Visual Communication : Integrating Media, Art, and Science book cover
1st Edition

Visual Communication
Integrating Media, Art, and Science

ISBN 9780805850666
Published July 4, 2007 by Routledge
472 Pages 16 Color & 350 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

A well-rounded education in the 21st century requires not just verbal and mathematical proficiency, but also the ability to interpret, critique, create, and use visual communication on sophisticated levels. In today’s visual world, it is critically important to hold an appreciation for the profound effects imagery has on individuals and the communities in which they live.
Visual Communication focuses on cultivating visual and media literacy from both consumption and production points of view and introduces students to the application of intuitive intelligence to a visual context. Innovative in its field, it provides a solid theoretical overview of the most advanced thinking and research about visual communication, teaching readers how to apply theory to enhance their understanding of and work with images.
This book is intended for students in visual literacy and communication courses. It can also be used in photojournalism courses and other coursework with a visual component. Individuals interested in mass media studies will likewise find the book to be a worthwhile read.

Table of Contents


PREFACE. Knowing Before Words . . . xv


INTRODUCTION. The Integrative Mind . . . 3

Clarifying Terms

Visual Intelligence

Musical Intelligence

Psychological Intelligence

Physiological Intelligence

Understanding a Key Point

PART I. Vision and Intelligence.

Understanding Intelligence as Intuitive and Rational . . . 11

CHAPTER ONE. Seeking Dynamic Balance: The Shaman, The Scientist, and the

Theologian . . . 13

She-Bear: The Power of Integrating Visual and Verbal Communication

A Theory of Integrative Mind

Table 1. Key Terms

Table 2. Key Ideas

Table 3. Primary Intuitive & Rational Cognitive Processes

CREATIVE ONE. The Intimate Eye: Accessing Your Inner Vision Through Creative

Visualization . . . 23

The Goal: Enhancing Your Creative Abilities

CHAPTER TWO. Abu Rocks: Integrating Perceptual and Conceptual Realities . . . 35

CREATIVE TWO. Visualizing a Personal Symbolic Portrait . . . 45

The Goal: Creative Problem Solving

CHAPTER THREE. Art and Personal Development: The Quest for Balance . . . 53

Art and the Integrated Individual

The Stages of Artistic Development

CREATIVE THREE. The Perceptual to Conceptual Leap: First Drawings . . . 69

The Goal: Creative Decision Making

CHAPTER FOUR. Overcoming Intuitive Illiteracy: Accessing Your Whole Mind . . . 73

Repetition Techniques & Perception

Rational Bias & Visual Response

The Second Nature of Consciousness

CREATIVE FOUR. The Yin/Yang of Drawing: Drawing Contours, Not Features . . . 85

The Goal: Integrating Ways of Seeing and Knowing

CHAPTER FIVE. Ulysses in His Right Mind: The Historical Intuitive Mind . . . 99

Julian Jaynes: The Bicameral Mind & the Ancient Intuitive Mind

Bogen & Sperry and Distinctive Cognitive Processing

CREATIVE FIVE. Drawing the Figure: One Contour, One Space at a Time . . . 107

The Goal: Drawing What You See

CHAPTER SIX. Multiple Intelligences and Nonconscious Biases: The Contemporary

Intuitive Mind . . . 113

Howard Gardner:Multiple Intelligence Theory

Table 4. Comparison of Integrative Mind and Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences

The Nature of Holistic Processing

Damasio: Nonconscious Mind and Behavior

Table 5. Visual/Spatial Intelligence

Table 6. Intrapersonal Intelligence

Table 7. Interpersonal Intelligences

Table 8. Bodily Kinesthetic Intelligence

Table 9. Musical Intelligence

Table 10. Naturalist Intelligence

Table 11. Complementary/Parallel Systems of Knowing

Bringing It All Together

CREATIVE SIX. Bringing It All Together: Drawing for Real . . . 129

The Goal: Seeing Results of Cognitive Balance

PART II. Visual Illiteracy and Education. What We Don’t Learn . . . 131

CHAPTER SEVEN. The Square Peg and the Round Hole: Education and Intuitive

Intelligence . . . 133

The Contemporary Vision

Cultivating the Intuitive

The Rational Side of Visual Literacy

The Intuitive Side of Visual Literacy

The Need for an Integrative New Approach

Table 12. Omniphasic Visual Literacy

Beyond Visual Literacy: A Holistic Approach to Being, Seeing, Knowing, and Creating

