Envisioning Collaboration: Group Verbal-visual Composing in a System of Creativity, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Envisioning Collaboration

Group Verbal-visual Composing in a System of Creativity, 1st Edition

By Geoffrey A. Cross, Charles H. Sides


218 pages

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Hardback: 9780895034007
pub: 2011-03-15
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The dissemination of desktop publishing and web authoring software has allowed nearly everyone in industrialized countries to combine verbal and visual symbols into text. Serious multimodal projects often demand extensive teamwork, especially in the workplace. But how can collaboration engaging such different traditions of expression be conducted effectively? To address this question, Envisioning Collaboration traces the composing processes of expert graphic artists and writers preparing advertising campaigns to retain a vital national account. It examines the influences on individual and dyadic composing processes of what Csikszentmihalyi terms "the domain," in this case the disciplinary knowledge of advertising, and "the field," in this case the surrounding economic conditions and client, vendor, customer, and agency executive gatekeepers.

Based on a 460-hour participant-observation and intensive computerized data analysis, Envisioning Collaboration is the first book to meticulously examine collaborative creative processes at an award-winning advertising agency, including audience analysis, branding, collaborative "moves," power and conflict management, uses of humor, degree of mindfulness, and effectiveness. The findings indicate the role of concepts in generating common texts by artists and writers, the role of the visual in individuals' composing, verbal-visual rhetorical elements in processes and products, and which verbal-visual techniques were most generative. Findings are related to pertinent research in technical and business writing, rhetoric and composition, and some key research in visual design, communication, advertising, neurolinguistics, management, and psychology. The book concludes with a pedagogical/training unit incorporating "gateway activities" for effective verbal-visual composition and collaboration.

Table of Contents


CHAPTER 1: Introductory Framework and Overview

Conceptual Framing

Contextual Framing

Overview of the Study and Completion of the Framework

CHAPTER 2: Ping-Pong, Part I: Collaborative Brainstorming of an “Insight-Intensive” Team

First Ad Concepting Session 2/14: Forming a Mental Picture

Summary of Artist-Writer Brainstorming

CHAPTER 3: Ping-Pong, Part II: Development, Elaboration, and Evaluation of Concepts by an “Insight-Intensive” Team

Neil’s Composing Lines 2/14

February 15 Evaluation of Lines Meeting: Customer Supplants Client

Merging Pictures and Words: 2/16-2/22

Evolution of a Good Idea: The “Lawns are Our Life” Campaign

Tip-Ball Evaluative Meeting 2/22/02: “I’m Sure We’ll See a Lawnmower in Here Real Soon”

Second Tip-Ball Meeting 2/27/02: “Romance the Product”

3/6 Tip-Ball Meeting: The End of the Lines and a New Assignment

Case Conclusion

CHAPTER 4: “We Had One Idea That We Liked a Lot”: The Invention of a Preparation- and Evaluation-Intensive Team

The Copywriter

The Artist

Overview of Composing Processes

Preparation and Preliminary Ideas

Brainstorming Session

CHAPTER 5: Less Divergence than Convergence: Analysis of a Preparation- and Evaluation-Intensive Team’s Invention and the End of the Hunt

Summary of Artist-Writer Brainstorming

Concept Development and Tip-Ball, 2/15-22

2/22-27 Tightening Up

Verbal-Visual Cognition: Assimilation and Accommodation in the Dyadic Mind

CHAPTER 6: Collaboration Envisioned

Initial Verbal-Visual Invention Predominantly Concerned with Visual

Rhetorical Elements in Verbal-Visual Composing

Comparison of Sequences of Invention of Artist-Writer Teams

Comparison of Collaboration Styles: Assertive vs. Supportive

Dyadic Self-Evaluation

The Pause That Refreshes and Other Varieties: Comparison of Pauses in Dyadic Composing Processes

Dyad’s Conflict Management beyond Dismissal Pauses

Efficient Principles of Concept Invention: Verbal-Visual Topoi

Audience Analysis by Dyads, Artists, and Writers

Mindfulness in the Collaborative Efforts

Dyadic vs. Large-Group Productivity

Contribution of the Study to Existing Models of Verbal-Visual Collaboration

The Roles of Concepts and Layout in Group Assimilation and Accommodation

Questions for Further Research

Recommendations for the Practice, Training, and Teaching of Verbal-Visual Collaboration

Appendix: Methods

Data Gathering

Data Analysis

Mode of Representation

Locating the Ethnographer

Works Cited

Author-Subject Index

List of Figures

List of Tables

About the Series

Baywood's Technical Communications

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health