Visual Communication (2022)

Ricky Telg

(Video) Visual Communication - What is it and why is it important?

This EDIS publication, focusing on the foundations of visual communications, is the first of a four-part EDIS publications series on creating effective visual communications for your local Extension program. This series will include publications on the development of posters and fliers, exhibits and displays, and computer-generated projected slide presentations.

What is visual communication?

Any attempt to reach us through our eyes, whether it is a roadside billboard or a flier posted for a meeting, is considered visual communication. In face-to-face communication, visual communication can take the form of gestures and body language. A gesture such as a thumbs-up or the body language of a head nod indicates approval, while a thumbs-down or a head shake indicates disapproval. We rely heavily on visual communication, and for good reason: research indicates that it is very effective. People can recall information presented to them with visual images better than if they are just told the information.

(Video) The Visual Minute: What is Visual Communication?

In communication that is not done face to face, visual communication usually takes the form of printed, video, or computer-generated projected messages. In printed form, some examples include signs (traffic signs, billboards, restroom signs), fliers, posters, exhibits, and logos. Projected visuals are those used with computers, using such programs as Microsoft PowerPoint or Apple's Keynote. In this EDIS publication series, you will learn concepts to develop effective display communication (fliers/posters and exhibits/displays) and projected visual communication (computer-generated slide presentations).

Visual Aids

When you suspect your audience lacks a clear understanding of the topic you are trying to communicate, find a visual aid to help get the point across. Visual aids are used for the following reasons:

(Video) 💯 What Is Visual Communication?

  • To seize the viewers' attention and help them to focus on major points. Sometimes it takes an eye-catching visual to grab the viewer's attention in order for the viewer to pay attention to your message.
  • To translate words into meaning. A graphic, photograph, or chart may be easier to understand than words on a page or someone's vocal description of a topic.
  • To get your point across. Use visual aids to help educate, inform, and persuade.

In addition to the more traditional forms of visual communication, such as videos and photographs, here are some other examples of visual aids:

  • Your body can be a visual aid. Body language and gestures communicate messages more effectively than voice alone.
  • Objects and models can be used in a variety of situations to communicate. In a chemistry class, a model of a water molecule can help to show how hydrogen and oxygen bond to form water. If you're showing how to hold a football properly, and you hold up a real football to show where to put your fingers on the laces, you're using an object to communicate a message.
  • Computer-generated slides are extremely popular for formal presentations.
  • Posters, fliers, and displays work well when they feature eye-catching images to draw attention to a text message and, better yet, add a layer of meaning to it.
  • Writing boards (chalkboard, dry-erase boards, smart boards) let you illustrate your points off the cuff to support educational presentations.

With any type of visual aid, you should follow the following guidelines:

(Video) The Importance of Visual Communication

  • Keep your audience in mind. If your audience is not completely familiar with some of the information you want to communicate, enlighten them. Write on the audience's reading and comprehension level, for example. Understanding your audience's characteristics will help you design the visual aid.
  • Be sure the visual aid contributes to your message. Poor visual aids can actually detract from the message. This is especially true during computer-generated slide presentations. Animation that causes text to spin and dance on the screen draws attention, certainly, but too much will draw attention to the movement itself, not to the words. Pyrotechnics entertain; they don't communicate. Effects that draw attention away from the message are to be avoided.
  • Make the visual aid large enough for the audience to see. Text must be large enough to read and the images large enough to see. This consistently ranks as one of the major problems with visual aids: image size and text size.
  • Handle materials and operate equipment properly. Know how your exhibit opens. Know how to operate the computer and the data projector for computer-generated slides. Operating the equipment and handling materials correctly will add to the professionalism of the message you wish to communicate.

Visual Communication Design Principles

Any visual communication form must be designed properly for your audience. Good visual communication designs should attract the audience. Use large, eye-catching text or images, or something unusual. Remember a few key design principles for visual communication: simplicity, unity, emphasis, readability, organization, balance, accuracy, and clarity.

