Metaphor, meaning and message | The Open College of the Arts
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Metaphor, meaning and message

If you want to effectively communicate through any non-verbal media, then it is important to understand the construction of visual language.

Just as spoken and written language have grammar, figures of speech, similes and metaphors, so does the language of art, illustration and design. Watch OCA tutor Peter Lester’s slideshow on metaphor, meaning and message below. Also available to download.

Download the presentation OCA metaphor pdf here.

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Posted by author: Peter Lester
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2 thoughts on “Metaphor, meaning and message

  • The most obvious visual metaphor currently is the mask. Like the school uniform it signals conformity and obedience to authority. The mask is a signifier of silence. The wearer enters a contract to be muzzled/gagged and a refusal to ask critical questions about oppressive discourses.

  • Interesting presentation. One need to be aware of that tropes or figures of speeches as you mentioned are cultural constructed and based on prevailing beliefs and stereotypes. What works here can be quite offensive there. Also I would like to add that here language is used for visualization . But visual arts , especially ambiguous art, can be more than language based. It can make one aware of the bias of the visual culture one is used to.

    Re Susan‘s comment: the facial mask is for me overall a compliance thing. But there are people with restrictions who can not wear one for medical and health reasons and they are permitted not to wear one. They often get harassed by others, who don’t understand the reason and judge them for non-compliance. We are back where visual signs become a mean to exclude.

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