The Materiality of Writing : A Trace Making Perspective book cover
1st Edition

The Materiality of Writing
A Trace Making Perspective

ISBN 9781138679726
Published September 22, 2017 by Routledge
294 Pages 59 B/W Illustrations

FREE Standard Shipping
SAVE $34.00
was $170.00
USD $136.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

This book examines the materiality of writing. It adopts a multimodal approach to argue that writing as we know it is only a small part of the myriad gestures we make, practices we engage in, and media we use in the process of trace-making. Taking a broad view of the act of writing, the volume features contributions from both established and up-and-coming scholars from around the world and incorporates a range of methodological and theoretical perspectives, from fields such as linguistics, philosophy, psychology of perception, design, and semiotics. This interdisciplinary framework allows readers to see the relationships between writing and other forms of "trace-making", including architectural drawings, graphic shapes, and commercial logos, and between writing and reading, with a number of illustrations highlighting the visual data used in the forms and studies discussed. The book also looks forward to the future, discussing digital media and new technology and their implications for trace-making. This pioneering volume will be of interest to scholars and researchers in multimodality, literacy, cognitive neuroscience, design theory, discourse analysis, and applied linguistics.

Table of Contents


Christian Mosbæk Johannessen and Theo van Leeuwen

1. The production and perception of handwritten traces

Aurelie Lagarrigue and Marieke Longcamp

2. Touchlines: Manual Inscription and Haptic Perception

Tim Ingold

3. Graphic trace-making as articulated-expressive trajectories of movement: De-textualizing and de-stratifying graphic traces

Paul J. Thibault

4. Ink under my nails

Brody L. Neuenschwander

5. The European Lettering Institute: Or how being left-handed challenged well established mark making methodologies

Lieve Cornil

6. The Discipline of Tracing in Architectural Drawing

Raymond Lucas

7. Contemporary Western Calligraphy: Written Marks as Visible Rhythms

Karine Bouchy

8. Expressing identity in Microsoft Word: A critical discussion of the stylistic normativity of templates and software

Gunhild Kvåle

9. (Ir)regularity

Christian Mosbæk Johannessen and Theo van Leeuwen

10. Losing to gain: Balancing style and texture in the Starbucks logo

Giorgia Aiello

11. Traces in Public Spaces. Studying religious signs in social frames

Anne Løvland and Pål Repstad

12. Calligraphy as Graphically Autonomous Form. A corpus study of Persian calligraphic letterforms using a multimodal approach

Mahdiyeh Meidani

13 Signifying intimate needs in public spaces

Elise Seip Tønnessen

View More



Christian Mosbæk Johannessen is Assistant Professor of Visual Communication at the University of Southern Denmark.

Theo van Leeuwen is Professor of Multimodal Communication at the University of Southern Denmark.