Image Image Image Image Image

For our client project, we have completed the first few fundamental steps. First, we discussed potential clients and their basic needs. We came up with a few ideas and their forms of the project, and also discussed how well it would fit the project outline. We made the final decision to choose creating marketing materials for a photographer’s business. These materials could include a new Facebook, website, blog, logo, watermark, business card, envelopes, promo cards, thank you cards, CD envelopes, invoice, pricing guide, printing rights, etc. We narrowed down our final deliverables to an updated working Facebook/website hybrid, a new brand identity in the form of business cards, watermark, and logo (this will also be incorporated to the overall look of the other pieces), and custom envelopes for photo CDs.

We have discussed how we want to portray our client, and the words/feelings that we want to convey with our designs are: professional, clean, modern, reliable, high quality, and personal. I have helped talk through the design aspect of our project, as I have learned a lot about design, brand identity, and communication to viewers through the classes and projects I have worked on as a Graphic Design major. I have begun researching clients like ours and how they portray themselves and their brand, created a few color palettes to work with, and begun the brand identity creation process. I have worked on similar types of projects, so I feel particularly comfortable in this project. I think our team has an excellent balance of our individual strengths that we can all learn from and build upon throughout this process to create a successful project.

Our plan of action is as follows:

Tuesday, Nov. 17 (Meet to divide up work more so than we have already, decide what to have ready for next meeting)

Thursday, Nov. 19 (Meet to decide what to have ready for Monday, ask final questions for client opinion and suggestions, be ready and prepared to bring in successful work to Monday’s meeting)

-Possibly meet over weekend if necessary, otherwise work independently while staying in touch via text and google doc.

Monday, Nov. 23 (Meet to compare and compile final drafts and work out how we will present)

Tuesday, Nov. 24 (Usability testing- have drafts complete for presentation. Final edits to be made after this date)

I personally will continue with the identity of our client and how to portray that visually. I will continue to focus on the logo/watermark/business cards while Jess and Dana work on the Facebook/website, but we will be working collaboratively to ensure the pieces are consistent. The envelope will be completed after the other two thirds of the project.

“As communication progresses as a whole, there specific questions that have come up: is art considered design? is design art? and to what degree are both art and design rhetorical? 

This all comes back to a broader view communication. While analyzing art and design pieces, one can find that they are both very different. Both serve different purposes and both can be viewed as rhetorical. Some people may consider art and design as synonymous terms, but they are not.

Design itself has purpose, and that is communication. A successful design piece is created with a definite purpose and message in mind that is to be communicated. The design is most successful when it can seamlessly communicate the message to the audience, as design should hardly be noticed. Communicating most effectively, simply, and memorably, with as little distraction as possible, is what design is.

Just as important as the purpose is the target audience for the message. In art pieces, even those that require something of the audience, the audience is labeled as a viewer. In design, the audience is an active participant because it is an experience with purpose. Even without words, design is communicating information, easing understanding, and leaving an impression. Design uses what an audience already knows/believes/is capable of understanding to deliver a point. It is the designer’s job to analyze the audience and goal to decide on the best possible approach for the design.”
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The goal of my paper will be to challenge current beliefs and create new ideas surrounding the topic of art versus design, but in the most non-aggressive, straightforward manner. Design and art are sometimes viewed as the same, but analyzing in visually rhetorical ways proves that they are far from the same. I will be drawing upon our textbook, Foss, Bernhardt, Ann C. Tyler, Blair, and Birdsell and Groarke to establish my paper, while also including sources that are current to the world of design such as an interview with a Graphic Design professor, Art professor, and designers, such as Craig Baldwin, who have been featured in more recent publications.

Chapter 6 of Williams’ Non-Designer’s Design Book is an overview of the design principles that help outline why design is so successful in communication. The four principles, Proximity, Alignment, Repetition, and Contrast create the framework for designers, and they are almost second-nature to designers. In an exercise to redesign an ad in the book, Williams instructs to “get rid of everything superfluous so you know what you’re working with” to begin the design process. To me, I see this as removing the more artistic elements that may be concealing the message and purpose.

Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 3.48.24 PM

For my case study, I am planning to expand upon the main idea from the blog post prompt, “To what extent is visual art rhetorical?” As a graphic design major, I have often contemplated and been faced with the concept that design is not art. But I recently read an excerpt of an article that explained this in terms of what I see as being rhetorical, so that’s how I came upon the idea to do my case study on this subject. The following is a screenshot from “Is Print Dying?” by Craig Baldwin on Issuu.com.

Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 3.48.11 PM

Design works with given information and that creates the framework for the design before any creativity is involved. I feel like art works the opposite way, creativity first and then an artist’s statement develops to give it meaning. I plan to compare and contrast the meanings of design and art and analyze examples of that for rhetorical meanings. I think I will be able to apply a lot of the readings that we have analyzed to this concept, especially the ones from Post #7, Post #4, and Post #2.

Reading through the Non-Designer’s Design Book, I found this statement: “There is one more general guiding principle of Design (and of life): Don’t be a wimp,” and then it goes on to explain it. It tells you not to be hesitant, allow for asymmetry, and and not to fear extremes. I think this applies to both art and design, and both cannot really exist without following that rule.

This post’s article is “The Wall, the Screen, and the Image,” by Marita Sturken. In this article, she immediately focuses in on the term screen. She discusses the term in the context of public remembrance of the Vietnam war. She then talks about how a screen is a surface to be projected on or it could be a protective or shielding surface. These two views are also applied in relation to the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial. In this article, a memorial is defined as something that is created in order to teach about the past, and as a result, make a decision about “what is worth recovering.” The development of this memorial has gone much further than being limited to the Vietnam war. People go there to feel comfort about current conflicts and “charged public events,” which include a lot of hot topics that affect people deeply. The mystery and ambiguity of the memorial are what make it able to appeal to a wide variety of audiences and their problems.

The article discusses a difference between “monument” and “memorial.” Sturken references Arthur Danto to explain that monuments most often are created as a symbol of victory and to remember the victory for a very long time. Memorials are erected to symbolize loss and sacrifice. While the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, they carry different connotations.

From what I could gather, Maya Lin’s memorial fits the criteria explained above for a true memorial. The names and the design are put together in order to honor and recognize loss, rather than celebrate any kind of victory. Even though Frederick Hart criticizes Lin’s work, it does what a memorial is supposed to do. Hart’s piece is a monument, in a way, to being “humanist” and appreciating human life and valuing humans as humans. I don’t quite understand why the two couldn’t share the space neutrally, but both Lin and Hart bring up decent points, if the issue is being seen as personal, but in general, it doesn’t seem like it should be such a big deal.

The D-Day Memorial is a memorial that I believe could be one of the “monument or memorial?” instances. The memorial’s primary purpose to to honor those who lost their lives, as the unit from Bedford lost the most men, but I think it could also stand for a victory.

Most often, good design consists of communicating a message by saying as little as possible. These kinds of designs are typically the most memorable and impacting due to their simplicity. J. Anthony Blair agrees with this idea in his article, “The Possibility and Actuality of Visual Arguments.” He states that advertisements will be most successful and effective if they are “purely visual,” meaning that there is no heavy text for the viewer to read through. Keeping text to a minimal amount keeps viewers from getting bored and gets the message across so much quicker, which makes it easier to understand. By stripping a design of its unnecessary elements, a clear, concise and powerful message can be conveyed.

This principle applies to these advertisements that I have gathered below. They each have minimal amounts of text but communicate a message, some big, others small. Rhetorical depth plays a role here through the depth of the specific messages.

This ad is very simple, contains two words and one item that forms the shape of a moon. There is a verbal to visual connection here, as the viewer sees the words “Nivea night” and then the container of lotion becomes a moon. This ad shows the product and its function in a very simple way.

This advertisement for Heinz ketchup combines a simple sentence with an image of a ketchup bottle. Again, this is very simple but communicates a stronger message. The bottle is cut up to resemble a tomato. This communicates freshness and makes the viewer connect this ketchup to fresh tomatoes, making it a stronger choice than another brand. The tag at the bottom of the ad further reinforces the idea of a fresh product.

The third advertisement communicates perhaps the most of these three ads. Even though it has more words than the previous two, this ad is still very simple to look at and easy to understand. It even interacts with the viewer to create a memorable experience, giving directions to visually direct the viewer through the message. It creates a quick, to the point process that leaves a large impact and memorable, effective advertisement.

 

David S. Birdsell and Leo Groarke talk about how messages are conveyed. They discuss how context is important to delivering messages in a minimal way, like I covered above. Connotations play a big role in the importance of context. By evaluating the context of, for example, an advertisement, a designer can make the most simple yet striking ad possible.

Environmental typography is all about involving context with design, although possibly in a more dimensional way than Birdsell and Groarke were talking about. This specific type of typography interacts with the environment to mold the viewer’s experience and perception of the piece. This relates to how the context affects the perception of a visual message. I have gathered a couple examples of environmental typography at work below.

This example shows physical viewer/user interaction to communicate its message about conservation.

This example uses a simple cut out to incorporate the background (context) of the sign to its message.

 

Although both examples incorporate an environmental theme, that is not to skew what environmental typography actually means. It means involving the environment and context of a message, no matter what that message is. The delivery of the messages is interactive in some way, whether its directly with the audience, like the paper towels, or involves a different perspective of the environment.

