Visual Design Analysis

Visual Design Analysis

From billboards to magazine articles, we are surrounded by visual arguments and visual design. Like a writer’s tone or word choice, visual components can be powerful tools in conveying messages to an audience. This assignment asks you to choose a visual work and to write an analysis in which you explore the visual design components of the piece. You will also make an argument about the work’s effectiveness in conveying a message to its audience.

Assignment Steps
1) Choose a visual work. This may be an advertisement, a photograph, a magazine article with images, a blog post with images, etc. Whatever you choose, be sure the visual work is making or contributing to an argument.
2) Brainstorm about the visual design. Who is the audience of this work? What about the design or image might appeal to them? What are the visual components (imagery, font, headers, charts, etc.) that seem significant to you, and why?
3) Write your analysis. Your analysis should describe the visual work and the message you feel it attempts to convey. It should also analyze why and how the visual work is or is not effective in conveying this message to the audience. Your paper should contain a thesis statement in which you present your argument about this visual work.

•    At least 1,000 words  (4 double spaced pages)
•    MLA format (no title page, 4 line heading upper left of first page, last name/page # in upper right of each page, one inch margins)
•    Works Cited page containing the citation for your visual.

Learning Objective
In this project, you will learn to think critically about visual design and analyze its effectiveness in making arguments. You will also learn the importance of thinking about audience.

Grading Criteria
•    The paper effectively demonstrates critical thinking and analysis about the visual work. There is more than simple sharing of observation here:  the writer has made an argument about the effectiveness of the visual work for its intended audience. This argument is made clear in the writer’s thesis.
•    The writer uses details that are carefully selected and thoughtfully developed; they contribute significantly to the writer’s analysis.  The vivid and specific description is engaging for the reader.
•    Essay organization adds to the effectiveness of the paper.  The writer includes effective structural cues to help readers to follow the organization of ideas.  The introduction is engaging and appropriate; the conclusion emphasizes the focus and provides closure.
•    Essay is edited and polished to meet expectations of a college audience.
•    Essay shows clear signs of revision from the rough draft.

Due Dates (subject to change): Rough Draft (6/8); Revised Draft (6/11); Final Paper (6/15)

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