Layers of Meaning: Rhetorics

The three levels of emotional design

Visceral design:
– often used in food-related advertisement

-Just seeing the freshly opened ice-cold bottle of a drink we all know very well might make us thirsty.

Behavioural design:
-often used in technic-related advertisements
– here VW offers the solution to any parking difficulties

Reflective design:

This design appeals to a specific target group: Drivers, who have fond memories of music tapes. It draws on this sense of individuality (own soundtrack, your way) and the difference between the generations that grew up with playlists and the target group’s generation.

The three modes of persuasion

LOGOS (appeal of logic)
-often used in advertisements of banks and insurance companies
-here the ad contains a lot of facts
-the colour scheme is very professional (blue, green, neutrals)


-often used in awareness campaigns
-Here the design appeals to us on an emotional level, it evokes empathy.
Even someone who is not gay can identify with the message and be moved.


-often used in advertisements for status symbols such as cars.
– Here this clear and attractive design refers to the (supposedly) good taste of an Audi driver. It also highlights the credibility of their finance offer.

Banksy often uses antithesis in his artworks for societal critique.
The soldiers in full combat gear are an antithesis of the peace symbol.

The fire extinguisher is a metaphor for the hot flavour of the sauce.

The banana is wrapped in a crocheted cover suggesting it feels the cold like a person and is in need of a jumper.

The exaggeration here is that without the product everything tastes like cardboard.

The toothbrushes are a metonymy for clean white teeth, as brushing teeth is essential for white teeth.


Irony can be funny (left) but can also be used in a more serious way to evoke emotions such as empathy (right).


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