Reading Response 2: Writer/Designer


Unit 2 Ball Reading- What are Multimodal Projects?

Julie Compton’s Pink ‘Pussyhat’ Creator Addresses Criticism Over Name

Hashtags: #gsu1102s18 #RionaG #Compton

When critiquing an art work, one regards the many elements present in that particular piece and whether those characteristics successfully express the aesthetic intent of the artist. Though this may seem specific to the art world, this is far from true. In fact, the many elements in a singular artwork perfectly demonstrate the many modes of communication found in any given text.

Often referred to as multimodal, these texts are comprised of five modes– visual, linguistic, aural, gestural, and spacial. By examining common contemporary texts, such as Julie Compton’s Pink ‘Pussyhat’ Creator Addresses Criticism Over Name, one can see how communication is multimodal.

Compton’s piece opens with a photo of a woman standing alone at the Women’s March on Washington, facing away from the camera with her bright pink ‘Pussyhat’ atop her head. This is a perfect example of how different modes can interconnect, here being the spacial and visual modes.

As the opening image of the article, this photo will influence the readers emotions prior to reading the article. The colors in the photo are dreary, most likely due to the overcast weather. This is in exception of the bright pink hat on the woman’s head– immediately bringing the subject of the article, the ‘Pussyhat’, to the readers attention.

The perspective and layout of the text also communicates a message to the reader. The camera’s placement behind the woman allows the viewer to see the Washington Mall and, subsequently, the White House. This, coupled with the “Nasty!” sign hanging on the main woman’s back, communicates a message of political strife. Considering our President’s degrading comments towards women, there is no question as to why the Women’s March was held just minutes away from the President’s office and home.

It is important to note that these modes of communication can also be used improperly, having a negative effect on the message intended by the author. In regards to Compton’s article, the use of the aural mode is seemingly absent. This is most likely intentional, considering this is an online article.

The addition of an aural mode, such as sound effects, may complicate the user’s interface with Compton’s article. Furthermore, the inclusion of too many modes of communication may result in the viewer being overwhelmed with information. By remaining concise in her selections of modes, Compton insured that her message would be clearly received.

In conclusion, it is important to understand the role of multimodality in everyday communication. Naturally, these modes are employed in communication, having a grand effect on the how a message is received and understood by others. With a clear understanding and application of the five modes of communication, one will be able to insure they are effectively and successfully regarding their message to others.