visual rhetoric n.
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Visual Rhetoric. What is Visual Rhetoric?. We use visual thinking as a major part of our cognition (thinking process) We live in a visually dominated world We must be able to read, dissect, and produce effective visuals.

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what is visual rhetoric
What is Visual Rhetoric?
  • We use visual thinking as a major part of our cognition (thinking process)
  • We live in a visually dominated world
  • We must be able to read, dissect, and produce effective visuals
slide3

Today, when audiences encounter a mass communication, such as a magazine advertisement or a public service announcement, the message often forms a subtle (or not-so subtle) argument.

In other words, the message tries to convince the receiver (YOU) to agree with an idea or to do something (like buy the latest iPhone or vote for George W. Bush).

slide4

Mass communications use many techniques to persuade their audiences; these techniques (part of the art of rhetoric) generally use images and sound to evoke ethos, pathos or logos in viewers.

Media literacy must teach us how to analyze (and critique!) these techniques, allowing us to make more informed decisions about the arguments being presented.

what to consider
What to consider:
  • Text elements (font can influence the author’s ethos)
  • Color
  • Visuals and graphics (to convey specific information, to relate content, or to accent)
  • Overall design (avoid clutter)
slide9
Figure-Ground Contrast: what is in the forefront (often, the focal point) versus what is in the background
slide11
Grouping: Proximityobjects that are grouped close together are perceived as having a connection or relationship
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Grouping: Similarity putting similar objects in close proximity to each other creates a sense of unity
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ContinuationElements that suggest a contiguous visual line will cause the viewer to draw connection and establish relationship (i.e. constellations)

slide16
Closure encourages viewers to move their eyes in predictable and desirable ways to fill in missing information
slide21
Story how the elements combine to tell a story, and to tell a story of the creator’s values, point-of-view, concerns, etc.
slide22

Affect TransferLinking two unlike entities – one that evokes powerful emotion and one that does not – in such a way that the emotion is applied to the less powerful entity.

slide28

The image is a great example of visual rhetoric. The people behind this photo are representing the earth with their hands, colored mostly blue, wrapped into a ball. This symbolization is likely one for the environmental movements to highlight the damages that humans have caused to the Earth and putting forth the notion that some humans are actually in favor of preserving the planet on which we live. The fact that the "earth" is formed by hands from two different people represents the fact that the Earth is inhabited by many different organisms, and that unity is needed to ensure that the planet remains inhabitable for the next generations and beyond.