(Video) 6 Ways Visual Communication Drives Business

  • Simplicity: A poster, display, or computer-generated slide should not be crammed full of text or images. Keep it simple. Usually—especially with computer slides—the fewer the elements (text, images, illustrations) on the page or screen, the easier it is for your audience to understand and recall your message.
  • Unity: Work to enhance harmony in all of your visual communication. If you are going to design several different posters for an event, use the same font style or the same image on all of the posters to show unity. Keep the background and text the same and use similar graphic images on all the slides for a computer-generated presentation.
  • Emphasis: Similar and harmonious materials create unity in the overall presentation, which makes it easy to differentiate and emphasize different and important information. The interplay between similarity and occasional eye-catching difference clarifies information for audiences. Your careful and sparing use of a few strategies for emphasis will help the audience catch on more quickly when information is unfamiliar and when concepts are particularly important. Emphasis is most effective when used sparingly: if everything is emphasized, then nothing stands out. (And if you use too many strategies for emphasis, you risk confusing the audience.) Focus the audience's attention to a specific place on your poster, exhibit, or slide by using a few, carefully chosen elements:
    • Animation: On some slides, animation or transition "reveals" might draw attention to text or images on the screen.
    • Underline, italics, and boldface: Used consistently these are excellent attention-getters. Pick one or assign them to different jobs. (For instance, you could use boldface for headings, italics for unfamiliar terminology, and underline for emphasis.) If you use all three indiscriminately, the audience may become confused.
    • Bullet points: For some posters, exhibits, and computer slides, bullet-pointed text helps readers digest information quickly. People have become accustomed to bullet points and automatically direct their attention to bullet points because they believe that important information will be presented there.
    • Color: Placing some text in a different color than the rest of the text will immediately draw attention to the page or screen. Color images also draw attention. Certain colors also are interpreted in specific ways by most people. Warm colors are reds, yellows, and blends of those two colors (orange). These colors are related to heat, fire, and the sun. Cool colors like blue and green call to mind the sky, sea, and wilderness. Depending on what message you are trying to get across to your audience, you may want to use one of the following colors:
  • Red is the most dramatic color. It excites and stimulates people. Red is often associated with aggressive behavior, passion, success, and impulse. Use red sparingly, because it is such a "hot" color.
  • Bright yellow often is associated with health and well being. Yellow is also associated with caution. For example, all traffic signs that pertain to caution—such as yield signs—are in yellow.
  • Blues are associated with tradition, orderliness, and stability. Light blues are associated with cleanliness. Dark blue colors seem to have a calming effect. Purple is seen as daring, royal, and elegant.
  • Greens provide a sense of nature and regeneration. Green is used by many environmental organizations.
  • White is a symbol of purity and innocence in Western countries.
  • Black usually signifies finality, ending, and death in Western countries.
  • Readability is usually measured in elementary school grade levels. Readable text uses simple, short sentences and explains unfamiliar words and concepts carefully. Of course you wouldn't oversimplify or "talk down" to the audience, but for the most part it's actually more effective for communication to aim a bit lower than the audience's reading level when communicating complicated information. In addition to writing the content at or below the educational level of your audience, try some of these strategies to enhance readability:
    • Bullet points: In addition to being an emphasis element, bullet points also help people understand information, especially if the bullet-pointed information is concise.
    • Underline, italics, and boldface: Use these to draw attention to certain parts of your materials, but do not overdo specialized font styles, especially italics. Italicizing a lot of text makes it difficult to read, especially on computer slides.
    • Uppercase and lowercase: Always use uppercase and lowercase text, particularly on computer slides. The only time you would want to type in all uppercase would be to "shout" out information or for a special title for a poster, exhibit, or computer slide. For regular content, use uppercase/lowercase.
    • Typeface: Typeface (also called "type" or "font") is the actual look of the letters. Fonts are classified into two categories: serif and sans-serif. Serif fonts are those where the letters have "feet" or "tails," such as the Times New Roman font. Serif fonts are a good choice for printed materials because the "feet" at the bottom of letters make it easier for readers to follow each line of text. San-serif means "without serif," so the letters in sans-serif fonts lack "feet" or "tails." Arial and Helvetica are common sans-serif fonts. Sans-serif fonts usually are not good choices for blocks of text on a page, because they are more difficult to follow across the page without the "feet" for each letter. Sans-serif fonts are recommended for text that is projected onto a screen or read on a television screen or computer screen. Sans-serif fonts also are a good choice for short headlines and brief photo captions. Make sure you choose a font style (serif or sans-serif) that is easy to read. For posters or exhibits, you may want to use a thicker font—such as a sans-serif font—to make text more easily readable from a distance. For projected materials, it is usually better to use a sans-serif font style.
    • Letter size: The rule here is that the letter size must be large enough to be read at a reasonable distance. For an exhibit, that distance is usually six feet away. For a poster, the distance may depend on where the poster is placed, but usually, you would want all of the content to be seen from at least six feet away.
  • Organization: Use a logical visual pattern that is easy to comprehend. For most visual communication, that visual pattern will begin at the top, left-hand side of the document or slide and work to the bottom, right-hand side, which is the English language reading pattern (top left to bottom right). What this means is that important information should probably be placed at the top, usually on the left, and the least important information should be placed at the bottom, on the right.
  • Balance: To achieve a balanced design, imagine a line dividing a page either vertically or horizontally and then place visual elements so they are in either symmetrical (formal) balance or asymmetrical (informal) balance.
    • Symmetrical balance or formal balance is mirror image balance. All the visual elements on one side of the page are mirrored on the other side.
    • In asymmetrical balance or informal balance, several smaller items on one side of the imaginary line are balanced by a large item on the other side, or smaller items are placed further away from the center line than larger items.
  • Accuracy: All text should be spelled and punctuated correctly. Sentences should be grammatically correct, although fragments are permissible, especially in bullet points. All names should be correct.
    • Parallelism: Items in a group must match one another. If your first bulleted item begins with a verb, so must all the others.
  • Clarity: Present only one main idea. People should know at a glance what your poster, display, or computer slide is about. The content should be clear.
Visual Communication (2)


