Unit 2: Overview

Question: How does the medium massage the message, and why? How does the visual language (medium, technique, form, system, relations, time, space, etc.) aid or impair communication?

Unit summary: Since any object is an interface for human experience, its language system is the essential ground to generate meaning for that experience. In graphic design we use primarily visual and verbal devices to represent ideas. While these devices have assigned meanings, interpretation depends on awareness of relationships that determine such meaning. We know, for example, that tone, volume, and accent commonly affect and often determine how a spoken word is interpreted. The same holds true for the written word, and how the graphic means of visual form and structure affect and even determine content and interpretation. We will inquire into this phenomenon of equating verbivisual factors that reflect and massage meaning, and why.

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