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Assignment Questions

Typography and Graphic Design Visual Analysis

COMM 400
Typography and Graphic Design Visual Analysis
Due: Wednesday, April 4
Length: at least 5 pages
Format: Times New Roman, 12 pt. font, 1 inch margins.

For this assignment you will perform a rhetorical analysis of an organization?s website. A rhetorical analysis essay considers a text in relation to its audience, purpose, and context and evaluates how the text uses rhetorical strategies to get its point across.

You will draw on many concepts from the course, although you do not (and should not try to cover all of them, or even most of them!!) I would like you to pay particular attention to the visual cues (depth, movement, form, color), typography, and graphic design layout (contrast, balance, rhythm, unity).

Once you have chosen the organization?s website, you should consider the audience and purpose. Below are some things you might keep in mind.

Audience: A group of people who may or may not be persuaded by a document
Different audiences have different taste for certain visual styles.
Does the document do anything to visually address a particular audience?
Does the document ask for or require any background familiarity with its subject matter or is it referencing a popular, visual style that certain audiences are more likely to recognize?

Purpose: What the text is trying to persuade the audience to believe.
Three different purposes
Informational: document seeks to impart knowledge on its audience.
Inspirational: document seeks to inspire emotion without having clear goals.
Motivational: document seeks to spur direct action.
Functional: document seeks to explain a task.

With the audience and purpose in mind, analyze how the website uses visual cues, typography, and graphic design to make an argument. The argument might be something like ?Our company supports its employees,? or ?We think that animals need to be protected.? Answering the question of how the organization gets this argument across is the rhetorical analysis.

All essays need a strong thesis statement. Your thesis statement should be something like:
?The corporate website for Plan B, a Chicago advertising agency, actually incorporates the company?s creative multi-media marketing techniques while maintaining a streamlined design with easily-accessible information so that potential clients can see an impressive result as they acquire information about the company.?

The topics addressed might be:
– Multi-media marketing techniques: use of depth (video in background) and movement.
– Streamlined design: fonts, simple shapes, color contrast.
– Time: what you look at first; how the viewer simultaneously takes in what s/he sees and reads.

Your paper must be at least 5 pages. It should have:
– a clear thesis statement in which you make an argument
– easily identifiable topic sentences
– cited examples from the website
– analysis of those examples
– correctly formatted Works Cited page

Works Cited
This is Plan B. Plan B, Inc.: The Agency Alternative, 2012. Web. 25 Mar. 2012.

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