The Hidden Factor

The Hidden Factor Mark and Gesture in Visual Design

Hardback (08 Nov 2023)

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Publisher's Synopsis

An exquisitely illustrated introduction to the gestural mark in the designed world, exploring the tension between marks, which are felt, and images and words, which are conceptual. In The Hidden Factor, Steven Skaggs provides a beautifully illustrated and explained introduction to the mark-from those as physical as a scratch made by an animal, to those as accidental as a splatter of paint, to those as intentional as hand-drawn characters. Skaggs makes the case that, in the visual arts, gestures and mark-making operate on an equal level with image and word. While we might think of content as that which is communicated through text and images, Skaggs shows, through visual examples, that the gestural mark is often hidden within both images and the typographic forms that convey words. By mapping different kinds of marks and showing how marks combine with image and word, The Hidden Factor explains that our desire for conceptual information suppresses our awareness of marking. This is especially the case with the tension between word and mark, where we desire legibility. As a result, one of the most conservative of arts-calligraphy-has the potential of being the most radical, since gesturally expressive handwriting is a natural threat to the legibility of a text. Filled with expressive calligraphic art, graffiti, and other gorgeous marks, The Hidden Factor is an eye-opening read that brings to the fore the importance-and indeed, the prevalence-of the mark in everything we see.

Book information

ISBN: 9780262048569
Publisher: The MIT Press
Imprint: The MIT Press
Pub date:
DEWEY: 744
DEWEY edition: 23
Language: English
Number of pages: xiii, 172
Weight: 700g
Height: 198mm
Width: 240mm
Spine width: 22mm