mind is the Inka's pouring molten gold down the throaths of portuguise sailors! - Wait, this *is getting out of hand! - I'll stop here!

Remember, always brush your teeth two times a day!


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