Shaping Information: The Rhetoric of Visual Conventions / Edition 3

Shaping Information: The Rhetoric of Visual Conventions / Edition 3

by Charles Kostelnick, Michael Hassett
     
 

ISBN-10: 0809325020

ISBN-13: 9780809325023

Pub. Date: 11/28/2003

Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press

From charts, texts, and graphs to illustrations, icons, and screens, we live in an information age saturated with visual language. Yet the underlying principles that provide structure for visual language have long eluded scholars of rhetoric, design, and engineering. To function as a language that reliably conveys meaning, visual language must embody codes that

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Overview

From charts, texts, and graphs to illustrations, icons, and screens, we live in an information age saturated with visual language. Yet the underlying principles that provide structure for visual language have long eluded scholars of rhetoric, design, and engineering. To function as a language that reliably conveys meaning, visual language must embody codes that normalize its practices among both the designers who employ it and the readers who interpret it. 

In this wide-ranging analysis, Charles Kostelnick and Michael Hassett demonstrate how visual language in professional communication—text design, data displays, illustrations—is shaped by conventional practices that are invented, codified, and modified by users in visual discourse communities. Drawing on rhetorical theory, design studies, and a broad array of historical and contemporary examples, Shaping Information: The Rhetoric of Visual Conventions explores the processes by which conventions evolve and proliferate and shows how conventions serve as the medium that designers use to shape, stabilize, and streamline visual information. 

Kostelnick and Hassett extend contemporary theories that define rhetoric as a social act, arguing that visual conventions also thrive within discourse communities and are fragile forms that vary widely in their longevity and scope. Shaping Information: The Rhetoric of Visual Conventions is a thorough guide for scholars, teachers and practitioners of rhetoric and business and technical communication and for professionals in engineering, science, design, and business.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780809325023
Publisher:
Southern Illinois University Press
Publication date:
11/28/2003
Edition description:
1st Edition
Pages:
280
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction1
1Visual Language, Discourse Communities, and the Inherently Social Nature of Conventions10
2What's Conventional, What's Not: A Perceptual and Rhetorical Tour43
3The Origins and Authority of Visual Language: Factors That Shape and Transform Conventions81
4The Mutability of Conventions: Emergence, Evolution, Decline, Revival119
5The Grip of Conventions: How It Develops and Its Consequences for Readers, Designers, and Researchers163
6The Slipperiness of Conventions: Breakdowns, Misdirection, and Other Problems of Interpretation197
Conclusion228
Notes235
References241
Index253

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