Kress and van Leeuwen said that when participants are connected by a vector, they are represented as doing something to or for each other; and that the role of vectors in visual compositions is akin to action verve in language. In this way, visual compositions are narrative – they present unfolding actions and events, processes of change, or transitory spatial arrangements in a sequence of possible arrangement or states of being. (Ch2 Graphic Design Theory. Meredith Davis.)

Park.Xi.1 Park.Xi.2

I found the two examples related to their statements about the working of the vector in the picture. A few days ago, in China, there were big event such as G-20 Summit. The fact is that Park Geun-hye, president of the South Korea, meets Xi Jinping, the president of China, on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Hangzhou. Meanwhile, North Korea fired three Rodong-type midrange missiles just after midday that flew about 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) and landed in the Sea of Japan. Because South Korea’s president pleaded unsuccessfully with China’s leader to drop his opposition to Seoul’s plan to deploy a U.S. missile defense shield. For representing this fact, these two journal, The Wall Street Journal and Japan Times used different images for their article. The wall street journal used a picture that Park and Xi was shaking hands at front of their nation flag, but The Japan Times used a picture that they were passing after the photo line.

These two photos have different narrative related with their article. The picture is used by the Wall Street Journal has more positive narrative than the Japan times’ one. Because, the actors, President Park and President Xi, have same vectors from picture to outside, and also their hands make a vector representing these two countries relationship will be better and they will find the agreement related to tension of THAAD. So the goal of this picture might be this situation is pretty hard to make better decision for both two countries, but they will find some. However, another picture which used by the Japan Times, has negative narrative than previous picture. Because, the two actors already passed each other after taking photo, so the actors have different vector from them to outside. It represents the opposite opinion related to THAAD in the South Korea. Thus, the journalist wanted to talk that it would be hard to find a better way to solve this problem, and the tension between these two country will be continued for a while.

These two different images show that how the vector of the participants represent author’s opinion instantly. Designers use frequently the images for their design outcome, but as you see the above two example, designers need to consider that how the picture works with the text, what narrative it has. The vector of the participants in the picture will be guide the audience to the right pathway what designers want to say. I believe that using the exactly fit well picture with text, the design communication will be maximized without any confusing.



  • Graphic Design Theory. Chapter 2.
  • http://www.wsj.com/articles/north-korea-fires-missiles-as-beijing-and-seoul-discuss-nuclear-threat-at-g-20-1473052182
  • http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/09/05/national/politics-diplomacy/north-korean-missiles-land-in-japan-eez-as-world-leaders-meet-at-g-20-in-china/#.V88B25MrKhc