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An Introduction to Visual Communication

From Cave Art to Second Life (2nd edition)


Susan B. Barnes

Technological changes have radically altered the ways in which people use visual images. Since the invention of photography, imagery has increasingly been used for entertainment, journalism, information, medical diagnostics, instruction, branding and communication. These functions move the image beyond aesthetic issues associated with art and into the realm of communication studies.

This introductory textbook introduces students to the terminology of visual literacy, methods for analyzing visual media, and theories on the relationship between visual communication and culture. Exploring the meanings associated with visual symbols and the relationship of visual communication to culture, this book provides students with a better understanding of the visually oriented world in which they live. From cave art to virtual reality, all visual media are discussed with methods for evaluation. Student-friendly features such as boxed topics, key terms, web resources, and suggestions for exercises are provided throughout.

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Names: Barnes, Susan B. An introduction to visual communication, 2012. Title: An introduction to visual communication: from cave art to second life / Susan B. Barnes. Description: Second Edition. | New York: Peter Lang, 2017. Revised edition of An introduction to visual communication, 2012. Series: Visual communication; vol. 7 | ISSN 2153-277X Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2017010163 | ISBN 978-1-4331-4203-1 (paperback: alk. paper) ISBN 978-1-4331-4204-8 (ebook pdf) | ISBN 978-1-4331-4205-5 (epub) ISBN 978-1-4331-4206-2 (mobi) Subjects: LCSH: Visual communication. Classification: LCC P93.5 .B38 2017 | DDC 302.2/26—dc23 LC record available at DOI 10.3726/b11281

Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at

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