Exercise 1.1

Try to communicate the name of a TV programme, film or book using only drawing.

The approach I took with this exercise was to draw pictures to represent 10 recent films. I drew the images in advance of showing them to my target audience.. my husband. This was a really interesting exercise – I know how my husband thinks (or I thought I did!!) and I also know which films he has seen and not seen, and I was absolutely convinced that he would easily be able guess the films in my drawings. I deliberately chose some films that my husband had seen and some that he had not.

The Drawings

The Results

  1. The Revenant – Guessed after a bit of thought
  2. Arrival – I thought this was so obvious but my husband just couldn’t get it. The ‘star fish’ on the window to me was a give away clue (it is a very iconic part of the film) but my husband thought it was a broken window so it confused him rather than helped!
  3. The Lady in the Van – despite virtually saying the film title,┬ámy husband couldn’t guess this.
  4. Interstellar – Guessed quickly
  5. Divergent – Could not guess
  6. The Hurt Locker – Guessed quickly
  7. Bridge of Spies – Guessed quickly
  8. Dallas Buyers Club – Guessed eventually but kept saying the ‘Texas Buyer’s Club’ because I had drawn the state of Texas.
  9. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – Couldn’t guess this. He said afterwards that the thumb did not represent ‘best’ to him and the marigold was too small so he didn’t consider it an important part of the clue.
  10. Under the Skin – Guessed eventually but kept saying ‘Under the Bear Skin’ (to my intense irritation!). Afterwards he said that he found the bear too dominant within the clue.

General Thoughts

My husband found the drawings where the title of the film was literally spelt out, such as The Revenant or The Hurt locker, were easier to guess than those that were more abstract such as ‘Arrival’ or ‘Divergent’.

Stereotypes were my friend with this exercise. For example, my stereotype image of a spy allowed my husband to immediately understand the drawing.

Elements of the image which I thought were irrelevant were in some cases very distracting, such as for ‘Under the Bear Skin’. The size of elements of the drawing were also important as their size implied relevance to the clue.