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A TAXONOMY OF CONCEPTS

VISUAL CLICHE RATIONALE

 

RETURN TO VTS

 

ADVERTISING
Advertising Agencies Young & Rubicam, J.Walter Thompson, Ayes, BBDO
Advertising Agencies
Celebrated Campaigns, Beer Belongs, Benson and Hedges Gold.Bohn Aluminium and Brass
Celebrated Campaigns, Maidenform Bra, Coca Cola, Container Corporation,
Brand Characters, US and UK, invented characters, use of animals, the Borden animals, Little Lulu
Brand Characters, US and UK, Bisto Kids, Old Heathers the Butler, Sir Kreemy Knut, Bibendum
Celebrity Endorsement, Jane Wyman, Lucille Ball, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Gary Cooper, John Wayne, Gregory Peck,Joan Crawford,
Advertising Advertising
Christmas and Special Days, Halloween, Father and Mother's day, Thanksgiving
Trade Bodies, Light and Power Companies,
Use of idioms and spoken cliches
Billboards and oputdoor advertising
The Comparison, A then B, unfair,
Guarantee, Prizes and Puzzles, Coupons
Humour in advertising, cartoon, brand character

 

EXPRESSION AND

GESTURE

Extremes of expression, wide eyed, tongue sticking out
Camp Poses , arms akimbo, crossed arms, arms in the air
The Language of the Hand, the severed hand, holding the product, cupped hands, hand clap, hand clasp
the Hand, hand and counting, holding pen, as map, anxious hand, in glove, in pocket, chin. hip
Poses of authority, Deference, compliance
The Language of the Hand, pointing, to the chin, on the hip, pack shot with hand, washing,handcuffs
Direction of gaze, direct, aimless, looking over the shoulder
Fingers, pushing the button, at the controls, switch flicking, finger beckoning, counting, fingertip
Characteristic gestures , hand, arm. leg,
Cigarette clamped in teeth, held away from face, in lips, in gloved hand
The Cut-Off figure
Ears, pointed to, cupped, tweaked, muffs
Elbow protrudes
Exhaustion and fatigue
Expert's Advice
Eye as gesture, eyepatch, wink, wide open, alarm
Face, direct, facelessness, profile, frown, the use of Spectles, the Monocle, the Goatee Beard, Goggles,
Fist, language of, rage and the Punch
The language of FUN
Representing Laughter, amusement, giggles, the scale of smiles, smirks
Walking, running, tripping, mincing, sprinting, striding

 

MEDIA

Photography, still life, aerial, photographic services, functional photography, Eastman Kodak
Art , the artist at the easel,
Woodcuts, wood engraving and print surfaces
Artist by Name (Robert Riggs, Boris Artzybasheff, Douglass Crockwell)
Architecture, empty rooms, architectural models, house interiors and exteriors
Graphic Design Charts, Data presentation, arrows, dotted lines, the Cutaway, letter forms, instructional sequences
Graphic Designsign posts, traffic lights, directional aids
Strip Cartoons, single frames, mixed media
Airbrush
Arranging on a Page, the decorative frame
Film, home movies, projectors, cameras, the cinema, interior, exterior
Maps and Globes, bestriding the world, Compass Bearings, the decorative map
The Painterly image, the variable focus
Design, planning, the blueprint
Package and Bottle Design, cellophane, display, point of sale
Cartoonists, cartoon golfers, businessmen, housewives
Printers and Printing
Colours available, range in products,
Lettering, eccentric, made from the product, the signature, fake letters, graffiti, child's scrawl
Panels of narrative, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine , ten
Hand writing, hand lettering
Paper and Paper Making, Gilberrt, Champion, St.Regis, Container Corporation,
Stream lining and product design
 
 

 

POLITICS

Cold War, pro and anti the Soviets
Nuclear Energy
American political history
Wartime Production
Women at War in the Factory

Images of Abroad, France, Germany, Japan, China,

The Funny Foreigner
National Stereotypes, China, India, Mexican, Russian, Australian, Britain,
 

CULTURAL

Trans Atlantic contrasts
The exercise of Taste
Magazines, FORTUNE, Life Farmer's Wife, Redbook, FLAIR
Books,encyclopedias, Book Club, in the domestic interior
newspapers and Broadcasting, evening reading, viewing, ABC, NBC
Theatre and the stage, proscenium arch, behind the scenes
Opera and Ballet, singers, tobacco and the arts
Narrative Invention, invented lands, invented laps,
modern art influences, Surrealism, Dali, Dada, collage, montage, Futurism,

