Rhetorical Resources for Innovation in Communication Through the Design of Brand Marks of Corporate Identity

Rhetorical Resources for Innovation in Communication Through the Design of Brand Marks of Corporate Identity

Leire Fernández Iñurritegui (Universidad del País Vasco, Spain & Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea, Spain) and Eduardo Herrera Fernández (Universidad del País Vasco, Spain & Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3628-5.ch010
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Without a doubt, visual rhetoric constitutes a fundamental paradigm for recognizing resources that can guarantee an innovative and more effective communication in our essentially competitive corporate communicative environment. In this chapter, the authors reflect on graphic design from a linguistic basis to a particular approach to rhetorical principles. This is presented as a paradigm of an innovative creative model in the discursive construction of brands marks of corporate visual identity. In short, this chapter formulates a proposal of rhetorical variants in which graphic designers can find graphic resources and communication strategies that are essential for the creation of innovative messages.
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We live times of an overwhelming number of homogeneous visual messages required by and within a competitive market. It seems that everything is already said and done. Thus, unfortunately, we can see how the application of rigid design models (design routines) seems to be imposed to adapt to the hegemony of productivity versus creativity. As a reaction to this communicative context, authentic graphic designers feel compelled to combine innovation and the reflection of what already exists, with the aim of building a socially shared novelty. These graphic designers keep designing people’s visual environment, trying to convey expression and meaning to the ideas, products, services, and values ​​that society produces. In this way, graphic design as a discipline producing graphic signs cannot ignore its commitments to current social discourses. Surely, this approach is always adopted from the need to innovate with sense in order to adapt to the requirements and conditions of each time. Consequently, graphic design is obliged to look for new graphic resources and new expressive dispositions. All in all, it tries to ensure that the formal development of graphic productions provides substance to the natural progress of visual language.

In this search for new forms of graphic expression for the external visualization of communicative needs of a corporate nature, graphic design has the faculty to host new languages, of which rhetorical language is an enhancer of values of argumentation, individuality, difference, and identity of corporate visual signs (i.e., brand marks). A language capable of helping the designer to create a solid text to persuade and that brings new meanings by increasing the communicative capacity of the visual text.

Nowadays, the only means to achieve backing is speech. This discourse is not characterized from an ornamental perspective, but it is eminently argumentative. In this sense, rhetoric, as we understand it today, has recovered its original communicational character. The techniques of argumentation constitute the main factor of a society that trusts in the capabilities of the human being and recognizes one’s freedom. This is the context in which visual rhetoric develops. This is the context where we live. A free society, which, as in the ancient Greek democracy, is indispensable to resort to discourse in order to persuade the addressee to choose between political options or to acquire a certain product (Rey, 2012, p. 357). Here we talk about visual rhetoric and by that we mean a practical, everyday-use, utilitarian rhetoric. That is, and we insist, a socially necessary rhetoric that can only achieve its goals through argumentation in its speeches, beyond its merely ornamental aspects. This is, in essence, something which graphic design should always be reflected upon in its discursive practice. Rhetoric and design are directly linked to everyday life and their mission is to help to make reasonable decisions on issues that affect people. As for design, if the graphic language is not clear, it cannot fulfill its mission. And if it is not meaningful, it cannot convince.

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