Visual metaphors

In today’s class we talked about visual metaphors and how they are used in book cover design. Firstly, the definition I found for visual metaphor was that it is:

“a representation of a person, place, thing, or idea by way of a visual image that suggests a particular association or point of similarity”.

In addition to book art, visual metaphors are very common part of modern advertising, logos, CD covers etc…

We all had to bring in an example of this kind of book. I found one that looked interesting. It is called Solo and it’s written by Rana Dasgupta, a British-born Indian. The book is about an old man called Ulrich who’s grown up in Sofia, Bulgaria. He’s lived through the politically unstable time of communisim, holocaust, as well as personal traumas like poverty and accidentally blinding himself. Despite of the depressing events, it sounds like dreaming and recollection are some of the important themes in the book. This is well shown in Ulrich’s reply to his first love who says everything is just a dream:

“It’s not only a dream, Ulrich replies. There is far more to us than what we live. Because if we have no dreams of our own, we may well become someone else’s nightmare. We may well not have existed.”

The book cover illustrates this theme well and the visual metaphor is easy to spot. On the cover there is a body of an old man that turns into countless birdst that fly free upwards. I think this symbolizes the freedom of dreaming, (after all birds are a well known symbol of freedom). Also the birds on the cover surround the title Solo, which in a way could be seen to symbolize the contrast of living alone in the middle of all the hobbible events and the freedom of mind.


Solo by Rana Dasgupta

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