Visual Literacy Theory

Authored by: Paul Messaris , Sandra Moriarty

Handbook of Visual Communication

Print publication date:  November  2004
Online publication date:  December  2004

Print ISBN: 9780805841787
eBook ISBN: 9781410611581
Adobe ISBN: 9781135636531

10.4324/9781410611581.ch29

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Abstract

Like many other people who write about visual communication, we find it convenient to use the term visual literacy as a label for an important concept, namely, the viewer’s awareness of the conventions through which the meanings of visual images are created and understood. Although the linguistic analogy implied by the word literacy may be inappropriate and potentially misleading because it suggests that visual messages operate similarly to verbal messages, we can think of no existing, commonly employed alternative to this usage. Rather than resorting to neologism, then, we will stay with the term visual literacy in this chapter.

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