This week’s article is “Rhetoric of the Image” by Roland Barthes. In this article, he begins by discussing an image’s role in communication, that it has limits and purpose. He then brings in the idea of images within advertising. He talks about how creating imagery for advertising is quite the process involving different levels of communication. Barthes uses an advertisement for Panzani to illustrate his next examples of “frank, or emphatic” imagery. He breaks down the elements that made up the image as a whole, as the parts each communicated a different piece of the whole message. He includes ideas like the Linguistic Message, which deals with more than the text of an image, and the Denoted Image, which is the meaning behind not having a meaning. His article focuses on the way an audience perceives imagery that is treated with different appeals of rhetoric.

A piece within the article that really stuck out to me was, “…it is an absence of meaning full of all the meanings,” referring to the importance of realizing that “having no meaning” actually has a meaning. To me, this means that not having any meaning is just not possible. Another part of the article that fascinated me was when Barthes took apart the Panzani ad piece by piece to determine the purpose of each. As a designer, that is something that I think about, both forwards and backwards, all throughout the design process. An important part of design is making sure that everything you are doing has a purpose, because your job is to communicate seamlessly with a specific audience. Each piece of the Panzani ad served a purpose, and it was useful to have that visual and be walked through the process with Barthes.

On Thursday our class was held at the Longwood Center for Visual Arts. We spent our time listening to the staff speak and looking at artwork on our own, focusing on the idea that visual art is rhetorical. I selected two pieces that stood out to me in a way that could be analyzed rhetorically. First is a portrait by Cara O’neal and the second is a watercolor/gouache painting by my design professor Christopher Register.

I found that art is rhetorical in a few ways. I struggled finding rhetorical devices in some more obscure pieces, but I was able to relate what I know better to more contemporary pieces. The portrait shown below shows clues to context and purpose in ways that I can identify. I see all visual pieces (random nonsensical things aside) as rhetorical. They all have messages to be delivered and interpreted by an audience, and I feel like that is the bottom line for determining whether or not something is rhetorical. While I was browsing and thinking about all of the artwork in the LCVA, I could tell what messages they were trying to communicate.

The portrait is rhetorical because I can gather a lot of information from it, even though it is a simple portrait. I can tell that the woman is probably a regular, yet casual swimmer from what she is wearing (a casual floral suit) but also a swim cap to possibly keep her hair dry instead of for increasing her speed in the water. She probably swims regularly and it is a part of her routine, but she doesn’t appear to be a competitive swimmer. Little clues like what the subject is wearing give meaning to her reasoning for being at the pool and what she may be like as a person.

Screen Shot 2015-09-13 at 11.37.56 PM

The second piece of art that I chose to focus on was the painting by Christopher Register. This one is an image of the Cunningham buildings that were recently torn down on Longwood University’s campus. This painting gives a lot of information referring to a specific location and paints that location in a positive and uplifting light. This space on campus is now just clear and grassy, as the huge buildings are completely gone. The painting was completed in 2012, so it is almost like a glimpse into the past years. This one is rhetorical in a way that it can relate to time and context, as well as a goodbye message found a little deeper within it and with a little knowledge of the situation.
Screen Shot 2015-09-13 at 11.34.48 PM

I believe that while both pieces are rhetorical, they vary in rhetorical depth. While the portrait is simpler, it has more for the audience to figure out and because it is a photograph, it captures a certain quality of realness. The painting is rhetorical as well, but more so in the way that it relates to a certain event that requires some prior knowledge to completely understand its significance.

 

Phillips and McQuarrie’s article takes a closer look at how visuals are used in advertising messages. Visual metaphor and typology play an important role in how rhetoric affects consumers. A visual metaphor is imagery that is used outside of its normally accepted context to further emphasize or better  communicate a point. The goal of visual metaphors is to create a memorable connection in the viewers’ minds. Typology is a way of communicating these messages that include visual metaphors. It is not just means of categorizing the messages within rhetoric, though, as it aids understanding on a more personal level. By utilizing visual metaphors and typology, communicators are able to create memorable and meaningful messages in advertising. Advertising relies on visual elements to reach consumers in new ways that will make them want a product or service without feeling coerced.

Kennedy’s article also suggests that Communication Theory exists in many different ways among many different disciplines. Visual communication requires a rhetoric approach in ways such as signs and symbols, function, audience appeal, and whether or  not the message is conveyed in the best way possible. These all contribute to how we perceive images and their purpose and message. Message has been repeated a few times within this post, but that is because it is one of the most important things to consider when analyzing visual rhetoric along with purpose, audience, context, and form.

