Multimodality is frequently characterized as either the interaction among semiotic modes or the integration of semiotic modes or resources (Poulsen, 2014). It approaches comprehending communication and representation to be more than about language.

Unveiling Multimodality: Exploring Texts, Theories, and Semiotic Spaces

Multimodality encompasses the study of multimodal texts, referring to both the objects within a research field and the interdisciplinary examination of these texts, along with a collection of theories concerning multimodal semiosis. As an interdisciplinary field, it investigates the semiotic resources employed by individuals for communication and interaction within social contexts. As a theoretical framework, it specifically delves into social semiotics, focusing on the social utilization of semiotic resources in representation, communication, and interaction. Multimodality designates the domain for semiotic inquiry, the field in which semiotic work is conducted, and the space and resources that, in one way or another, contribute to meaning (Bezemer & Kress, 2016). It addresses the representational modes in which each mode performs a particular function. Additionally, multimodality is also explored within various theoretical frameworks, such as cognitive semantics, media studies, rhetoric, perception psychology, and Human-Computer Interaction. 

Unlocking Meaning: The Essence of Multimodal Social Semiotic Theory

According to Kress (2004; 2009; 2011), we need a theory that addresses meaning in all of its manifestations, in all social contexts, and in all cultural locations if we are to comprehend appropriate forms of communication: that is a multimodal social semiotic theory. According to this theory, multimodality attends to the modes, or material resources, involved in meaning-making; it requires labels or names appropriate for those. It is necessary to give names to processes and characteristics that are shared by all modes, names that accurately characterize the overall goals and functions of multimodality. Modes differ from one another in terms of their materiality as well as their social and cultural histories, so additional terminology is required to appropriately describe the traits and attributes of particular modes.

Cultural Resources Unveiled: Multimodality's Quest for Inclusive Semiotic Entities

Multimodality states that language is just one tool available for creating meaning among many others (Kress, 2004; 2009; 2011). This suggests that a culture's modal resources for meaning-making must be viewed as a single, cohesive field of separate but complementary resources. Put differently, it rejects the notion that linguistic modes have precedence and views them as merely one aspect of meaning-making. The goal of a multimodal approach is to transcend methods in which a theory and a discipline were inextricably linked to mode, frequently in a way that defined them both. In these methods, linguistics dealt with writing; art history with images; and so forth. Every mode is presented as one field or domain in a multimodal approach. Together, they are viewed as a single, interconnected cultural resource used by members of a social group at a specific time to create meaning and also as representation. Each is treated as unique in its material potential and social shaping, and all are seen as potentially equal in their ability to add meaning to a complex semiotic entity, a text. Since each differs, it is necessary to treat them according to appropriate descriptive categories. 


Bezemer, J., Kress, G. (2016). Multimodality, Learning and 

Communication: A social semiotic frame. London: Routledge.

Kress, G. (2004). Reading images: Multimodality, representation and new 

media. Information Design Journal, 12(2), 110-119. 

Kress, G. (2009). Multimodality: A social semiotic approach to 

contemporary communication. London: Routledge.   

Kress, G. (2011). ‘Multimodal discourse analysis.’ In: J.P. Gee & M. 

Hanford(eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Discourse Analysis. London: 

Routledge, 35-50.

Poulsen, S. V. (2014). Mod en analysemetode for webstedet som 

multimodal tekst. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Southern Denmark,