Rhetorical Situation and Visual Design

1) Practical visual design is rational in the sense that each step of the way you can understand why you’re making design decisions. 2) The three elements of the rhetorical situation are audience, purpose and context. 3) Some examples of large-scale responses to the rhetorical situation of a document include 11” x 17” four panel format, heavier paper, and arrangements of the documents major elements -brochure-like format, visual demeanor. ) Some examples of local-level responses to the rhetorical situation of a document are typography, large, bold type, bulleted list, single page letter, parallel layout, -narrow text columns, two bar charts and table, labels. 5) Traditional rhetorical strategies apply to visual design in the following ways Arrangement and emphasis strategies pertain to the visual structure and organization of the document. Clarity and conciseness strategies pertain primarily to functional matters of style, of making the design readable and efficient.

Tone and ethos strategies relate primarily to readers subjective responses to the visual language, its voice and credibility. 6) Cognate strategies of visual designs interrelate and overlap because technicality may add to clarity as well as to conciseness. In the same way, the placement of the headings or drawings on a page in not entirely a matter of arrangement rather than ethos and of clarity rather than emphasis. 7) The three kinds of activities in the design process are Invention -Revision -Editing. ) Conventions in the context of communication are customary forms and configurations that members of an audience expect. 9) The three ways of grouping visual conventions are according to scope, degree of flexibility and size of the use group. 10) “Visual discourse community” means an audience that understands certain conventions. 11) Three guidelines for using visual conventions are Identify relevant conventions for any design problems you’re trying to solve Realize that some conventions are more rigid than others Think of conventions in terms of your readers, who give them meaning and significance.

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