Visual Communication

More than Meets the Eye

Harry Jamieson

Harry Jamieson

Distributed for Intellect Ltd

132 pages | 7 halftones | 6-3/4 x 9
Paper $28.50 ISBN: 9781841501413 Published February 2007

Whether we’re driving on the interstate highway or trying to find a new restaurant in the city, posted signs are our primary tools for navigating the world. In Visual Communication, Harry Jamieson offers a thorough analysis of this important form of communication and investigates the intricate processes behind our interaction with signs.

            In a groundbreaking departure from standard aesthetic and graphic-based analyses, Jamieson probes the complex connection between perception and linguistics in the use of signs. He proposes new approaches to understanding the visual experience through the use of information and language theory, and he examines the underlying ideas within visual communication studies, rather than the solutions the field proposes—but without neglecting the practical aspects of these theoretical ideas. A comprehensive resource, Visual Communication will be an essential read for scholars in media studies, visual arts, sociology, and cultural studies.

 

 “Visual Communication brings back all the fervour and insight of the best analyses of visual communication and it contains numerous insights to help media practitioners, artists and educational designers to understand their crafts. Jamieson goes beyond the descriptive approach typical of broadcast and media studies analysts, and treats underlying themes of the visual in art and the media. I have often felt that Harry Jamieson’s ideas were about 10 years ahead of their times.”—Jon Baggaley, Learning, Media and Technology
 
 “This text purports to offer a new means of understanding visual communication. This is an interesting text and its area of application may veer more towards the artistic than media; the subjects covered, the terms used, authors cited and general feel to the book orientate it not so much within the cultural studies sphere but within a subsection of the creative and artistic practice arena.”—Marcus Leaning, Higher Education Academy
 
“The visual arts are more than visual and more than aesthetic expression. Behind their visual surfaces, they tell us how the body and its organs create the knowable and meaningful forms that sustain human existence, how the organs and senses construct the human world out of the latent and invisible forces that mediate the body as primitive feelings and sensations. The significance of Jamieson’s book is that it addresses the subject of the visual arts from this wider vantage point. For Jamieson, the visual arts reveal visual communication as the means by which the body and its organs communicate with its surrounding forms.”—Robert Cooper, Keele University, United Kingdom

 
 
Robert Cooper, Keele University, United Kingdom

“The visual arts are more than visual and more than aesthetic expression. Behind their visual surfaces, they tell us how the body and its organs create the knowable and meaningful forms that sustain human existence, how the organs and senses construct the human world out of the latent and invisible forces that mediate the body as primitive feelings and sensations. The significance of Jamieson’s book is that it addresses the subject of the visual arts from this wider vantage point. For Jamieson, the visual arts reveal visual communication as the means by which the body and its organs communicate with its surrounding forms.”

Jon Baggaley | Learning, Media and Technology

 “Visual Communication brings back all the fervour and insight of the best analyses of visual communication and it contains numerous insights to help media practitioners, artists and educational designers to understand their crafts. Jamieson goes beyond the descriptive approach typical of broadcast and media studies analysts, and treats underlying themes of the visual in art and the media. I have often felt that Harry Jamieson’s ideas were about 10 years ahead of their times.”

Marcus Leaning | Higher Education Academy

“This text purports to offer a new means of understanding visual communication. This is an interesting text and its area of application may veer more towards the artistic than media; the subjects covered, the terms used, authors cited and general feel to the book orientate it not so much within the cultural studies sphere but within a subsection of the creative and artistic practice arena.”

Contents
Acknowledgements
List of illustrations
Preface
Introduction
 
Chapter One: The Perceptual Connection
The Primary Stage: the optics of viewing
The Secondary Stage: brain processing of visual information
The Third Arm: psychology and visual perception
The Primacy of Relations
Towards Structure
A Sense of Order
The World Stabilised
Framing and Context
Time and Space and Movement
The Fourth Arm: the socio-cultural dimension
Summary
 
Chapter Two: The Semiotic Connection
Semiotic Levels
Foundations for a Theory of Signs
Problems of Terminology
Semiotic as Logic
Social Science Perspective
Towards Abstraction: from the signal to the symbol
The Inclusiveness of Vision
The Innocent Territory
Signification: from Denotation to Connotation
Variability in Interpretation
Summary
 
Chapter Three: ‘In-Forming’ and Meaning
Levels of Processing
‘In-forming’ the Material Image
Task of the Image Maker
Complexity
Cues
The Viewer as ‘In-former’;
       (a) the viewer’s capacity
       (b) the viewer and information load
       (c) the viewer and selective attention
       (d) the viewer and anticipation
Meaning
Intended Meaning
Received Meaning
Meaning as Organisation
Direction of Thought
Summary
 
Chapter Four: The Tacit Dimension
The Corporeal and Tacit Awareness
The Tacit in Perception
Intuition
Imagination
The Material Image
From Denotation to Connotation
Polanyi’s Proposition
Summary
 
Chapter Five: The Aesthetic Dimension
Primary Processing
Form
Intrinsic Interest
In Search of Information
Concerning the Media Summary
 
 
Chapter Six: Frames and Framing
Inner Frames
Frames Inner and Outer
Inside the Frame
Media Manipulation
Practical Issues:
       (a) background
       (b) linking frames
Summary
 
Chapter Seven: Language or System
Visual Image as Sign
The Importance of Syntagm
A Matter of Skill
Reading at Three Levels
Summary
 
Concluding Remarks
Bibliography
Index
 
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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