WAR AND PROPAGANDA

War production and distribution
Invasion, battlefields,
images of Victory
Demoonising the Enemy, Hitler, the Japanese face, Stalin
Anti-Socialist and Anti Communist imagery
Armaments
Civil Defence
Bombers and Bombing, Fighters and Interception
Rockets and thrust
Charitable organisations
Free Enterprise, free speech , and Freedom
Pearl Harbor, the Berlin Airlift
images of submarines, and underwater conflict

 

PROBLEMS OF REPRESENTATION

Cast Shadow
Fire, Smoke and Lightning, hot/cold,
Giants and Tiny People, the Giant Hand, the Giant Product
Electricity and Energy, batteries and flashlight beams, , lighthouses, lightships
The Invisible, the blank Page, electricity visualised, whirling atoms. molecules, nannospace, depicting an Idea,
Compositional Options, porthole, diagonal
Directionsll Options (Left to Right, Right to Left, Up/Down)
Colour of background, patterns, abstractions, checkerboard, polka dot
Representations of Pouring
Representations of pointing
Twins and Doppelgangers, the Divided Self, half and half, the Look Alike, the Double,
Mirror reflections, water reflections, the product reflected
Anthropomorphism, animals and inanimate objects come alive
Space and the Cosmos, rockets, trajectory,
Absence of light, drawing darkness, night scenes, moons and moonlight, the headlight beam in the landscape
Balloons and ribbons
The Birds Eye View
Seen from Behind
Blobs and Droplets, bubbles and mist
Gravity and falling, floating
Smell, good and bad, luscious food and hallitosis
Fire, flame and conflagration
Crowds and great gatherings, multiplicity of the product,
Damage, to eyes, to cars, to, hat, house and product
Death, time and place, cemetery, gravestone, sentiment
Explosions and destruction
Moral matters, responsibility and guilt, failure, fear
Metaphors, window, tree, dog, doorways, fences, flight, gardens, hands, hospital , keys, keystones, ladders,
Drawings, sketchy and in line
Piercing the picture plane
Dreams and Visions, White Trucks, the Fourth Dimension
Dust and decay
Weather, storms, lightning, snow in the town, snow over the land, snowballs, snopwflakes
Water, water-flow, spray, waves,
Wind and storm force , trees and hair
Ice, cubes, melting, transparency
Light, projected, refelcted, in motion, globes, waves and bulbs, sunlight
representation of sound, speech bubbles, expletives, soundwaves, sound recording
spectral presnces, ghost, spirits, visions, mirages
squeezing, varieties of impact
the still life
anthropomorphism, animals, inanimate objects, brand characters
synaesthesia

 

 

 

PRODUCTS

TOBACCO

The Tobacco Industry, leaf and auction, curing and admiring
Brands US Luckies, Camels, Kool, Spud, Chesterfields, Kent, Fatima, L&M,
Brands UK Craven A, Senior Service, Kensitas, Benson & Hedges, DUNHILL, Kenilworth,
Health Issues, Tobacco and Digestion, Taste and Low Tar, eating and smoking
Doctors and Nurses
Sport and Show Biz
Packaging and Distribution
Pin-Up and allurement
Menthol
Pipes and Cigarette Holders
Tobacco and commissioned artists
Careless Smoking
Cheerful Smoker, Discerning Smoker
Cigars,
Who Lights who? the lighter,
Filter technology
Brand Characters, the Marlboro Man, Johnny the Bell Hop,
 

 

DRINK

Alcohol, Vodka, Whiskey, Four Roses, Gin, Rum,
Soft Drinks, Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola, Dr Pepper, 7 Up, Ginger Alw
Night Drinks, UK and US, Horlicks, Bourne-Vita
Fruit Juice, Tomato Juice. Pineapple Juice,
Energy Drinks, Luczade
Coffee and Cocoa, Nesacfe and Camp Coffee
Tea, Brooke Bond
Brewery industry and plant, the Distillery,
Christmas Booze
Trays of drinks
Conviviality and the gentleman's club
Beer, Budweiser, Schlitz,Guinness
Tonic Waters, Schweppes,
 
 

