Showing visual rhetoric through an eye glass looking at a vision chart.

What is Visual Rhetoric?




While reading Doug Eyman’s “Digital Rhetoric: Theory, Method, Practice,” I immediately think of a vision chart. Eye doctors try to ensure everyone 20/20 vision. In order to do so, they have to use different tools to test vision. But what does Eyman say about visual rhetoric? According to “Digital Rhetoric: Theory, Method, and Practice,” he states that “visual rhetoric is an example of a discrete set of methods and theories that are available to use within the digital rhetoric context.” He informs us that visual rhetoric can be used in digital rhetoric. Images should have meaning. The meaning of images should easily be understood. For example if someone were looking at an image of a flower field, they could determine the their own meaning of the field. They could also see things like colors, the background, the weather, etc.

My Understanding of Visual Rhetoric

Imagine you are looking at a photo of a young girl. She has a little dress on and a big smile on her face. You can make a lot of assumptions about the photo. For example, I would say she looks happy and is comfortable wherever she is. I would also assume that whoever took the photo is also happy. What I described is my visual understanding of the photo. You may have a different view than me. But, determining meaning and aesthetics of photos is considered visual rhetoric. The next time you take a photo think about how other people may convey the meaning. Think about how different people will determine your photo’s visual rhetoric!


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