Pictures and verbal text have been combined in previous writing
technologies, however there is a greater emphasis on the visual in digital
media. Conventional texts allow the reader to move along letters and back
and forth among static images. Text flows in one dimension down the page,
and images are inserted to assist text. In electronic text, the reader is
in motion, using two different modes of reading - combining verbal and
picture reading. Text and visual images function together in the computers
writing space, and impact the reader in an associative way. Images can be
linked to text, or to other images. As printed pages stay in order, readers
or writers of electronic pages can move from one page to another, have
several pages (windows) open at once and reorder the electronic pages in
any way. Electronic pictures and text offer a more authentic experience to
the reader by adding interactivity to reading and writing.
In last weeks entry I mention economic force that drives innovation
contributing to forces of technological determinism. Bolter makes a similar
economic and social claim that gives rise to importance of graphic design.
He mentions the convergence of economic and social needs - how capitalism
drives needs for products - and we have entered an age where words alone
are no longer adequate to satisfy peoples needs for products or information.
He further explains that the aesthetics of web pages have rededicated
magazine advertisements, with striking visual metaphors, display fonts,
color gradient and pixel images.(69) I believe a picture is worth 1000
words, personally I would rather look at 10 pictures describing an event
rather than reading a 10,000 page book.