SWEETS AND TREATS

Chocolates, Black magic, Whitman's
Pastilles and Comfits
Chewing Gum, Wrigley.s PK,
Ice Cream, Wall's,
Dextrose and syrups
Spangles, Life Savers, Smarties, Rowntree Fruiot Gums

CARS/MOTORING

Marques, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Pontiac,Ford, Lincoln, Dodge
Marques, Chrysler, Body by Fisher
America's Car Industry, testing and the track,
Foreign Competition
Fuel and Distribution Ethyl, Texaco, BP, Gulfpride
Highways and Control
Oil and Anti-freeze BP, Shell,
The Blown Tyre, accidents, crashes,
Empty Car, clean car, as possession
Interior comfort, trim, fabrics, the Dash Board
Grilles and Chrome. extremes of decor
Car Keys
Cheerful Driver
Trucker, Lorry Driver, cheerful, angry
Cars at night, on the highway, headlight beams
Sharing the road, pedestrians, cyclists, motor bikes
Motor Bikes
Car's Headlights, dazzle, direction
Garages and Forecourts, petrol pumps and attendants, uniforms and salutes
Freight and Trucking, truckdrivers,
Goggles and the motorist
Henry Ford Hagiography, Walter Chrysler
Car rental, Hertz, taxis, taxi drivers
Shock absorbers and the imagery of shake
Spark plugs

 

TOURISM

Cruising , the Ship, the Harbour, Uniform
Life on Board Ship, the Grace Line,
Aviation, the Stewardess, the Pilot, entertainment, boarding the plane, executive jet, helicopter
Railroad, conductor, driver, station platform, children wave in the landscape
Greyhound and other coaches
bermuda, the West Indies, Caribbean
Africa and Asia
Europe
Boating, Sterling Engines
Hawaii
Dress for travelling, the Solar Topee,

 

KITCHEN BATHROOM

Kitchen Equipment, fridges, toasters, pressure cookers, refrigerator,
recipes
cleaning and replacing
Soaps and shampoos
Body Odour and Deodorants
Bad breath and dandruff, Listerine
Ceramic and Linoleum Tiles
Vacuum Cleaner,
Wshing Machine, Twin Tub, Drier
Kitchens, furniture, design, interior, cabinets, sink,

FOOD

Prepared meats, Hash, Corned Beef, Stew,
Puddings
Recipes
Custard, Birds
The Kitchen Goddess, Betty Crocker
Cakes and Biscuits
Campbell's Soups,
The Chef, the waiter, the Maid
Mustard and Sauces, Colman's
Fish and sea food, fish cakes,
Frozen Food
Hamburgers and Sausages
Diet, Weight loss, indigestion,
Cereals, Rice Krispies, Kelloggs, Post Toasties, Porridge,

DOMESTIC

Cleaning, Polishing
Books and the representation of Reading
TV Sets and Hi Fi Units
Household Ceilings and Floors
Art on the walls, books in the home
Christmas, presents, booze, parties, mistletoe, decorations, tree, lights
Parties, games, conjurors, swings,
Do It Yourself, painting, wallpaper, tile laying, chosen decor, glue, tools, hammers
The language of curtains, decorative swags
The function of the window, open/closed, view to...
The Domestic Pet, Dogs, Cats, cuddled, chased, in attendance
Human Interaction, arguments, drudgery, depictions at times of the day
Drugs and bathroom cabinets, lavatoies and showers
Electric Light Bulbs, neon Strips, Mazda, Edison, Bulb Snatching
Fireplace, accessories
Gardens and gardening, flowers, as presents, lawns and mowing
Beds and Bedrooms, single/double beds, dressing table, table lamps,
Sewing and embroidery, sewing machines,

 

LEISURE

Days Out
Hunting, Ducks, Deer , Guns and weaponry, gunsight
Beach Scenes,
Boating and out at sea, lakes, river
Fairgrounds and Theatres
A Night out, Theatre, Movies, Friends
Circus and Fairground, clowns, acrobats, jugglers, lion tamers,
Weddings, Bride and Groom, Wedding Breakfast, reception, presents, Wedding Chests
sunglasses, sun lamps

 

