I am developing a project about visual literacy/interpreting images/universal stories/archetypes and have powered through several books related to the subject over the last month. I thought I'd share that list and a quick take on what I've read.
The Culture Code: An Ingenious Way to Understand Why People Around the World Live and Buy as They Do
- Clotaire Rapaille
By far the most interesting book on the subject of "culture" I've read in a long time. A very enjoyable read.
Reading Pictures: What We Think About When We Look at Art
- Alberto Manguel
An excellent read for those with a strong interest in art and art history.I recommend his lecture on Picasso (video) before picking up his book.
All Consuming Images
- Stuart Ewen
I've reread this book several times over the years. A must read for any serious student of media and culture.
-Wilson Bryan Key
A classic. A bit heavy on conspiracy theory but some of the the ad deconstructions are fascinating. You have to give it props, Marshal McLuhan wrote the introduction.
Ways of Seeing
A classic on the subject of visual literacy.
The Mechanical Bride: Folklore of Industrial Man
- Marshall McLuhan
One of McLuhan's lesser read books and one of my favorites. The book is primarily a collection of 2 page essays, many deconstructing advertisements or aspects of media.
A very serious semiotics perspective on advertising. I wish the writing style wasn't so academic but the deconstructions are excellent.