Visual Rhetoric

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Visual Rhetoric

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study

    Advertising, Communication Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    Document Design and Applied Statistics

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    To acquire knowledge of processing verbal and visual messages, and especially their interactions
    To learn the fundamental cognitive principles behind:

    • visual metaphors in advertising;
    • interplay of text and visuals in instructional communication;
    • effectiveness of infographics in news and business communication.

    To investigate communication messages with appropriate research methods
    To apply learned knowledge to well-reasoned assessment of communication messages
    To explore the possibilities of working in the professional domain of graphics design

    Images are getting more and more important in communication messages. Dependent on communicative goals, both design and function of images in documents may differ. In three themes we will consider how images are processed differently by viewers because of other functions they serve. First, we will look at visual metaphors in advertising and their persuasive function. Second, we will study the aid of images in learning instructions. Third, we will assess informativeness and attractiveness of data visualisation (infographics). In all cases, the interplay of images with text plays a pivotal role. Theories of information processing will be studied and applied to analyse the role of images in documents and the intended and unintended effects they may have on document users.

    One lecture and one seminar a week (two hours each)

    Written examination (50%) and assignments (50%).


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