Images as the text
Pictographs and pictographic rhetoric
In this paper we are proposing an abstract rhetoric of relations for graphic forms. This rhetoric provides the primary groundwork for conceptualizing information design in visual and textual environments, not on the basis of their specific content or form, but at a level of organizational structure usually left inexplicit. Our premise is that the concept of a pictographic rhetoric, or metagraphic rhetoric, is a useful way of making explicit the abstract ordering of elements in texts, images, and graphic forms. These principles, critical to writing systems, pictographic and otherwise, also underlie the structure of graphs and diagrams of various kinds. Furthermore, they can be used to make explicit the rhetorical effects of the structure of inscribed or printed texts in their embodied, visual terms.