Photo of Fons Maes
  • Warandelaan 2, Dante Building, room D 338

    5037 AB Tilburg


1981 …2019
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Personal profile

Research interests

Fons Maes (PhD 1991) is full Professor in the Department of Communication and Cognition, Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences at Tilburg University. He studies the interaction of visual and verbal sign systems in human communication. Topics include the production of referential expressions, verbal and visual metaphor, navigation communication, information visualization, and the use of visuals in health communication and advertising. 



  • 2018-2019 Head of Department Communication and Cognition, Tilburg School of Humanities, Tilburg University
  • 2008-2017 Head of Department Communication and Information Sciences, Tilburg School of Humanities, Tilburg University
  • 2012-2014 Director Tilburg center for Cognition and Communication TiCC, Tilburg School of Humanities, Tilburg University
  • 2004-2007 Head of capacity group Communication Science, Faculty Communication and Culture, Tilburg University
  • 2002-2004 Head of section Communication and Cognition, Faculty of Arts, Tilburg University 
  • Since 2002 Full Professor Communication and Cognition, Arts Faculty, Tilburg University
  • 1999-2002 Coordinator Teaching Program Business Communication and Digital Media, Arts Faculty, Tilburg University
  • 1993-2002 Assistant and Associate Professor Discourse Studies, Arts Faculty, Tilburg University
  • 1984-2002 Lecturer Discourse Studies, Department Translation Studies, University Gent
  • 1983-1993 Lecturer, Language Center (Talencentrum), Arts Faculty, Tilburg University
  • 1982-1984 Lecturer Language Proficiency, Technicon (Groep T), Leuven
  • 1977-1982 Lecturer Dutch Linguistics, Literature & Language Proficiency, Teacher Training Institute (lerarenopleiding), H.Grafinstituut, Turnhout (literature, linguistics, didactic)
  • 1977-1983 Lecturer Language Proficiency, Law Faculty, Leuven University
  • 1976-1977 Lecturer Linguistics, Leuven University


Selection former courses Tilburg University

  • Advances in Visual Communication Research (research master CIW)
  • Multimodality and Communication (master CIW)
  • Foundations of Language and Communication (research master)
  • Visual communication (2012-2013)
  • Introduction Business Communication and Digital Media (Inleiding BDM) (bachelor)
  • Recent developments in Document Design (research master) (2007-2010)
  • Multimodality and Cognition (2003-2008)
  • Digital Document Design (2002-2005)
  • New Media (Nieuwe Media) (1999-2000)
  • Design of instructive texts (Ontwerp Instructieve Teksten) (1996-2003)
  • Tekst en Beeld (1996-2003)
  • Discourse Theory (Discourse theory) (1995-1998)
  • Computers and Documentation (Computers & Documentatie) (1992-1995)
  • Discourse Studies (Tekstwetenschap II) (1993-1995)
  • Prescription and Linguistics (Taalprescriptie en taalwetenschap) (1991-1993)
  • Writing in professional settings (Schrijven in Beroepssituaties) (1984-1991)
  • Text processing and Text editing (Tekstverwerking en tekstredactie) (1992)
  • Proficiency Dutch (Taalvaardigheid Nederlands doctoraal) (1983-1993)
  • Language and Profession (Taal en Beroep)  (1988-2002)
  • Various language proficiency courses Economy, Law, Social Sciences; Language Center, Tilburg University (1983-1993)


  • Language Psychology
  • Communication Science
  • Discourse Studies
  • Reference
  • Metaphors
  • Visual Cognition
  • Language Analysis
  • Cognitive Science
  • Linguistics
  • Visual Communication

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Fons Maes is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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Research Output 1981 2019

Accessibility and reference production: The interplay between linguistic and non-linguistic factors

Vogels, J., Krahmer, E. & Maes, A., 2019, The Oxford Handbook of Reference. Gundel, J. & Abbott, B. (eds.). Oxford: Oxford University Press

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

Aesthetics and Clarity in Information Visualization: The Designer’s Perspective

Quispel, A., Maes, A. & Schilperoord, J., 2018, In : Arts. 7, 4

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Open Access
mass media

HCI Education Beyond HCI Studies: Insights from the New Media Design Program

Kallergi, A., de Wit, J., Bálint, K., de Rooij, A., Krahmer, E. & Maes, A., 2018.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperOther research output

Open Access

How visual form affects metaphoric conceptualization: The role of shape similarity

van Weelden, L., Maes, A. & Schilperoord, J., 2018, Visual Metaphor: Structure and Process. Steen, G. J. (ed.). John Benjamin's Publishing Company, p. 147-162

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review