The above image is a strong example of visual metaphor. The cigarette appears to be just a normal cigarette at first, but after a closer look, it takes the form of a loaded gun filled with deadly bullets inside. This represents the dangers of smoking and compares it to a gun. The message and purpose of this ad is simple and clear, and gets its point across.

This week’s articles are “Theory of Visual Rhetoric” by Sonja Foss and “Seeing the Text” by Stephen Bernhardt. For these articles, I will outline the key pieces of information relating to the author’s central argument and main points throughout the article.

 

Theory of Visual Rhetoric by Sonja Foss

Introduction

  • The definition of Rhetoric, according to Douglas Ehninger in 1972: “the ways in which humans may influence each other’s thinking and behavior through the strategic use of symbols.”
  • Current definitions still follow this line of thought but have expanded to become more inclusive, although this has not been a simple process.
  • Symbols have a large impact upon communication and can reach an audience in ways that discursive language cannot.

Main points

  • Visual rhetoric includes a broad set of elements such as “paintings, sculpture, furniture, architecture, and interior design.”
  • But not every visual is considered rhetoric, as visual rhetorical objects must be symbolic, involve humans, and have a purpose of communication.
  • These visual elements must be analyzed for usefulness and effectiveness before being used in order to make sure the message is relayed with the correct intentions. Quality and function are two important features of a visual.
  • Culture plays an important role in how messages are perceived.
  • Language can reach audiences in ways that visuals cannot. These two parts of rhetoric are different but can be used effectively together.

Conclusion

  • Visual Rhetoric is composed of two main ideas: visual imagery and perspective that those who study the subject take.
  • An increased understanding of how symbols work has led to necessary expansion of rhetorical theory to include visual and verbal symbols.

 

Seeing the Text by Stephen Bernhardt

Introduction

  • If students were encouraged to use visual rhetoric, it could increase their understanding of the subject.
  • “Though classroom teaching often assumes essay organization is the norm, outside the classroom visually informative prose is pervasive, and not just in technical fields.”
  • Layout and presentation is very important in how the messages are perceived.

Main points

  • Different types of writing deliver different messages which are carried out in different ways to maximize the potential for effective communication.
  • “There are no hard and fast rules for designing…” The content and message dictate the design of the document.
  • Function and structure are directly related.
  • Good use of visual syntax assists the reader and helps the document not be taken as just an essay.

Conclusion

  • An improved understanding comes from studying texts by their context and function.
  • The rhetoric of visual are should be viewed and handled as an evolving art, and if it is treated as such, schools can teach students to become “able, creative composers.”

 

Both of these articles relate to my background in Graphic Design. They stress the importance of the message and how it is delivered. In a lot of cases, how something looks is just as important as what it is saying. The main purpose of design is communication, so the content will often dictate what the message visually looks like. Audience, purpose, message, and context were all referenced multiple times within these articles, and those are attributes that are most important in design as well to create an effective delivery.

My name is Kayla, and I am just starting out my junior year at Longwood University. I am majoring in Graphic Design with a minor in Business, so the course Visual Rhetoric and Document Design appeared both interesting and beneficial to me. I’ve only previously encountered the study of rhetoric in my English 150 class and in my Communication Theory class, in which I also made blog posts. I have found that what I learned in those classes directly relates to what I am doing in this course so far.

Through this blog, I will be analyzing articles from our classes for rhetorical strategies and looking beyond the surface for messages. The posts will cover all kinds of visual elements and how they can be interpreted in many ways, by a general audience and by me personally.

This kind of information could be useful to individuals studying, or just interested in, design or rhetoric, as the two are closely connected within this course.

While my background and past experiences are centered around design, I have encountered rhetoric in English and writing classes and can see that the two share fundamental concepts. I am looking forward to reading the articles and sharing my perspective and insight in each week’s post.

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16

Nov
2015

In Uncategorized

By Kayla Baldino

Post #11: Progress Report – Client Project

On 16, Nov 2015 | In Uncategorized | By Kayla Baldino

For our client project, we have completed the first few fundamental steps. First, we discussed potential clients and their basic needs. We came up with a few ideas and their forms of the project, and also discussed how well it would fit the project outline. We made the final decision to choose creating marketing materials for a photographer’s business. These materials could include a new Facebook, website, blog, logo, watermark, business card, envelopes, promo cards, thank you cards, CD envelopes, invoice, pricing guide, printing rights, etc. We narrowed down our final deliverables to an updated working Facebook/website hybrid, a new brand identity in the form of business cards, watermark, and logo (this will also be incorporated to the overall look of the other pieces), and custom envelopes for photo CDs.

