Why the Visual Designer of Our Era is the New Rhetorician

The ubiquity of portable devices is curving the path for a new generation of digital natives and the need for multimodal methods arises all the more to catch its eye and maintain a usually short-attention span. The new reader is also viewer and watcher and the appearance of documents on screen underlies the judgements people make both about the author and the content per se, since reading is a cognitive process that initiates via the human eye. What the eye perceives is embedded to the reading process. Typeface and fonts constitute the optical manifestation of the linguistic medium and can manipulate how readers and viewers react to the content in front them. The idea of thorough preparation, style, organization, appropriateness and eloquent delivery as being nodal for the successful reception of a work bloomed at a heavily oral society. This was 5th-century Athens, the global womb of the art of the rhetoric. Dynamics of the final rhetoric product were considered to be both orator and audience, and this emphasis on the latter holds still today. The rhetorician’s underlying focus was the target audience and every detail and speech form in his, for it was mainly men, rhetoric aimed in the audience’s persuasion and pleasure. Manipulative and intensively deliberate, the visual design is in great affinity with ancient Greek Rhetoric and love for the median.

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