2) Overview of some material from the readings
For today I want you to tell us all your name and your
Things to check:
1)Are you on the blogroll?
2)Have you thought about the logo
3)Are you keeping up with the readings?
Some quick Visual fun
Take a look at the next few slides and tell me what’s
going on here. Look carefully. Sometimes you might
need to squint.
These illusions depend on
intricate line work, very
specific color and contrast
choices, the mind’s desire
to complete shapes and
patterns and the fact that
our eyes jitter a bit
If you squint hard and look
at each of these images,
they WILL become still. But
not for long.
… I want us to engage the readings and really sort of grapple
with them, but as you might guess, if we tried to grapple with
every part of all five of those readings we’d end up sitting
here a long, long time grappling with a big ol’ bunch of ideas.
So I’m going to suggest a strategy– pull key ideas and illustrate
how they work/see if we can convert them to a sort of tool, or
a roadmap, if you will, to understanding visual rhetoric.
Something like this:
Barthes challenges us thusly:
“Now even– and above all if– the image is in a certain manner the
limit of meaning, it permits the consideration of a veritable ontology
of the process of signification. How does meaning get into the image?
Where does it end? And if it ends, what is there beyond?”
.. Images carry meaning. But how’d the meaning GET
there, Barthes asks us to consider.
Kress tells us:
“The approach from Social Semiotics not only draws attention
to the many kinds of meanings which are at issue in design,
but the “social” in “Social Semiotics” draws attention to the
fact that meanings always relate to specific societies and their
cultures, and to the meanings of the members of those
These images have meaning…
…because we know them.
They emerge from our culture and are reinforced by our culture.
That isn’t this, is it? = SOr is it?
Benjamin, who I promise is not the bad guy from Apt Pupil even if
he looks like him, reminds us:
“In principle a work of art has always been reproducible. Man-
made artifacts could always be imitated by men. Replicas were
made by pupils in practice of their craft, by masters for diffusing
their works, and, ﬁnally, by third parties in the pursuit of gain.”
Wysocki reminds us:
“Because we have all grown up in densely visually constructed
environments, usually with little overt instruction or awareness of
how the construction takes place, it is easy to think of the visual
elements of texts as simply happening or appearing…as though…
television sitcoms were the result of a camera crew following a
typical family through their day.”
This remind you of your friends
And these are just normal people
enjoying normal products
What Wysocki would ask us to do
..ask why. Think about why those images are chosen.
And maybe more importantly… why don’t people
think about it/why isn’t it sort of a big deal to most
Now it’s your turn
Break into five groups. That should mean 5 per group.
Once you’re grouped, from my podium going clockwise around the
Group 1: Kress
Group 2: Barthes
Group 3: Wysocki, Eyes
Group 4: Benjamin
Group 5: Wysocki, Meaning of Texts
Pick between no less than 1 and no more than 3 main ideas, support
them with source quotes, and find examples for discussion. As you
finish, email me your materials: firstname.lastname@example.org
Armed with your new understandings from these readings,
go to my tumblr. There, you will find your group definitions
of visual rhetoric from our first class. What I want your group
to do is further synthesis. Make the definition as long as you
feel it needs to be, talk it out, but when you’re done, email to
me your group’s “where we are now” definition of visual
email@example.com if you’ve forgotten.
Moving to next week…
DO NOT FORGET THE IN-DESIGN TUTORIAL!
DON’T FORGET IT!
For next Monday, read:
Read for class: Williams Chapters 4 & 5: repetition & contrast;
Kimball & Hawkins Chapter 1
Make sure you come in ready to work in In-Design, because we’re
Also make sure you do design task 2, which is to take two sports
logos of your choice and change their colors to earth tones (see
example on my Tumblr).
See you Monday!