What is a visual text? • A visual text is a text in which the image plays a major role in the audiences’ response. • Although visual texts make meaning with images, they don't have to be without words: in fact, words and images are often combined to make meaning.
Types of visual texts • advertisements • film posters • postcards • web pages • cd covers • posters • picture books • brochures • photographs • paintings • cartoons
Quiz Everyday we come into contact with many texts. Some are written, others are spoken, but many are visual. Symbols, along with icons, logos, emblems and insignia, are visual texts that communicate a meaning to us. Identify what each of the following visual symbols represent or mean.
Features of visual texts We use the special features of visual language to help us determine what message is being sent by a visual text. Some of these features include: • layout – position, size, colour, shape • image – graphic, symbols • writing – font, position, message
Visual texts and colour Colour adds brightness, interest and a deeper meaning to an image. We associate most colours with a particular feeling and meaning.
Activity Match up the colours with what you think are the feelings and things they symbolise.
Analysing a visual text Context: • What is the context of the image? • What values are represented? Purpose: • How and why was the image created? • Who is the intended audience? • What is the intended purpose? Subject: • What body language does the subject show? • What expression is on the face of the subject? • What is the subject wearing? • What is the setting? • What feelings are presented in the visual image? • What message does the image communicate to the audience?
Structure: • How are the elements of the picture arranged? • What is the function of the background? • What use is made of light and dark? Positioning the viewer: • Is the image a close-up, medium shot or long shot? Why is it appropriate here? • Where is the viewer positioned – above, below or at eye level with the subject? Why? • What eye contact does the audience have with the subject? • How is the subject positioned in relation to the viewer – face on, side on or facing away? Use these questions as a guide whenever you are analysing a visual text.