Research 5 – Pointing fingers

Pointing fingers is where a finger is shown pointing in the direction of an object or person, sometimes the finger may even be pointing at the viewer themselves. This was originally used to indicate direction – “this way” or “turn here”. Pointing fingers were not just used to show directions but also used in paintings , on posters bills and advertisement during the nineteenth century. If a finger was pointing at a word or sentence it was a command to read what the finger was pointing at. In 1914 pointing finger was used in propaganda posters to recruit men to join the army, the posters would show a finger pointing at the viewer with the caption “wants you” this was a way of telling the viewer that it is them that he wants and it made the viewer feel uncomfortable like they are being interrogated.

The advantages of this are that it shows a visual command, it is commanding the viewer without having to use words. Also if the finger is pointing at the viewer it feels like the poster is singling them out, like it is specifically choosing them and it makes it feel like they have a connection with the poster. The disadvantage of this concept is that you need to have words because if a finger is pointing at the viewer or another object without any words the viewer would not know what the poster is trying to say or get them to do.

From this concept I am getting the idea of having multiple fingers pointing at a car to show that lots of people want to have the car and so they might feel like they want the car as well and it shows that it must be a good car because so many people want it.

Visual Analyse Example 1


This poster known as “Lord Kitchener Wants You” it was made by Herbert Kitchener in 1914, as a propaganda for the army. In the poster it shows a black and white image of a man pointing this finger to us the audience, with a caption at the top saying “BRITONS” written in red and another caption below the image saying “wants you”.

The purpose of the poster is to get men to join the army. The concept pointing finger helps do this by  having the image of Kitchener point his finger out at the viewer, this makes people feel uncomfortable like the man himself is actually pointing his finger at them and it feels like he is judging them for not having yet joined the army. Pointing your finger at someone is also considered to be rude and so it can be seen that Kitchener is being rude to the viewer because they are not fighting for their country. It also makes it seem more personal, like he is specifically choosing the viewer to join the army, like he knows who they are and all of this makes people feel like they have to join the army.

This concept works with the purpose of the poster because when someone points at you you feel intimated and guilty and the poster intimates men to join the army and it makes them feel guilty for not joining. The successful part about this poster is the fact that it doesn’t just show a pointing hand but also the face of a very important figure of the army, which intimates people even more because a hand could belong to anyone but when the face of someone important is shown, you feel like you have to pleas them.

From this poster I have gotten the idea of having an important figure like a celebrity, to point out at the car so that the viewer feels obligated to buy the car because a celebrity wants them to buy it.

Visual Analyse Example 2


This poster is called “are you doing all you can?” it was published in 1942 by the general cable corporation. In the poster it shows a hand busting out of the stripes of the american flag pointing out at the viewer, with a caption below saying “are you doing all you can?”.

The purpose of the poster is to help boot morale at home front. The artists has used the concept pointing finger in the poster by showing Uncle Sams hand pointing out at the viewer. This poster helps boost morale because it shows Uncle Sam’s hand and so people will feel the need to obey what he says. Also the caption below is questioning the viewer, when it says “are you doing all you can?” it suggestive that he is doing all he can and that he expects them to do all they can as well. It also seems like he is interrogating them making them feel guilty.

The part that I really like about the poster is the fact that the hand is busting out making it feel like he is actually there and it gives the poster a 3D feel to it. I also like the way in which the caption is short and easy to read so that it sticks in people’s head.

From this poster I will take the idea of making things bust out of the page to give it a 3D feel, I might make the car bust through the poster as well and I will make sure to add in a short but catchy caption.

Visual Analyse Example 3

<p><em>Point the Finger</em> (c. 2011), poster designed for “Beat the Drum to Ban Cluster Bombs.” The accusatory finger indicates those nations who have not signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions.</p>

This poster is know as “point the finger” it was made in 2011, for “beat the drum to beat cluster bombs”. In the poster it shows the words “point the finger” written in big fonts, with a hand replacing the i of the word finger and  what looks to be bombs dropping down. The designer has used the concept pointing finger by making the hand that replaced the I point at the bombs.

The poster is meant to accuse the nations who have not signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions. The concept helps show this because when someone points a finger at you it feels like they are accusing you of something and that you have done something bad and that you are in the wrong and so having the finger pointing at the nations shows that they are in the wrong. Also in the caption it says “point the finger” which means to blame someone and so the poster is saying that the finger is being pointed to the nations that have not signed and that they should be blamed.

The part that I found to be successful about the work is the fact that they are using the finger as a metaphoric finger because the saying point the finger, does mean that you should actually point your finger it just means that you are blaming them.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s