Creative Synesthesia

How would graphic design sound, smell or taste like?

The Art Nouveau movement was the influential movement in France during the 19th Century. The term “Art Nouveau,” translates to english as “New Art,” and has reached across the globe. The subject matter is decorative, organic designs that derive from classic and rococo paintings, with crisp, simplified figures. This movement widespread to America, England, and Belgium, and Art Nouveau became boldly known for its asymmetry and flat colours. Art Nouveau changed the way the world looks at illustration, art and design, and can be  successfully applied to the concept of synesthesia.


by Jules Chéret

Jules Chéret’s  work “Le Loie Fuller,” 1893, is a lithographic print of the infamous dancer Loie Fuller. Chéret is considered to be “the originator of the artistic lithographic poster,” and  he successfully utilizes the principles of design to create an illusion of synesthesia in this piece. First, colour plays an important role; the combination of bright flowing oranges and greens contrast against the black background and their loose placement shows a repetition of movement around the figure. This creates the synesthesia of being able to hear this woman’s movement, specifically the movement of her clothing. The colour harmony of black, orange, yellow, red and black balances out and would create the taste of citrus due to that flowing composition. Additionally, the placement of the figure against the background provides a level sense of unity in the piece. The movement in this piece is crucial to convey due to the the fact that this is an ad for a dancer. The colours, which imply taste, must be refreshing and inviting to the eyes. Overall this iconic print invites the viewer in and allows them to feel the senses through line, colour, repetition, movement and overall unity.


Creative Synesthesia- Jhenny Castillo

Creative Synesthesia-Jhenny Castillocheret_jules_-_la_loie_fuller_pl_73

Jules Chéret Le Loie Fuller poster

Folies-Bergère, Paris, 1893

Jules Chéret’s Le Loie Fuller poster created in 1893 explores an intricate adaptation of design principles through hierarchy, balance, typography, repetition, and space. As a whole, Chéret’s poster expresses a prominent, organized and abrupt hierarchal layout. The hierarchy highlights and contrasts the colors shown on the poster. Specific colors within this piece correspond in harmonies with one another— just as the muted green in the shadows juxtapose the corresponding colors of red, orange, and yellow vibrantly displaying within the main figure. The qualitative features of the poster contribute towards the form and balance in a uniform style that distributes an asymmetrical piece cohesively. From a typographic facet, the text on top is simplified, however, the text on the bottom” Le Loie Fuller” poster contains tension from the foot of the main figure. And lastly the space within the composition can be described as a blank untouched area that surrounds the main figure, these features allow the composition’s contrast to stand out more with the flow of the figure’s line work and movement, thus creating a consistent piece.

In this case, these principles of design of the poster can also translate into sight, hearing, taste smell and touch.  Its hierarchal layout and typography sound like a snare drum’s solo that creates sharp, consistent yet rhythmic beat that structures the composition of the poster in an organized and consistent manner. The colors further impact the movement of the piece and vibrate gracefully like that of an angel’s voice, soft yet so strong. Colors in this composition create various harmonies of voices flowing together like an acapella.  The red is depicted as a bright and vibrant cherry tomato, a flavor filled with organic and fresh goodness like no artificial flavor can ever obtain. Orange and yellow contain a crispy appearance like bell peppers with a captivating and tempting crunch biting into it. All these vegetables are juxtaposed with green leafy greens in a basket that came hand picked off the farm. This piece provides a garden-fresh yet uniform scent that creates a statement of reliability and consistency. Yet, the darkness surrounds these descriptions as if it were a frame of an unending pit, feelings of tension and uncertainty. Touch within the figure almost feels too antique and valuable in the confident strokes and movement, seeing it as an untouched field of flowers.


Works Cited

Chéret, Jules. “Jules Chéret. Folies-Bergère, La Loïe Fuller (Loïe Fuller at the Folies-Bergère). 1893 | MoMA.” The Museum of Modern Art,

Miller Joji. Youtube , Jan 20, 2018 , Web. Jan 27, 2018 <>

What would a graphic design sound like? Or smell like? Or taste like? Or feel like? Or move like?

Synesthesia is the condition where one physical sensation evokes another; it is often described as hearing color or tasting shapes. Choose a historical graphic design that is representative of a style or movement (such as Art Nouveau, Swiss style, psychedelic, etc.) and translate its visual characteristics and principles into another sense (sound, movement, taste, smell, or touch). Include a paragraph explaining how the visual qualities of the style or movement are expressed in another sense.

Here’s something to inspire you (click on the link):

Fortunato Depero, Simultaineita' Giroplastiche, 1914
Fortunato Depero, Simultaineita’ Giroplastiche, 1914