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Sunni Brown

Author, Chief Infodoodler, sunnibrown.com


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Why is visual literacy discouraged in most cultures & WHAT CAN WE DO to change that?

This LIVE CONVERSATION will open at 1PM ET/ 10AM PT on Monday, October 31th! Join me!

Visual literacy, if described as the ability to communicate via doodling, drawing, and sketching or described as the ability to display complex information in visual language formats, is often a literacy missing in adults despite it being a universal and natural inclination in children. Why does it disappear? And more importantly, what can we do to alter this course?

**ADMIN UPDATE: Sunni Brown has asked to extend her Conversation for two weeks. She will be jumping in to catch up with responses over the next two weeks. Happy posting everyone!


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  • Oct 31 2011: Sunni, do you ever think that we can build a lexicon of images which are cross referenced with words and used much like fonts, where you can either write a word or draw an image and simply switch between literary and visual fonts? Simply a different way at looking at the same information?

    Perhaps if people had the same comfort that spell check gave them, they would draw more. That's what we need, a visual spell check
    • Oct 31 2011: Are you speaking of ideographs, as we see in written Chinese?
      • Oct 31 2011: No, it really has to be accessible...was simply dreaming of having a "Visual" option under Google Translator, to or from any other language.
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      Oct 31 2011: A visual auto-correct, hilarious! My first concern would be that it would start to homogenize visual representations, which scares me. But regarding a lexicon, I do have my own "graphic vocabulary", pieces of which I use to quickly convey something people are describing in a conversation. I encourage all students of visual literacy to start to develop their own lexicon for the purposes of rapid sketching or prototyping. There are books available for this purpose as well and Google Image search doesn't hurt to see what the collective societal metaphors are.

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