Thursday, November 14, 2013

Chapter 4

In this chapter, Jones and Hafner address the growth of multimodality. Now, with our digital screens being able to display so much more than just plain text, what we see is only limited to our imaginations. I have never given much thought to multimodality (like most terms we have learned in this class, it is something I see everyday but have never discussed it) but it is everywhere. As an extremely visual person, I am strongly attracted to visually appealing things. As a product of my generation, I most likely won't even notice (and certainly won't pay attention to) plain text without any special effects to draw me in.

What I think is so interesting is how these rules of digital literacy are now influencing traditional methods, like print. The shift to digital has also created a shift to visual, emphasizing the importance of a clear, quickly understandable message. We have become bored of plain text, and with so many flashing neon colors all around us, marketing teams all around the globe have to find ways to get our attention and display their message clearly, and in a way which we can quickly understand and process it.

With a combination of pictures and text, a message can be understood immediately. A visual aid can even become more important that the text when delivering the message. For example, I have recently noticed a change in the packaging of  Wal-mart's "Great Value" food products. The old packaging resembled a traditional style of text and color blocking which varied amongst the different foods. Now, all "Great Value" food packages have a similar appearance: white boxes with very clear text, with a large picture of the food inside the box. This new packaging makes it very clear for the customer to actually see what they are buying, as apposed to relying on the text description.

In this digital age, making your message visually appealing is the name of the game. Whether it be online or in-store, the clarity and speed of which your message can be understood can either gain or lose your audience in just seconds. Multimodality isn't just seen online, it's everywhere and it's more important than ever.

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