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The Iconic Turn in Education


Edited By András Benedek and Kristof Nyiri

Some twenty years after the term iconic turn has been coined, and with a deluge of digital images, videos and animations surrounding, indeed invading, the learning environment, it appears that educational science, and the everyday practice of education, still very much labour under the impact of the past dominance of alphabetic literacy. But while educators clearly need to retain a measure of conservatism, maintain an acute sense for the logic of the written text and preserve the ability to handle extended hardcopy documents, they have to rise to the task, also, of exploiting the potentials of online networked communication, the constant presence of images, both static and moving, and the continuous interplay of words and images.


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The Visual and Linguistic Design of British University Brands: Tamás Eitler


The Visual and Linguistic Design of British University Brands Tamás Eitler Through looking at a few typical cases of the visual and linguistic design of brand identity, the present paper analyses how universities in the UK use stra- tegic visual design and language in order to communicate more like brands than like educational and research institutions. In order to adapt to prevalent mainstream neocapitalist discourses, already in Thatcher’s Britain of the 1980s universities started to reconfigure their roles, starting to communicate more as branded service providers to cater to the needs of their students who in turn assumed the role of customers.1 As might be ex- pected, this functional reconfiguration was precipitated by cuts in funding the education sector, which made the institutions look for revenues from external sources on the market. Their brand communication has become considerably more promotional,2 more informal, and more reliant on visual design than ever before. The traditional paper-based brochures have been replaced by on-line bro- chures sporting lavish pictures and promotional video films downloadable from university websites which themselves are dominated by pictures rather than text. It is this shift from linguistic to visual communication that is at the forefront of the present study. 1. Contexts In this shift, the institutional identity of universities seamlessly morphed into brand identity, whose design elements have acquired a strategic, management role within the institution. The design elements contribute to a certain type of 1 Andrea Mayr, “Discourses of Higher Education: Enterprise and Institutional Change in...

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