It is commonly said that a picture can tell a thousand words, well that may be the case, in my experience with pictures they usually tell me around two sentences, while some of the strongest images in our society convey one word. In 1971, a graphic design student was payed 35 dollars to create one of the most recognizable logos in the world.
When this symbol is viewed, one word pops into the world’s populations head “Nike”. This image and the word Nike are interchangeable. While interchangeable, this does not mean they are equal as it is easy to comprehend the the symbol is a much stronger use of Nike’s notoriety rather than their name.
Another symbol of a different origin story is the rabbit’s foot. A rabbit foot key chain has become a symbol that represents good luck, which as strange as it sounds, I’ve never heard of anyone questioning it. Which shows that once an image becomes universally known it becomes greater than a word and can actually make things seem normal as in the case that you are carrying a lucky object around, but in the base of the idea, you are actually carrying around a small animals foot.
As in this example though this image is unable to convey the message, that it intends to convey without words. A cute bunny is a much different photo, than a cute bunny asking you to not take his feet. The same is true of the “words” Plz to not take mah feets. Kthxbai. as they are unable to relay their true purpose without the bunny photo acting in unison. This is why words and images are each others best friends, even though they are both strong individuals.
To echo McCloud the importance of words and images relationship is to know their different roles and how they can complement each other and can grow from their symbiotic relationship.