Visual rhetoric is an approach to communication that uses images and texts. They are used by a rhetor to communicate to an audience with the intent to persuade. The focus of this paper is to analyze a rhetorical situation, its use of appeals and visual elements in an image.
How the Author Applies Rhetorical Techniques
The author of the image applied some rhetorical techniques in the communique. One of the rhetoric techniques use is a font. In the picture, the font was used to provide a mood and feel which often impacts the effectiveness of how its message is communicated. According to Hyndman (2016), a font is also used to convey the overall purpose, urgency, and seriousness that the image should be accorded with. In the picture, the author used the font 'Times New Roman' which often communicates a high level of seriousness that the image should be conferred. Secondly, the author used the color theory as a rhetorical technique. According to Agoston (2013), color theory constitutes a set of practical guidelines that set a basis for mixing multiple colors thereby producing maximum readability and clarity, or create blends that are aesthetically pleasing. In the image, the author uses two colors which include black and white which are used to communicate the subject of the image as well as provide statistical information that supports the appeal in the message. In summary, the font and color used in the picture show how formal it is.
What is Relevant to the Work?
The image has details that are relevant to the subject. For instance, the image concerns irresponsible driving such as texting and drinking alcohol which leads to accidents. Since the subject is about safety in driving, the author uses vehicles in his illustration. Also, the image's theme is about how texting and drinking alcohol leads to accidents. Therefore, the author's depiction of how the actions may result in an accident can be manifested in how it is portrayed that two vehicles are going to be involved in a head-on collision. The image shows how supposedly drinking or texting may relinquish one from his or her ability to focus on the appropriate lane thus veering off to another lane onto oncoming vehicles and resulting in a collision.
Another detail that is relevant to the image is the use of textual information. The textual information highlights the two issues that are of concern to the rhetoric and should be communicated to the audience. Here the two problems are texting and drinking while driving. Relevancy is further enhanced when the author provides statistical data that texting and driving may result in as many accidents as driving while intoxicated.
Whether or Not the Author's Agenda was Successfully Accomplished
However, despite the use of the elements and appeals in the rhetorical situation, the author did not accomplish his or her agenda of informing audiences of the possible dangers of the two behaviors. The reason for the assertion is that part of the textual information the author used was not clear enough that it required an audience to strain to discern what was written.
The textual information as seen above explains that texting while driving causes accidents as much as driving while intoxicated. However, for one to discern that information, he or she has to strain as it is not in the desired levels of clarity. Therefore, the author of the text will not successfully persuade an audience since the information presented cannot be understood.
However, the in another instance, the author's agenda is accomplished. The author's plan was to demonstrate that texting while driving causes accidents just as texting while intoxicated.
The image above alludes to the similar consequence of two different actions. Here the author is successful in equating two separate actions to one devastating outcome. It, therefore, shows that a person who texts while drive possesses to safety threat that is similar to one where a person drives while drunk.
How the Author Utilized Visual Elements
In the image, the author uses one visual element which includes logos. According to Higgins and Walker (2012), logos refers to a persuasive approach that uses reason, facts, and figures. As observed in the figure, the author infers to statistical facts that texting and drunk driving have an almost similar rate of causing accidents. The author uses reasoning in demonstrating that if one does not focus on the road, he or she may likely cause an accident.
From an observatory analysis, the author of the visual rhetoric applies font and color theory as rhetoric technique. The use of the details in the image is also relevant to the work. The author can accomplish his agenda by clearly alluding similar consequence of two different actions. However, the use of textual information does not satisfactorily achieve the author's plan. Lastly, the author uses logos as a visual element for statistical facts are used in the image while reasoning is used to show an action can result in a specific outcome.
Agoston, G. A. (2013). Color theory and its application in art and design (Vol. 19). Springer.
Higgins, C., & Walker, R. (2012). Ethos, logos, pathos: Strategies of persuasion in social/environmental reports. In Accounting Forum (Vol. 36, No. 3, pp. 194-208). Elsevier.
Hyndman, S. (2016). Why fonts matter. Random House.
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