Are rhetorical devices, like metaphors, part of the encoding of a message?

I am 100% in favor of reopening this.

I understand in its original form it was perhaps "Unclear" what was being asked, but to close it as outside the realm of graphic design is really bad in my opinion.

Whether psychologists would or would not also have an opinion a graphic designer should have purpose behind their design decisions which is precisely what this question is about.

Now that its been edited to be a bit clearer I'd like to nominate it for reopening without using mod powers to just override everyone else.

3 Answers 3


First of all, I am not upset in any way. I love the community and somehow I was a bit shocked but at the same time I was laughing but in a good sense.

It seems that the asker made some implicit assumptions on the application

Yes, I did. The assumption is that I am asking for the Graphic Design forum, not in yahoo answers. I wrote an example of the glass, just in case, someone thought it has nothing to do with images.

I now understand tho, that at first glimpse when people see "encoding" think on software, but that is precisely the reason I posted this question. We need to rethink that graphic design is more than clicking buttons, it is a complex process, it is a communication one.

And yes, it is regarding the theoretical framework. In this era of "Do it yourself" when people use PhotoImUsingItToDoAnithingShop the theoretical framework is needed.

Regarding the edit. I posted on a comment, that is actually a different question, but I like the way it is now... (I will probably update the image tho) so it is ok for me as it is now.

But a warning... there is a chance... I will post a modified version of my original question. Muahaha.

  • 1
    If you do post another, please mention "visual metaphors" explicitly, and choose a better example. I voted to close because I didn't think it had anything to do with graphic design. Also, the example you chose seems odd to me. Perhaps there is some cultural reference I am missing Rafael? Here in the UK, I'm not sure about other countries, but the metaphor of the "glass half-full" indicates a cause for optimism, and half-empty, a cause for pessimism. Perhaps this goes some way to answering your question. Metaphors often mean different things to different people depending on culture.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 22:29
  • by the way, I've now retracted my close vote.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 22:32
  • 2
    The visual metaphor is only one of the different rhetorical devices, allegory, irony, comparison, etc are some others. And yes, the half-full glass and half-empty means the same to me, (that is why I left it open if someone is optimistic or pessimistic) n_n
    – Rafael
    Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 23:26
  • Yes, I did. The assumption is that I am asking for the Graphic Design forum, not in yahoo answers. – I was rather thinking of something like your actual questions going a few steps further than what you are explicitly asking.
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Commented Apr 17, 2018 at 12:01

I think the issue seems to be the way it was closed. Seems the consensus after reading the comments, chat and here that it should have been closed as unclear and I could see the question being closed as unclear and would agree based on the original question. After further discussion in chat it seems some are upset based on the line of:

"This question does not fall within the expertise of graphic designers. This particularly applies to software and hardware questions that are not specific to graphic-design tools – they may be suited for Super User."

but as mentioned by WELZ:

I dont think any of the ones who closed it believe that it's a "Tech Support" question. The consensus was, that it does not fall under the expertise of graphic designers [end] The part regarding SU is there because we frequently get posts that are tech support, so it's just been added on to the reason to help guide those users in the right direction.

There may need to be another discussion wether the close reasons should be tweaked because this seems to occur often.

I think the community had a right to close the question, which it should have been and is agreed here but I think the issue is what was chosen to close it. The question is now edited, if the OP agrees with the edit then it should get it's proper community vote to open it. At time of writing this answer the question has only one vote to open.


As I understood the original question, it was purely about understanding a specific framework from communication theory:

Is the usage of a metaphor, comparison, an allegory, for example, part of the encoding-decoding?

There is nothing visual in there. The only thing visual was the example for this:

If we put an image of a half-filled glass when watching a slide talking about "ideas" meaning (put your thoughts here) is that part of the encoding?

Now applying whatever insights are gained from the answer to this question (or communication theory in general) to visual communications are something I would consider on-topic (e.g., such as in your edit of the question). But I do not see any application in the original.

Looking at the question again, it seems that the asker made some implicit assumptions on the application, but they are, well, implicit and at least I do not see them (I can only guess that they may be there).

It’s a bit like maths and physics. Maths is ubiquitous in physics, but it is not on-topic on Physics SE per se, but only when it is applied to physics.

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