Skip to main content

Looking through, looking into and looking at the book: the materiality of message and medium

Buy Article:

$18.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)

The relationship between material, medium and message with respect to books has been a recurring source of discussion in graphic design. Such discussion punctuates the last 100 years: with divergent thoughts on the material resources of the book ranging from considering them as inert, equivalent to a neutral substrate that carries an imprinted message, to understanding them as a set of independently meaningful material properties possessed by the physical artefact. This article reviews such different appreciations of books and the relationship between materiality and meaning-making and reassesses them using a theoretical framework derived from cognitive linguistics and relevance theory. It suggests that both dematerialized and materialized understandings inaccurately describe the ways that meaning is made from books, and advances an account based on attention, iconicity and relevance to describe the background processing that results in dematerialized and materialized understandings at the phenomenological level.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Data/Media
No Metrics

Keywords: attention; dematerialism; iconicity; materialism; relevance

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: The Arts University College at Bournemouth

Publication date: 2011-03-01

More about this publication?
  • Book 2.0 is a new, interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal which aims to publish articles and reviews on developments in book creation and design, (including the latest progressions in technology and software affecting illustration, design and book production). It will also explore innovations in distribution, marketing and sales, and book consumption, and in the research, analysis and conservation of book-related professional practices. Book 2.0 aims to provide a forum for promoting and sharing the most original and progressive practice in the teaching of writing, illustration, book design and production, and publishing across all educational sectors.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more