What is visual communication? ›

What is visual communication? Visual communication is the practice of using visual elements to communicate information or ideas. Types of visual communication include animated GIFs, screenshots, videos, pie charts, infographics, and slide deck presentations.

What is the use of visual communication? ›

Visual communication is a tool used to represent information graphically. Not only does it help in sharing information in less time but also improves comprehension. People are keen to consume information presented in the form of an image, chart or infographic. This is one of the reasons behind Instagram's popularity.

Why is visual communication benefit? ›

Advantages of Visual Communication

Visual aids can deliver information more directly. Visual communication is more flexible than verbal communication. Visual aids are more attention-grabbing and engaging. Research has been able to establish that visual communication makes an impact on the audience.

What are the 3 types of visual media? ›

Images, videos, and infographics are just three of the most effective visual aids you can use to market your product or service.

What are the 4 types of visual communication? ›

Some common types of visual communication used in marketing include logos, images, graphics, and videos.

What are six types of visuals? ›

The six categories of visuals are representational, mnemonic, organizational, relational, transformational and interpretive visuals (Source: Graphics in learning by Ruth Colvin Clark). Let's look into the communication functionality of each one of them.

What are the 7 types of visual media? ›

  • 3.1 Visual Media: Visual Media can be a very powerful tool to enhance the impact of your presentations. ...
  • Posters: ...
  • Charts: ...
  • Photos:
  • Bulletin Board: ...
  • Transparencies: ...
  • Power Point Slides: ...
  • Graphs:

What are 7 components of visual communication? ›

Outside the different types of characteristics and elements, there are seven components of visual communication: color, shape, tones, texture, figure-ground, balance, and hierarchy.

