Chapter 1: keynote & Study Questions


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Key Points & Study Questions: Chapter 1


• From its beginnings, graphic communication has depended not only on workable tools and production processes but also on visual principles and the design of symbolic forms (signs and images) that can be recognized according to the conventions and beliefs of a community.


• The design of proto-writing systems introduced the first stable codes for graphic representation of things and quantities by signs and tokens.


• The meaningful organization of graphic signs depended on compositional principles, such as juxtaposition, sequence, hierarchy, and direction, that followed systematic rules.


• The impulse to design symbolic forms suggests that humans do not simply use signs to record their needs and activities but place great value on the representation of ideas.


• Literate culture developed when a social group agreed on conventions for the representation of language by a visual code. The effects of writing as a form of social control and power spring from this consensus.


What elements most contribute to the representation of language?


What are the some examples of the earliest writing systems?


Which of these statements describes how Cro-magnon painters approached their subjects:


without a distinction between figure and ground


with raw, easy-to-find drawing materials




by creating symbols and glyphs


what is Proto-writing ?


How were Pictographic signs different from glyphs?


In what order did the following writing systems appear ?










Why is Hammurabi’s Code significant?


Which of the following is not a myth about the development of writing?


many societies considered writing a divine gift


the origin of literacy is the consolidation of vowel notation


Arabic writing has nothing to do with the Roman alphabet


letterforms do not have pictoral origins


How did writing tools affected the design of scripts ?

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