I’ve started working with another meaning-bearing aspect of image-joinery, the silhouette. Even with plain metal cookie cutters you can tell an Abraham Lincoln from a moose. We read outlines.
What’s inside the man-or-moose can be as lifelike as one a fine painter would render. Or you can fill it with plaid. Your moose may in place of realistic choppers have something more like Bullwinkle’s. Lincoln, too: buckteeth.
What fills the silhouette changes the meaning without bending a bit of metal. They’re like nouns and verbs — shapes and fills can’t replace each other. You there with the eyeballs, have the means to understand.