Informational Design and the Promotion of Multiliteracy at School: Multimodal Resources in Portuguese Second Cycle Textbooks


This paper discusses the promotion of multiliteracy in educational artifacts from the perspective of Information Design. In the current social context of multiple languages and media, there is a dialogue about the emerging presence of multimodal resources in school environments. From this perspective, the objective is to identify which of these are most present in Portuguese school manuals for the Second Cycle, adoptable for 2022/2023. Likewise, we consider which characteristics contribute to the development of multiliteracy in children. The theoretical, interdisciplinary path between design and education is based on precepts about the modes of symbolization of graphic language (Twyman, 1982), social semiotics (Kress & Van Leeuwen, 2006) and multimodality in learning (Anstey & Bull, 2018). The exploratory research in the collected manuals made it possible to check the symbolic modes in 4.396 pages. The examples are a result of direct observation and description of the structural characteristics of the contents. The most present multimodal ecosystem, whether to represent process cycles, timelines, spatial or quantitative data, was the infographic. This, however, requires urgent investigations about its construction, analogue to digital relationship, and decoding with the target audience.


Fábio Luna
Student, PhD, Design, University Porto - Fine Arts Faculty, Porto, Portugal

Rui Vitorino Santos
Assistant Professor, Design, University of Porto - Fine Arts Faculty, Porto, Portugal

Emília Da Costa
Assistent Professor, Design, FBAUP, PORTO, Portugal


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


Design in Society


Informational Design, Multimodality, Multiliteracy, Infographic, School Textbooks

Digital Media


Informational Design and the Promotion of Multiliteracy at School (pdf)