Multimodality and Identity  book cover
1st Edition

Multimodality and Identity

ISBN 9780815349051
Published July 29, 2021 by Routledge
190 Pages 42 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book brings together the work of leading theorist, Theo van Leeuwen, on typography, colour, texture, sound and movement, and shows how they are used to communicate identity, both corporate and individual. The book provides a detailed approach to analysing the key elements of multimodal style, and shows how these can be applied to a wide range of domains, including typography, product design, architecture, and animation films.

Combining sociological insights into contemporary forms of identity with multimodal approaches to analysing how these identities are expressed, the text is richly illustrated with examples from fashion, the built environment, logos, modern art and more. With sample analyses, this user-friendly text provides clear methods for analysis and creative strategies for the practice of multimodal communication.

Providing an invaluable toolkit to analysing the key elements of multimodal design and the way they work together, this book is essential reading for students, teachers and researchers in the field of multimodal communication, whether in communication studies, linguistics, design studies, media studies or the arts.

Table of Contents

List of figures



Chapter 1 The social semiotics of identity

Chapter 2 Functionality and identity

Chapter 3 Analysing style

Chapter 4 Shape

Chapter 5 Colour

Chapter 6 Texture

Chapter 7 Movement

Chapter 8 A social semiotic theory of synaesthesia



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Theo van Leeuwen is currently Professor of Language and Communication at the University of Southern Denmark and Honorary Professor at the University of New South Wales, Australia. His many influential publications include Multimodal Discourse: The Modes and Media of Contemporary Communication (with Gunther Kress); Speech, Music, Sound; Introducing Social Semiotics, Discourse and Practice: New Tools for Critical Discourse Analysis; and Reading Images (with Gunther Kress).


"A key figure in the fields of multimodality and social semiotics, van Leeuwen consolidates his groundbreaking research on style and identity in this thought-provoking yet accessible book. Providing analytical tools as well as historical perspectives on identity design as meaning-making, I recommend this book to every student and researcher interested in the relation between multimodality, style, culture and identity."

Anders Björkvall, Örebro University, Sweden

"Theo van Leeuwen did it again. Drawing from an impressive range of linguistic, cultural, visual and sociological research, in this sophisticated volume the co-founder of multimodality develops a ground-breaking take on the importance of style in contemporary design and communication. An unmissable read for all students and researchers of meaning-making."

Giorgia Aiello, University of Leeds, UK