This second edition of the landmark textbook Reading Images builds on its reputation as the ﬁrst systematic and comprehensive account of the grammar of visual design. Drawing on an enormous range of examples from children’s drawings to textbook illustrations, photo-journalism to ﬁne art, as well as three-dimensional forms such as sculpture and toys, the authors examine the ways in which images communicate meaning. Features of this fully updated second edition include: • new material on moving images and on colour • a discussion of how images and their uses have changed through time • websites and web-based images • ideas on the future of visual communication.
Reading Images focuses on the structures or ‘grammar’ of visual design – colour, perspective, framing and composition – and provides the reader with an invaluable ‘tool-kit’ for reading images, which makes it a must for anyone interested in communication, the media and the arts. Gunther Kress is Professor of English at the Institute of Education, University of London. Theo van Leeuwen has worked as a ﬁlm and television producer in the Netherlands and Australia and as Professor in the Centre for Language & Communication Research at Cardiff University. He is currently Dean at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Technology, Sydney. They have both published widely in the ﬁelds of language and communication studies.
Praise for the first edition
‘Reading Images is the most important book in visual communication since Jacques Bertin’s semiology of information graphics. It is both thorough and thoughtprovoking; a remarkable breakthrough.’ Kevin G. Barnhurst, Syracuse University, USA ‘Fresh and stimulating. The sociocentric approach is by far the most penetrating approach to the subject currently available.’ Paul Cobley, London Guildhall University ‘A useful text for all students who are involved in areas which rely on both language and visual images for their expression and articulation of ideas.’ Catriona Scott, Middlesex University ‘This is the best detailed and sustained development of the “social semiotic” approach to the analysis of visuals. Clear, informative and theoretically developmental.’ Dr S. Cottle, Bath HE College ‘Excellent – wide ranging – accessible – tutors’ “Bible”.’ Jan Mair, Edge Hill University College of Higher Education ‘Extremely attractive and well laid out. Very useful bibliography.’ Dr M. Brottman, East London University ‘Very clearly written – it makes good connections between different areas of visual practice – especially useful for students from a variety of backgrounds attempting “mixed” coursework.’ Amy Sargeant, Plymouth University
First published 1996 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada by Routledge 270 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016 Second edition published 2006 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 1996, 2006 Gunther Kress and Theo van Leeuwen This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2006. “To purchase your own copy of this or any of Taylor & Francis or Routledge’s collection of thousands of eBooks please go to www.eBookstore.tandf.co.uk.” All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilized in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Kress, Gunther R. Reading images : the grammar of visual design / Gunther Kress and Theo van Leeuwen. – 2nd ed. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. Communication in design. I. Van Leeuwen, Theo, 1947– II. Title. NK1510.K64 2006...
References: Plate 1 Tropical Sun (Emil Nolde, 1914)
Plate 2 Bushells advertisement (Woman’s Weekly, 1987)
Plate 3 Joshua Smith (William Dobell, 1943) (Art Gallery of New South Wales)
Plate 4 Patrick White (Louis Kahan, 1963) (Art Gallery of New South Wales)
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