I’ve used advertisements to explore how rhetorical figures can be used by designers to enhance meaning and message in visual communication. This is an exercise to help me understand this relationship. Like the written language, design can engage elements in different ways that effect what is being communicated and how it is communicated. Designers need to think about the materials and methods that create the design as well as the style and the arrangement of the elements within that design. All of those aspects culminate in the final piece. With that in mind, it is good to design with a mind. To design with all those considerations, it really does help to be familiar with some of the many ways to experiment with the language of design.
Litotes: a form of understatement, often using double negatives.
Paradox: contradictory statement or ironic absurdity that goes against intuition.
Hyperbole: rhetorical exaggeration for the purpose of emphasis or humor.
Anthimeria: replacing one part of speech for another, such as a verb or an adjective for a noun // think repurposed.
Metonymy: referencing a term by naming something that is commonly attributed to it.
Personification: attributing human qualities to inanimate objects or abstract ideas.
Repetition: The repetition of a word of phrase within a larger clause.
Allusion: Reference to a person, place, or thing.
Anastrophe: reversal of normal word order.
Ellipsis: omitting elements that are implied by the context.
Antithesis: Presenting opposite ideas in a parallel form.
Metaphor: comparing unlike things or ideas to demonstrate their shared qualities.
Synecdoche: using a part of an object to represent its whole.
Luxor Temple stone relief (Luxor, Egypt): 3,500 years old
Ding Jinhao (of Nanjing, China): 15 years old
Ding Jinhao inscription on stone relief at Luxor Temple (May 2013) (click on image to view source)
runic inscription by Norse Halfdan at Hagia Sophia (400 AD aprox) (click on image to view source)
15 year-old Jinhao went Halfdan on a stone relief at the Luxor Temple with the totally unoriginal graffiti marker: Ding Jinhao was here (in Chinese) in May of this year. A Norse named Halfdan did likewise on a parapet of the Hagia Sophia (Istanbul, Turkey) some 1,113 years ago and now that graffiti (ahem, runic inscription) is a historical marker itself. There should be a book with phrases that prospective graffiti makers could consult that would aid those without creativity when they are fucking up really, really old shit. If you’re going put a single mark (or series of marks) on something that had survived fairly well for some 3,000 years before you came along, why not put some more thought into it? Critique of the graffiti itself aside, the act troubles a ton of people (rightly so). I mean, the graffiti was noticed and an investigation took place. The Chinese tracked this kid down in a day! Do you know how many human atrocities take place around the world everyday that go unnoticed and/or not investigated? This case of Jinhao and his inscription has had this big viral outrage of Oh, my gosh! (and other such more heavy, intellectual speculation). Kudos to the art world on this one! Rapists, murders, human traffickers and the such go unnoticed and authorities have a hard time investigating or even tracking down the perpetrators, but the world is rocked by this 15 year old Chinese tourist how wrote his name on a piece of 3,500 year old stone. Let this be a lesson: Don’t mess with Art History peoples or we will track your ass down and make you apologize! (or make your mom apologize as was the case with Jinhao)
The Monotone Symphony (1960) done in International Klein Blue
‘The blue sky is my first artwork’ said Yves Klein // He signed the sky in 1948
In 1958, at the Iris Clert Gallery in Paris, Klein served blue cocktails (made with Gin, Cointreau and Methylene Blue) that caused visitors to urinate blue for days.
He created blue monochromes.
He painted with nude bodies of women covered in blue in his Monotone Symphony (1960).
12 years after he signed the sky, Yves Klein got a French patent on the color blue. Well, his color blue anyway. International Klein Blue (IKB // patent # 63471) is Klein’s blue. It is Hex Value #002FA7, Pantone #286 (96%)
Godfrey, Tony. Conceptual Art (pp. 89-70)
(Click on image to read more about International Klein Blue)
Declaration of Independence (1776)
The typeface used for the Declaration of Independence is Caslon. Caslon was designed by William Caslon I in approximately 1722. Printed by John Dunlap, this broadside is all that is left of the original Declaration of Independence that George Washington read to his troops on 9 July 1776.
For more information visit the American Treasures of the Library of Congress:
http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/treasures/trt024.html (or click on the image)
For more about the Dunlap Broadside:
The futurist sculptor Tullio D’Albisola created a book that aligned itself with the machine and movement. In his ‘litho-tin’ book “Tactile Thermal Olfactive Futurist Words in Freedom (1932),” D’Albisola combined his lithographs along with poetry by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti in an experimental book that reflects the Futurist view of the book as object (the book object). D’Albisola spent over 4 months creating this rare book made out of tin, ball barings, and wire. Tin is a disposable material used by D’Albisola to reference the temporarily of commodities and mass printed ephemera. He gave the reader a familiar yet unfamiliar experience with text – the few who have actually had the opportunity to experience one of only two that exist in the public sphere (this one at home in the British Library).
European Cultures: Studies in Literature and the Arts, International Futurism in Arts and Literature (p. 483)