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Bibliography: Visual Rhetoric

  • Bernhardt, Stephen. "Seeing the Text." College Composition and Communication 37.1 (1986): 66-78. Web. 30 Mar 2010. <http//>. In this article, Stephen A. Bernhardt discusses the rhetorical importance of visual information in documents.  He emphasizes the importance of "chunking" information in the face of changing technology (the growing popularity of electronic documents) and organizational patterns "more closely associated with speech than writing" (77).
  • Boeree, C. George. "Gestalt Psychology." N.p., 2000. Web. 30 Mar 2010. <>. C. George Boeree's Gestalt web page discusses Gestalt theories and principles, including many graphical examples.  The page also includes a focus on the founders of the theory.
  • Dondis, Donis A. 1973. A Primer of Visual Literacy. Cambridge: MIT Press. This book takes a comprehensive view of visual literacy and its applications. It outlines the "syntactic guidelines" of visual literacy, which form the foundation of understanding information visually.
  • Hobbs, Catherine L. 2004. Visual Rhetoric in a Digital World. "Learning from the Past: Verbal and Visual Literacy in Early Modern Rhetoric and Writing Pedagogy." 55–70. New York: Bedford. Hobbs examines the evolution of technology and its impact on text and other visual elements.
  • Kimball, Miles A. & Hawkins, Ann R. 2007. Document Design: A Guide for Technical Communicators. Bedford St. Martin's
  • Moore, Patrick, and Chad Fitz.  “Using Gestalt Theory to Teach Document Design and Graphics.”  Technical Communication Quarterly 389-410.  Web.  30 March 2010. <http://www.public.asu.edy/~kheenan/courses/372/f03/gestalttheory%20teaching.pdf>. Patrick Moore and Chad Fitz discuss six Gestalt principles: figure-ground segregation, symmetry, closure, proximity, good continuation, and similarity.  The authors use these principals to analyze document design and what makes a document successful (that is, rhetorically effective).
  • Skaalid, Bonnie. "Gestalt Principles of Perception." Web Design for Instruction. N.p., 1999. Web. 30 Mar 2010. <>. This web site offers an overview of Gestalt theory.  It includes a brief history of Gestalt and simple descriptions of Gestalt principles with visual examples.