SHOPS AND SHOPPING

The shop inside and out
The shopkeeper, the assistants,
Marketing within
around the stove, rocking chairs
The department store
The Supermarket, loading the car, shopping baskets and trollies
The decision to buy, a woman decides
Deliveries, vans and boys, loading the car boot
The Discerning Customer, The Discerning Housewife
Display and the Counter, the Shop Window
The Drug Store, soda jerk, customers, juke box,
Shopping,

 

SPORT

Gridiron Football and Baseball
ten pin bowling
football and cricket
chess imagery, drafts,
tennis, clubs and rackets
golf, clubs, way of life, drive, shoes, putting, tee, golfer
hunting, male bonding
angling and deep sea fishing
Horse riding, horse riding, horseshoe, horsewoman
Ice Hockey, Speed Skating,
Skiing and winter sports

FILM AND TV

Feature Films (by title)
Film Sets
TV industry, studio, advertising programmes,
family watching TV,
 

COMMUNICATION

Telephones, Western Electric, IT&T,
Computers, desk, portable. banks of, the operators, IBM, Acorn,
Pencils and Pens, Artzybasheff for Parker, desk pens
Data processing
Dictaphones
Flags and banners
 

SCIENCE

Emblems of the sciences
Scientists and researchers, home and abroad
apparatus and the laboratory, test tubes
white coats and clip boards
space travel and interplanetary relatyions, moon base, space suits

CONSTRUCTION PRODUCTIONMATERIALS

The Factory, interior, exterior, by night, interior, exterior, waste, hooter, gates
Furnaces, pumps and milling machines
Industrial Location, US States
Highway and Runway construction
Earthmoving and shaping of the landscape
Architecture, small and large buildings
Mining and coal,
Bridges and flyovers
Bulldozers, Fork Lift Trucks
Chemical Companies, fertilers, Dow, Du Pont, Good Year, Goodrich,
Chimneys domestic and factories
Construction site, construction worker
Metals, Copper and Brass, Aluminium, Iron and Steel
Glass and Glass Making, Corning
Plastics, Durez, Bakelite, Formica , Hercules Powder,
Electricity and light, power generation
Agriculture and the Land, harvest, sowing, labouring, fertilisers, the farmer, family, barns and tractors,pests and insecticides
Forestry and timber, harvesting the land, wood and the product, plywood
H.H.Robertson modular construction, Q Floors
Linde Air Products
Ship Building,
 

 

FINANCIAL

Banks and Bankers, head offices, board meetings, rooms and servicing
Insurance and pensions, John Hancock, Massachusetts Mutual,
credit cards and Coinage, dollars stacked or peeled
First National Bank of New York, art collection
economic development
stocks and shares, dividends
 

 

NARRATIVE THEMES

FAMILY

Mother, Father, Daughter, Son and all variants, brother and sister
Babies and Toddlers, teenagers
Elderly Relatives and Dotards, Old Folks, Grandparents
Daddy's home,
Rituals of Eating
Rituals of Entertaining
Wash Day
Friends come round
Bathtime, sleeping and waking, sleeping child, sleeping cap
The American Family and American Values
Health and Anxiety, diet and headaches
Education, teachers and schools, an apple for the teacher, first day at school, graduation
Makeup, Toothpaste and soap, Colgate,
Education, at home, at school,
Children, interaction, lemonade stalls, naughtiness, smoking, the gaze, wonderment
Children, the future, questions of the adult, and TV, children's parties,
The Cute Kid, winsome and entrepreneurial
At Christmas
Episodes in Family Life, convivial, fraught, singing together
Housewife, stressed, happy, apron, pearls,

 

CORPORATE

Boss, Secretary and all Variants, the Kelly Girls
Business Meetings
Offices, Office equipment, Postal Meters, postal services, drinking fountains
Communications , intercom,
Dictation, Business procedures, dictaphones, dictation pads
Filing Cabinets, steel dividers,
Storage of Data, file cards (see also digital storage)
Insurance and Banking, shares and investment
Pensions and security
Business Men, reality, the ideal man, the ideal woman worker
The Desk, seating, desk pens, in tray, out tray, blotter, feet on the desk,
The Salesman, training, comparisons, success and failure
International Trade, the Docks and Dockside
Factory Lighting and Sound, MUZAK,
Efficiency
Lifts and elevators, walking surfaces, Otis, Westinghouse
Health and Safety
Hotels and hospitality , doorman, canopy, parking, lobby
Profits and Losses
The worker at the work face, rights, obligations, arriving at work,
Typewriters, calculators,
 

