How do we read annual reports? A critical visual analysis

Despite recognition that companies intentionally use the visual design of their annual reports to rhetorically influence their readers, an integrated framework for critically analyzing the visual design of annual reports is yet to be realized. Preston, Wright and Young (1996, 2000) and Davison (2002, 2007) mark progress, but are limited to analysis of single rhetorical elements. Drawing from Roland Barthes' seminal Camera Lucida and Rhetoric of the Image, this study develops and applies a framework which enables a multifaceted critical analysis of the visual presentation of annual reports by considering, not only photography, but non-photographic images and the relationship between image and text.

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