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Eye Spy

Behavior Modification Through Typography

Every day, we are being told what to do, either indirectly or more overtly. Design can be one of the most effective ways to sell an idea, brand or product.

Sometimes I try to resist the lure of beautiful branding and potent advertising, but it's fruitless. How many times have you seen an incredible picture of food and found yourself craving the pictured food? Or watched an intensely motivational Nike commercial and suddenly felt a renewed effort to exercise?

Think of how much more impactful a strategic piece of art can be. In these typographic posters--part of the "Apology from the Future" campaign--prominent world leaders aged 20 years from the time of publication are featured, apologizing for not doing enough about climate change.

This photo illustration uses a black balloon to help readers visualize anger. It's so much more powerful and striking to see the balloon growing with the emotion than to simply say that anger not released wells up inside of us.

Great art serves a purpose, whether to educate, advocate, entertain, express or transform. It sticks with us in our minds and influences our decisions on a subconscious level. Great art hits us for a short moment but stays with us enduringly.

Maybe you never considered typography or ads to be art, but "Stop. Think. Go. Do" turns that idea on its head. Here's one more gem of a piece that visually divulges the secret of art.

Images excerpted from Stop. Think. Go. Do.

How has art influenced your behavior?

Heather Linder

Heather is a journalist and writer living in Chicago with her composer husband and art-loving puppy, Lancelot. She's on an endless quest for the city's best coffee and is endlessly inspired by Chicago's magnificent skyline. Heather is a bookworm, aspiring chef, and NPR fanatic. She's in the process of teaching her beagle to use a French press and overcoming her fear of DIY.

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Every artist was first an amateur.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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