A Primer of Visual Literacy

Primer of Visual Literacy

By Donis A. Dondis

This primer is designed to teach students the interconnected arts of visual communication. The subject is presented, not as a foreign language, but as a native one that the student “knows” but cannot yet “read.” The analogy provides a useful teaching method, in part because it is not overworked or too rigorously applied. This method of learning to see and read visual data has already been proved in practice, in settings ranging from Harlem to suburbia. Appropriately, the book makes some of its most telling points through visual means. Numerous illustrated examples are employed to clarify the basic elements of design (teach an alphabet), to show how they are used in simple syntactic combinations (“See Jane run.”), and finally, to present the meaningful synthesis of visual information that is a finished work of art (the apprehension of poetry…).