An analysis of multi-modal story telling

22Oct11

An interesting article has appeared in the graphic design magazine: Eye

The article provides an analysis of a style of story telling from an enduring and quintessentially British children’s cartoon strip; Rupert the Bear.

This example of multi-modal story telling combines looking, reading and hearing; in a manner that helps bring the story to life.

Read the article: Here

The cartoon strip analysed is a children’s story called Rupert the Bear that first appeared in The Daily Express newspaper in Britain in the 1920’s. The cartoon strip went on to develop into a franchise covering books, TV series and branded merchandise over the last 90 years.

In his article Rob Waller summarised the structure of the narrative and how it may be read at different levels: page title (‘Rupert Heeds A Warning’), pictures, rhyming couplets that link the pictures and the full text. This is truly multimodal, involving looking, reading and hearing (the couplets under each picture are meant to be read aloud).

Rob Waller is professor of information design at the University of Reading, director of the Simplification Centre, and chair of the Information Design Association. His blog is: Here

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