We have discussed how we want to portray our client, and the words/feelings that we want to convey with our designs are: professional, clean, modern, reliable, high quality, and personal. I have helped talk through the design aspect of our project, as I have learned a lot about design, brand identity, and communication to viewers through the classes and projects I have worked on as a Graphic Design major. I have begun researching clients like ours and how they portray themselves and their brand, created a few color palettes to work with, and begun the brand identity creation process. I have worked on similar types of projects, so I feel particularly comfortable in this project. I think our team has an excellent balance of our individual strengths that we can all learn from and build upon throughout this process to create a successful project.

Our plan of action is as follows:

Tuesday, Nov. 17 (Meet to divide up work more so than we have already, decide what to have ready for next meeting)

Thursday, Nov. 19 (Meet to decide what to have ready for Monday, ask final questions for client opinion and suggestions, be ready and prepared to bring in successful work to Monday’s meeting)

-Possibly meet over weekend if necessary, otherwise work independently while staying in touch via text and google doc.

Monday, Nov. 23 (Meet to compare and compile final drafts and work out how we will present)

Tuesday, Nov. 24 (Usability testing- have drafts complete for presentation. Final edits to be made after this date)

I personally will continue with the identity of our client and how to portray that visually. I will continue to focus on the logo/watermark/business cards while Jess and Dana work on the Facebook/website, but we will be working collaboratively to ensure the pieces are consistent. The envelope will be completed after the other two thirds of the project.

20

Oct
2015

In Uncategorized

By Kayla Baldino

Post #10: Prewriting for Case Study and Kinross/Williams

On 20, Oct 2015 | In Uncategorized | By Kayla Baldino

“As communication progresses as a whole, there specific questions that have come up: is art considered design? is design art? and to what degree are both art and design rhetorical? 

This all comes back to a broader view communication. While analyzing art and design pieces, one can find that they are both very different. Both serve different purposes and both can be viewed as rhetorical. Some people may consider art and design as synonymous terms, but they are not.

Design itself has purpose, and that is communication. A successful design piece is created with a definite purpose and message in mind that is to be communicated. The design is most successful when it can seamlessly communicate the message to the audience, as design should hardly be noticed. Communicating most effectively, simply, and memorably, with as little distraction as possible, is what design is.

Just as important as the purpose is the target audience for the message. In art pieces, even those that require something of the audience, the audience is labeled as a viewer. In design, the audience is an active participant because it is an experience with purpose. Even without words, design is communicating information, easing understanding, and leaving an impression. Design uses what an audience already knows/believes/is capable of understanding to deliver a point. It is the designer’s job to analyze the audience and goal to decide on the best possible approach for the design.”
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The goal of my paper will be to challenge current beliefs and create new ideas surrounding the topic of art versus design, but in the most non-aggressive, straightforward manner. Design and art are sometimes viewed as the same, but analyzing in visually rhetorical ways proves that they are far from the same. I will be drawing upon our textbook, Foss, Bernhardt, Ann C. Tyler, Blair, and Birdsell and Groarke to establish my paper, while also including sources that are current to the world of design such as an interview with a Graphic Design professor, Art professor, and designers, such as Craig Baldwin, who have been featured in more recent publications.

Chapter 6 of Williams’ Non-Designer’s Design Book is an overview of the design principles that help outline why design is so successful in communication. The four principles, Proximity, Alignment, Repetition, and Contrast create the framework for designers, and they are almost second-nature to designers. In an exercise to redesign an ad in the book, Williams instructs to “get rid of everything superfluous so you know what you’re working with” to begin the design process. To me, I see this as removing the more artistic elements that may be concealing the message and purpose.

07

Oct
2015

In Uncategorized

By Kayla Baldino

Post #9: Case Study Proposal and Doumont/Williams

On 07, Oct 2015 | In Uncategorized | By Kayla Baldino

Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 3.48.24 PM

For my case study, I am planning to expand upon the main idea from the blog post prompt, “To what extent is visual art rhetorical?” As a graphic design major, I have often contemplated and been faced with the concept that design is not art. But I recently read an excerpt of an article that explained this in terms of what I see as being rhetorical, so that’s how I came upon the idea to do my case study on this subject. The following is a screenshot from “Is Print Dying?” by Craig Baldwin on Issuu.com.

Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 3.48.11 PM

Design works with given information and that creates the framework for the design before any creativity is involved. I feel like art works the opposite way, creativity first and then an artist’s statement develops to give it meaning. I plan to compare and contrast the meanings of design and art and analyze examples of that for rhetorical meanings. I think I will be able to apply a lot of the readings that we have analyzed to this concept, especially the ones from Post #7, Post #4, and Post #2.

Reading through the Non-Designer’s Design Book, I found this statement: “There is one more general guiding principle of Design (and of life): Don’t be a wimp,” and then it goes on to explain it. It tells you not to be hesitant, allow for asymmetry, and and not to fear extremes. I think this applies to both art and design, and both cannot really exist without following that rule.

