Visual Argument


This poster is displayed in the laundry room at the Colony apartments here at RIT. To me, this poster is making a convincing argument to any viewers that they shouldn’t steal anyone else’s laundry. The poster makes this argument with its words, but even if the words were not there, the argument is made effectively enough with just the visuals. I think this sign intrigued me because of how simple and eye-catching it is. I appreciated the use of only three colors and also liked the simple cartoonish visuals, which made it stand out for its simplicity.

Grounds: “The laundry is under surveillance.”
The grounds of an argument are the evidence for accepting the argument. The fact that the laundry is being watched by cameras is the hard factual evidence in this situation. This fact is represented in the poster visually by the image of the camera looking down on the laundry.

Warrant: “Stealing while under surveillance can get you in trouble.”
The warrant of an argument is the underlying statement that helps reach the conclusion. One of the types of warrants is a principle, which uses a common principle to help explain the case that is being examined. The general principle here is that if you are being watched, it is a bad idea to do something wrong because you can easily get caught. This is shown visually by the fact that the camera is pointed directly at the person in the picture, illustrating how nothing he does will be able to escape the notice of the camera.

Inference: “Stealing laundry while under surveillance can get you in trouble.”
This inference combines the previous steps to make a new statement. This step is indicated by the word “implies”. Using the fact that the laundry is under surveillance, and the principle that stealing while under surveillance can get you in trouble, these statements imply that stealing laundry while under surveillance will also get someone in trouble. This is shown visually by the fact that the figure in the picture is wearing a stereotypical bandit mask, showing that he is someone breaking the rules and is being recognized by the camera as doing so.

Final claim/conclusion: “You shouldn’t steal the laundry here.”
The final claim is the conclusion that can be drawn from all of the previous steps. Because stealing laundry while being watched on camera will get someone in trouble, this means that in order to not be punished they shouldn’t steal laundry at this laundromat. The picture visually shows all of these steps together with the camera catching the bandit next to the washing machine. This encourages the viewer to not be like this bandit and not steal laundry.


2 thoughts on “Visual Argument

  1. I thought that it was interesting that you used the poster that you found on the campus as an example because it is something that I have never thought of and simply a self-explanatory photo as opposed to the images I have seen in different places. My friend’s clothes were stolen one time when he was doing laundry thus reading your argument was very valid. You supported your arguments with very strong evidence from your knowledge and understanding. One of the examples that I liked from your argument is when you started off with explaining briefly about the poster itself which is a way to establish a strong visual argument. Your thoughts and mind set was clearly showed throughout the description on the image in your post. Great job.

  2. This is a great Visual argument, It is very eye catching and draws me into it, I really appreciate that they used RIT colors. that helps with RIT students to make the issues that they are trying to fix close to the students that could potentially be breaking them. I agree with your conclusion that this ad is trying to prove a point that you should not steal other people’s laundry. great post!

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