The Postmodern era has shrunk the world by demolishing distance barriers with technology. Now many individuals and businesses alike depend on communication with people across continents as the global community becomes increasingly intertwined. But while our access to others has improved, new challenges arise in communicating effectively across language and cultural gaps. It’s no wonder then that our language is becoming ever more visual.
The rhetorical scholar Michael Calvin McGee coined the term ideograph, “a high order abstraction representing commitment to a particular but equivocal and ill-defined normative goal.” Although defined nearly 30 years ago, ideographs have never been more pertinent to language than they are today. In essence, the ideograph is an item (whether that be text, image, or both) that communicates an underlying theme for all parties involved, despite the potential for subtle differences in interpretation and the feelings that ideograph produces for each individual. These differences spring from one’s own societal and personal context, but regardless the audience still captures the basis of the message.
It is time to embrace this concept to the fullest extent possible. The second most used search engine is YouTube; companies must act on the powerful integration of text and image in order to inspire and educate consumers. It provides them with an opportunity to deliver a message that can resonate with an ever more diverse audience base, bridging potential communicative pitfalls. Does it matter how or why a certain group might arrive at your message? Isn’t the point of communication really just getting that message out there?
Take a look at some of PGi’s latest brand work to see the power of images in action. It’s a perfect example of how image can communicate so much while saying so little, a type of ideograph in and of itself. Regardless of how this clip speaks to you specifically, I think everyone will come to the same conclusion: PGi brings your world together.