05

Oct
2015

In Uncategorized

By Kayla Baldino

Post #8: The Visual Rhetoric of Commemoration

On 05, Oct 2015 | In Uncategorized | By Kayla Baldino

This post’s article is “The Wall, the Screen, and the Image,” by Marita Sturken. In this article, she immediately focuses in on the term screen. She discusses the term in the context of public remembrance of the Vietnam war. She then talks about how a screen is a surface to be projected on or it could be a protective or shielding surface. These two views are also applied in relation to the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial. In this article, a memorial is defined as something that is created in order to teach about the past, and as a result, make a decision about “what is worth recovering.” The development of this memorial has gone much further than being limited to the Vietnam war. People go there to feel comfort about current conflicts and “charged public events,” which include a lot of hot topics that affect people deeply. The mystery and ambiguity of the memorial are what make it able to appeal to a wide variety of audiences and their problems.

The article discusses a difference between “monument” and “memorial.” Sturken references Arthur Danto to explain that monuments most often are created as a symbol of victory and to remember the victory for a very long time. Memorials are erected to symbolize loss and sacrifice. While the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, they carry different connotations.

From what I could gather, Maya Lin’s memorial fits the criteria explained above for a true memorial. The names and the design are put together in order to honor and recognize loss, rather than celebrate any kind of victory. Even though Frederick Hart criticizes Lin’s work, it does what a memorial is supposed to do. Hart’s piece is a monument, in a way, to being “humanist” and appreciating human life and valuing humans as humans. I don’t quite understand why the two couldn’t share the space neutrally, but both Lin and Hart bring up decent points, if the issue is being seen as personal, but in general, it doesn’t seem like it should be such a big deal.

The D-Day Memorial is a memorial that I believe could be one of the “monument or memorial?” instances. The memorial’s primary purpose to to honor those who lost their lives, as the unit from Bedford lost the most men, but I think it could also stand for a victory.

21

Sep
2015

In Uncategorized

By Kayla Baldino

Post #7: Visual Arguments

On 21, Sep 2015 | In Uncategorized | By Kayla Baldino

Most often, good design consists of communicating a message by saying as little as possible. These kinds of designs are typically the most memorable and impacting due to their simplicity. J. Anthony Blair agrees with this idea in his article, “The Possibility and Actuality of Visual Arguments.” He states that advertisements will be most successful and effective if they are “purely visual,” meaning that there is no heavy text for the viewer to read through. Keeping text to a minimal amount keeps viewers from getting bored and gets the message across so much quicker, which makes it easier to understand. By stripping a design of its unnecessary elements, a clear, concise and powerful message can be conveyed.

This principle applies to these advertisements that I have gathered below. They each have minimal amounts of text but communicate a message, some big, others small. Rhetorical depth plays a role here through the depth of the specific messages.

This ad is very simple, contains two words and one item that forms the shape of a moon. There is a verbal to visual connection here, as the viewer sees the words “Nivea night” and then the container of lotion becomes a moon. This ad shows the product and its function in a very simple way.

This advertisement for Heinz ketchup combines a simple sentence with an image of a ketchup bottle. Again, this is very simple but communicates a stronger message. The bottle is cut up to resemble a tomato. This communicates freshness and makes the viewer connect this ketchup to fresh tomatoes, making it a stronger choice than another brand. The tag at the bottom of the ad further reinforces the idea of a fresh product.

The third advertisement communicates perhaps the most of these three ads. Even though it has more words than the previous two, this ad is still very simple to look at and easy to understand. It even interacts with the viewer to create a memorable experience, giving directions to visually direct the viewer through the message. It creates a quick, to the point process that leaves a large impact and memorable, effective advertisement.

 

David S. Birdsell and Leo Groarke talk about how messages are conveyed. They discuss how context is important to delivering messages in a minimal way, like I covered above. Connotations play a big role in the importance of context. By evaluating the context of, for example, an advertisement, a designer can make the most simple yet striking ad possible.

Environmental typography is all about involving context with design, although possibly in a more dimensional way than Birdsell and Groarke were talking about. This specific type of typography interacts with the environment to mold the viewer’s experience and perception of the piece. This relates to how the context affects the perception of a visual message. I have gathered a couple examples of environmental typography at work below.

This example shows physical viewer/user interaction to communicate its message about conservation.

This example uses a simple cut out to incorporate the background (context) of the sign to its message.

 

Although both examples incorporate an environmental theme, that is not to skew what environmental typography actually means. It means involving the environment and context of a message, no matter what that message is. The delivery of the messages is interactive in some way, whether its directly with the audience, like the paper towels, or involves a different perspective of the environment.

