Image dilemmas

Posted by Dom
Once more, the MSN homepage team’s thoughts have been with the escalataing crisis in the Middle East. To mark the end of the first month of the conflict, our news editor asked: what does the future hold? 
Our feature piece discussing what had already happened, combined with predictions as to what the future might hold, cried out for lead coverage on the homepage. The question was, how best could we get the story across? We knew what a national newspaper such as The Independent might do – a stark, minimalist text-only front cover that hits you right between the eyes. The online environment is a different beast, of course, so would a similar approach work on your computer screen?
We mocked up a black background image, with the white body text ‘1,000 Dead: What Next?’. We then canvassed opinion from around the office to see if the feedback was positive or negative.
Although undeniably powerful, the general consensus was that the image didn’t quite work in the surroundings that it found itself in. In other words, it got lost in the midst of all the other text links we have going on at the top of our homepage – and an important message had much of its impact diminished. 
Once we’d discarded our text-based idea, the obvious alternative was something more visual – but an image that kept the starkness of the subject matter intact. What we came up with – basically a white dove on a black background, with bullets instead of feathers – in our mind accurately reflected both the violence that had gone before, and the hope that peace may soon be making a return.
Make your own mind up about the images below – all feedback is most welcome. The address you need to send comments to is
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