Volume 25, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0142-5471
  • E-ISSN: 1569-979X
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



Despite a long association between information design and semiotics, connections remain limited in many respects. This contribution argues that one reason for this is the traditionally weak connection between semiotics and empirical methods. To counter this, a model of multimodal communication is introduced in which theoretical description and empirical research are tightly bound methodologically. Several illustrations of the relevance of the model for information design are offered.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Adami, E.
    (2017) Multimodality. InO. García, N. Flores, & M. Spotti (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of language and society (pp.451–472). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Bateman, J. A.
    (2018) Peircean semiotics and multimodality: Towards a new synthesis. Multimodal Communication, 7(1). 10.1515/mc‑2017‑0021
    https://doi.org/10.1515/mc-2017-0021 [Google Scholar]
  3. (2019) Transmediality and the end of disembodied semiotics. International Journal of Semiotics and Visual Rhetoric, 3(2), 1–23. 10.4018/IJSVR.2019070101
    https://doi.org/10.4018/IJSVR.2019070101 [Google Scholar]
  4. Bateman, J. A., Beckmann, A., & Varela, R.
    (2018) From empirical studies to visual narrative organization: Exploring page composition. InA. Dunst, J. Laubrock, & J. Wildfeuer (Eds.), Empirical comics research. Digital, multimodal, and cognitive methods (pp.127–153). London: Routledge. 10.4324/9781315185354‑7
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315185354-7 [Google Scholar]
  5. Bateman, J. A. & Schmidt-Borcherding, F.
    (2018) The communicative effectiveness of education videos: Towards an empirically-motivated multimodal account. Multimodal Technologies and Interaction, 2(3), 59. 10.3390/mti2030059
    https://doi.org/10.3390/mti2030059 [Google Scholar]
  6. Bateman, J. A., Veloso, F. O., & Lau, Y. L.
    (2019) On the track of visual style: A diachronic study of page composition in comics and its functional motivation. Visual Communication. 10.1177/1470357219839101
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1470357219839101 [Google Scholar]
  7. Bateman, J. A., Wildfeuer, J., & Hiippala, T.
    (2017) Multimodality – foundations, research and analysis. A problem-oriented introduction. Berlin: de Gruyter Mouton.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Black, A., Luna, P., Lund, O., & Walker, S.
    (2017) Information design: Research and practice. London: Routledge. 10.4324/9781315585680
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315585680 [Google Scholar]
  9. Drucker, J. & McGann, J.
    (2001) Images as the text: Pictographs and pictographic rhetoric. Information Design Journal, 10(2), 95–106. 10.1075/idj.10.2.04dru
    https://doi.org/10.1075/idj.10.2.04dru [Google Scholar]
  10. Farias, P. L. & Queiroz, J.
    (2006) Images, diagrams, and metaphors: Hypoicons in the context of Peirce’s Sixty-six-fold classification of signs. Semiotica, 162, 287–308. 10.1515/SEM.2006.081
    https://doi.org/10.1515/SEM.2006.081 [Google Scholar]
  11. Frascara, J.
    (2017) Review: Information design, research and practice. Information Design Journal, 23(2), 238–242. 10.1075/idj.23.2.12fra
    https://doi.org/10.1075/idj.23.2.12fra [Google Scholar]
  12. Goodman, N.
    (1969) Languages of Art. An approach to a theory of symbols. London: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Kress, G.
    (2004) Reading images: Multimodality, representation and new media. Information Design Journal, 12(2), 110–119. 10.1075/idjdd.12.2.03kre
    https://doi.org/10.1075/idjdd.12.2.03kre [Google Scholar]
  14. Morrissy, S.
    (2017) Inexplicable in the last resort: A critique of Theo van Leeuwen’s identification of typography as a ‘mode’. Information Design Journal, 23(2), 184–193. 10.1075/idj.23.2.07mor
    https://doi.org/10.1075/idj.23.2.07mor [Google Scholar]
  15. Skaggs, S.
    (2017) The semiotics of non-virtuous data visualization: Why information design can never be pure. Information Design Journal, 23(2), 219–233. 10.1075/idj.23.2.10ska
    https://doi.org/10.1075/idj.23.2.10ska [Google Scholar]
  16. Sless, D.
    (1984) Reading semiotics. Information Design Journal, 4(3), 179–189. 10.1075/idj.4.3.01sle
    https://doi.org/10.1075/idj.4.3.01sle [Google Scholar]
  17. (2017) From Semiotics to Choreography. Information Design Journal, 23(2), 173–183. 10.1075/idj.23.2.06sle
    https://doi.org/10.1075/idj.23.2.06sle [Google Scholar]
  18. Tseng, C. I., Laubrock, J., & Pflaeging, J.
    (2018) Character Developments in comics and graphic novels: A systematic analytical scheme. InA. Dunst, J. Laubrock, & J. Wildfeuer (Eds.), Empirical comics research. Digital, multimodal, and cognitive methods (pp.154–175). London: Routledge. 10.4324/9781315185354‑8
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315185354-8 [Google Scholar]
  19. Tufte, E. R.
    (1983) The visual display of quantitative information. Cheshire, CT: Graphics Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. van Leeuwen, T.
    (2006) Towards a semiotics of typography. Information Design Journal, 14(2), 139–155. 10.1075/idj.14.2.06lee
    https://doi.org/10.1075/idj.14.2.06lee [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): empirical methods; multimodality; semiotics
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error