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Visual communication design forms the basis of how the world looks like. From traffic signage to educational lessons, movies, and games, all use visual communication design aids to communicate with the audience.
Visual Communication combines the power of art and storytelling to deliver a message to the audience and inspire a desired action, such as engagement via clicks, brand recall via repeated impressions, etc. A salient feature of visual communication design is that it can strike an emotional chord with the audience and deliver your message more effectively than text. Visual communication designers translate design concepts into a visual form via hand and computer software to create artwork that inspires, enlightens and informs the target audience. They work closely with product, brand, and social media managers to achieve the desired communication goals.
According to research, 67% of people understand information better when it is communicated visually. Moreover, people tend to remember 80% of what they see compared to 20% of what they read.
Visual communication design ensures that an individual is able to understand the message easily and retain the information for a longer period. Nowadays, people spend more time on visual media through social media channels like Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. Hence, visual communication design has become necessary to garner their attention.
There are many benefits of using visual Communication. For example, a website with a combination of infographics, images, and text is likely to be more attractive to customers. Similarly, visual communication is used in traffic signages to ensure road safety.
Delivers information easily: Voluminous information that involves statistics or requires more effort to retain should always be communicated through some visual elements. This helps the audience to analyse the information, such as its advantages and shortcomings, at a glance. Not only can it be understood instantaneously, but it is also delivered in a concise and crisp manner.
It is flexible compared to verbal communication: An image or a photograph can be understood by anyone irrespective of culture, geography, language, ethnicity, etc. Take movies and web series as an example. They are usually watched by people worldwide despite differences in language because it delivers an understandable message. Hence, visual elements aid communication with a diverse audience persuasively.
It captures attention swiftly: Visual retention is much higher in people. Instead of long paragraphs and other details, a combination of shorter paragraphs, relevant images and animation will help capture the viewer's attention instantly.
Increases credibility of a message: A refrigerator brand advertising its product is effective will take longer to garner trust. However, videos and product demonstrations will instantly attract their attention and make them believe what they see. Visual elements reaffirm the credibility of a brand.
Saves time: If given a chance, most of us prefer watching a 2-hour movie rather than a 300-page book. Nowadays, individuals usually prefer to gain information through visual media such as videos and documentaries as it saves a lot of their time and is an interactive media of Communication.
Visual communication designers work across sectors such as real estate, healthcare, education, retail, FMCG, and creative agencies. Companies may hire them to design websites, games, movies, creatives, videos, short films and other digital design projects. Accordingly, certain specialisations require knowledge of a specific business sector. Some of the roles and responsibilities of a visual communication designer are:
Visual Communication Design as a discipline involves conceptual and aesthetic understanding of design solutions in the world around us. Visualisation of ideas and ideation is the basis for researching and developing visual communication aids. The discipline acquaints students about design principles and techniques, the role of visual communication designers and their contribution to society. Design thinking, which involves the application of creative, critical and reflective techniques, is fundamental to learning in Visual Communication Design.
Visual Communication Design allows students to investigate the world from a design perspective. They explore the significance of visual communication design across time, places and cultures. It also allows students to use the knowledge, skills and understanding of visual communication design to communicate their ideas and message with a specific purpose. The discipline also will enable students to develop an appreciation of how others visually communicate ideas and information.
Graphic designers create visual products for print and digital media across sectors such as advertising, public relations, publishing and many more. They design social media posts, magazines, flyers, posters using various software programs from Adobe InDesign to Photoshop or even sketching manually to illustrate their ideas. They combine their visual arts and design skills to illustrate complex ideas in an interactive manner for consumers as well as businesses.
Web designers develop and manage websites for businesses. They combine colour, graphics and text to organise information in a simple and interactive manner for users. The proliferation of mobile applications and internet penetration has given a fillip to the demand for website and application designers.
Advertising professionals research, ideate and conceptualise ad campaigns that help reach the product to the audience. They combine their design skills with the knowledge of the latest trends to design attention-grabbing print advertisements and pop-up ads on websites.
Video editors don't just work with static images; they edit videos for various platforms to make information more coherent and visually appealing. Video editors range from helping produce advertisements to online how-to tutorials. They go beyond visuals to add music and sound effects to videos.
As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Photojournalists capture a moment that captures the entire news in a visual, from the fatigue in a labourer's stance to the fear in the eyes of a child after a bombing. They work closely with news editors and reporters to enhance the credibility of the story through visual media.
Art/Design Directors work in various organisations, from publishing houses, visual communication agencies to the nonprofit sector. These professionals oversee a team of graphic designers, video editors and web designers and use their leadership skills to conceptualise an array of visual communications projects.
These multifaceted professionals own the communication strategy and work closely with designers and brand managers to achieve brand communication goals. They must be proficient in identifying the key brand message and presenting it – from the annual report to a magazine article – in a crisp, concise and interactive manner to the audience.
Animation involves putting together a series of artworks which pass through a projector to create an illusion of movement. An animator creates a storyboard and models and works in close coordination with sound engineers to ensure consistency between visuals and sound.
Design education is a suitable career choice if you have a flair for teaching and wish to share your knowledge and vision with a new generation. The ever-evolving landscape of design, applications and technologies implies that both novices and experienced designers must often update their skills. Visual design instructors may choose to teach in edtech companies, universities, schools or design academies.
For a career as a visual communication designer, it is recommended to start early to gain a competitive edge. A graduate degree in communication design after 10+2 is a gateway to a successful career in the discipline. One needs to have a passion for design and a keen eye for detail to get started. One must identify, shortlist and apply to select colleges based on career options, budget, location, etc. Most colleges also require candidates to qualify for a design aptitude test—which judges aspirants on their basic drawing skills, writing, critical reasoning and visualisation. A four-year degree in communication design provides a comprehensive overview of the discipline and equips you with the necessary skills for a visual communication designer career.
Design touches every aspect of our lives- from the design of our kitchen appliances to the traffic lights on the road. Using their creative skills, visual communication designers solve our day-to-day problems, make our lives easier, and ensure our emotional and physical well-being. They analyse the needs of humankind and devise solutions that shape the world as we see it. Innovation forms the basis of an ever-evolving society and it needs more designers to foster innovation.
Visual Communication design is an ever-evolving discipline. The ongoing pace of digitisation, demand for hedonistic product attributes, and focus on superior customer experience for brands have fuelled the demand for visual communication designers. Recent trends such as leveraging emerging technologies, viz., Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, vernacularisation and the proliferation of video advertising imply that visual communication design is here to stay, with demand for such professionals foreseen to increase rapidly over time.
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