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The application of social semiotic theory to visual elements within corporate positioning material and the development of a viable methodology

Reginald Watts (29 West Hill, London SW18 1RB, UK)
Krishnamurthy Sriramesh (School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University, 31 Nanyang Link, Singapore 637718)

Journal of Communication Management

ISSN: 1363-254X

Article publication date: 1 October 2004

Abstract

This paper selects social semiotic and critical discourse concepts and argues their suitability as an analytical technique for application to the visual elements in corporate positioning literature. Based upon these arguments the paper develops a methodology for use by senior practitioners. The motivation was informed by the author’s belief that despite the increasing importance of the visual as opposed to written comunication many practitioners, because of their background in the written word, have difficulty expressing their corporate positioning messages in visual terms. Visual elements in this case refer to photographs, design systems, page layouts and the materiality of the text. The author suggests that, through the use of templates, informed practitioners can evolve a visual grammar that will help reduce subjective decision making and thus improve meaning transfer.

Keywords

Citation

Watts, R. and Sriramesh, K. (2004), "The application of social semiotic theory to visual elements within corporate positioning material and the development of a viable methodology", Journal of Communication Management, Vol. 8 No. 4, pp. 384-394. https://doi.org/10.1108/13632540410807772

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited