Aesthetics can be defined as the philosophical study of beauty and taste. Aesthetics is arguably the most important concepts when it comes to the visual aspects of digital media. This one aspect decides whether or not someone will be drawn in to look closer at a piece of work, or if they quickly move on to something more appealing.
Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder
Beauty is a concept that is present in all aspects of society. Whether I am discussing fad diets and their popularity with young women or digital media and advertising, beauty is an important factor. In digital media we view the “beauty” of an image, format, or blog through the idea of aesthetics. How visually appealing something is contributes to its overall beauty. However, beauty is individualized, no person views it the same.
Taste is in the eye of Experience
The concept of taste is a broader idea. Taste is not an individualized interpretation, taste is developed through experiences and culture. Marita Sturken and Lisa Cartwright explained in Practices of Looking, An Introduction to Visual Culture, that taste can be shaped through their aspects of identity including class, education, and culture. Having “good” or “bad” taste can be indicators of a person’s societal class and education levels.
Many Companies spend both time and labor making sure that their advertisements are seen as tasteful. In 2013 Pinterest launched advertisements on their popular site that allows people to pin whatever they like online to their numerous, individualized “boards.” One of the main focuses Pinterest had during this campaigns was to ensure their users that the advertisements found on their site can be seen as tasteful, or as they put it no “flashy banner ads or pop-up ads.”
Aesthetics is an important part in digital communication. It contributes to the overall quality of a piece of digital media. When deciding on an advertisement campaign it is important for firms and individuals to consider the tastes of their intended audience and develop something that can be seen as beautiful to a wide range of people. In the aesthetics of digital media, one has to be general enough to relate to a variety of people, but specific enough to fully engage these people.