What are the 7 guides to effective visual communication? ›

7 steps to create effective visual communication - Infographics
  • Choose your images carefully. ...
  • Pay attention to the font and colors. ...
  • Use "familiar" visual elements. ...
  • Remember the importance of the visual hierarchy. ...
  • Diversify the content of the platform. ...
  • Use responsive design. ...
  • Use interactive elements.
19 Feb 2020

What are the main purpose of visual media? ›

Visual media is interpreted using what we, as people, see visually instead of aural (hearing) or tactile (touch) media. It plays a role in advertising, art, communication, education, business, and engineering. Visual media is often used as a learning and teaching aid, such as in presentations and training guides.

How effective is visual communication? ›

Visual Communication Is Efficient.

Visuals are an extremely efficient method for getting your message across. While it takes the average person about six seconds to read 20-25 words, they can get the sense of a visual scene in 1/10 of a second!

Why is visual important in learning? ›

Visual learning also helps students to develop visual thinking, which is a learning style whereby the learner comes better to understand and retain information better by associating ideas, words and concepts with images.

What are the two basic types of visuals? ›

Types of Visual Aids

Information generally falls into one of two categories: Statistical: to help the audience visualize relationships between numbers, use pie charts, line charts, and bar charts. Illustrative: to visually describe an idea or concept, use pictures or symbols.

What are the five elements of visual media? ›

The traditional way of looking at art, namely the visual arts, suggests that there are five basic elements of an artwork – line, shape, color, texture and space.

What are the six characteristics of visual media? ›

6 Qualities of the Most Successful Visual Content
  • It minimizes text. ...
  • It incorporates custom design. ...
  • It commits to a strong color scheme. ...
  • It's optimized for its platform. ...
  • It delivers the message quickly. ...
  • It's paired with great SEO.
3 Jul 2018

What are the 7 types of communication? ›

Importance of Communication
  • Variety in Communication: Choose Wisely. We are lucky as humans to have a whole host of communication types available for us at our fingertips. ...
  • Interpersonal Communication. ...
  • Verbal Communication. ...
  • Nonverbal Communication. ...
  • Written Communication. ...
  • Visual Communication. ...
  • Listening.

What are the 3 types of communication? ›

When communication occurs, it typically happens in one of three ways: verbal, nonverbal and visual. People very often take communication for granted. Communicators constantly exchange information, meaning people always seem to be either receiving or giving information.

What are the 10 types of visual media? ›

  • 1 Infographics.
  • 2 Memes and Branded Quotes.
  • 3 Interesting Data Visualizations. ...
  • 4 Visual Representations. ...
  • 5 Annotated Screenshots. ...
  • 6 Presentations. ...
  • 7 Videos. ...
  • 8 Strong Calls to Action.
14 Mar 2016

What are the 4 visual elements? ›

Visual elements are the building blocks of art and design. There are 7 visual elements in total, they are line, shape, color, value, form, texture, and space.

What are the roles of visuals? ›

Visuals are an excellent way to highlight a message in workplace communications. Many companies depend upon visuals, such as bar and line charts, photos, and multimedia presentations, in order to help create a memorable, informative, and stimulating message.

What are visual techniques? ›

English visual techniques are tools which help convey a certain image. They may be used in any still form of media, including photos, picture books, book covers and posters. Techniques. Definition.

What are the materials for visual communication? ›

Visuals, such as pictures, drawings, charts, graphs and diagrams, can be effective tools for communicating health information. Visuals can make the presentation of complex information easier to comprehend and more attractive. They can also reinforce written or spoken health messages.

What are 6 main media forms? ›

Modern media comes in many different formats, including print media (books, magazines, newspapers), television, movies, video games, music, cell phones, various kinds of software, and the Internet.

