Publication details

Multimodal Iconicity in Print Advertising



Year of publication 2017
Type Conference abstract
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description In print advertising, both words and images are persuasive devices the relation of which has an impact on message perception. Since advertising texts can be seen as semiotic texts, the paper argues that the mechanism of iconicity can be found not only in images, but also in the verbal signs and their typographic realization. Based on the studies on iconicity in language (e.g. Fischer and Nänny 1999, De Cuypere and Willems 2008, etc.) and in visuals (Sonesson 2008, 2010, etc.), and followed by Kress and van Leeuwen’s studies on multimodal discourse analysis (2001, 2006), the objective of the present paper is to identify the means of verbal, visual and typographic iconicity and to talk about what is being iconiczed in print advertisements promoting food products. It discusses four types of iconicity: of product creation, of ingredients, of variety, and of product experience, accentuating that all types are motivated by both semantic aspects and structural patterns. Linguistically speaking, these motivational factors are realized by employing both classifying and descriptive adjectives in a sequential order that reflects the chronological order and/or the order of importance of product creation and variety, product uniqueness in terms of its ingredients, or product experience, especially the gustatory experience. The paper discovers that while the means of visual iconicity imitate the closeness of spatial relation between the product and the consumer, the means of typographic iconicity are meant to reassure the consumer about the harmonious and balanced portion of ingredients and taste.
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