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Towards a unified affordance approach: searching for congruent meaning making in COVID-19 warning designs
Dalarna University, School of Culture and Society, Moving Image Production.
Dalarna University, School of Language, Literatures and Learning, English.
2021 (English)In: Social Semiotics, ISSN 1035-0330, E-ISSN 1470-1219Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

This case study on COVID-19 warning designs in a Swedish context illustrates how a unified affordance approach may contribute to an understanding of the meaning-making in reminders, instructions, cues and prompts that communicate the message “keep your distance.” The analysis combines semiotic and ecological affordance categories, taking both Gibson’s original theorizing on affordances and more recent affordance-informed research efforts into consideration. In so doing, the study aims to bridge a knowledge gap in the study of visual instructions and warning designs as well as in a more comprehensive way delineate the multimodal design strategies associated with COVID-19 warning designs. The analysis shows that Swedish COVID-19 warning designs of the keep-your-distance-kind belong to a non-standardized and emerging genre that is marked by great variation and ad-hoc design solutions, several of which combine physical blocking functions with verbally based messages. The analysis also highlights the tension between verbal and visual recourses, on one hand, and the signage placement and choice of materials, on the other hand. It is concluded that communication resources do not always appear to convey the same basic message, but in incongruent ways weaken what might be considered the intended main message. © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge , 2021.
Keywords [en]
Affordance, COVID-19, instructions, multimodality, warning design
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-39268DOI: 10.1080/10350330.2021.1995306ISI: 000711793500001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85118289468OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-39268DiVA, id: diva2:1625391
Available from: 2022-01-07 Created: 2022-01-07 Last updated: 2023-10-26Bibliographically approved

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Ekwall, Per ErikÄdel, Annelie

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • chicago-author-date
  • chicago-note-bibliography
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf