Word & Image: Motivational Posters

            I didn’t quite realize what they were until I started seeing masses of ludicrous parodies flooding the web. Many netizens may be familiar with what motivational posters are. Wikipedia describes them as intending “to make people achieve more, or to think differently about the things that they may be learning or doing.” Motivational posters are incredibly easy to design. One starts with a blank black rectangle, adds an image surrounded by a thin boarder to the center, then finishes with large “motivational word” attached to the bottom of the image followed by a caption describing one’s interpretation of the word.
            These motivational (and sometimes de-motivational) posters remind me of Brian McCloud’s dismissal of the idea that Family Circus is a comic. Motivational posters are not juxtaposed so (unlike the process in comics) when one creates a motivational poster, the image is often the stimulant rather than the words. In comics, words are prioritized, as I have mentioned in my blog about Brian Fies’ lecture, whereas in these motivational posters, the image is what makes an impact on the viewers.
            Any image can open the floor to numerous interpretations. Take this motivational poster as an example.
Persistence is a strong word which I do not often view in a negative light; however, the creator of this poster decided to add a humorous twist to the word using this image.


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