If you haven’t ever paid attention to the scores of figures of speech out there (like metaphors, puns, and similes), you might want to take a moment to review the list. If you find yourself in a creativity slump, a good place to turn to are the figures of speech. Creative advertisers make effective use of them to make their designs more engaging. You’ll find that the more you employ figures of speech to your visual communications, the more visually interesting and creative they will become. Here are nine examples to give you sense for how visual figures of speech are fantastic creativity tools.
Visual Irony: Juxtaposing two ideas that communicate opposite ideas. In this case, a health awareness campaign suggests that indulging in cupcakes (a joy in life) will create an unexpected death scene (which is usually the opposite of joy).
Visual Synecdoche: Referring to a whole by its part or a part by its whole. In this case, Heinz uses the pieces of a tomato to imply what the tomato, with all its other components, will be come: ketchup.
Visual Simile: Comparing two things or ideas, usually by saying “like” or “as.” In this case, Fiber-Castell is suggesting that the colors of its pencils are as natural as the color of a purple eggplant.
Visual Personification: Imposing human-like characteristics on inanimate objects. In this case, Colgate shows Toothpick trying with its might to reach Broccoli, who is comfortably mockingly out of reach.
Visual Metonymy: Using a thing or concept to address something that is related in nature to it. In this case, Oreo uses the footprint of a spacesuit to communicate the idea of man landing and walking on the moon.
Visual Metaphor: Using a completely unrelated thing or idea to explain a concept. In this case, Nike uses turtles to suggest slowness, implying that every other shoe that isn’t Nike is slow.
Visual Pun: Using a word or phrase that has two meanings. In this case, Kraft plays with the words “steps” to suggest that their macaroni and cheese recipe is easy to make.
Visual Hyperbole: Exaggerating an idea for emphasis. In this case, Pastorini enlarges the boy and boat to show the wonder of the imagination in the play world as being far greater than the real world.
Visual Amplification: Expounding on an initial idea for clarity or emphasis. In this case, Listerine asks us what we put in our mouth today, then shows us all the likely possibilities to make its point clear.