Visual communication in CSR reporting - The use of pictures and colors in six car industry CSR reports

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School of Business | Master's thesis
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International Business Communication
International Business Communication
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Objectives of the study The objective of the study was to find out what kinds of pictures and colors are used in car industry CSR reporting and to describe how these elements are utilized. Also, the communicational roles and messages of pictures and colors were analyzed. Data, methodology and theoretical framework The research data consisted of six CSR reports from large international car manufacturers. The reports were analyzed through qualitative research methods from an interdisciplinary perspective. The theoretical framework consisted of rhetorics and semiotics in addition to theories and models for analyzing pictures and colors. In the background, factors such as the constraints set by corporate visual identities were also taken into consideration. Findings and conclusions Pictures and colors were found to have a large role in the visual appearance of the reports. In addition to their more obvious functions, such as decoration, they were also found to possess communicational value and messages other than their literal content and appearance. One of the main purposes of these elements is to communicate company values and construct desired corporate images. In practice, this was found to be accomplished through the use of semiotic techniques such as metaphors and metonyms in addition to functioning as symbolic, iconic and indexical signs.
visual, visuaalinen, semiotics, semiotiikka, business communication, yritysviestintä, kestävä kehitys, sustainable development
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