What are types of communication? ›

Five Types of Communication
  • Verbal Communication. Verbal communication occurs when we engage in speaking with others. ...
  • Non-Verbal Communication. What we do while we speak often says more than the actual words. ...
  • Written Communication. ...
  • Listening. ...
  • Visual Communication.
12 Jul 2018

What are the key features of visual communication? ›

Visual communication is the process of transmitting information through images. It involves creating an effective message that can be understood by the viewer. There are six basic principles of good visual communication: 1) clarity, 2) simplicity, 3) accuracy, 4) variety, 5) credibility and 6) audience engagement.

What are the 8 visual design principles? ›

The elements, or principles, of visual design include Contrast, Balance, Emphasis, Movement, White Space, Proportion, Hierarchy, Repetition, Rhythm, Pattern, Unity, and Variety. These principles of design work together to create something that is aesthetically pleasing and optimizes the user experience.

How can I improve my visual communication skills? ›

Here are few tips that can help you employ visual communication correctly:
  1. Make Your Visuals Colorful. ...
  2. Use Icons And Fitting Illustrations. ...
  3. Use Visual Analogies. ...
  4. Simplify Complicated Information With Visuals. ...
  5. Use The Right Charts And Graphs For Your Goals. ...
  6. Tell a Story To Inspire Your Audience.

What is the best way to communicate a vision? ›

The Best Ways to Communicate Your Organization's Vision
  1. Tell a story. When you tell a good story, you give life to a vision. ...
  2. Perfect your “elevator speech.” ...
  3. Use multiple forms of media. ...
  4. Have one-on-one conversations. ...
  5. Draw a crowd internally. ...
  6. Go outside the organization. ...
  7. Make memories. ...
  8. Guide the expedition.

What is a powerful form of visual communication? ›

Social Media is an effective medium to communicate with your readers. In fact, today it is the most powerful and accepted visual communication medium. Your message delivers quickly through different social platforms. It not only helps to inform but also create an impact on the reader in a creative way.

What are the types of visual communication? ›

Visual communication is the process of communicating ideas and information through the use of images. There are three main types of visual communication: verbal, nonverbal, and body language.

How does visual communication improve culture? ›

Visual Communication Improves Culture

When your employees feel like management has gone to great lengths to deliver information, they'll be more likely to listen and take it to heart. They'll also infuse that kind of work ethic into their own efforts to deliver information.

Why is visual language important? ›

A visual language is a system of communication using visual elements. Visual languages helps users perceive and comprehend visible signs. Visual languages aren't only applicable to digital products; they're also applicable to anything that can be visualized.

Why are visuals important for students? ›

Most teachers understand the power of visual aids in helping students grasp content. Teachers value the support that visuals lend to classroom instruction because they encourage students to make associations between pieces of information, soak up chunks of course content quickly, and function as a memory aid.

What is visual communication short form? ›

The ISO4 abbreviation of Visual Communication is Vis. Commun. .

What do you study in visual communication? ›

The Bachelor of Science in Visual Communication (BSc Viscom) is a three-year undergraduate degree programme that aims to provide an in-depth understanding of a wide range of subjects including animation, drawing, multimedia, graphic design, web design, writing, advertising, film and video production, video editing, and ...

What is visual communication in school? ›

Visual communication (graphic design) is the art of communicating information and ideas through the strategic use of type, image, and color.

Why are visuals important? ›

Visuals grab the audience's attention

According to the Visual Teaching Alliance, visuals transmit information faster than spoken or written words; we can get the sense of a visual scene in less than 1/10 of a second, and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text.

What is the full meaning of visual? ›

Visual means relating to sight, or to things that you can see.

How many years course is visual communication? ›

Visual Communication (B.Sc.)

A bsc visual communication lasts three years and is divided into six semesters.

What job will I get after Viscom? ›

Digital Photographer, Graphic Artist, Cartoonist, Animator, Copywriter, Web Designer, etc.

What is visual communication advantages and disadvantages? ›

Comparison Table for Advantages of Disadvantages of Visual Communication
Visual communication is more interactiveIt cannot be used for detailed information
It brings clarity to oral communicationSome information cannot be communicated visually, such as policy, rules, etc.
2 more rows
4 Feb 2022


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