HIGH SOCIETY/LOW SOCIETY

Toffs, Monocles, aristocracy
Royal References, By Appointment
 
 
 

SEXUAL MATTERS

The Language of Caress, nuzzle, restrain,holding hands,
The mechinaics of a kiss, the lifted leg
The Gay Look
The Look, admiring males, admiring females
Corn as Phallic Presence
Couple, being stupid, dreaming, drinking, smoking, eating, in a car, in the distance
Couple, sailing shopping, watching TV, kissing, on the beach
Dating, Proms, corsages
Love and Cupid, gifts and pledges
Double Entendres
Sexual success, sexual failure
Sexual stereotyping
Sex and the product, tobacco, booze, cars and cameras, Spring Mills fabrics.
 

 

GENDER

The Wife as Waitress, Daughter as Waitress, Son as Little Man, Grateful Housewife
The Husband , Newspaper, Arm Chair,
Children in gender molds.
Women Drivers
Rosie the Riveter
wigs and baldness
Shaving and washing hair, hair ribbons, bunches, dressing, in bow , oil, roots, in the wind
Male and female servants, maids, butlers, bell boys
Cigarettes, who lights who?
Demure women
Foolish Woman
Gender Balance, Gender Coding, Gender Issues
Gifts for a Woman
His and Hers presents
Housewife, high heels, pearls, , stressed
Woman as product equivalent
Husband, in extreme, shopping, thieving

 

HISTORY AND TRADITION

American History, the Founding Fathers, the Pioneer Spirit, the Ant-bellum spirit,
the relation between innovation and tradition
Classical references, classical architecture
Mythology
history of art Leonardo, Whistler,Conan Doyle,
Cowboys, boots, marlboro
Red Indians, railroads and humour
Columbus and discovery, navigation
The Antique Past, Henry VIII, Ashurburnipal, Genghis Khan
George Washington, the Cherry Tree
Thomas Jefferson, John Addams, the Boston Tea Party
references in literature, Dickens,
 

 

FASHION

Male Fashion, suits, trousers, ties, suspenders, sockjs, underwear , Hart Schaffner,
Female fashionm by article, dressmaking, fabrics, hat box, hat glove and bag, evening dress, head scarf,
accessories, handbags, jewellery, rings, bracelets, pearls,
underwear, bras
Nylons and shoes, stilettos
Cotton, growing and fashioning
Fur and Furbelows
Dressing, undressing, dressing tablee, cupboard
careless dressing, shirtsleeves, crooked tie
undressing
Democracy / aristocracy
Hats, stetsons, national variations, hats doffed, hats thrown
UNITED STATES
California, Chicago, Wyoming, Florida

American Values, American Family

Comparisons with Canada, Mexico, Latin Alerica
The Church in the Landscape , religion
Cityscape
Hailing the Hero
Small Town America,
Monuments, Statue of Liberty, Liberty Bell, Paul Bunyan
Landscape features, Grand Canyon,
Patriotic emplems, stars and stripes
 

RACE REPRESENTED

characteristic professions, porters,
entertainers
friendly/unfriendly natives
natives impressed
FUTURE
prophesies
future technology
post war anticipations , plans and projections
Crystal balls. fortune tellers
Homes of Tomorrow
 
HEALTH
hospitals and waiting rooms
doctors, nurses, patients
anxiety and reassurance re health and well being
maternity ward, giving birth, anxious fathers
dentists and denatl equipment

 

THE CLICHE SUPREME

appeal to TIME

images which contain a richness of visual reference, figure of speech
TIME. clocks, clockfaces, hands of the clock, Seasons, Dawn, Dusk, Noon, Father Time, Hourglass

 

CASTIGATION

HOW DARE THEY?

Smug Bastard, Boss, Traveller
Affected Tosh
Flim Flam
Obscure Meaning
Cheap Sentiment
Bafe faced effrontery
Absurd Narratives
Boring Old Fart
Creep
Questions, damn fool, ponderous, annoying, outrageous
Propositions, dubious proposition
Deathless prose (irony)
stupid expression
dull presentation
fake background, fake debate, fake dilemma, fake letter, fake modernity
phony conversation, fibs (blatant)
feeble event, feeble pun
forced analogy
The Sinister Image
Smug, bastard, housewife, smoker, husband, soldier
soppy man, woman, child, soldier
spurious features