17

Sep
2015

In Uncategorized

By Kayla Baldino

Post #6: Rhetoric of the Image

On 17, Sep 2015 | In Uncategorized | By Kayla Baldino

This week’s article is “Rhetoric of the Image” by Roland Barthes. In this article, he begins by discussing an image’s role in communication, that it has limits and purpose. He then brings in the idea of images within advertising. He talks about how creating imagery for advertising is quite the process involving different levels of communication. Barthes uses an advertisement for Panzani to illustrate his next examples of “frank, or emphatic” imagery. He breaks down the elements that made up the image as a whole, as the parts each communicated a different piece of the whole message. He includes ideas like the Linguistic Message, which deals with more than the text of an image, and the Denoted Image, which is the meaning behind not having a meaning. His article focuses on the way an audience perceives imagery that is treated with different appeals of rhetoric.

A piece within the article that really stuck out to me was, “…it is an absence of meaning full of all the meanings,” referring to the importance of realizing that “having no meaning” actually has a meaning. To me, this means that not having any meaning is just not possible. Another part of the article that fascinated me was when Barthes took apart the Panzani ad piece by piece to determine the purpose of each. As a designer, that is something that I think about, both forwards and backwards, all throughout the design process. An important part of design is making sure that everything you are doing has a purpose, because your job is to communicate seamlessly with a specific audience. Each piece of the Panzani ad served a purpose, and it was useful to have that visual and be walked through the process with Barthes.

13

Sep
2015

In Uncategorized

By Kayla Baldino

Post #5: To what extent is visual art rhetorical? (LCVA trip)

On 13, Sep 2015 | In Uncategorized | By Kayla Baldino

On Thursday our class was held at the Longwood Center for Visual Arts. We spent our time listening to the staff speak and looking at artwork on our own, focusing on the idea that visual art is rhetorical. I selected two pieces that stood out to me in a way that could be analyzed rhetorically. First is a portrait by Cara O’neal and the second is a watercolor/gouache painting by my design professor Christopher Register.

I found that art is rhetorical in a few ways. I struggled finding rhetorical devices in some more obscure pieces, but I was able to relate what I know better to more contemporary pieces. The portrait shown below shows clues to context and purpose in ways that I can identify. I see all visual pieces (random nonsensical things aside) as rhetorical. They all have messages to be delivered and interpreted by an audience, and I feel like that is the bottom line for determining whether or not something is rhetorical. While I was browsing and thinking about all of the artwork in the LCVA, I could tell what messages they were trying to communicate.

The portrait is rhetorical because I can gather a lot of information from it, even though it is a simple portrait. I can tell that the woman is probably a regular, yet casual swimmer from what she is wearing (a casual floral suit) but also a swim cap to possibly keep her hair dry instead of for increasing her speed in the water. She probably swims regularly and it is a part of her routine, but she doesn’t appear to be a competitive swimmer. Little clues like what the subject is wearing give meaning to her reasoning for being at the pool and what she may be like as a person.

Screen Shot 2015-09-13 at 11.37.56 PM

The second piece of art that I chose to focus on was the painting by Christopher Register. This one is an image of the Cunningham buildings that were recently torn down on Longwood University’s campus. This painting gives a lot of information referring to a specific location and paints that location in a positive and uplifting light. This space on campus is now just clear and grassy, as the huge buildings are completely gone. The painting was completed in 2012, so it is almost like a glimpse into the past years. This one is rhetorical in a way that it can relate to time and context, as well as a goodbye message found a little deeper within it and with a little knowledge of the situation.
Screen Shot 2015-09-13 at 11.34.48 PM

I believe that while both pieces are rhetorical, they vary in rhetorical depth. While the portrait is simpler, it has more for the audience to figure out and because it is a photograph, it captures a certain quality of realness. The painting is rhetorical as well, but more so in the way that it relates to a certain event that requires some prior knowledge to completely understand its significance.

 

07

Sep
2015

In Uncategorized

By Kayla Baldino

Post #4: Visual Rhetoric vs. Marketing Products/Ideas

On 07, Sep 2015 | In Uncategorized | By Kayla Baldino

Phillips and McQuarrie’s article takes a closer look at how visuals are used in advertising messages. Visual metaphor and typology play an important role in how rhetoric affects consumers. A visual metaphor is imagery that is used outside of its normally accepted context to further emphasize or better  communicate a point. The goal of visual metaphors is to create a memorable connection in the viewers’ minds. Typology is a way of communicating these messages that include visual metaphors. It is not just means of categorizing the messages within rhetoric, though, as it aids understanding on a more personal level. By utilizing visual metaphors and typology, communicators are able to create memorable and meaningful messages in advertising. Advertising relies on visual elements to reach consumers in new ways that will make them want a product or service without feeling coerced.

