Visual transparency: Looking behind thick walls

C.M.J. van Woerkum, M.N.C. Aarts

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Organizations send a lot of visual information to their stakeholders, via advertisements, PR-releases, etc. The question is whether they are ready to fulfill the need for visual information, when asked. In order to analyze this question we firstly specify the meaning of the visual code, compared to literacy and orality. The distinction made by Peirce, between iconic, indexical and symbolic signs serves as our starting point. The easy availability and the sense of authenticity of visual material are considered as crucial characteristics of the visual code. Next we construct our concept visual information need, indicating what kind of messages are then to be delivered. We hypothesize that the more the visual information need is vague or ill-defined, the more the symbolic code plays a role. And ¿ vice versa ¿ the more precise a question is the more iconic/indexical the presentation should be. Practical examples illustrate this thesis
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)434-436
    JournalPublic Relations Review
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

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