Submission Guidelines

Writing Style 

To write well the author must have in mind a particular reader. For Visible Language, we envision two types of readers: academics and professionals. The academic is motivated to consume knowledge in order to advance knowledge through their research and teaching. The professional is motivated to consume and apply knowledge, putting knowledge into practice. To the extent possible given your topic, we’d like you to write in a manner accessible to both our reader types. 

American English is used. Stylistic leeway is given to international writers with emphasis on clarity, minimally proper syntax, and grammar. 

All articles accepted for publication are submitted to professional copyediting.  

Visual Style 

Visible Language is about research in visual communication. We strongly encourage part of each article be presented visually, particularly key points and ideas. If the author is a designer we encourage them to create visualizations of their ideas that integrate into their written article. It is our custom to develop a visual abstract to accompany the written abstract. If the author is not skilled visually, we will assign a designer to work with them to create visualizations, at the author’s request. 

Typographic Style 

Visible Language is greatly concerned with typography beyond an academic subject. We have several typographic preferences that authors may wish to observe: 

tuck the reference at the end of a sentence and before a period. For example:

Blah blah blah (Name, date).

tuck the ending period in before the quotation. A lot of people do it otherwise, blah blah”. but we think this creates awkward space around the period. We recommend:  

“Blah blah blah.”

naming a figure in the text of the article should be roman capital:

Blah blah blah in Figure 3 blah blah.

references to a figure in parentheses is typically italic:

(figure 3 

The parentheses are not italic – again an aesthetic issue that ties the ( ) to previous and online regular text. 

Blah blah blah (figure 3).

a list of initials, like W.T.J. Mitchell is presented without spaces between the initials – again this improved aesthetic spacing.

use of a dash can be presented in the following ways:

the best – while thinking of 

the best — while thinking of 

the best–while thinking of… 

the best—while thinking of 

These are dashes with and without space between. We prefer the first, a short dash with space, as it gives a typographic breath to the reader.