Kennedy’s article also suggests that Communication Theory exists in many different ways among many different disciplines. Visual communication requires a rhetoric approach in ways such as signs and symbols, function, audience appeal, and whether or  not the message is conveyed in the best way possible. These all contribute to how we perceive images and their purpose and message. Message has been repeated a few times within this post, but that is because it is one of the most important things to consider when analyzing visual rhetoric along with purpose, audience, context, and form.

The above image is a strong example of visual metaphor. The cigarette appears to be just a normal cigarette at first, but after a closer look, it takes the form of a loaded gun filled with deadly bullets inside. This represents the dangers of smoking and compares it to a gun. The message and purpose of this ad is simple and clear, and gets its point across.

01

Sep
2015

In Uncategorized

By Kayla Baldino

Post #2: Theorizing Visual Rhetoric

On 01, Sep 2015 | In Uncategorized | By Kayla Baldino

This week’s articles are “Theory of Visual Rhetoric” by Sonja Foss and “Seeing the Text” by Stephen Bernhardt. For these articles, I will outline the key pieces of information relating to the author’s central argument and main points throughout the article.

 

Theory of Visual Rhetoric by Sonja Foss

Introduction

  • The definition of Rhetoric, according to Douglas Ehninger in 1972: “the ways in which humans may influence each other’s thinking and behavior through the strategic use of symbols.”
  • Current definitions still follow this line of thought but have expanded to become more inclusive, although this has not been a simple process.
  • Symbols have a large impact upon communication and can reach an audience in ways that discursive language cannot.

Main points

  • Visual rhetoric includes a broad set of elements such as “paintings, sculpture, furniture, architecture, and interior design.”
  • But not every visual is considered rhetoric, as visual rhetorical objects must be symbolic, involve humans, and have a purpose of communication.
  • These visual elements must be analyzed for usefulness and effectiveness before being used in order to make sure the message is relayed with the correct intentions. Quality and function are two important features of a visual.
  • Culture plays an important role in how messages are perceived.
  • Language can reach audiences in ways that visuals cannot. These two parts of rhetoric are different but can be used effectively together.

Conclusion

  • Visual Rhetoric is composed of two main ideas: visual imagery and perspective that those who study the subject take.
  • An increased understanding of how symbols work has led to necessary expansion of rhetorical theory to include visual and verbal symbols.

 

Seeing the Text by Stephen Bernhardt

Introduction

  • If students were encouraged to use visual rhetoric, it could increase their understanding of the subject.
  • “Though classroom teaching often assumes essay organization is the norm, outside the classroom visually informative prose is pervasive, and not just in technical fields.”
  • Layout and presentation is very important in how the messages are perceived.

Main points

  • Different types of writing deliver different messages which are carried out in different ways to maximize the potential for effective communication.
  • “There are no hard and fast rules for designing…” The content and message dictate the design of the document.
  • Function and structure are directly related.
  • Good use of visual syntax assists the reader and helps the document not be taken as just an essay.

Conclusion

  • An improved understanding comes from studying texts by their context and function.
  • The rhetoric of visual are should be viewed and handled as an evolving art, and if it is treated as such, schools can teach students to become “able, creative composers.”

 

Both of these articles relate to my background in Graphic Design. They stress the importance of the message and how it is delivered. In a lot of cases, how something looks is just as important as what it is saying. The main purpose of design is communication, so the content will often dictate what the message visually looks like. Audience, purpose, message, and context were all referenced multiple times within these articles, and those are attributes that are most important in design as well to create an effective delivery.

01

Sep
2015

In Uncategorized

By Kayla Baldino

Post #1: Personal Introduction

On 01, Sep 2015 | In Uncategorized | By Kayla Baldino

My name is Kayla, and I am just starting out my junior year at Longwood University. I am majoring in Graphic Design with a minor in Business, so the course Visual Rhetoric and Document Design appeared both interesting and beneficial to me. I’ve only previously encountered the study of rhetoric in my English 150 class and in my Communication Theory class, in which I also made blog posts. I have found that what I learned in those classes directly relates to what I am doing in this course so far.

Through this blog, I will be analyzing articles from our classes for rhetorical strategies and looking beyond the surface for messages. The posts will cover all kinds of visual elements and how they can be interpreted in many ways, by a general audience and by me personally.

This kind of information could be useful to individuals studying, or just interested in, design or rhetoric, as the two are closely connected within this course.

While my background and past experiences are centered around design, I have encountered rhetoric in English and writing classes and can see that the two share fundamental concepts. I am looking forward to reading the articles and sharing my perspective and insight in each week’s post.