The Face-ism Ratio is all about the prominence of someone’s face in an image (in relation to their body). Depending on how much of either you show, it’s likely you will get perceived very differently.
An nice example would be your Facebook profile. How much of your face can be seen, compared to your entire body? Have a look, it might be saying something about you that you didn’t realise:
Studies show that close-up images of the face are perceived as being more intelligent, dominant and ambitious. However, if the entire body is seen, the opposite is true: we put an emphasis on that person having physical or sensual attributes.
The distance from the top of the head to the lowest point of the chin is the numerator, and the distance from the top of the head to the lowest part of the subject’s body becomes the denominator.
Unfortunately, but predictably, research shows that the media tends to feature more on men’s faces and women’s bodies. And throughout history, different societies showing facial prominence of men has been much higher than that of women. This, researchers believe, could help reinforce the many negative stereotypes of women.
What does your profile picture say about you? Do you think it’s worth changing it to be perceived more intelligent, or more sensual?
Aristotle thought any good communicator had three principles of persuasion: ethos, pathos and logos.
Ethos is your moral competence, knowledge and expertise. It’s essentially your credibility on the subject at hand. This is often demonstrated by your technical expertise in a specific area — for us, it’s graphic design.
Think of the image of a traditional tailor: cuttings of cloth, a measuring tape and patterns everywhere. These stereotypes reinforce ethos. It is important to avoid negative clichés or stereotypes however, and can sometimes be hard to get right first time.
Pathos is the emotional bond. A metaphor, story or sympathetic attachment: it is ‘putting the hearer into a certain frame of mind’. And, it’s ultimately decided by the audience; if it’s disingenuous, it simply won’t work. It’s the good-looking face of the company, and much like a person’s good looks reflect their good health, your company’s good looks should reflect the same.
Logos is reasoning, it’s logic. It’s the strategy and the problem solving. For example, although we typically shop with our hearts, giving ourselves or our partners justification is the hardest part: ‘It’s January sales, prices will only go up from now’. That’s logos (reason) justifying pathos (our emotions).
If your company is consistently the best-selling, the fastest or cheapest (and you have evidence) say so. It’s tricky to argue against hard data. This is a way to make you look knowledgable and trustworthy, ultimately enhancing ethos. And, if people think you’re the best, everyone else is going to want to know what all the fuss is about. They’re going to be driven by pathos.
So, it might be worth considering how these three principles can help your business: it’s often small tweaks to written, verbal and visual communication that can really kickstart your business.