Figures of Addition

This week we’ve been learning about figures of addition. This can be further categorised into five sub categories, and I’ve included a short definition of each of these below:

Repetition: Repeating the same word, sound or group of words (Dyer 2008, p 129), or visual elements.

Similarity: Similarity of form or content; their difference is used to compare like objects.

Accumulation: An image made of a build-up of different elements conveying “abundance and quantity or disorder and chaos” (Dyer 2008, p 133).

Opposition: An image with a common theme between otherwise contrasting elements, and is used to attract attention.

Double meaning, ambiguity and paradox: These “play on the opposition between appearance and reality” (Dyer 2008, p 133). In double meaning similarity conceals difference; conversely in paradox, difference “conceals a real identity or sameness” (Dyer 2008, p 133).

I’ve also been looking at project 3 this week, and have decided to go with the topic of anthropogenic global warming.

Head in Sand image

This image is an interesting take on global warming advertising, and uses the figures of addition, particularly repetition and accumulation, to create a very impactful image. Something like this could be an interesting way to approach project three for the poster using figures of addition.


Reference List:

Dyer, R 2008, Advertising as Communication, Taylor and Francis, Florence.

Rouse (n.d.), ‘The world on Climate Change’ [image], The One Picture That Perfectly Sums Up World Action on Climate Change, Pinterest, viewed 12th January 2015,


2 thoughts on “Figures of Addition

  1. Hey Ruby,
    I really enjoy how you manage to define the terms of Figures of Addition in a clear, succinct manner – it really helps to clarify my own understanding of the terms. I think its a really good angle you’re going for with the whole “heads in the sand” message for global warming because it is a very strong one. I particularly like this image as it portrays every day people, all dressed in every day clothes which portrays the message of repetition with similar qualities. I think it needs words at the bottom to strengthen the message however, as I think the general public has their heads in the sand about a lot of things.
    Have you worked out what medium you’ll use for your posters? Or a combination of mediums? I am still not sure and look forward to following your progress 🙂


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