1st Edition

The Materiality of Writing A Trace Making Perspective

    288 Pages 59 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    294 Pages 59 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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.


    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


    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.

    "The volume itself is made extremel interesting, thorough and engaging because its contributors come from many disciplines, and because it does not only focus on therapy. Practitioners' contributions demonstrate and shed new lights on the ideas elaborated in more theoretical papers, and the collection as such emphasizes how fruitful it is when theory and practice are not seperated." -- Eszter Szep, Eotvos Lorand University