Illusion Poster assignment 2


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Illusion Poster Assignment

What is magic? Illusion, wonder, the unusual, the unexpected, the hidden, the revealed. Choose an aspect of magic that appeals to you. Make the rest of us feel that aspect by how you visually capture the essence of that magical quality and represent it on this poster. This quality of evoking feeling, not simply representation, is referred to as isomorphic correspondence, and is a major goal of this assignment. By placing emphasis on either figure becoming ground or figure & ground reversal the designer can use visual “trickery” as one method of doing this. In addition to this major requirement of employing dynamic figure and ground, you should also make use of color, style, symbols, composition, words and typography as additional means of evoking a psychological response.

img_3413Possible subjects/topics for your advertising or promotional poster include, but are not limited to the following:

  • a magician
  • illusionist
  • magic show
  • event involving multiple magicians
  • “Black Magic”, Voodoo, Hoodoo
  • Cultural spiritual beliefs where superstition is a major aspect
  • or any other topic/subject where some aspect of “magic” would apply

Explore the relative visually ambiguous effects that are possible through images and/or text presented where the viewer must mentally complete or separate figure and ground. Use these effects to emphasize the ideas and concepts that are inherent in magic (illusion, sleight of hand, misdirection, supernatural, superstition, etc.) In other words, use the effects of visually interesting figure and ground to illustrate and convey a magical feeling (isomorphic correspondence). The form follows the function or the form (the look) is influenced by the content (the subject). In this case we want the look to evoke the feeling of magic is some way by manipulating the figure and ground relationship between the shapes, patterns, images, and words that are used on the poster. (an optical Illusion would be an example).

Consider your use of implied line, continuation, closure, color, & contrast to do this. Look at their effects on the viewer’s sense of Isomorphic Correspondence (their emotion or feeling in response to seeing your poster.)


  • Size is 13 x 19
  • Color or black and white, your choice
  • Medium is your choice, by hand or using digital techniques, photography or in combination
  • Include factual/practical information such as names, dates, locations, tag line or catch phrase. This information will vary from person to person depending on the subject or direction you choose to take. Generally it is information which will answer questions such as Who? What ? Why? Where? When? How?
  • You must make dynamic visual use of Figure and Ground (either fig becoming ground or fig/ground reversal)
  • You must evoke feeling or emotion (isomorphic correspondence)

Vintage Magic posters, using a specific visual vernacular may give you some ideas about the classic subjects of magicians and their acts of illusion. You may choose to create a poster which references this vintage vernacular but it is not a requirement. Certainly you should be aware of the symbols involved/used in this specialized visual language.

Figure Ground Examples:

Student Magic Posters using an active Figure and Ground relationship

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