In Conclusion

Table 13. Summary of Theories Relevant to Omniphasism

CREATIVE SEVEN. Designing Shapes: Concept in Visual Form . . . 153

The Goal: Communicating Concepts Visually

CHAPTER EIGHT. Visions in Voice: Language and the Intuitive Mind . . . 159

Visions in Voice

Written Language

On Sounds and Signs

Words as Balanced Ways of Knowing

The Sounds of Words

The Form of the Presentation


CREATIVE EIGHT . The Visual Word: Giving Vision to Voice . . . 177

The Goal: Integrating Visual and Verbal

CHAPTER NINE. Insight Out: Dreams and the Nonconscious Mind . . . 181

An Example

The Role of Dreams in Human Knowing

Miguel de Cervantes: Another Great Dreamer

What Science Has to Say

Historical Foundations of Dreams

Contemporary Research about Dreams

CREATIVE NINE. Dream Visions: Insight Out . . . 197

The Goal: Understanding Mental Imagery

CHAPTER TEN. Sharing the Vision: Photography as a Medium of Balance . . . 203

Photographic Truth

Technique in Photography

The Still Camera

Film, Film Speed, and Digital Ratings

Photography and Light




Camera Controls

Shutter Speed Controls Light and Motion

F/Stop Controls Light and Depth of Field

Working Shutter Speed and F/Stop Together


Adding Light


Constantly Changing Technology

CREATIVE TEN. Image Insights: Photography from the Inside Out . . . 233

The Goal: Translating Seeing into Images

CHAPTER ELEVEN. Designing for Meaning . . . 241

The Basic Elements






Summary of Key Points

The Core Principles





Additional Terms of Graphic Structure


Center of Interest

Rule of Thirds




Light and Color


Tying it All Together

Principles of the Gestalt


Cultural Biases

CREATIVE ELEVEN. Graphic Visions: Looking for Meaning . . . 263

The Goal: Understanding the Frame

CHAPTER TWELVE. Embedded Meanings: Learning to Look Behind the Mirrors and

Beyond the Windows . . . 273

Culture and Making Sense of What We See

Traditional Ways to Study Visuals

Other Methods to Study Visuals

Six Perspectives


CREATIVE TWELVE. Thinking Systematically about Images . . . 293

The Goal: Focusing on the Rational

PART III. The Public as Art and Image. The Academy, The Media, and Visual

Persuasion . . . 295

CHAPTER THIRTEEN. Stopping Time and Framing Space . . . 297

Still Media Defined

Formats of the Frame

Designing Well Within the Frame

Characteristics of Type

Parts of a Letterform

Type Groups

Other Terms

Practical Guidelines for Effective Design

More than Appearances

CREATIVE THIRTEEN. Personal Impact Assessment: Understanding Images from Intuitive

and Rational Perspectives . . . 323

The Goal: Understanding How Still Images Communicate

CHAPTER FOURTEEN. Images That Move and Sound . . . 333

Moving Media: Transcending Time & Space

The Body as Moving Image

Technological History

Basic Elements of Moving Images

Light and Color

Two-Dimensional Space

Three-Dimensional Space

Time and Motion


Returning to Content

CREATIVE FOURTEEN. Film Clip Analysis . . . 359

The Goal: Understanding How Moving Images Communicate

CHAPTER FIFTEEN. Living at the Speed of Mind: Old Media–New Media . . . 365

What Does All This Mean?

What Do We Know?





Reconceptualizing Media Studies

CREATIVE FIFTEEN. Communicating the Story of a Person . . . 389

The Goal: To tell a story visually with supporting words

CHAPTER SIXTEEN. The Thousand Year Project . . . 397


The Larger Problem

From Ulysses to Artificial Intelligence

The Other Side of the Problem

The Plan

Table 14: The Key Ideas

An Eye to the Future


AFTERWORD. Ecology in Paradise . . . 417


REFERENCES . . . 425





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Rick Williams is Chair of the Division of the Arts at Lane Community College in Eugene, OR. Julianne Newton is Associate Professor of Visual Communication in the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon.


“An intelligent and beautifully illustrated book on how visual communication helps us achieve intellectual and intuitive literacy. A well-researched treatise that instantly shows what Omniphasism and Integrative Mind are all about.  What Fritjof Capra tired to do in the Tao of Physics three decades ago, the authors have accomplished here: to bring rational and intuitive intelligences into balance and to help us reconcile our inner and outer vision for a higher state of awareness and a richer state of life.”  -- Herb Zettl, San Francisco State University

“Drawing on their extensive experience as visual artists, educators, and researchers, the authors have produced a book that will inform and stimulate any reader who wants to gain a better understanding of the ways in which our minds make sense of visual images. This is a work of mature scholarship, containing a new theory of visual communication as well as a synthesis of prior research. A valuable addition to the visual studies literature.” — Paul Messaris, University of Pennsylvania, Annenberg School of Communication

“This is an important and truly beautiful book, one that is personally and professionally useful, as well as theoretically advanced. In it, Williams and Newton synthesize key theories in neurology, art and visual communication as a platform for the concept of an integrative, balanced mind. Filled with insights and practical exercises to achieve this balance, this book suggests that the truly integrated mind finds an equilibrium between intuition and reason that leads to both a fuller way of life and a philosophical outlook with vast educational and cultural implications.” — Ann Marie Barry, Boston College

"Rick Williams and Juliana Newton are two of the most accomplished theorists in the wide field of visual communication. Their years of experience as educators and photographers combine in a well developed and important theory of intuitive intelligence. Additionally the exercises they have created and tested in their own courses illuminate for students ways to access visual intelligence, creativity and the whole mind. The book is a strong argument for inclusion of courses in visual communication and visual literacy in the liberal arts curriculum. Especially valuable are the examples and historical review of the intersections between science and art as performed in the highly mediated culture in which we live and learn. All of us have something to learn from this text." -- Diane S. Hope, William A. Kern Professor in Communications, Rochester Institute of Technology

“A challenging book because it presents a thorough review of theory and research in visual communication. An eloquent book because it demonstrates the beauty and process of visual communication through illustrations and many creative exercises. It integrates the art and science of visual communication and is a testimony to the power and insights of Omniphasism—the underlying theory on which this work is based and which explores an integrative balance in ways of thinking and knowing, both rational and intuitive. Visual Communication breaks new ground in textbook writing by bringing alive the creative and mind-stretching classroom exercises that these professors have developed for their own instructional use. It helps rational thinkers learn to break through to their intuitive side through experiential learning. You have to do more than read about it to open up the intuitive side of the brain. Every student, whatever the learning or thinking style, expands individual potential in a personal and private journey through these broadening exercises.” — Sandra Moriarty, University of Colorado