Visual Rhetoric

A straightforward example of visual rhetoric.  Images are constantly employed to persuade or inform people about topics as mundane as the reappearance of the McRib or how your cat will feel when she eats organic cat food, but is also commonly used to express meaningful social concerns or legitimate health issues.  Of course, visual rhetoric can include much more subtly as well.  Dress, demeanor, accent, and many other aspects of someone’s individual appearance all convey meaning that is sometimes overt and intended or often unintentional yet perceived nonetheless.

Picture a man wearing overalls, red flannel, straw hat and cowboy boots.  Suddenly he launches into a detailed account of his investment portfolio and desription of his Madison Avenue apartment.  Now, there’s nothing wrong with a farmer-looking fellow having money and upscale tastes, but the point is you might not suspect it right off the bat.  The simple appearance of the man would convey meaning without him even saying anything.


1 Comment

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One response to “Visual Rhetoric

  1. dcrovitz

    Is it me, or do ads/PSAs in other countries often seem more clever than here?

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