Phillip Wade Wilson

Understanding Visual Rhetoric by Jenae Cohn – Description

I really enjoyed this piece because it opened my eyes to a lot of mundane ways we organize our blog posts for this class, and just how things in our world are made to look in general. She focused a lot on the separation of ideas, and things in general really, to make it easier for others to understand as well as the different approaches in order to make those distinctions between one thing and the other. 

“visuals play a tremendous role in a) how we make decisions, b) how we receive instructions, and c) how we understand information”

While the above is seemingly obvious information, how often do we look at the menus in restaurants we visit or websites we’re using, or even our own textbooks and ‘analyze’ how stylistic that work is completed? For me, it is not often at all… though I am more prone to complain about how something is not user-friendly especially in regard to websites and other forms of technology. This detailed essay really opened my eyes as to why I might be thinking “this website is really not laid out well” or “could they have made this any more difficult to understand”. Personally, I think a huge point Cohn makes is all about context.

“the context in which we see visuals matters an awful lot in terms of how we analyze and understand their impacts on us as viewers”

She details how one culture might view a color one way, or one type of profession might have preexisting notions about the way something should be done, or quite possibly where we have seen certain things before in our own lives. Before reading this, I had the ideas to analyze visual representation in ways similar to what she explained but never to the level or extent. She explains the ‘what?’ then gives us the ‘how?’ and ‘why?’ to give her audience the most context before explaining the topics at hand. The opening segment about food and menus puts things into perspective for all of her readers to associate something with. I find it so interesting the way she established this common ground, looking at restaurant’s food pictures online before going and looking at menus while sitting in the restaurant so that we can better understand what she is referring to by applying it to the times we have done or seen something similar

6 replies on “Understanding Visual Rhetoric by Jenae Cohn – Description”

You did a great job of summarizing Cohn’s article and her main points.You definitely the most important points she made in her article. I like how you focused more on the little details we tend to miss out on and showcased that in your text. Changing the color of the text is something I myself would’ve never considered doing, or let alone considered it a form of visual rhetoric, but it’s a great example to use. You definitely have me thinking about the ‘why’ behind you choosing these colors for the post. Something as simple as changing the color of the text definitely impacts the way the reader’s understanding of the article, and this is a good example to showcase what she’s teaching us.

I decided to change the color of my text to correlate with the quote blocking. When I clicked the button to quote block it has that red line to the left of the quote and I thought “hmm, what if I made the text red as well to correlate with the line so it looks more uniform and you can clearly see this is a quote (and not my words) as opposed to the rest of my blog post”. After I changed the color of the quotes to correlate with the blocking, I decided to change the color of my words so that it is even more apparent there are two separate things going on here: my words and her words I use to support my words.

I like the specificity of your post and how it really grasps all the main ideas of Cohn’s writing. One of the things that drew my attention is when you mentioned how a particular culture may view something one way and another culture may see it as something else. This really shows that visuals are just based on perspectives, you see something as you want to see it even if other people view it differently. One of the main things that I learned is that visuals impact us in many ways, sometimes without our knowing.

I really enjoyed this blog post. I thought it was interesting how it made you realize that of the responses in our class can be quite mundane and then by simply adding a picture they can be spruced up. I think adding a picture in your post would have been an interesting way to show how much more visually appealing it can be by showing what it would look like with a picture versus not having one. Overall very good post and I enjoyed your rhetorical analysis of Cohn

This is a perfect explanation for the visual rhetoric topic. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and could relate to the meta comment describing how unorganized edspace could be, and comparing that anecdote and experience to the over arching theme of visuals, and convenience. Other things I liked was the use of the quotes and explaining the reading in a way that I would understand the reading, even if I didn’t read the whole thing before the blog post. This style of explanation is one of the most effective ways to get the points across and I can’t complain about it!

Your breakdown of Cohn’s text was both thorough and easy to read. You touched on many of the main ideas of the reading, showing how visual rhetoric is used to influence people’s decisions, along with providing easy to understand ways to receive instructions. I also liked how you brought in the example of color when explaining context as a lot of times people forget that different cultures have different perceptions of visual rhetoric. Your use of color in your blog post definitely caught my eye, whether intentionally done or not it was a nice touch to add in the blog post.

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